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How many times can we win and lose?
May 9, 2014 1:04 PM   Subscribe

It's under 24 hours until the Grand Final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, airing at 2100 CEST (2000 UTC, 3 pm EDT). Are you ready for the most wonderful musical event of the year?

List of this year's finalists, with videos.

List of previous years' winners.

Handy guide to this year's songs and competitors (PDF).

Official rules of the contest (PDF).

Official YouTube channel.

Official live web stream for those who don't live anywhere with an official broadcast.
posted by asperity (142 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
63 pages of commentary on this year's songs? Awesome.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:11 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


I am in love with the lead singer of the band from Malta. Come to think of it, last year I was in love with the lead singer of the band from Malta. Clearly I gotta get over to Malta, stat.
posted by JanetLand at 1:31 PM on May 9


Malta is the best. In 2012, they turned in a song I liked quite a bit, made it to the final, and then did pretty badly, but there was a great moment when the singer shouts "THIS IS THE NIGHT FOR MALTA" and I wanted it to be the night for Malta so much.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:41 PM on May 9


Living far away from the European nation in which I was born, I love to watch this every year... but it really is on at an awkward time in my location. Does anybody know if there's a way to time-shift the web stream of the finals?
posted by Dreadnought at 1:44 PM on May 9


Living far away from the European nation in which I was born, I love to watch this every year... but it really is on at an awkward time in my location. Does anybody know if there's a way to time-shift the web stream of the finals?

They post them to stream on demand a little while after the finals are over (or have done for the semi-finals). That's our plan as Americans to watch them, which is why you can expect me to come in this thread six hours after the final is over, drunk on vodka jello cups designed to look like the Danish flag, complaining about Switzerland was robbed.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:48 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


My personal favorite from this years finalists is the strangely American sounding-one from The Netherlands. Though after the semi-finals, the smart money appears to be flooding onto the Austrian entry.

Oh, and the opening of the 2007 Eurovision, with Lordi - the Finnish winners from the year before - is still one of the greatest openings ever of any event. THIS is how the Superbowl, World Cup, US Presidential Election coverage et al should start...
posted by Wordshore at 1:49 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


My two favorite entries this year were "Candy Jar," by Germany's MarieMarie and the lovely "Needs," by Norway's Dina Misund. They having lost to their competitors, however, I can't decide if I'm pulling for the Georgian prog-folkies or "Cheesecake" just out of spite.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:52 PM on May 9


An assortment of scorecards, mostly printable: BBC, Eurovision Memories, escwebs, HuffPo UK.
posted by asperity at 1:52 PM on May 9


Ten reasons why Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst must win Eurovision

Seriously. This would be so awesome if she won, and it seems quite possible. The crowd during the semi-final yesterday went crazy for her in a way I've never heard from a Eurovision crowd. (Granted, I've only been a regular watcher for about 4 years. But still.)
posted by dnash at 1:59 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Does anybody know if there's a way to time-shift the web stream of the finals?

See this recent Ask about timeshifting Eurovision.
posted by asperity at 2:00 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


You'll need to pull for "Cheesecake" because the Georgian song did not make it out of the semi-final (thank god, that song was weird and awful)
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:01 PM on May 9


I am totally watching this year, because last year practically everyone on my Twitter feed watched it and said awesome hilarious things. Pretty much everything is better when you can talk about it with internet people.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:03 PM on May 9


I'd love to see Conchita Wurst win for all the reasons listed in the article dnash linked.
posted by vacapinta at 2:06 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


An assortment of games, mostly drinking games: SBS, unknown origin, Moustache Magazine, International Business Times.
posted by asperity at 2:08 PM on May 9


If Heaven don't have Eurovision, I don't wanna go.
posted by Roentgen at 2:14 PM on May 9


I kind of hate that the songs are online ahead of time. The Wtf?? factor was a big part of the overall enjoyment factor back in the day.
posted by fshgrl at 2:38 PM on May 9


But there's almost always a difference between the videos released ahead of time and the stage performances. It's great to see how they adapt them (and the stage is amazing!)
posted by asperity at 2:46 PM on May 9


I am definitely Team Conchita.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:12 PM on May 9


Are you ready for the most wonderful musical event of the year?
How can it be the "most wonderful" without Latvia?

