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And so the final

Posted on 2011.05.29 at 17:32
Current Music: Katreeya English - Meaw Meaw | Powered by Last.fm
After all this:

1. Finland
Paradise Oskar really deserved better than what he got (21st place, 57 points). Admittedly there wasn't anything spectacular going on musically, although the "earthrise" behind him went over very well indeed.

2. Bosnia
If Finland deserved a better finish, Bosnia really should feel robbed that Dino only placed 6th with 125 points. Admittedly, this is the best finish since Hari Mata Hari with "Lejla" (a song which probably would've won if it wasn't for those pesky Finns), but I don't understand how it finished outside the top 5 at least.

3. Denmark
A Friend In London really performed well, and a 5th place finish with 134 points was likewise a bit low for them. In many ways, they were victims of a Contest which pretty much knew it didn't want a flashy performance but wasn't quite sure what it wanted this year.

4. Lithuania
Despite what a lot of people seemed to think, this one had "also-ran" written all over it from the start. 19th place with 63 points was surprisingly high for a rather mawkish ballad.

5. Hungary
This didn't quite seem so special on the final night as it did in the semi. Whether Kati was slightly off her game or whether the pounding beats were actually more artificial than good is anyone's guess. A 22nd place finish on 53 points was Hungary's fate.

6. Ireland
Despite leading the votes for a little while, and generally being obnoxious and annoying while doing so, I had faith in the good people of Europe not to make Jedward the victors. In the event, they fell away towards the end of the voting to finish 8th with 119 points.

7. Sweden
Eric couldn't have done anything more with this song than he did in the final, and for roughly a third of the voting I was convinced he'd done enough to at least get across the line first if not actually record a convincing victory. Sadly, it wasn't to be, but this was an indication that the Swedes do still have "it". 3rd place with 185 points was a disappointment, though.

8. Estonia
I was surprised to see Getter finish in 24th place with only 44 points, but given that she barely made it through the semi-final, perhaps I shouldn't have been. If there's one thing we know about this girl now that we didn't before, it's that we have to watch out for her in the future.

9. Greece
Loukas and Stereo Mike over-achieved chronically to even make the final, and a 7th place on 120 points was further evidence of this. The Greek vocals were, again, very enjoyable, but the rap was borderline unlistenable.

10. Russia
Despite it being Russia and thus over-produced nonsense at best, this one had grown on me a long way by the time Alex did his synchronised bow. I didn't want Moscow 2012, though, but 16th place on 77 points was a bit harsh.

11. France
Amaury had some big expectations coming into this performance, and he never really looked comfortable. He was slightly off-key to begin with, and I suspect that look of relief we saw at the end was more "thank god it's over" than anything else. From his reaction, it's also possible that his earpiece wasn't working. 15th place on 82 points was a shock.

12. Italy
I'd had my reservations about this one, and I'm still not entirely convinced by it, but full marks to Raphael for selling it very well. I'm still going to claim that lots of his 189 points in his second-place finish were goodwill rather than good-music, but still...

13. Switzerland
If the winner were decided in the stadium, Anna may well have been it. As it was, the people of Europe deserted her song in droves for some reason and she finished 25th on only 19 points.

14. United Kingdom
This wasn't exactly a well-performed song, but it made more sense on stage than it had to me on the CD, so that was an achievement. The UK, though, really needs to look at its Eurovision record seriously, as a middle-of-the-pack finish (11th on 100 points) shouldn't be cause for celebration.

15. Moldova
Thank heavens this wasn't relegated to the "comic relief" section of the scoreboard, because this really was a brilliant rendition of a clever song. Just as Bosnia did, Moldova recorded one of their better recent results by dusting off a classic performer. 12th place on 97 points was well-earned.

16. Germany
This is still going to be a song dividing opinion for years to come, but for mine it was the first time since Turkey in 2004 when the host nation actually entered a competitive song. It was also a damn fine performance, considering that Lena had already been on stage that evening. The roar as she passed the 100 point mark was a great moment, even though she only came 10th on 107.

17. Romania
As with a couple of songs, this is one of those eminently musical numbers that seemed to be entirely ignored by the voting public. Try as I might, I can't work out why. 17th place on 77 points is far too low.

18. Austria
Nadine was always at risk of being outclassed by some of the other performances, and 18th place on 64 points proves that she probably was. Admittedly, it's always going to be difficult performing a ballad after a big clap-along pop number and just before the eventual winner, but there you go.

19. Azerbaijan
This is probably more a "win by default" than many would care to claim, as Eldar and Nigar really didn't do an awful lot with this song at any stage. Not to take anything away from them, but as with a couple of other Contests, I feel we'll be remembering the runners-up moreso than the winners. First place on 221 points is a memorable result, though.

20. Slovenia
I'd started to think of Maja as being a dark horse, and she showed that to be a reasonable view with this performance. For some reason, though, it just didn't register quite enough on the scoreboard, with a 13th place finish on 96 being the final result.

21. Iceland
Perhaps more than most, Sjonni's Friends can really feel robbed by this result. They had a terrific song and performed it perfectly - slightly tighter harmonies than the semi, I think - and yet only came 20th on 61 points. Strange.

22. Spain
Not to take anything away from Lucia herself, but I think the description of this as being a soft-drink ad from one of the Australian commentators roughly sums it all up. 23rd place on 50 points is about right, and it really should be back to the old drawing board for Spain.

23. Ukraine
I feel that my comments from the semi-final stand here. It's a moderate song, but whatever performance there was was distracted from by the stunning sand art. Mika's 4th place finish on 159 points is probably a victory for gimmicks.

24. Serbia
Nina should join Dino and Sjonni's Friends wondering what you have to do to get a point in some years. This was a note-perfect rendition of a very clever song with a great presentation and yet she only came 14th on 85 points.

25. Georgia
While this was a professional showing, I feel that 9th place on 110 was a bit over-the-top for a song like this. Admittedly, it really stood out in the final, so maybe that's the reason.

For the record, I think this was probably the most "musical" final I've seen, in that just about all the finalists had really catchy songs. While the interval act in the final was spectacular, it couldn't match Madcon's flash mob (I doubt anything ever will), although the marching band and breakdancing in the semis was very impressive.
Where this year's show will really go down in history, though, will be in the hosting and opening-act stakes. Stefan Raab was just electric, making Berlin Wall and World Cup jokes into the bargain, and that production of "Satellite" at the start was justifiably brilliant.


nealaahana at 2011-11-04 10:18 (UTC) (Link)
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