Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The West is Back

One of the big flaws of this blog is that I have a tendancy to forget to write updates after I write about an upcoming event, so I thought I’d just give a quick update on the Eurovision results. Yes it is a little silly that this is my third entry about Eurovision in a week, but indulge me for a moment! I admit I’m unjustifiably fascinated by it.

As expected Norway came away the winner, but what was perhaps not expected was the huge margin by which they won (the largest in Eurovision history). In a distant second came fellow Scandinavian country Iceland with a lovely slow song called “Is it True,” and in third place was, inexplicably, Azerbaijan (huh??).

Western Europe can be pleased that it’s once again in the running, but lest people start to object that it seems to be only the Nordics that still have a shot from the West, take a look at the next few rankings. The UK came in an impressive 5th place, a far cry from the low scores it had the last few years. With Andrew Lloyd Webber penning this year's entry, it shows that a little effort can pay off. And France came in 8th, pretty good considering its entry was one of the only songs not in English and was decidedly Gallic and un-Eurovisiony in nature (Patricia Kaas definitely brought a touch of class to the proceedings!)

Some of the contest’s lowest scorers did much to show that the new voting system has ended the Eastern Europe dominance. Much to my dismay, Ukraine came in a dismal 12th (I favoured it because I met Svetlana in London awhile back but if I’m honest it wasn’t of the highest musical calibre – but what a show!). The Czech Republic was the only country to score the dreaded nul points, proving that even their Slavic heritage and Eastern geography couldn’t save them from the discerning eye of the new judging panels. Latvia, which had decidedly the worst entry in the whole competition, somehow managed to get 7 points.

So it would appear the new voting system worked. Norway should certainly put on a good show next year. Hell, maybe I’ll even see if I can get tickets. I’ve still never been to Norway. As for how the show was for the UK without broadcasting legend Terry Wogan, I couldn’t tell you. I was watching the show at a party and couldn’t hear any of Graham Norton’s narration, anyone catch it?

As regards the fears of violence on the Moscow streets over a gay rights protest, it appears nothing got out of hand, though the police were predictably heavy-handed. It appears they also made arrests of the Orthodox and skinhead counter-demonstraters as well though.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Very interesting account of the Eurovision results. Alexander Rybak's entry, "Fairytale" seems to be having a somewhat unexpected surge in the charts around Europe, even reaching number 3 in the UK iTunes download chart. One source predicts that he could outsell the UK's winning entry from 1976 (Brotherhood of Man) who hold the record for the biggest selling Eurovision single ever (even outselling ABBA and Celine Dion). Watch this space...

I'm already planning on going to Norway next year. It would be rude not to!