(Go on, admit it - you've still got that damn song stuck in your head from the last Eurovision post, haven't you?)
posted by Pinback at 3:21 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Are you ready for the most wonderful musical event of the year?

I AM ready! We did our fantasy draft for Eurovision, I have a scoring system set up, and I've made red jell-o shots and have whipped cream ready to make them into little Danish flags to celebrate the host country EVEN THOUGH my roommate drafted Denmark because he got first pick so I will be rooting against myself by eating them.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:27 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


The current Eurovision odds across many UK bookmakers.
posted by Wordshore at 3:30 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


About a third of the time France sends in a song where you really can't tell if all involved are just having a laugh about the whole thing or earnestly trying to win with a catchy song, e.g. Sebastian Tellier and Les Fatals Picards. This year's entry is firmly in that vein, a bunch of hipsters singing about moustaches. For a further twist in the "are they serious or not" subplot, the lyrics are actually somewhat pointed social commentary.
posted by Kattullus at 3:31 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Oh, and because everyone needs to see this, Bulgaria's legendary 2009 entry: Illusion by Krassimir Avramov.
posted by Kattullus at 3:43 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Team Conchita reason #11: Fierce lashes.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:54 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


French pop songs are fucking weird and also strangely all the same sounding. I listen to a ton of it so I feel qualified to make that assertion.
posted by fshgrl at 3:55 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


The Big Five brought it this year. France, Spain, and Italy are all good, Germany is fine, and the UK is removing that awful "power to the people" chant away from being half way decent, too.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 4:09 PM on May 9


Georgia's entry didn't make it to the final; I try not to be spoiled in advance of the big night, but I was trying to work out how best to stream to the TV (Flash to flatscreen is a pain these days) and heard something that sounded like it had been dragged out of a prog-folk time capsule buried in 1975.

Timeshifting means you miss out on Twitter Christmas.
posted by holgate at 4:42 PM on May 9


I'm sorry to say that I'm going to miss the first few hours of Eurovision, but it's for the best of reasons. It's our anniversary on Saturday, and we're celebrating in part by going to see Titus Andronicus at the Globe. Nobody tell us who wins.

I mean Eurovision, obviously; nobody wins Titus.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:47 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Are you ready for the most wonderful musical event of the year?


And some highly suggestive butter churning
posted by gyc at 4:58 PM on May 9


Since my kingdom of Albania doesn't seem to be in it this year, I am once again going to take the advice of the random number generator. Let's see... the random number generator tells me that I am rooting for #18... Finland!

Cool, I am looking forward to this. Aren't they the ones that had that awesome thing a while back, "Lordi" or something like that? Anyway, let's see this year's video....

Errrrrghuhhhhhh. Well, it wasn't actively bad. I guess. They should've let Lordi cover it though. Anyway, the random number generator has spoken: Go Finland!
posted by Flunkie at 6:11 PM on May 9


In all seriousness, I am cutting out of my sister's wedding early so I can make it back for Eurovision on time. This is how much Eurovision means to me.

(Well, do-over wedding, a vow renewal thing. And miss Eurovision for a vow renewal? Fuck that. Here's another toaster -- I'm leaving.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:56 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Looking at the map, what's with the lack of winners in eastern Europe? Is the music just not that good, or do the judges have a bias for the wealthier parts of Europe?
posted by crapmatic at 7:00 PM on May 9


My all-time favorite Eurovision performance - from Moldova 2011
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:21 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


what's with the lack of winners in eastern Europe?

