"10 points go to ... Sweden!"
May 23, 2015 7:14 PM   Subscribe

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest concluded today, with Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw performing the winning song. A brief recap of the live performances provides glimpses of the costumes, stage effects, and choreography peculiar to Eurovision grand final performances.

Live performances from the grand final:

Slovenia
France
Israel
Estonia
United Kingdom
Armenia
Lithuania
Serbia
Norway
Sweden
Cyprus
Australia
Belgium
Austria
Greece
Montenegro
Germany
Poland
Latvia
Romania
Spain
Hungary
Georgia
Azerbaijan
Russia
Albania
Italy

Or watch the entire 2015 grand final as it happened, including the voting.

(Previously, on Australia being included in the Eurovision Song Contest.)
posted by needled (100 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
The guardian's liveblog was entertaining.

I found this year's contestants to be pretty bland - too many ballads, not enough sequins. They clearly took the wrong lesson from Conchita's win last year. Latvia and Georgia were all right, though. Australia was confusingly good.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:39 PM on May 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


And well, at least Russia didn't win.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:40 PM on May 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


I sampled six or seven of these and they all seemed pretty uniformly uninteresting. Not bad, just uninteresting. The only thing that seems to have elevated the Swedish entry was its interactivity with the graphics.

Of course, Eurovision being Eurovision, it's always about politics. I snickered at the following comments on one of the entries:

Demy 5 hours ago
WONDERFUL . GOOD LUCK FROM MACEDONIA !

LEONIDAS 1 hour ago
+Demy Macedonia is region in north Greece

posted by Slothrup at 7:42 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed the Azerbaijan performance, especially with the sound muted - the dancers were great! I also liked Spain's on-stage costume change. And I think there was rapping going on in the Belgium performance, but I could be wrong.
posted by needled at 7:46 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Which, as an aside, reminds me that if I were negotiating with Greece about debt relief, one of the terms would definitely be that they stop being assholes about the "Macedonia" name.)
posted by Slothrup at 7:47 PM on May 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's not even good-bad.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 7:52 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


This year I basically just evaluated each Eurovision act by asking myself: Would I join this cult?
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:58 PM on May 23, 2015 [29 favorites]


Well, they set the piano on fire.
posted by eriko at 8:01 PM on May 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Israel's song was really good this year, and got a deserved top-10 finish.
posted by escabeche at 8:05 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


They set the piano on fire, and it was still boring! That was the most sedate pyrotechnics-filled set in the history of musical performance!

It was almost impressive, how boring it was.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:17 PM on May 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


That was Austria setting the piano on fire. And getting null points for it.
posted by needled at 8:27 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I know, I was responding to eriko.

Israel's song got a lot less confusing once I realized they were saying 'king of fun' and not 'king of funk'. Nobody was king of funk this eurovision.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:30 PM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Austria link was only intended for those who wanted to skip straight to the piano burning. It wasn't meant as a correction or anything, sorry about that. And yes, the song was extremely boring.
posted by needled at 8:42 PM on May 23, 2015


Flaming-piano haters gonna hate. What, you want the thing to explode and take out the whole band? Plus, having sampled maybe half of the contestants, the Austrian dude was the only one with gutsy vocals as opposed to the EuroBalladVision standard stadium crooner singing.
posted by kozad at 8:47 PM on May 23, 2015


This was the first Eurovision finale that I actual sat down and watched end to end.

Latvia and Georgia were the best by far. Latvia made a good showing, and I'm really surprised Georgia didn't do better. Lordi costuming + power ballad seems a perfect fit. And I liked the ol' crooner from Montenegro.

For a while it looked like Russia was going to take it, but then Lithuania stepped up and gave them a 0 and the momentum shifted to boring, handsome Sweden.

I did kind of want Russia to win after seeming their entrant sob uncontrollably every time they won top points from a country, only to see what kind of breakdown she'd have if she actually won the whole thing.
posted by thecjm at 8:58 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lithuania will give Russia a zero, certainly. There's a long history between the two countries and it is not a happy one.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:24 PM on May 23, 2015


Oh I knew that was coming with Lithuania. It's always interesting to see which countries vote for each other and which don't, especially former Soviet Socialist Republics or former members of Yugoslavia.
posted by thecjm at 9:30 PM on May 23, 2015


I have accepted that I will never understand Eurovision. I just watched four or five of these, and mostly it was off-brand Celine Dion with phonetic English, with the UK as a definite outlier. I remember it being huge when I lived in Europe, and I even know people here in the US that have viewing parties.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:43 PM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


The recap link is the same as the link to the winning song.

