Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eurovision 2013: Grand Final

Oh man! What a massive weekend of Eurovision! I only just woke up from a massive Sweden-fuelled bender, and I've gotta say, while waking up in a fridge full of frozen meatballs in IKEA was pretty weird, the photos on my phone of me riding an elk through the homewares section were FAR weirder. I was battered and bruised, and I can only imagine it was from being hit with so many key changes over the last few days.

Sadly, it's nearly time for us to leave our Swedish vänner, but before we do, join me under the cut at Malmo Arena one last time as we see what went down in the Grand Final of Eurovision 2013.

1. France

Look, nothing against France, but I'm not usually a HUGE fan of their entries. This year, however, is a different story. This slinky blues-rock number from Amandine Bourgeois was very very cool, and bordered on maybe being a bit too good for Eurovision. I mean, I'm not talking LOREEN levels of 'too good for Eurovision', but definitely sneaking up there.

5. Spain

Nothing says 'Spain' quite like a guy playing the bagpipes, right? I've watched this performance a few times and I think I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that it is my absolute least favourite song from the entire weekend. Even the boring ballads were well sung, and this was not only unentertaining but the vocal just didn't feel confident. C'mon, it's Eurovision! Fake it! Her dress was very nice though, and damn those beautiful Spanish people with their lovely complexions and their ability to pull off wearing yellow.

9. Malta

If Train and Jason Mraz wrote a song together I think it would sound a lot like this. Sure, it's not the most interesting ditty (a guy called Jeremy who works in IT. TELL ME MORE. No, wait, don't), but it's really quite cute. Gianluca is a smiley chap who also happens to be a doctor. Even though I liked the song I'm glad he didn't end up winning, cause being a singing doctor who wins Eurovision is just too much achievement for one lifetime. Don't be greedy, Gianluca.

12. Armenia

There is just so much to like about Armenia. Put aside my long-standing love for a good soft-rock power ballad, and there's still the singer's lush rockstar hair and huge voice, the indecent amount of double denim, the fact that their keyboard player looks like a slightly reluctant John Goodman, and the fact the song was written by Tony Iommi from BLACK FRICKIN' SABBATH. I liked this a LOT.

15. United Kingdom

The UK really don't give a crap, do they? No slight on Bonnie Tyler intended, cause she sure was great 20 years ago or whatever, but come ON. They're lucky they're one of the 'Big 5' and automatically qualify, cause they'd have no chance of getting to the final otherwise. I know everyone hates the UK and actively downvotes them, but they could do a better job of giving themselves a fighting chance. If they're going to keep reviving acts well past their use-by dates, then bring back STEPS, I say. Never has there been a more Eurovision-appropriate band.

16. Sweden

Still unsure if this is a very masculine woman...or a rather effeminate man. Being called Robin doesn't help solve the mystery. That aside, I will always love a Eurovision act that wears a lot of white (or, off-white). It's practically the unofficial uniform.

17. Hungary

Ever wonder what a Hungarian version of Dashboard Confessional would be like? WONDER NO MORE. I'm curious to see if Eurovision will eventually be invaded by hipster acts claiming that they're only entering for the 'irony'. 'Lol, yah, I was on Eurovision. I got beaten by a yodelling badger. How postmodern!'

23. Italy

Say what you want about the Italians, but as a nation they truly excel at making suits. It might just be the lighting, but that suit looks teal to me. A well-cut teal suit. Marco needs to be given some kind of award solely for rocking a teal suit and looking DAMN good. He almost does as good a job at the 'stand and deliver' male ballad as Estonian dreamboat Ott Lepland, so he's a-ok in my books.

26. Ireland

I actually didn't like this song much when I first heard it in the semis, but it has definitely grown on me with a few re-watches (and not just because of the oiled-up, tattooed backup dancers. Though they help). I think initally I was comparing him against Ireland's entry last year, the over-sugared demon-pixies Jedward, and that's just not fair. Jedward are...something else. Unsure yet if that 'something else' is a good something or a bad something, but they sure are something. It's a hard act to follow, Ryan Dolan, but you did ok.

All 26 acts in our massive Eurovision 2013 final have wrapped up, and it's time for the votes to be counted. Will the UK be customarily shunned? Will all the Nordic countries vote for each other? Will the French be out the back smoking cigarettes and generally not giving a shit about what happens? We will soon know! Before we discuss the results, here is the final interval act, a very funny song & dance number showcasing our host nation Sweden.

I watched that multiple times, and every time I still laughed at 'titties'. Don't lie, you did too. Titties. Heh.

Right! So! Votes have been counted, and it's time for the moment of truth! Firstly, let's look at who failed miserably in their quest for Euro-glory. Coming in dead-last in 26th place was...Ireland. Poor Ireland. Their song wasn't that bad that it deserved to come last. They only polled 5 votes during the entire of the voting process. That's really sad. Even the United Kingdom, the perennial whipping-boy of the competition managed to come 19th. They weren't even in the bottom 5. Has anyone heard from Ryan Dolan over the last few days? I can only imagine he has committed some kind of Irish version of seppuku to deal with the shame of being beaten by the UK in Eurovision. Spain came second last with 8 votes, but that was fair enough cause Spain kind of sucked.

Enough of hanging out with the losers, let's check out our top 10!

Tenth Place: The beanie-clad hipster from HUNGARY
Ninth Place: The sultry-voiced songbird from THE NETHERLANDS
Eighth Place: Our favourite over achieving doctor from MALTA
Seventh Place: Teal-clad and devilishly handsome, it's ITALY
Sixth Place: They're the guys you'd totally want to party with, it's GREECE
Fifth Place: One of my favourite songs in the competition, and it comes from RUSSIA
Fourth Place: The blonde bombshell from NORWAY
Third Place: I'm pretty sure it was Igor the giant who got such a high placing for UKRAINE
Second Place: The little pocket rocket with his friend in a box from AZERBAIJAN

And, the mighty victor of Eurovision 2013 was....DENMARK!

Yes, in a shock to pretty much no one, Denmark took out the prize. The winning margin was 47 votes, which is nearly a third of the margin that Loreen won by last year. So, y'know. Not quite as good as Loreen, but you tried. Actually, screw it, let's watch Loreen again.

Goddamn that is so good. Anyway, we're off to Denmark next year. I hope the opening ceremony is just an arena completely packed with Great Dane dogs. That would make my year.

So, as we say adjö to Sweden, we're looking forward to saying hej to Denmark in 2014. I hope you enjoyed this year's coverage and I'll meet you back here in 12 months time to do it all over again! And I promise to (probably) not mention Loreen as much next year.



  1. I always have a bit of a responsive shudder when I see that catch-screen that always turns up for Euphoria. Thats the stuff that Scandinavian nightmares are made of.

  2. Man, at least the ones I liked placed highly. I like your coverage Jay. It means I can come here study before having to attend parties, but also means I can re-watch good ones.

    I'm sad Pop-Opera dude didn't get a mention. How much did he look like David Tennant in Fright Night. I lol'd