Another year of Eurovision happened this past weekend, this time hosted in Copenhagen by last year’s winning country, Denmark. This year, they went against the norm by showing the previous year‘s winning song, not at the beginning, but halfway through, and that’s not all, they only really showed 30 seconds to a minute’s worth of what was both a catch and fabulous song and instead show a whole new song which apparently had everyone from the final singing to it. I didn’t see that bit though as I went to the toilet.
The presentation of last years winning song had also changed from a sort of cultural, possibly French army look, to something more tribal. While Ukraine did something similar in 2005 when they hosted it, at least the song was in the same style.
As for the contest as a whole, The presentation was a bit varied. It started off quite well, the built stage was amazingly done and the water around the stage was a nice feature too, the idea of putting the green room in the foreground was a nice touch which made the thing look like a Velodrome, and the little bits here and there such as the odd touch of comedy, particularly in the Eurovision Museum sketch which included a brief appearance from both Johnny Logan and Lordi. But as the event went on, it got a bit overdone with its selection of fun facts and how the presenters could hardly stay in one place throughout the show, and while they tried to lighten up the show by bringing in little gifts for the countries including the UK as well as a booth appearance for Graham Norton, the people involved seemed to be so confused, that they looked like they had absolutely no idea as to what was going on or what the presenters were talking about, and while they did try to come back with added fireworks, it was pretty much too late to save the presentation of the contest. Not even the song about the number 12 helped. All this from the only country to win the contest twice since 2000, which means they should know how to put on a show. At least we’ll have a reason to think twice before voting for Denmark in future contest for the near future. The flag postcard feature was quite nice though, they deserve credit for devising that.
As for the songs, it mostly a year for ballads, which was quite annoying for the most part as there was hardly any diversity at all. While countries like Finland, Ukraine, Iceland, Switzerland, Spain and even the UK managed to do something different, there wasn’t much from the ballad department to look out for. Ok, Sweden‘s was well sung and I wouldn’t have minded if it had won it, but I didn’t vote for it, Slovenia‘s was also quite interesting. Iceland’s had a catchy theme, but the presentation was sort of annoying, the colours, the formal Teletubbies dress code and the singer who kept making me think of Kenneth Branagh, but given the ballad fest, I wouldn’t have minded so much if it had won, even though it’s sort of surprising that it wasn’t a hot country in the voting. It was nice to see San Marino in the final for the first time, even if the song was performed in front of a giant clam shell. For me though, there was only two choices for my vote, Spain’s which was quite well presented and catchy, and Ukraine’s Hamster Wheel Song. I voted for Ukraine, but it was close between those two as to which to choose.
The voting was a hot contest throughout with the fight for the top spot going on into the second half. even with about 10 countries left, it was still between 10 2 countries, Austria and Netherlands, with the Netherlands having one of their best years in the contest for a long time. But with about 3 countries left to go, Austria had already won it marking their second victory in the contest after close to 50 years since their last win. The UK did quite well reaching 17th place beating Azerbaijan who for the previous five years had always reached the top 5, this time coming in 22nd place. As for Ukraine and Spain, Ukraine came 6th, and Spain 10th, while Finland, a country with limited success since their debut, but not so much in recent years did quite well this year coming 11th overall. But it really was Austria’s year this time round with the song Rise Like A Phoenix sung by Drag Persona Conchita Wurst, which I thought wasn’t all that good as I thought it sounded a lot more like a Bond Theme with annotations from The World Is Not Enough, especially as moments in the song almost went into “The World Is Not Enough”. To be honest though, most of those points were probably awarded due to the presentation of the singer, much like Finland’s victory in 2006. Overall a sort of over average contest at best which was quite disappointing and was definitely not the best contest over the last 10 years, but did survive to some respect to remain enjoyable at best.