I liked Spain's entry. I would have loved more costume changes. Like those dolls, one inside the other.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:55 PM on May 23, 2015


What, you want the thing to explode and take out the whole band?

Yes. That was a very sedate burning piano, more oops, someone tossed a cigarette in there than oh my god burning passion of song.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:59 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Recap link fixed.]
posted by taz (staff) at 10:05 PM on May 23, 2015


The only thing that seems to have elevated the Swedish entry was its interactivity with the graphics.

Which started out as a ripoff of this performance (the director literally explained the similarity with "I googled a bit"). There's also been repeated accusations that the song is too similar to some song by David Guetta, including a bizarre side story where people in the Eurovision organization allegedly has been encouraging media to push for the Swedish entry to be disqualified (in case someone erroneously thought this event is run by professionals, that is). And then there's the performer's homophobia...

This was the first Eurovision finale that I actual sat down and watched end to end.

You have my sympathies. Myself, I usually keep track of how far I make it before I have to mute the broadcast and put on some sane music instead (average tends to be 1.3 songs). This year, I just watched Babymetal's Live at Budokan: Black Night Apocalypse instead. Infinitely more entertaining.
posted by effbot at 10:06 PM on May 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's basically impossible to beat Romania's 2013 entry, and of course Conchita's win last year was... perfectly delightful, thought not the campy highlight of the evening.

Given that, of course, I was extremely happy with Georgia, Serbia, and Azerbaijan's bizarrely delightful show. Disappointed in the results, but I was also definitely in the anybody-but-Russia camp.

Looking forward to introducing more Americans to it next year.
posted by mtrichardson at 10:09 PM on May 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


It is sporting of Norway to not just send Ylvis every year.

Although, given the random sampling of countries I just watched, I kind of wish they did.
posted by ckape at 10:18 PM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ah, we had fun watching it in MeFi Chat.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:23 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the NSK.
posted by boo_radley at 11:10 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is it a rule that all the songs have to be in English? Only two of these countries have English as an official language, and they both sang in weird "fake American" accents just like everyone else.
posted by JoeBlubaugh at 11:28 PM on May 23, 2015


Nope, they can sing in whatever language. There used to be a rule that it had to be one of your national languages (1978-1998) but now you can do whatever, There have been a few entries in artificial languages, which seems popular in Belgium. More here.
posted by biffa at 12:11 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


So I've never watched Eurovision and I feel like I'm missing out. How do Americans get to bask in the glory that is Eurovision? (Maybe this should go to Ask...)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:16 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


In past years it seemed they brought along their own various local-brew stage show contraptions, this year it looked more like they all got to sit down with the in-house lighting designers for a few sessions. Less unification, please.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:20 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


After seeing the Conchita and Cezar videos linked above could people with Eurovision knowledge please please please link to more amazing performances exactly like that because I need to watch them so bad

could this just be a thread about the best (i.e. most campy and glittery) Eurovision performances please
posted by schroedinger at 12:41 AM on May 24, 2015


Australia was confusingly good.

I have some rain water from the Top End for the first person to say 'Bruno Mars'.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:50 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Spoilers! I'm going to watch the final tonight. It's huge in Australia, for some reason. The only act I've liked so far is Moldovia's glam rock.
And Guy Sebastian is the most boring musician in Australia. We shoulda sent TISM. Or Coma the Doof Warrior. Or Tim Minchin.

My American brain can't process all that camp.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:15 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hello Metafilter, Vienna calling. I was there in the hall last night, as well as for the second semifinals, and for the most part, had a great time. It's also astounding how different acts seem live versus what comes across on television.

The act who got the biggest pop was, by far, Bojana Stamenov, from Serbia: You couldn't hear her once the song got going for the screaming, singing along and cheering. The runners up from crowd excitement were, in my opinion, Sweden, Israel, Italy, France and Latvia.