Half of those countries didn't exist before the early 90s; the other half weren't members of the EBU and/or didn't compete until the late 90s. If anything, the balance of power (in terms of which countries can votes and their regional favourites) has moved eastwards over the past 15 years. 'Estonia Dreams of Eurovision!', made in 2002, documents the start of that shift.
posted by holgate at 7:44 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


The only thing that makes me sad about Eurovision is that all my other friends who watch it are too far away for us to all sit on the same couch and squeal while we watch it.

And yeah, Team Conchita all the way.
posted by winna at 8:24 PM on May 9


How can it be the "most wonderful" without Latvia?

This is true. Europe, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT AGAINST CAKE???
posted by dnash at 9:09 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Scandinavia And The World had a comic about Eurovision's effect on America.
posted by foobaz at 11:50 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Romania's dance-anthem is kind of cool, but no-where near as fun as last years effort. It's like they're trying to win it for real this year or something...
posted by ninazer0 at 1:22 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I'm heartily seconding the Latvia love. Allow me to demonstrate the reason for my devotion. Pirates, you guys.
posted by pseudonymph at 1:46 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


I'm constitutionally obligated not to root for anyone but my home country of Sweden to win, but yeah, I'll definitely will be voting for Conchita. They'll make a great second place!

Despite what the odds-makers say, we're probably not going to win this year though. Our song is decent enough, but we won two years ago, and Denmark won after that. I'm thinking Eurovision might be getting a bit of Scandinavian fatigue.

Also, fun fact: last year Eurovision was held in (my old home town) of Malmö, and this year it's being held in Copenhagen, which is right next to Malmö. It would literally take you less than one hour to drive from one arena to the next.
posted by gkhan at 4:08 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


After seeing what they did to Emma in the video for Italy's entry, I just realized that Lady Gaga was born from America's ineligibily to participate in Eurovision. (This came after my initial reaction of "WTF did they do to Emma and why did they over process the shit out of her vocal chops?")

So there's gonna be a MeFi Chat watch-along again, right?
posted by romakimmy at 4:09 AM on May 10


My personal favorite from this years finalists is the strangely American sounding-one from The Netherlands

Yeah, for once I'm not actively embarassed by the Dutch entry; a decent song sung by two great singers.

Ten reasons why Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst must win Eurovision

The best thing about her is how natural she looks with the beard, once you get over that, you know, woman with beard thing.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:17 AM on May 10


I'm thinking Eurovision might be getting a bit of Scandinavian fatigue.

There is an opposing school of thought that Scandinavia is the best part of Europe to hold Eurovision in - even permanently - as

(a) it's relatively well off, especially compared to pretty much the rest of Europe

(b) they put on a good show

(c) it's a late spring / early summer event so a good time of year there

(d) it's pretty liberal and anti-censorship, so pretty much whatever goes (with new laws and restrictions being talked about, it's difficult to see how a few Eastern European countries will freely allow some performers to do their thing if hosted there in future years)

(e) the tech is good there

(f) it's not anywhere near any potential war or fighting zones, unless Putin tries anything on Finland's eastern borders and that didn't work out too well for them last time.

It's possible that the long-time favorite for this year, Albania, is no longer the favorite at least partially as a few people have realised that Tirana next year may not be as safe a bet as Bergen, Helsinki or Gothenburg.

For balance; the significant downside of Scandinavia is that while a bundle of Euros will buy you a lavish dinner and a life-threatening amount of alcohol in Tirana, it will only buy you a small and disappointing drink in a downtown bar in Scandinavia.
posted by Wordshore at 4:33 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Wordshore: You couldn't set it permanently in one country, the whole idea is that it's a pan-European festival of music, and that everyone has an equal chance of winning (except the Big Five, who always gets entry, of course). I'm just wondering if the people out there voting will be thinking "yeah, sure, that Swedish lady is alright, but lets share the wealth around a little bit, ok?".

