Sunday, 19 May 2013

Eurovision 2013 Finals Review

Well Eurovision 2013 has ended and the winner is none other than Denmark's Emmelie de Forest with Only Teardrops. But it was definitely not a landslide, as I predicted. Azerbaijan and Ukraine were consistently on Denmark's tail but in the end it was the consistent votes that Denmark got which scored them the win, Azerbaijan actually had more 12's. 

There were some shocking results but by on large the final ranking was predictable. The bookies were spot on this year with the Top 5 as Denmark, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Norway and Russia all filling in their spots. Greece, Italy, Malta, Netherlands and Hungary rounded off the Top 10. I was quite shocked how well Malta and Hungary did especially Hungary with what I thought was a rather oddball and repetitive track that wouldn't find its appeal at Eurovision.

I am quite happy with the results but I would have liked a shock. Belgium did better than I thought but the shock of the night was still Hungary.

Georgia didn't do as well as I expected, but I think it did split the viewers, from opinions I've heard people either liked the song for its big ballad duet style or found it a snoozefest. Germany also did unexpectedly badly. They've been one of the more successful western countries and I would have expected Cascada to keep them in the top half. I nearly got No.26 right, Spain came 25th but it was Ireland who came rock bottom which I didn't expect as they came last in the draw. As I predicted France, Spain and Finland came near the bottom of the pack. I actually liked all of them but their draw in the final and their rather less memorable performances let them down.

And good for you Bonnie, who came 19th. I don't think anyone was expecting much else. As I said my pre final favourites were Denmark, Azerbaijan, Norway, Netherlands and Sweden they came 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th and 14th respectively.

We have also been shown the semifinal votes (though I would like to see the jury/public split as well). Denmark won Semifinal 1 with Russia in 2nd and Ukraine 3rd. Then there was a clear divide until 4th which was taken by Moldova. Netherlands only placed 6th, which is disappointing, but luckily they got in the Top 10 on the finals night. Ireland who came bottom in the finals actually didn't come bottom in their semis which is odd since they performed last and should have been fresh in voter's minds. Estonia was the one that scraped through denying the Serbian trio of a spot. Slovenia's Straight Into Love was the lowest vote getter.

In Semi 2 it was Azerbaijan who came first, not the much expected Norway, who came third. Greece came 2nd by just a point. Malta's good run in the finals could have been predicted as they came 4th in this semi but Hungary is the real confusion as they came 8th in this semi but managed to come 10th in the finals? Where did all those voters come from? Georgia came 10th which is rather surprising since duets tend to do decently at Eurovision. San Marino was unlucky 11 and Bulgaria was a close 12th. It was Latvia who came last in this semi.

Looking at the countries that got 12 points and who gave them out the East-West divide in Europe is quite clear. By on large it was countries in Eastern Europe who chose Azerbaijan and countries in Western Europe who polled Denmark. Scandinavian countries chose to support Norway.

Here is my brief opinion on the performances...

France - it was a shame she was first as I thought she was decent and had an interesting vocal. It is a song I would listen to but at Eurovision it didn't have the big stage appeal.

Lithuania - I am still baffled by the reason why the lyrics talk about his shoes "Love and Pain". He is also not a good vocalist. He is also very rude especially his reaction of coming 20ish rather than the Top 10 he expected!

Moldova - An ok performance, at times screechy but commendable. Her USP was definitely her dress and the theatrics successfully placing her 11th.

Finland - My guilty pleasure, I just love the energy of Krista. It didn't perform well in which I think the "controversial" kiss at the end was one reason.

Spain - I like it but it doesn't really work on a big arena.

Belgium - catchy but I just can't get over Roberto's creepy stare, it did much better than expected.

Estonia - I think Birgit is a great vocalist and I like the song but it's too low key and therefore it placed 20th.

Belarus - I think Eurovision has started to move on from these type of acts which were most successful in the mid 00s. I think viewers who still believe that a skimpily clad bombshell will do well are still in the view that Eurovision is all about cheese.

Malta - A surprise vote getter. There were some analysts who thought this could be a success but it was still rather shocking that it did so well. I did like the simplicity of it and Gianluca sings quite well.

Russia - An ok performance but it just wasn't the type of song that would get votes if it weren't for Russia.

Germany - It wasn't vocally great but I would have expected Cascada to pull in more votes. It was definitely one of the better songs.

Armenia - Just no.

Netherlands - It will undeniably split viewers, some will think it's too depressing whilst some will champion its uniqueness. I really liked it though it did need a bigger crescendo for an arena performance, coming in the Top 10 was really the best possible outcome.

Romania - Votes for this were obviously for the gimmick as I can't imagine anyone truly liking this song.

United Kingdom - If I'm honest vocally it wasn't great and the song, whilst decent, is too samey and therefore it was lost among the sea of artistes.

Sweden - It wasn't vocally great but I liked the chorus and it has a big arena feel about it, I thought it would do slightly better though.

Hungary - I am baffled by the support it got, maybe there are more voters like Graham Norton than I thought.

Denmark - I would say out of the favourites it had the most Eurovision appeal about it so it wasn't difficult to see how it would win. Only Azerbaijan would have seemed a plausible alternative. Ukraine lacked the hook, Russia was too preachy ballad and Norway was too alternative.

Iceland - Commentators expected this to do decently, it came 17th which isn't bad but worse than what they expected. Personally I find this generic and it lacks a climax.

Azerbaijan - It's a decent track and generally very slickly performed, it's easy to see how this could have overthrown Denmark.

Greece - I have slowly come to like this, there energy is infectious and at the end of the day Eurovision is about having fun.

Ukraine - Zlata has the voice but I still feel that Gravity is a let down of a song for her to perform.

Italy - Having heard this everywhere when I was in Rome I thought I would get bored of it but it is a decent song and Marco performed it well. It came 7th which is honourable.

Norway - Whilst I like it it doesn't have that Eurovision feel to it, it wasn't a song that I'd expect to win. I was very happy that it came 4th.

Georgia - I think this is one of the songs which suffered from overdose for me, I've just heard it too many times and it began to sound samey however I still think it deserved a top 10 spot.

Ireland - I didn't expect it to come last but I didn't like it.

This is my ranking of the 26 performances and their eventual place in the finals.

Norway           4th
Denmark          1st
Netherlands      9th
Azerbaijan       2nd
Sweden           14th
Italy            7th
Greece           6th
Georgia          15th
Finland          24th
Germany          21st
Ukraine          3rd
Estonia          20th
Malta            8th
France           23rd
Moldova          11th
Russia           5th
Spain            25th
Belgium          12th
United Kingdom   19th
Belarus          16th
Iceland          17th
Ireland          26th
Armenia          18th
Lithuania        22nd
Hungary          10th
Romania          13th

Once I know how the jury votes I would like to update this post, but for now goodnight and see you next year.

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