Last night in a nailbiter that proved Sweden’s idea to separate out the televote and present it from lowest to highest scores was the right way to energize the final portion of the show, Australia clobbered everyone in the jury vote, Russia topped the televote, and then Ukraine won by coming second in both categories.
Ukraine’s song is emotional, heartfelt, and very dark, recounting the feelings of loss Ukrainian Tatars suffered when Russia attacked in the throes of WW2. It’s not a song that people will get down to on the dance floor, sing along with at Eurovision parties, or probably even buy mp3s of online. It’s a worthy winner, but not a fun one. If Australia or even Russia had topped the scores, the crowd in the arena would have been jumping and bopping to the final reprise. Instead they watched and applauded respectfully.
But Ukraine must be respected and applauded for her commitment and artistry. Let’s wait and see how the hosting gig for next year plays out, since the Ukraine government and tv network are not exactly flush with cash to mount an event like Eurovision 2017.