So if you win the Eurovision Song Contest, you get to land a jumbo jet at the studio using drones for runway lights? Someone's been watching past British entries for inspiration (a few years ago our entry was a very over-the-top cheesy aircraft safety briefing - not our finest moment)...
This year's theme appears to be triangles and dancing - triangular shapes everywhere, and dancing is actually required for the video postcards. Anyway, on with the songs!
- Malta: Okay, that's quite neat. Incredibly gimmicky, but neat nonetheless and one of the better uses of video projection I've seen.
- Albania: Impressive.
- Czech Republic: Cue the slightly mad drummer to provide backing for a life story. Reminds me a bit of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song...
- Germany: Aww... though at times the vocals seem somehow off.
- Russia: And their singer has got lost in a hall of mirrors before being trapped in a shower. This might be best described as "trying too hard with special effects".
- Denmark: Aww
- San Marino: Word soup lyrics? Oddly enough, there was a recent article on training AI to come up with Eurovision lyrics, and the result was similar word soup...
- North Macedonia: Wow.
- Sweden: Meh.
- Slovenia: Lost in their own little world
- Cyprus: Um. I wonder if this was carefully timed to be post-watershed what with the clingfilm-and-gaffer-tape outfit?
- Netherlands: Decent entry.
- Greece: Sword ballet?
- Israel: Oddly enough, this makes me think of an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical...
- Norway: I rather like this one.
- United Kingdom: We wish to make it very clear that the universe is big.
And we now have an interlude with interviews around an ironing board? Okay...
- Iceland: They are aware that this is Eurovision and not a death metal nightclub, right? And is that singing, or just white noise?
- Estonia: Apparently it's stormy out or something?
- Belarus: You do know you're supposed to take the smoke machines out of the flight cases first?
- Azerbaijan: So this is how the robot uprising begins...
- France: Sometimes, one just has to make a point with a sledgehammer.
- Italy: I think this is also trying to make a point?
- Serbia: Okay, that's good.
- Switzerland: Meh.
- Australia: Ringwraiths vs Elsa boss battle? No, wait, they're just doing scarecrow impressions.
- Spain: Quick, escape from the dolls house!
And that's the lot! So to sum up, my favourites are Albania, North Macedonia, Norway and Serbia, Russia are trying too hard, Malta actually know how hard to try, and Cyprus and Iceland are trying their luck with NSFW entries.
Interval act 1: past contestants perform each other songs, continuing with the borderline-NSFW outfit theme. I think this is one of the strangest interval acts I've seen...
Interval act 2: bit of an odd collection of genres and instruments. Seemed a bit short and underwhelming though.
Interval act 2.5: okay, that's a nifty trick.
Interval act 3: other benefits of winning Eurovision: getting to go to the ball and rap about bananas.
Interval act 4: gothic steampunk pirate Madonna? Accompanied by monks wearing gas masks with flowers of all things. I take it back - this is more weird than the first interval act was. Oddly, the dancers in black remind me of the witch's assistants from the Howl's Moving Castle film...
Anyway, the lines are now closed and it's time for the results! I do find it wonderfully quaint, all the live links and the "This is $capital calling" greetings as each country announces their jury votes. Even today, getting all the satellite linkups together must be quite the achievement. Surprisingly Malta have not given the UK any points (for many years they gave UK the full score in protest at the traditional bloc voting). The Netherlands' presenter is over the moon to have been chosen to take part. Yay, Norway have given us 2 points so we are not on "nul point"! Romania have chosen to yodel their points? Someone has let the Russian presenter loose on a piano. Greece have decided to up things by deploying an electric guitar.
So with all the jury votes in, it's surprisingly close with no runaway winner. Sweden is leading, with North Macedonia, The Netherlands, and Italy not far behind. And unsurprisingly the UK is almost (but not quite) bringing up the rear - our entry this year wasn't bad, just nothing special.
On to the phone votes! There's an awful lot of points up for grabs, so theoretically anyone could still win it. I think they've changed the order though - last year I think they went from lowest score from the phone votes, this year they're going by the order the jury ranked them. And the UK is quite definitely last with 3 points from the phone vote, giving us 16 total. At least we didn't get the fewest public - Germany are ahead of us, but got nul point from the public! Now Norway have just been catapulted into first with 200 points - they're unlikely to win, but that just goes to show how different the juries and the public think. The public also like Iceland a lot, but only enough to put them into 4th (for now). And Russia's performance was popular too.
With 5 to go, I don't think it's possible to call it with the new announcement order. With 3 to go there's still 4 possible winners - Italy, Sweden, North Macedonia or The Netherlands (oddly the same top 4 after the jury votes).
With 1 to go... aww, North Macedonia didn't get anywhere near enough from the public. So it's The Netherlands or Sweden. I think it's The Netherlands - the points seemed more equally distributed this year and Sweden need over 250.
The winner is... The Netherlands! And with that, g'night!