Most confusing to me was Il Volo (Italy), where I couldn't understand at all what they had going for them.

What was a bit unfortunate this time around was that the show was a bit split: The first half contained all the danceable, energetic songs, and the back half none of them. A little more contrast would have been nice, even if that would have been hard with this years' crop of entrants.

I haven't watched the video yet to see how it comes across, but while her performance was not booed, people seemingly choosing instead to wave rainbow flags, from the beginning on, every time Polina Gagarina (Russia) got points, there was enough booing that the moderators tried ask the audience to stop. As such, some of the cheers that Mans Zemerlow was getting at the end, when it was becoming clearer that he would win and after, were people choosing to cheer him as being not-Russian, while also booing her.
posted by frimble at 1:42 AM on May 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


It is sporting of Norway to not just send Ylvis every year.

Although, given the random sampling of countries I just watched, I kind of wish they did.


Ideally they'd send Calle, but not tell him he was Norway's entry on Eurovision until the curtain went up.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:46 AM on May 24, 2015


The bit that I take gleeful Schadenfreude in, though, is that both of the finalists that I heard too much of and about, namely the Makemakes and Ann Sophie, fulfilled my hopes as to placement, and no one else had to join them in the zero point club.

"Why are you going to Eurovision?" "Because if we keep sending acts like the Makemakes, it'll be another 50 years before Vienna hosts again."
posted by frimble at 1:59 AM on May 24, 2015


English lyrics 22 out of 27 (resistance: France, Montenegro, Romania, Azerbaijan, Spain)

As a monoglot, I fully support Eurovision.
posted by fredludd at 2:36 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Austria was robbed. ROBBED. They were one of the few entries with what sounded like an actual song instead of an extruded gluten-free song-like product.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:50 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


No love for Belgium? Song of the night in my opinion.

I did kind of want Russia to win after seeming their entrant sob uncontrollably every time they won top points from a country, only to see what kind of breakdown she'd have if she actually won the whole thing.

She had a room full of people booing her so loudly they couldn't stop the mics picking it up for the TV feed every time she got points (queer-friendly audience I guess)which might have had something to do with the crying. I do wonder if she'd have been able or willing to perform her song again for that crowd of she had won though. Thankfully we never got to find out.
posted by Dysk at 3:00 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


My favorite in this year's finals was Latvia. It's the only song I could picture myself turning up the radio for.

But my favorite song this year was the Finnish entry, Aina Mun Pitää by Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, which didn't get out of the semifinals. They're a punk band comprised of four guys with either autism or Down's syndrome. They were absolutely robbed by the voting system, which splits the points between telephone voting and national juries. If only the televote had counted, they'd have been in the finals, but they got only a single point from the national juries, which knocked them out.
posted by Kattullus at 3:00 AM on May 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


France was awesome! And Estonia actually played guitars!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:08 AM on May 24, 2015


The UK was the secret winner. Even with barely bothering to try as usual and without Australia understanding the whole cultural bloc voting tradition, we came in fourth from last with 5 points and beat France and Germany.
posted by Bwithh at 3:09 AM on May 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry for Finland exclusion, and for Ireands as well, we woud have gotten all the douze no matter the song today! Although, I wonder, I was shocked that Austria got nothing (like they deserved) out of pure manners you give your one or two pointer to the host nation I woud say! Belgium was great, but not Eurovision, great voice I woud love to hear hi making something else, and he wrote the song too. Serbia was great and was Eurovision, shoulda done a lot better. I'm kinda interested as to how it all plays in other countries, in Sweden the whole thing is very family-friendly populistic as opposed to say the Norton-narrated semi-ironic take in the UK.
posted by Iteki at 3:11 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's disappointing, since the UK are on the screen now and it's pretty bad. Shoulda gone more 90s swing revival, or got Imelda May to sing.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:12 AM on May 24, 2015


Australia loves it. I honestly don't understand why most of the songs are popular but it's a fun camp thing.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:13 AM on May 24, 2015


And Guy Sebastian is the most boring musician in Australia. We shoulda sent TISM. Or Coma the Doof Warrior. Or Tim Minchin.