Though you're right. There are many more places in Europe right now where holding a Eurovision would be dicey than there used to be. Not just potential war zones (though could you imagine if Ukraine won this year?) but also financial reasons. I'm thinking that many people in the Greek government, for instance, would be very upset at a Greek victory. Maybe there should be some sort of "hey, we want to compete too, but if we won, is it ok if Norway put on the show the next year?" deal that the national broadcasters could make.
posted by gkhan at 5:06 AM on May 10


Wordshore: (e) the tech is good there

There have been reports in the Icelandic media that there were lots of sound problems during the run-through for the national judging panels. Some countries, including Iceland, put in official complaints.
posted by Kattullus at 5:09 AM on May 10


Team Conchita all the way. You go, you gorgeous creature. (Although I am, admittedly, still sad about Latvia's cake).

The best thing about her is how natural she looks with the beard, once you get over that, you know, woman with beard thing.

Yep.
posted by sailoreagle at 6:02 AM on May 10


(e) the tech is good there

I really like the stage this year. I like how the lighting and projection effects can make it look "solid" when they want, and then make it almost invisible.
posted by dnash at 6:51 AM on May 10


Romania's dance-anthem yt is kind of cool, but no-where near as fun as last years effort yt . It's like they're trying to win it for real this year or something...

Cezar was robbed!
posted by asperity at 6:56 AM on May 10


For the record, it's 1900 UTC. UTC doesn't do summer time, what with being constant and all.
posted by hoyland at 9:50 AM on May 10


My favourite bit of ESC 2014 trivia is that John Grant (US singer-songwriter of Queen of Denmark and ex-The Czars) wrote the English lyrics to the Icelandic entry.

You have no idea how happy this makes me.
posted by kariebookish at 10:50 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Ireland deservedly knocked out, so I have to pick someone else to support this year.

I know more people from Poland than anywhere else, and enjoyed the song on Thursday. France is genuinely catchy in a knockoff Stromae way ("C'EST COMME CI, C'EST COMME CA"). Haven't heard Ukraine's, but would like to see them do well this year for obvious reasons.

Also if you missed it I really liked the online dancers interval act from Semi 2 (avoid the Australian number though).
posted by rollick at 11:26 AM on May 10


If the official stream doesn't work, I think international viewers can access the Irish broadcast here. (You'll have to put up with commentator Marty Whelan's bitterness at getting knocked out).
posted by rollick at 11:32 AM on May 10


For the record, it's 1900 UTC.

Oops. Hope it doesn't throw anyone off!
posted by asperity at 11:36 AM on May 10


KLAXON ... KLAXON ... KLAXON ...

IT IS TIME, PEOPLE. TO YOUR TELEVISION AND/OR INTERNET DEVICES.
posted by Wordshore at 11:51 AM on May 10


This is truly my favourite night of the year.
posted by kariebookish at 11:58 AM on May 10


Well, first time in a while that I'm coming into it not having watched the semi's, or even the youtube videos. Looking forward to being surprised
posted by tyllwin at 12:06 PM on May 10


I spent at least five minutes wondering if that's really the actor that plays Kasper Juul.
posted by dhoe at 12:21 PM on May 10


How did Iceland get ZZ Top as backing singers?
posted by vbfg at 12:27 PM on May 10


One of them is a member of parliament.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:38 PM on May 10


Nice. I was just thinking we (UK) should get Eddie Izzard to do ours at some point in the future. Since the local language restriction was dropped I think it would be funny if we were the only country not to sing in English.
posted by vbfg at 12:41 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Here comes Poland!
posted by ocherdraco at 12:46 PM on May 10


For those who are not watching the live stream, but watching on TV, do you get commentary over these sections of pre-filmed bits showing the musical acts?
posted by ocherdraco at 12:50 PM on May 10


BBC definitely comments over them.
posted by tyllwin at 12:51 PM on May 10


Wogan used to talk over the songs when he was drunk enough.
posted by vbfg at 12:52 PM on May 10


