If last year was a demonstration of the power of the gay vote at Eurovision, then this year, despite the indications the contest is running with that now, between the heavy use of Conchita and the clips of gay couples in the opening, is a demonstration that sometimes it doesn’t have that much power. I doubt they were that thrilled at the contest coming down to the Russian singer and a homophobic Swedish one, however much PR damage control he’s been doing since getting caught(which he probably felt he had to do to compete, because of aforementioned gay vote). Although Mans Zelmerlow was definitely the lesser of two evils winning, both because hey, his song actually was the best of the night, and also because it’s far better for the contest to return to Sweden than to Russia. Perhaps the gay vote was responsible for the Italian opera tenors coming in third, though, and when they really shouldn’t have; they may have been hands down the best singers of the night, but the song had no substance.
And really, the night was still owned by last year’s winner. Conchita was in her element as hostess and singer both; she actually impressed me a lot more this year than last. And she even took the high ground, being remarkably nice to the Russian girl whose only real crime was probably to be a pretty good singer, and even to the winner:
Sadly, the night was also a reminder that the more common non-gay-related voting issues of Eurovision are still far from gone, especially given the toll taken on the earlier and/or Western European songs(the French song deserved a far better fate). One supposes that’ll never go away.