Or the WORLDS BIGGEST WASHED UP SUPERSTAR, that already looks exactly like a Eurovision contestant.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:20 AM on May 24, 2015


Do the Galvatrons still exist? We shoulda send them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:23 AM on May 24, 2015


I can't remember what it was like to watch Eurovision before Twitter, it makes it so much better. I thought it was a bland year - no milk maids or Russian Grannies or metal bands in masks - with far too many ballads and wind machines. The only ones I really liked were Belgium (although very Lorde-esque) and Latvia but they were actually decent songs, not the camp comedy high NRG stuff that makes the show good. Overall, quatre points.
posted by billiebee at 3:44 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sweden was terrible.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:45 AM on May 24, 2015


charlemagnge are you assessing these people as you know, eurovision entrants, or by your objective musical tastes? Cause if it's the latter, I think that's a venn diagram requiring interstellar craft to go from one circle to the other.
posted by smoke at 3:48 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


My favorite ever Eurovision entry: Moldova 2011.

Hard to believe that was 4 years ago!
posted by maggiemaggie at 3:54 AM on May 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I dunno, I'm trying to get into the Eurovision vibe but it's pretty hard! I really liked Belgium.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:57 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I try to contain all comparison only to other entries. For me this year, Latvia was stand out compared to other entries.
posted by smoke at 3:59 AM on May 24, 2015


That's disappointing, since the UK are on the screen now and it's pretty bad. Shoulda gone more 90s swing revival, or got Imelda May to sing.

Imelda May is Irish, so would be unlikely to perform for the UK... and probably has more sense than to even think about entering.
posted by knapah at 5:05 AM on May 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


It wouldn't really be very eurovision to enter someone who has a meaningful music career and recognition outside of the competition, either.

Australia just didn't really seem to get it.
posted by Dysk at 5:09 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you have a lot of European facebook friends, twitter contacts or tumblr follows the end of eurovision is a breath of fresh air like riding the L past Addision when there is a Cubs game.
posted by srboisvert at 5:28 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Australia just didn't really seem to get it.

On the contrary, decades of ethnic television and music via SBS and ethnic community radio means that Australia gets the Eurovision spirit in ways the UK (standing aloof, anchored off the shore of the continent) is constitutionally incapable of, mostly because taking it seriously would spoil the UK's ability to feel above it all.

In any case, the slice of off-brand Uptown Funk Australia entered was something I could easily imagine, say, Latvia running with and faring reasonably well.
posted by acb at 6:15 AM on May 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


It was far too radio in my opinion, too generic to be a Eurovision song. I do agree that the UK also doesn't really get the whole Eurovision thing, but in a rather different fashion.
posted by Dysk at 6:37 AM on May 24, 2015


Setting pianos on fire used to mean something, man.
posted by yoink at 7:42 AM on May 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


To be fair, none of the people in Australia who have watched Eurovision for years wanted Guy Sebastian to represent us. He's popular with an entirely different demographic. And a lot of us, me for example, don't think we should even be in it, not even as a one-off special occasion.

At least Lee Lin Chin was our announcer of points. Much more appropriate.
posted by harriet vane at 8:02 AM on May 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


The Australian performed like he was auditioning for a 90s US boyband. Meh. I liked the Latvian entry best.

Norton was pretty stinging I thought, even by his own standards. I thought the Austrian presenters were pretty disappointing, super bland, a let down after the Danish duo last year.
posted by biffa at 8:27 AM on May 24, 2015


If it was a contest for best vocal performance then Australia would have won by a lazy 10 lengths or so. Unfortunately, every other piece of the Eurovision puzzle was still being pondered as the night unfolded.

Maybe next year?
posted by pjm at 8:31 AM on May 24, 2015


It's a song contest not a singing contest.

In principle I liked having the Australians onboard. In practice the only way the UK will ever win again is if we get Kylie and that seems even less likely under the expansion.
posted by biffa at 8:56 AM on May 24, 2015


Although, I wonder, I was shocked that Austria got nothing (like they deserved) out of pure manners you give your one or two pointer to the host nation I woud say!