YES! HERE COMES CONCHITA!
posted by ocherdraco at 12:53 PM on May 10


ARD gives a little story over the artist and crafts segment, explaining who they are.
posted by frimble at 1:08 PM on May 10


France has replicated the technology used to create Jedward. This is the end.
posted by emmtee at 1:10 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Italy has made me hungry
posted by tyllwin at 1:20 PM on May 10


Anyone else get a Golden Dawn vibe from the Greek entry?
posted by runincircles at 1:47 PM on May 10


Sweden seem massively overrated. How were they the favourites? I liked Poland in the semi but they seemed weirdly J-pop tonight. France growing on me, Denmark also. Liked Russia more than I thought I would. Switzerland better than in semi but he likes blinking too much. Netherlands was decent.

Inspired to drag Graham Norton in to the international version.

WTF is with the ladders?
posted by biffa at 2:14 PM on May 10


Now you've seen the interval acts, you realise why I left Denmark - right?
posted by kariebookish at 2:20 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


We are properly into the surreal element of the evening. The ten year old was still better than the UK entry.
posted by biffa at 2:21 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Just discovered this twitter feed of liveblogged Eurovision drawings. Wish I'd been following along the whole time.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 2:28 PM on May 10


You really can't get bacon for breakfast in Denmark? That seems like a terrible supply side breakdown.

I'm starting to see why they got the guy off of Borgen to do this.
posted by biffa at 2:37 PM on May 10


If that man from Malta will come and live in my house I will cook bacon for him every day. And I hate bacon.
posted by JanetLand at 2:41 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


aww yissssss the uk's 12 goes to austria, faith in democracy restored slightly
posted by emmtee at 2:58 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


How are Armenia in the top 3? I can't even remember their song.
posted by biffa at 2:59 PM on May 10


France on nil points? Grossly unfair.
posted by biffa at 3:00 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Russia booed at every mention. Wow.
posted by dnash at 3:04 PM on May 10


Ah, you jinxed France -- they finally got a point.
posted by JanetLand at 3:06 PM on May 10


Go Austria!
posted by goo at 3:08 PM on May 10


The obvious question Conchita: how do you feel? Liesl is quite sly I think.
posted by biffa at 3:10 PM on May 10


The Netherlands song is remarkably dull for one doing so well.
posted by knapah at 3:13 PM on May 10


I want people to keep giving Austria 12 just for the infectious joy reactions from Conchita.
posted by emmtee at 3:22 PM on May 10


Get it together Conchita -- remember you gotta sing again when you win!
posted by JanetLand at 3:22 PM on May 10


YES YES YES PERFECT YES
posted by emmtee at 3:24 PM on May 10


Our public broadcaster didn't hold a national competition this year. Good call, ORF.
posted by wachhundfisch at 3:27 PM on May 10


aww conchita is so overcome!
posted by emmtee at 3:27 PM on May 10


YAY YAY YAY
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 3:29 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


YAAAAAAAAY, conchita! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
posted by halcyonday at 3:30 PM on May 10


Die Wurst ist stark geblieben!!!
posted by frimble at 3:30 PM on May 10


Bah. If not for the bearded lady Holland could've won this. But still.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:31 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Conchita is so amazing.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:32 PM on May 10


I love how other acts had all sorts of complicated choreography, and all Conchita had to do was stand there and sing.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:34 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Wow. I just got choked up when she sang again and changed the last line to "You threw us down, but we're gonna fly!"
posted by dnash at 3:35 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Yeah, so basically: fuck you, Russia. That seems to be the overwhelming message of this event.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 3:37 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Oh and PEACE AND FREEDOM
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 3:37 PM on May 10


PEACE, FREEDOM AND BEARDS
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 3:37 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


I am a ball of tears and happy. Completely lost it when she changed the song at the end. Wow.
posted by sailoreagle at 3:38 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


