Kiev 2017?!

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.


Sergey and Jamala have two different reactions to his voting score and her victory.

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.

Conchita Wurst — The Right Girl At the Right Time for Europe

Conchita Wurst is now the queen of Europe, at least from the way things feel around Denmark tonight.  Over the course of one week at Eurovision, the Austrian representative grew in people’s eyes from being a freakish novelty, to being an artist to contend with, to finally becoming a phenomenon and a potent symbol of how 21st-Century Europe wants to see itself.

After being hushed and cowed into silence at the Sochi Olympics this year, Europe at least is done with standing idly by and letting Russia and its cohorts turn back the clock a few centuries on human rights and how nations behave toward each other.  And what better way to take sides in the cultural battle between the repression the East is becoming known for, and the progressive values of Western Europe, than by choosing the most OUT THERE symbol of all that Russia detests, a gay man who performs as a bearded drag queen.  And Conchita’s Bond-esque “Rise Like a Phoenix”, Europe’s new song of the year, is not so subtly a message of gay pride and power.

For Europe to overwhelmingly take Conchita Wurst to its heart and vote her to victory in such convincing numbers is saying to the oppressors of gay men and women in Russia that we in the West do not just tolerate our sexual and social minorities, but stand by them and claim them as our valued friends and neighbors.  Yay Europe!


The Marcel Bezençon Awards for Artistic Merit

Each year after the voting is over and a new winner crowned, the press, composers, commentators and accredited media vote for the entry, artist and song composition that most excels in artistry.  This year’s winners were presented today:

The 2013 Marcel Bezençon Awards

Press Award – Given to the best entry as voted on by the accredited media and press during the Eurovision Song Contest: Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani from Georgia with the song Waterfall.

Artistic Award – Presented to the best artist as voted on by the commentators: Farid Mammadov representing Azerbaijan.

Composer Award – The best and most original composition as voted on by the participating composers: Robin Stjernberg, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Joakim Harestad Haukaas for You. The song that represented Sweden.


OGAE Voting Keeps Denmark at the Top

denmarkAs expected, the last few sets of votes did nothing to shake up the earlier trends in the OGAE fan club polls. Denmark took a commanding victory with 374 points, quite comparable with Loreen’s 375-point win last year. I am sure that Denmark and Emmelie hope that she follows in Loreen’s footsteps in going from OGAE fan favorite to victory in ESC this year. Here are the final vote total after all the OGAE club reported their points:

1. 374 Denmark
2. 282 San Marino
3. 269 Norway
4. 195 Germany
5. 177 Italy
6. 147 Netherlands
7. 119 Ukraine
8. 119 United Kingdom
9. 103 Sweden
10. 83 Russia
11. 61 Azerbaijan
12. 41 Iceland
13. 37 Georgia
14. 32 Israel
15. 30 Switzerland
16. 29 Ireland
17. 28 Finland
18. 23 Montenegro
19. 18 Moldova
20. 12 Belarus
20. 12 Malta
22. 11 Austria
23. 7 Bulgaria
23. 7 Hungary
23. 7 Macedonia
26. 6 Spain
27. 5 Armenia
27. 5 Croatia
27. 5 Serbia
30. 4 Belgium
30. 4 Estonia
30. 4 Greece
33. 3 Romania
34. 2 France
35. 1 Slovenia
36. 0 Albania
36. 0 Cyprus
36. 0 Latvia
36. 0 Lithuania

OGAE Fan Clubs agree with the bettors on Denmark

31 OGAE clubs have voted

31 OGAE clubs have voted

31 of the OGAE Eurovision fan clubs have awarded points to the 2013 entries in their annual poll, and a few interesting developments have emerged. First, the fans are in complete agreement with ESC betting parlors on Denmark being the winning entry this year, with Emmelie taking an insurmountable lead comparable with the one Loreen had last year. The fans also agree with the bettors that Norway will be in the top of the final scoreboard, with OGAE and the betting odds both currently having Margaret in their third position. The second place is an area of disagreement, with the bettors second Ukraine only reaching 8th with the OGAE fans. Meanwhile the fans’ second place, San Marino, only reaches 11th in the betting odds. The final voting totals should be published in the next few days, but the current standings have enough space between the various places that there isn’t room for a lot of changes. Here are the total points from OGAE as they stand today:

1. Denmark – 305 points
2. San Marino -226 points
3. Norway – 223 points
4. Germany – 144 points
5. The Netherlands – 126 points
6. Italy – 111 points
7. United Kingdom – 107 points
8. Ukraine – 89 points
9. Sweden – 81 points
10. Russia – 75 points

OGAE Second Chance Contest Chooses Pastora and Spain!

The annual OGAE Second Chance Contest is one of the major “off-season” events for Eurofans, where the Eurovision fanclubs choose a favorite from all the songs that WEREN’T chosen to represent their countries in the previous year’s ESC. This year’s selection was a tough one, but in the end “Tu Vida Es Tu Vida” by Pastora Soler brought the victory home to Spain by one point.  Danny Saucedo’s “Amazing” brought second place to Sweden, and “High On Love” by Reidun Saether earned a third place for Norway.

Rounding out the top five were Denmark and Austria.

Pastora Soler, Spain’s winner

Second for Danny and Sweden

Norway’s 3rd place (with a song by Sweden’s Thomas G:Son)

Denmark in 4th

5th to the bizarre Conchita Wurst for Austria

Barbara Dex award 2012 announced

From the House of Eurovision comes this long-awaited news about the winner of this year’s Barbara Dex award for Eurovision’s worst-dressed performer:

“This years Barbara Dex Award has seen a record-breaking number of votes. A total of 2851 valid votes were cast (again, like last year, a lot of votes had to be deleted due to several reasons. We are thinking about a better system to prevent things like double voting ). From the beginning one there has always been one big favourite for the award this year: Albania’s Rona Nishliu. Her blue and black witches dress and donut shaped hairdo was the first choice for 829 voters.

Funnily enough the Jedward boys ended up second…. again! After gaining second place in 2011 they won that spot again this year with 551 votes with their sparkly costumes and combed-back crests. Third place was for Bulgaria’s Sofi Marinova in her white leather outfit. She gained 232 votes from the voters.”

01. Albania – Rona Nishliu (829)
02. Ireland – Jedward (551)
03. Bulgaria – Sofi Marinova (232)
04. The Netherlands – Joan Franka (163)
05. Ukraine – Gaitana (145)
06. Denmark – Soluna Samay (82)
07. Turkey – Can Bonomo (76)
08. Sweden – Loreen (66)
09. Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maya Sar (62)
10. San Marino – Valentina Monetta (62)

Rona Nishliu, Barbara Dex award winner for 2012

Rona Nishliu, Barbara Dex award winner for 2012

The Barbara Dex award, as we noted here earlier, is named after and dedicated to an unfortunate Belgian ESC contestant from 1993 who had no budget for a costume and made her own bizarre creation (which incidentally propelled her to last place in that year’s contest).