I think they deserved it for trying to hitchhike the introduction of the candidates for one huge infomercial about tourism in Austria. Look! We've got mountains! And lakes! And singing choir boys! Wintersports! And summersports! There's a candidate baking a traditional Austian pastry! And this one is doing something weird on one of our lakes!

And of course nothing about the ancient Austrian tradition of locking up adolescent girls in self-made underground dungeons...
posted by sour cream at 8:58 AM on May 24, 2015


Technically they are all playing for second place, since Finland permanently won Eurovision in 2006 .

The UK entry apparently did not go down well, being described as:
“a 3 minute long cry for help” by Austria
or
"The UK still hasn't realized this is not a comedy show" by Germany
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:59 AM on May 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sour cream; that's every country, every year. Hosting is purely a promotional gig.
posted by Iteki at 9:46 AM on May 24, 2015


At least Lee Lin Chin was our announcer of points. Much more appropriate.

She played it too straight though! But her outfit was absolutely fantastic, as usual.
posted by Quilford at 9:51 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


too many goddamn ballads, not enough humiliating hilarrible spectacle. eurovision, i am disappoint.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:54 AM on May 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


This year was poorly paced - it took nearly 20 minutes before the first contestant started, hosting banter took up more time than usual, the interval act went on and on, and was then followed by (the very lovely) Conchita promoting two songs from the forthcoming album. I am not a casual ESC viwer and I cannot remember the last time the show felt this .. amateurishly produced. ORF did not deliver a smooth show, to say the least.

My personal favourites never do well (spare a thought for perennial underperformers, Slovenia) but I was pleased to see Latvia and Belgium do well with contemporary-sounding tracks. I thought this year was a bleak year with several fantastic songs stranded in national finals (yes, I am one of those people) but hopefully a relatively up-beat winner will mean more upbeat songs next year with even more contemporary songs thrown into the fray.

Casual viewers may be interested in knowing that pre-recorded cheering was played as a measure to prevent an international fracas over Russia's performance. The measures could not quite drown out the reactions during the voting sequences. How SVT chooses to deal with this will be one of the things to watch.
posted by kariebookish at 9:57 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Like those dolls, one inside the other.

I don't like Russian dolls, they're so full of themselves.
posted by glasseyes at 10:21 AM on May 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


"The UK still hasn't realized this is not a comedy show" by Germany

Thanks Germany, next year we will select a woman in a catsuit to knock out a dirge. How did that work out for you?

It is a comedy show Germany, and everyone is laughing at you.
posted by biffa at 10:59 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


please link to more

Well I have a few favorites...one of which is Molitva from 2007, sung with so much heart after a long run of very pretty singers without much voice...
Verka Serduchka, Ukraine, 2007 (pipped to win that year, didn't.)
Fatals Picards, same year, a personal favorite that got nowhere. I challenge anyone to sing French with an English accent and English with a French accent without getting thoroughly tongue-tied.
Jessy Matador, France 2010, a nice one for the kitchen with a couple of cans while cooking for a bunch of gannet-like youngers.

Why yes, before this year, 07 was the last time I watched the whole thing.
posted by glasseyes at 11:19 AM on May 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, bonus, not Eurovision but I am fond of this old thing: Verka Serduchka, Gop Gop.
posted by glasseyes at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dunno, Latvia, in spite of strong singing and nice national-style graphics, looked like she borrowed one of Conchita's dresses from last year.
posted by Dreidl at 11:39 AM on May 24, 2015


YES! I was going to link to Verka Serduchka's Dancing Lasha Tumbai.

It's pretty much the platonic ideal of Eurovision: male comedian uses his female alter-ego to sing in drag, incredibly catchy song sung in a combination of English and Ukrainian (and other languages too, Wikipedia tells me), flashy silver costumes for everyone on stage, slight controversy because some viewers heard the words "I want to see...Russia occupied".

You name it, that song has it. Verka Serduchka is the best.
posted by librarylis at 11:41 AM on May 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bwithh: "The UK was the secret winner. Even with barely bothering to try as usual and without Australia understanding the whole cultural bloc voting tradition, we came in fourth from last with 5 points and beat France and Germany."