I pretty much just cried my eyes out over Eurovision, which is I guess another life milestone reached.
posted by emmtee at 3:38 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Yeah, even though I felt a bit sorry for those Russian girls with all the boos, still, fuck you Russia.
posted by JanetLand at 3:41 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I mean, I started watching this for the LOLs and the cheese and the camp. Somewhere along the way, it started to mean something this year, and this was the best possible result.
posted by dnash at 3:42 PM on May 10 [6 favorites]


And we have a Wiener!
posted by sour cream at 3:42 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


And once again Heinz-Christian "he, she or it" Strache looks like the idiot he is. Thanks for that too, Europe!
posted by wachhundfisch at 3:47 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Okay so I'd never watched this before. I now want to watch every year. I have, to say the least, many questions. But here are my thoughts.

1. I was pulling for Poland, because of the earlier post on that entry here. I was genuinely surprised that they didn't do much better.
2. I will never in my life have a night as amazing as the one Wurst is having tonight, and she totally deserved it, so good for her. I was still cheering for Poland, though.
3. That dick who awarded Austria ten points while pulling out a razor and saying "now time to shave" can go straight to hell.
4. The Netherlands coming in second baffles me. I did not get the appeal at all. Are those two like major stars in Europe with cults of personality around them or something? What was that about?
5. Hungary's popularity was even more inexplicable to me. That just sounded like forgettable radio backwash. Can anyone provide context?
6. Iceland and Italy were both also pretty awesome. I wanted something more like Lordi from Finland, but the Killers-style entry was solid.

Anyway, I'm sold on Eurovision now. Shine on, all you crazy-ass diamonds.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:51 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Steady now. Next you'll start watching the semis, then the regional finals .. and you'll finish by sitting through the 80-hour marathon that is the Maltese selection. Steady, steady.

The Netherlands got a great result thanks to being so completely different from the competition and having a wonderfully intimate staging. It was a gorgeous song too.
posted by kariebookish at 3:57 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Ah, the price of enjoying Eurovision is when a song you love goes absolutely nowhere, and one you can't stand does well.
posted by JanetLand at 4:03 PM on May 10


I've never been able to watch with the famous Graham Norton commentary. I might have to look for a torrent of it to check it out.
posted by dnash at 4:04 PM on May 10


Oh! And Switzerland won me over with whistlin' and drumming at the same time. That was pretty great.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:08 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of crying again imagining all the trans and gender-variant kids who are seeing this beautiful, talented feminine-presenting AMAB person up there on stage, owning her femininity and her mixed gender markers and herself, voted for by the people of all these countries and having her name chanted by the crowd, and the message that's sending. Dana International winning in 1998 was a huge deal for a lot of trans women of my acquaintance, and while things are thankfully very different in a lot of ways, Conchita's face and voice and words being everywhere for a while still sort of punches above Eurovision's weight, meaning-wise.
posted by emmtee at 4:45 PM on May 10 [7 favorites]


Apart from a couple of zingers Graham Norton's commentary was at a lower ebb than normal this evening. There was general agreement around here that he wasn't drunk enough.
posted by Hogshead at 5:00 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Sweden seem massively overrated. How were they the favourites?

Sweden offered up highly competent Eurovision-by-numbers: viewed on its own, it seems like a winning song. However, Eurovision is a one-night (plus semis) event, not an awards ceremony, and when the voting-time recaps began, I noticed that it didn't really stick out among the crowd.

The Netherlands coming in second baffles me. I did not get the appeal at all.

Different enough to be distinct; there's a decent-sized under-the-radar country following in Europe; and Ilse DeLange is a bona fide long-established musician.

