So there we have it, the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest is over, and the winner – as predicted by the bookies – was Denmark’s entry by Emmelie de Forest with “Only Teardrops”. Those expecting a runaway victory were in for a shock though, as a landslide wasn’t forthcoming.
Before I start – a massive thanks to everyone who has been reading my Eurovision coverage. Over 5,000 views in one day is almost double my personal best, and I am so happy and shocked that this has happened (even if you were probably just googling Farid’s nipples!). I’m not done with ESC2013 yet, so stay tuned and bookmark this blog if you enjoy it!
Before we chew over the stats, let’s have a look at those final rankings:
1. Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops (281 pts) (Denmark)
2. Farid Mammadov – Hold Me (234 pts) (Azerbaijan)
3. Zlata Ognevich – Gravity (214 pts) (Ukraine)
4. Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love (191 pts) (Norway)
5. Dina Garipova – What If (174 pts) (Russia)
6. Koza Mostra ft. Agathon Iakovidis – Alcohol Is Free (152 pts) (Greece)
7. Marco Mengoni – L’essenziale (126 pts) (Italy)
8. Gianluca – Tomorrow (120 pts) (Malta)
9. Anouk – Birds (114 pts) (Netherlands)
10. ByeAlex – Kedvesem (84 pts) (Hungary)
11. Aliona Moon – O mie (71 pts) (Moldova)
12. Roberto Bellarosa – Love Kills (71 pts) (Belgium)
13. Cezar – It’s My Life (65 pts) (Romania)
14. Robin Stjernberg – You (62 pts) (Sweden)
15. Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani – Waterfall (50 pts) (Georgia)
16. Alyona Lanskaya – Solayoh (48 pts) (Belarus)
17. Eythor Ingi – Ég á líf (47 pts) (Iceland)
18. Dorians – Lonely Planet (41 pts) (Armenia)
19. Bonnie Tyler – Believe in Me (23 pts) (United Kingdom)
20. Birgit – Et uus saaks alguse (19 pts) (Estonia)
21. Cascada – Glorious (18 pts) (Germany)
22. Andrius Pojavis – Something (17 pts) (Lithuania)
23. Amandine Bourgeois – L’enfer et moi (14 pts) (France)
24. Krista Siegfrids – Marry Me (13 pts) (Finland)
25. ESDM – Contigo hasta el final (8 pts) (Spain)
26. Ryan Dolan – Only Love Survives (5 pts) (Ireland)
A funny old night, all things said and done. There were surprise casualties, baffling successes, premature congratulations, and a leaderboard had Denmark on top for practically all the scoring (where’s the exciting reveal, SVT?).
The success stories
While the top 5 could have been predicted months ago (and I think I did!), that’s not to say some countries other than those ones shouldn’t feel very pleased with themselves.
The Netherlands pulled out all the stops to qualify this year after 9 years with no luck. Their biggest star Anouk managed to not only qualify in a nail-biting semi-final, but get them back in the top 10 for the first time this century. Vindication!
Malta also had a great night, top 10 for the first time since 2005, a great result for the small island. I think that was one of the slow burners of the contest this year. Chiara next year? Hungary also managed to swing not only a surprising qualification, but only their third ever top 10 finish. I never expected Belgium to make it through semis, let alone 12th place, well done Roberto!
The shock flops
Where to start? Ireland seemed to have a lot of momentum, and got the closing slot too, which they used to great effect. Or so it seemed, what the fuck happened? LAST PLACE! Set-list conspiracy theorists might clucking that four of the bottom five performed in the first 5 slots (Moldova blasting to 11th though), but the closing act came last. Unbelievable.
The Big Five had a pretty dismal evening too. Spain and France weren’t such a surprise when they ended up in the bottom five, but United Kingdom seemed to have a lot going for it judging from crowd reaction. Don’t lead me on, 19th place could have been worse, and indeed it was last year, but I had hope dangled in front of me (at least I thought it was hope).
Germany take the silver medal for expected disaster, limping in at 21st. Sure, it wasn’t the most imaginative entry, but what a shocking end to Germany’s run of top 10 finishes. Italy managed to get away with it again though; Marco seemed to have the personality of a (sexy as fuck) broom, but managed to squeak Italy into 7th.
Finland’s second-last place probably wasn’t helped by an early start, but everyone went mental for it. If I hadn’t been to the semi-finals myself, I probably would have been surprised they even made it to the final, but there we are.
Finally, what a shame for Sweden. I thought Robin had one of the best chances in a long while to win on home soil for the first time since Ireland did it about 10 times, but it was a lukewarm 14th in the end. A real shame…
I wrote a little bit about how bloc voting theory seems to have gone completely out of the window this year, as the Balkans were totally wiped out in the semis, leaving the Soviets, Scandinavians and whatever else was left to fight it out.
An energised Azerbaijan outperformed bookies’ expectations, hassling Denmark right until the end. I speculated that the Scandinavian bloc might do better if the Soviet vote was so split up, but it seems that wasn’t the case. Sure, the Danes won the day, but the top 5 was a mix of both blocs. De facto Balkan champion Greece brought the house down and secured 6th place by scooping up a lot of vote along the Mediterranean.
But with half of the finalists belonging to one of the two blocs, it was obvious that they would be well represented in any segment of the leaderboard. I think justice in the universe remains intact, and the conspiracy theorists will just be happy they don’t have to go back to Baku next year.
It was a great show, a strong set of songs, and a wonderfully thought-out theme, even if at times it did get a little self-important. There were a few clunkers along the way: fluffed lines, Eric Saade in the green room (hashtag wherethefuckwasMåns), and an unforgivable early announcement of the winner. What the hell was that about? It was very rude to the remaining four countries whose votes had yet to be read, even if they did grudgingly return to them after the announcement. Bizarre!
While a Swedish Eurovision sounds like it must be the pinnacle, I wonder if it needs to be saved from itself. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved this week so much, but I’m left with an unexpected and unexplainably odd feeling after it all.
“We are one”, the slogan said, and SVT did their very best to make this message resonate in a variety of inventive and lovely ways. But as I stood in Folkets Park, surrounded by drunk Swedes stumbling around in the dark, and Petra finally deigned to listen to the last set of results, with Lithuania’s 12 points going to Azerbaijan, the last thing I heard was “Fuck you Lithuania” from behind me. Maybe Eurovision can’t quite claim to have achieved oneness yet!