Whew! I hadn't gotten to the bottom to post yet, but I was going to ask if liking the Electro Velvet number made me a bad person...
posted by Samizdata at 11:46 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just remembered that Moldova's 2010 entry featured Epic Sax Guy.
posted by needled at 11:48 AM on May 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


It wouldn't really be very eurovision to enter someone who has a meaningful music career and recognition outside of the competition, either. Australia just didn't really seem to get it.

Well, from an Australian perspective, there's "ABBA is one of the best and biggest bands ever" and "ABBA once won the Eurovision song contest". If you're a bit fuzzy on the timeline, sending one of your best makes perfect sense.
posted by effbot at 12:12 PM on May 24, 2015


The UK was the secret winner

I think Farage had a hand in picking the song. Winning equals an influx of Europeans next year so result!
posted by billiebee at 12:12 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Way too much ballads and dance pop. Bring back Lordi
posted by Ber at 3:33 PM on May 24, 2015


What year was it that gave us the off-brand Gogol Bordello? I loved those guys.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:37 PM on May 24, 2015


glasseyes: Fatals Picards, same year, a personal favorite that got nowhere.

For the last couple of decades France has either sent an absolutely fabulous song that absolutely no one gets on the night and goes nowhere, or they send a bland song that goes nowhere. The paradigmatic example of the former is Divine by Sébastien Tellier. Either way it's always exciting to hear what the French have sent.
posted by Kattullus at 3:44 PM on May 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


What year was it that gave us the off-brand Gogol Bordello? I loved those guys.

You must mean the 2007 Ukrainian entry linked above? Cross dressing bordello revue in silver metallic costumes -- what's not to like?
posted by Dip Flash at 3:55 PM on May 24, 2015


Lithuania will give Russia a zero, certainly. There's a long history between the two countries and it is not a happy one.

But Estonia and Latvia gave Russia points, what is wrong with you Baltics?!?!?!
posted by maryr at 4:21 PM on May 24, 2015


I think this was the first time the contest provided sign language interpreters: here's how it looked in gif form
posted by rollick at 4:29 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eurovision makes me optimistic about the future. It wasn't even 100 years ago that these countries were literally bombing each other into the ground and now they satisfy their aggressions against each other with the blandest of pop ballads.
posted by the jam at 5:25 PM on May 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Estonia and Latvia are both around 25% ethnic Russian so that might have an influence. (I'm guessing, happy to hear more will informed theories).
posted by biffa at 11:26 PM on May 24, 2015


Eurovision makes me optimistic about the future. It wasn't even 100 years ago that these countries were literally bombing each other into the ground and now they satisfy their aggressions against each other with the blandest of pop ballads.

Which is kind of the point of Eurovision really...

As for this year's spectacular, the staging and telecast was... eerily identical to last year in some way. When you add the morass of Conchita-lite ballads which seemed to miss the point of 'Rise Like A Phoenix' in that it combined bonkers Eurovision ballad with bonkers Eurovision costume but with the added fillip of a charismatic and assured performer, it was almost fated that a blandly Swedish Swedo-pop Swede with Swedey hair and Swedley Swede Swede Swede was going to run away with it.

Latvia and Belgium were tremendous - great songs, great production, really making something of the stage, and best of all taking the tropes of Eurovision song somewhere different. Not radically, but at least a confident stride into 21st Century pop. I enjoyed the unrepentant Italian-ness of Italy, too, with their immaculately dishevelled suits and poperatic tenors. Fiver says they'll be touring the Italian Citizens clubs of big-city Australia for the next ten years off the back of that.

Guy Sebastian, though... An utterly cynical play for local ratings by SBS, and as harriet vane alluded to above, not a crowd favourite with the usual Eurovision demographic in Australia. It was entirely an attempt to get the punters who would ordinarily watch local 'talent' reality shows (where Sebastian got his start) to switch from the big commercial networks to the smaller government-supported one. Gah. horrid glutinous nu-soul bollocks.

