(Sorry I’ve been so remiss on posting lately, my doggie was sick and taking up all my attention.) Now the pieces are falling into place, and in another week we will know the full range of ESC entries for the year. Tonight had two big finals, and two unexpected winners.
Sweden’s massive Melodifestivalen ended its six-week season with a nailbiter, with votes of the international juries and televoters rather far apart. After the jury points, Robin Stjernberg, who only made the final via last week’s second chance round, was in the lead with precontest favorite Ulrik Munther in second place. New star YOHIO was near the bottom in 9th place, after not a single jury gave him their 12 points.
Then came the televotes, and Ulrik failed to score with viewers. When the last two voter scroes came down to YOHIO and Robin, the question was whether expected vote-topper YOHIO would get the most, and would it be enough even so. He got the most votes, but it wasn’t enough. Sweden selects former IDOL runnerup Robin and his soaring recollection of his father, “You”, as their entry for ESC 2013. (His odds with the bookmakers keep getting better, and it looks like Sweden may have a top three finish for the third year running.)
Meanwhile, Romania’s choice came down to former ESC representative Luminita Anghel, band Electric Fence, and countertenor oddity Cezar. Cezar was third after the jury votes, with Luminita second and Electric Fence leading. This was another shakeup from the televotes, when the viewers preferred Cezar and vaulted him up for the win. His operatic vocal theatrics make “It’s My Life” a love-it-or-hate-it entry, but I think it could still reach the top half of the board in May.
(After the last few exciting weeks of national finals, I have a lot to talk about. Look for a full recap of what countries have chosen in the next few days!)