I don't know how they decide on the order in which countries announce their votes, but there's definitely some black magic going on there: the first half of the judging was all over the place with lots of political voting at the top (and booing for Russia), but the second half seemed to settle down and endorse the top acts.
posted by holgate at 5:04 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]


This Eurovision final left me so energised I can't sleep, the first since 2006. I am so stoked for bearded ladies everywhere! The song is the next Bond theme, or should be - Conchita was totally channelling Shirley Bassey and rocked it. The boos for Russia and the rainbow flags waved at the end made my cynical heart sing. Yay for peace and unity and freedom and yay for Conchita!
posted by goo at 5:42 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Part of me really wants a U.S. version of this, even with all of the forgettable trash that would come out of it. A 52-strong initial entry (including DC and Puerto Rico) winnowed down to 26, and then with the same rules applied here... there could be some fun stuff to come out of there. I'm hoping Oklahoma would put up the Flaming Lips basically every year.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:07 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Poland are annoyed. And they may have a point. Check out, for example, the difference in ranking between the judges, and the UK public, for the Polish entry.
posted by Wordshore at 6:30 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


(Tweaking Russia is an old Eurovision tradition. The “musical postcard from Moscow” from Sweden's 2009 local finals resulted in the Russian embassy ranting about "lunatics that belonged in an asylum rather than on a stage". It was also by far the best song in those finals...)
posted by effbot at 6:39 PM on May 10


The Polish entry was awful - she was out of tune from the beginning and it wasn't a good song to start with. I'm glad that the European public saw that pretty blondes over a milk churn and washboard in traditional dress weren't enough to save the terrible song.
posted by goo at 6:46 PM on May 10


Poland are annoyed. And they may have a point.

Nah, even though their Benny Hill sketch was designed to pull in votes despite the song. They brought back the jury component for a reason, after years where either regional loyalties or diaspora populations voting for their home countries meant good songs were beaten by rubbish ones. The slightly sore loser is as much a part of the tradition as everything else.
posted by holgate at 7:25 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Poland are annoyed. And they may have a point.

No. They won some televotes because boobs. The song was, however, gimmicky, shrill, out of tune and in general an unpleasant listen. This is why there are juries.
posted by sailoreagle at 8:27 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Uhhh.. they didn't "win some televotes because boobs". They won the popular vote in a given country, were denied the votes correspondingly due, and you're going to act like that's a good thing?
posted by 7segment at 9:06 PM on May 10


ICELAND WAS ROBBED
posted by capricorn at 10:53 PM on May 10 [5 favorites]


They won the popular vote in a given country, were denied the votes correspondingly due--

Which votes were those? The rules for awarding points aren't secret.
posted by holgate at 11:00 PM on May 10


Holy shit. Just got around to watching. I'm not sure I've ever been actually moved by Eurovision before this year...
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:51 AM on May 11


Via FM4, audience versus jury votes for Conchita Wurst
posted by frimble at 12:58 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


I liked the Poland song. Though the stage version does not sound good, on the video - and if you ignore the video - great mix of hip hop and folk.

Thankfully, the jury voting didn't change the overall result. Without the juries, Austria would have won - by an even bigger margin, as several juries ranked it considerably lower than the public in the same countries.

But there will come a time when the jury voting does give a different winner, especially in close run contests. It is a bit ridiculous that 50% of the voting power resides in less than 200 people of probably a more conservative nature than the general European population, and seems to be in place to handicap "outlier" songs and acts. I doubt we'll see another act like Lordi win under this system.
posted by Wordshore at 1:50 AM on May 11


Meanwhile, the sign language interpreter for Danish TV got into the spirit of things..
posted by kariebookish at 2:11 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Tweaking Russia is an old Eurovision tradition.