However, the cynical fuckers that foisted this travesty on us will be rubbing their hands with glee - a top five finish and oodles of good points from traditional Eurovision heavyweights in Scandinavia and the Baltic, plus the potential for bloc voting in the large Italian and Greek migrant communities. I'd expect the heavy lifting on the negotiations for entry into the 61st Eurovision song contest has already begun...
posted by prismatic7 at 11:50 PM on May 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


My wife organized a ladies' boozy Eurovision watching toga party last weekend. After meticulously editing together a 45-minute pre-show video of the best/worst songs of the last 15 years (interspersed with commentary and comedy bits we filmed earlier), necessitating going backwards and forwards through the songs for seven whole evenings, I need a brain transplant. Dancing Lasha Tumbai is pretty awesome, but having it as an earworm for a week is not.

I didn't spot it mentioned here yet, so: my all-time favorite so-mindbogglingly-bad-its-good Eurovision performance is the Greek entry from 2002, S.A.G.A.P.O by Michalis Rakintzis. The weak song, the hilariously stilted "OK, one, two, three, threeeeandahaalfff STOMP" choreography, the outfits apparently fashioned from rollerblading safety gear... We got a ton of material out of that for the commentary parts.
posted by jklaiho at 12:01 AM on May 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


You must mean the 2007 Ukrainian entry linked above yt ? Cross dressing bordello revue in silver metallic costumes -- what's not to like?

Nah, they were just like a normal Dropkicks style folk-punk band, only somehow in Eurovision. It oddly made sense.
Guy Sebastian got a 94% approval rating from Australian audiences, which is to be expected but he was a bit bland. Competent, but bland. There was a big petition to get TISM to represent us, which would have been fun. God knows we have a ton of weird, left-field, odd pop acts like The Red Paintings or that guy with a name like Chet Faker but who isn't Chet Faker and plays an ironic sax.
Or just send Coma the Doof Warrior. Not iOTA. Coma the Doof Warrior, complete with flame-throwing guitar. He wouldn't be any odder than most Eurovision acts.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:15 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]




The Best Eurovision is International Sign Language Eurovision

Deaf sign language interpreters give official Eurovision live performances translating each of the Eurovision songs and it is marvelous (skip around the video to find the performances)
posted by Bwithh at 6:12 AM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


As is my personal yearly Eurovision tradition, I will link to you the actual best thing Eurovision has ever produced. Here are the scientific reasons why this is so:
  1. It is a jaunty song sung by Latvian pirates
  2. It is like off-brand Aqua
  3. It is entitled Wolves of the Sea
  4. It has a short piratic-vogueing interlude
  5. Lead pirate lady is dancing the hell out of this. No-one has ever committed more strongly to piratic choreography as she.
  6. And it is everything that one might envision based on those items.
I trust we can all now agree that this is the platonic ideal of Eurovision entries.

[Pirates are all we can beeeeee!]
posted by pseudonymph at 6:19 AM on May 25, 2015 [9 favorites]




I made my SO watch Eurovision for the first time and he was distinctly underwhelmed. I was trying to explain that it was normally much more fun (ie terrible) but words can only do so much. Videos of dancing Latvian Pirates, on the other hand, express perfectly all that I could never articulate. So thank you pseudonymph!
posted by billiebee at 7:29 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here are the scientific reasons why this is so:

You forgot

7. Fourth-rate Swedish songwriters.

because that's what everyone is using (see e.g. this guy who's the Max Martin of the Eurovision). Here's the entries using Swedish song writers for the last few years (Sweden not included, and of course the numbers are larger if you include national competitions):

2010: Denmark, Georgia, Norway, Ireland and Azerbaijan
2011: Russia, Azerbaijan
2012: Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Norway, Azerbaijan and Spain
2013: Georgia, Finland, Norway, Russia, Netherlands, and Azerbaijan
2014: Ireland, Russia, United Kingdom, Ukraine and Azerbaijan
2015: Netherlands, Russia, Macedonia, Spain, Moldavia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia
posted by effbot at 7:53 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


All I have to say about this years competition is: SERBIA WAS ROBBED. ROBBED I SAY!
posted by Faintdreams at 1:45 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


do we have conspiracy theories yet about why Eurovision was blander overall this year?
To appease Putin?
posted by Bwithh at 4:45 PM on May 25, 2015


(OK, that Latvian pirate song should be the new national anthem for SOMEBODY, I don't care who, it is so great. SO GREAT.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:56 PM on May 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Guy Sebastian was not our best possible representative.
posted by flabdablet at 6:11 AM on May 26, 2015


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