Malmö Memories | Recapping Eurovision 2013

Hej hej, ladies and gents. You are reading the first installment of my annual trip back to the Eurovision that was. Was seemingly very recently, but in reality was just about a year ago, at that. Holy crap, right?

There’s less than a month to go until Copenhagen’s first semi, and we bloggers have a lot to cram in to such a short period – i.e. mass reviews and predictions – especially if we’re juggling uni assignments and a new job, as I am. But I’m going to make it all happen, because Eurovision is priority #1. Just don’t tell that to my lecturers or employers.

I’m beginning my re-coverage of last year’s contest right now with the Malmö Memories series (it’s not as catchy as Flashbaku, but what can you do?). During the next week I’ll be revealing my top 10 moments and top 10 entries, one year on, of 2013. But first, it’s recap time, in case anyone out there is having a brain snap and can’t remember what the heck went down in May. For those of you who can and just want a refresher, or even if you recall it all but are totes bored at the moment, this is also for you.  

L-R: Every ESC fan’s dream car at this time last year; even Malmö’s monuments got into the spirit of things; and the official countdown clock closes in on the contest. Danke to my online friend from Germany, Wolfgang, for taking these pics on the ground in Sweden and sending them to me!

L-R: Every ESC fan’s dream car at this time last year; even Malmö’s monuments got into the spirit of things; and the official countdown clock closes in on the contest. Danke to my online friend from Germany, Wolfgang, for taking these pics on the ground in Sweden and sending them to me!

EUROVISION 2013: THE BASICS

Edition 58th

When May 14th, 16th and 18th, 2013

Where Malmö Arena, Malmö, Sweden

Motto “We Are One”

Broadcaster Sveriges Television

Hosts Petra Mede, Eric Saade (green room)

Entries 39

Debutants 0

Returnees 1 – Armenia

Withdrawals 4 – Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal, Slovakia, Turkey

 

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Participants 16

Opened Austria – Shine by Natalia Kelly

Closed Serbia – Ljubav Je Svuda by Moje 3

Interval act “Northern Lights” dance piece

My highlights

  • Slovenia: No, Hannah didn’t qualify. And no, she didn’t hang on to her vocal as well as she could have ideally. But did she give it her all? Did she look freaking fierce? Was her staging and choreography top-notch? Um, yes, yes and YES. This was the first performance of the night that impressed me.
  •  Ukraine: Part of me wanted Zlata to be plonked on her boulder only to stack it and spew forth a stream of expletives. One person shouldn’t be allowed to be so stunning, talented AND graceful. But as it turns out, she was, and she gave a perfect performance of Gravity as always. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She’s like a female Ott Lepland, only without the risk of impregnation via a smoldering gaze.
When your heels are so high you can't walk in them, there's only one solution...

When your heels are so high you can’t walk in them, there’s only one solution…

  • Montenegro: Igranka was and still is epic in studio, but could so easily have been the car-crash live act of the year. Fortunately for Who See, not only did Macedonia take out that title, but the boys and Nina managed to pull off a great performance of the tricky dubstep number. The fact that this didn’t qualify still makes me weep.
  • Moldova: This was just…everything. And I mean that. Moldova threw a lot at Aliona – the hair, the gown/projector screen, the dancers, the hydraulic lift – but she and her powerful voice complemented all of that rather than clashed with it.
Thousands in the audience, and not one person told Aliona her dress was on fire.

Thousands in the audience, and not one person told Aliona her dress was on fire.

  • Ireland: Having avoided listening to Ryan live until Eurovision itself (for fear that a song I really liked would go straight on the ‘going nowhere’ pile) I was nervous about how he’d go in a massive arena in front of a huge live audience and an even huger TV audience. But somehow, Mr. Dolan went from amateur at best to a totally competent and on-pitch performer. Bravo.
  • Belgium: Also proving the haters wrong was Roberto Bellarosa, who, despite being dressed like Donny Montell at a funeral, turned out a slick performance of Love Kills that made me as proud as if I were his mother. Weird but true.

 

The results

  1. Denmark 167
  2. Russia 156
  3. Ukraine 140
  4. Moldova 95
  5. Belgium 75
  6. Netherlands 75
  7. Belarus 64
  8. Ireland 54
  9. Lithuania 53
  10. Estonia 52
  11. Serbia 46
  12. Montenegro 41
  13. Croatia 38
  14. Austria 27
  15. Cyprus 11
  16. Slovenia 8
  • Denmark more than improved on 2012’s narrow qualification by winning the first semi, defeating the country that did the same in Baku.
  •  Belgium may have qualified for the first time since 2010, but Roberto’s advancement also marked the first qualification for an act selected by RTBF (Belgium’s French-language broadcaster) since the semi-final system was introduced.
  • The Netherlands made it to the final for the first time since 2004.
  •  Six countries in total qualified for at least the second year running, whilst the other four appeared in the final after previous failures to do so.
  • Serbia failed to qualify for the first time, ending the night in 11th place with Montenegro right behind them.
  • Slovenia lost the first semi, but they scored themselves a better placing than 2012’s 17th.