It's only been 5 years since "We Don't Wanna Put-In", although I guess that did actually get banned since Georgia and Russia had been in a shooting war less than a year earlier.
posted by Copronymus at 2:15 AM on May 11


Via FM4, audience versus jury votes for Conchita Wurst

So, if I'm reading that chart right, the juries from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus put Austria nearly last (23-24ish) but their people's own televotes put Austria at 2nd/3rd/4th?
posted by dnash at 7:13 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


That is indeed what the chart says.
posted by frimble at 7:14 AM on May 11


Considering that those were some of the countries with the most anti-Conchita bluster going into the contest week - politicians and religious leaders calling for the broadcast to be censored and all - it's exciting that their popular votes came in that high!
posted by dnash at 7:31 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]


I hope it's understood that this represents peak beard.
posted by Wolof at 7:59 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Actually the more I listen to France's entry the more I realize that musically it was my favorite this year. *SOBS UNCONTROLLABLY*
posted by capricorn at 8:03 AM on May 11 [3 favorites]


France was robbed - they deserved at least 10 or 15 points overall.

(I was uncomfortably watching the judging with a French woman who was watching Eurovision for the first time, in Canada of all places. We Canadians kept apologising for the rest of Europe having no sense of humour and/or being anti-non-English songs).
posted by jb at 12:53 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


France had a great song, but were let down by an awful live performance (both staging and sound). You really need both to win over juries (televoters are more forgiving/capricious).

Slightly related: How Representative Are Your Eurovision Juries?
posted by rollick at 4:58 AM on May 12 [4 favorites]


Is it okay if I think that Conchita's victory is symbolically awesome but I also think her song was barely top-5 worthy, progressive awesomeness excluded?

Worse, I found her OMG I'm so touched and surprised by all these points reactions kinda phony a dozen or so countries in, particularly as they were played unfailingly into the camera.

There are worse things than very cool social progress from a person I'm not 100% confident in though, so I don't mean to step on anyone's joy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:17 PM on May 12


Re: The Netherlands...

As a person from the US South... Is that what Europeans think we're like? That faux Johnny and June dress up silliness was creepy crawly cringe inducing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:20 PM on May 12


There's definitely an element of simulacra to the Dutch performance, but I didn't really find it personally cringe inducing (as a Southerner). The male singer (who calls himself Waylon)'s hat was definitely odd. That said, American country music of that type is far from free of that kind of over the top costuming. Someone at our viewing party called them "The Dutch Civil Wars" which seemed about right.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:28 AM on May 13


The male singer (who calls himself Waylon)'s hat was definitely odd.

As soon as I saw the hat and the singer underneath it, thought "Edge, circa 1987".

Loved the Netherlands song and the video for it. Though have a feeling that there will be several similar entries in next years final.
posted by Wordshore at 6:36 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


Austria had a strong song, sung well, which was a winning combo for Serbia in 2007. The song didn't grab me at first (I'm not a fan of power ballads), but when I found myself humming it to myself on Sunday, I realised it was better than I had first thought.

I'm sure Conchita got a bit of the ironic vote and the F-U Russia/homophobes vote, but she also got a lot of sincere votes. Novelty/uniqueness alone rarely wins Eurovision: see Iceland, or (even more so) Latvia this year. But novelty and a good song can push it over the edge (ala Lordi).
posted by jb at 7:53 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


As a person from the US South... Is that what Europeans think we're like?

You're underestimating the extent to which Europeans listen to country music and understand its tropes. It's often not visible, but it's there: here's Ben Steneker, the "godfather of Dutch country". Garth Brooks sold out five stadium shows in Dublin this summer, Dolly Parton's playing across Europe, etc.

So it's specifically Nashville dress-up: the same kind of dress-up that plenty of Nashville artists play.
posted by holgate at 8:19 AM on May 13


France had a great song, but were let down by an awful live performance (both staging and sound). You really need both to win over juries (televoters are more forgiving/capricious).

I'm convinced this is what tanked Jedward the 2nd time around, because Waterline should have done a lot better than it did and got dragged down by their inability to transfer their hyperactive enthusiasm into a quality live performance. Also Waterline is great and I love it.
posted by Copronymus at 10:46 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


Related: The Russian Orthodox Church is strongly against bearded men in dresses! (via)
posted by effbot at 5:04 PM on May 14


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