After six years of watching Eurovision on various streams it felt a little weird to be watching it on TV. I was a bit worried when Logo’s pair of commentators talked nonstop during the opening, but thankfully they had the sense to quiet down during the actual performances. Still, I kind of wish it had been on a channel I had an HD version of, but at least it wasn’t a channel where my screen was cut off.
My feelings about the change in the result presentation was also mixed. I actually like the announcing of the jury votes separately, and especially that theirs were the twelves that got the dramatic reveals, since those were not only ones decided more on merit(though looking at the national breakdowns, they certainly weren’t entirely), but they went to more countries. It’s more fun to watch different singers getting excited over twelves than to watch the same handful of countries get handed them over and over. On the other, the way the viewer votes were announced was jarring in the extreme, even if it did keep the suspense up.
It also highlighted the growing schizophrenia in Eurovision voting. On one hand, Russia won the popular vote, which was certainly unsurprising when their guy was pretty good and also I think at least somewhat known(I’d heard his name before, after all.). On the other hand, one suspects the votes that went to a Ukrainian song that claimed to be about World War II to get past the EBU’s political ban were done as a statement against the country. At least some of the viewers recognized the Australian song was pretty much the best of the night, even though my Twitter timeline was furious when they thought Australia was actually going to win; as figure skating fans have long known, Europe doesn’t like it when outsiders win their contests. One wonders if Australia will even be invited back next year. Still, it’s pretty clear sooner or later Russia’s going to win again, and then there are going to be Problems. Although even having the contest in the Ukraine next year may cause a few.
As for the songs themselves, well, my personal favorite was Lithuania’s, but that’s pretty much because I have a huge soft spot for songs of its type. Some of them were definitely better than others, but none of the competitive ones really stood out this year. Really, the song of the night was the parody one from the interval:
Seriously, Eurovision making fun of themselves, the highlights of the previous years(toward the end I was wondering where Lordi were, then viola!), and the hosts showing their own ability to sing. What more can you ask for? I’m not sure we really need the interval acts anymore, since they even kept the voting open during them anyway and tabulated the results during the jury announcements, but when they’re this much fun, who cares?
And really, the Swedes are ridiculously good at hosting Eurovision; they showed that last time they did, then this year topped themselves. If Australia ever does win this thing and has to partner with a European city to host, they should choose a Swedish one.