 

 sf2

Participants 17

Opened Latvia – Here We Go by PeR

Closed Romania – It’s My Life by Cezar

Interval act Darin performing Nobody Knows/So Yours and Agnes performing One Last Time/Release Me

My highlights

  • Azerbaijan: Here is a prime example of a country that really entered the Eurovision Staging Contest, but still managed to do damn well in the song equivalent. Hold Me did grow on me a lot, and it may or may not be one of my top 10 entries of the year (drop by later this week to find out!) but it was that nifty glass box and all that accompanied it that won me over. PS – can you buy those on eBay?
  • Greece: In Baku we got cliché Greece, but thankfully Malmö gave us fun Greece. Koza Mostra were a definite personal highlight because, from the moment Agathonas plucked his first bouzouki string, they got the audience going, and you could feel the atmosphere from your couch. Bonus points for having the ultimate sing-along chorus under their kilts.
  • Israel: I won’t mention That Dress (again). Instead, I’ll take a moment to bask in the sheer power and range of Moran’s glorious vocals. Pardon my French, but she sang the shit out of Rak Bishvilo, putting more emotion into her three minutes than the average cast member of Days of Our Lives puts into their entire career. That probably explains her reaction to not qualifying, proudly sponsored by Kleenex.
Moran: projecting true emotion, or in incredible pain from all the fashion tape holding her dress in place?

Moran: projecting true emotion, or in incredible pain from all the fashion tape holding her dress in place?

  • Hungary: What a gem you are, Kedvesem. I love this song to bits. Like Montenegro, however, Hungary could have come undone in the arena setting. But the quiet beauty of it managed to come through in that less-than-intimate context. My favourite part was when the audience began to clap along, because that’s when I knew ByeAlex was connecting and had a chance of moving on.
  • Norway: Girl crush alert! Margaret took to the stage looking like a sexy White Witch of Narnia, and gave an equally magnetic rendition of IFYML. It was Margs, and not an assortment of props, that did most of the vote-capturing.

 

The results

  1. Azerbaijan 139
  2. Greece 121
  3. Norway 120
  4. Malta 118
  5. Romania 83
  6. Iceland 72
  7. Armenia 69
  8. Hungary 66
  9. Finland 64
  10. Georgia 63
  11. San Marino 47
  12. Bulgaria 45
  13. Switzerland 41
  14. Israel 40
  15. Albania 31
  16. Macedonia 28
  17. Latvia 13
  • Azerbaijan topped their semi for the first time, having come 2nd in 2009, 2010, and 2011 – the year they went on to win the whole contest.
  • There were some close calls in this semi: Greece just pushed ahead of Norway to qualify 2nd; Hungary, Finland, and Georgia were in a battle just to make it through; and Israel came very near to nabbing the highly sought-after (not) 13th place from Switzerland.
  • Hungary made it three for three qualifications since their 2011 comeback. Armenia went through for the first time since 2010 (having sat out the Baku contest) and Finland and Georgia were back on their game after DNQs in 2012.
  • San Marino scored their best result ever with Valentina 2.0, but it wasn’t quite good enough to give them their first ticket to the final. She joined Bulgaria’s Elitsa and Stoyan as previous entrants that didn’t make it.
  • Latvia lost this semi, marking their fifth consecutive failure to advance.

 

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Participants 26

Opened France – L’Enfer Et Moi by Amandine Bourgeois

Closed Ireland – Only Love Survives by Ryan Dolan

Interval act Loreen performing a medley of We Got The Power/My Heart Is Refusing Me/Euphoria; Petra Mede performing Swedish Smörgåsbord; Sarah Dawn Finer performing The Winner Takes It All

My highlights 

  • Belgium: Yet again, Le Bellarosa floated my boat, mostly because seeing him in the final meant Belgium was in the final – and that was a shock. He did his country proud, and he must have known it too because OMG THAT ADORABLE LITTLE JUMP FOR JOY AT THE END! I don’t even ‘aww’ at babies, but THAT was heart-melting stuff.
  • Germany: Glorious and all that surrounded it – Natalie’s dress, the props, the timing of the wind machine – lacked the impact we saw at the German final last year. However, that song was made for the stage (and the club) and as it was one of my favourites at the time, I still think it worked in a totally non-biased way.
  • Sweden: Home (country) boy Robin also did his country proud in what I thought was an architectural award-winning jacket. I never get tired of the special reception host entries get from the audience.
Robin clearly forgot to apply deodorant on this occasion.

Robin clearly forgot to apply deodorant on this occasion.

  • Hungary: ByeAlex and his two musketeers seemed to have gained confidence from their qualification, and that showed through in a performance that was just as quietly wonderful, but more polished than it had been in the semi.

 

The results

  1. Denmark 281
  2. Azerbaijan 234
  3. Ukraine 214
  4. Norway 191
  5. Russia 174
  6. Greece 152
  7. Italy 126
  8. Malta 120
  9. Netherlands 114
  10. Hungary 84
  11. Moldova 71
  12. Belgium 71
  13. Romania 65
  14. Sweden 62
  15. Georgia 50
  16. Belarus 48
  17. Iceland 47
  18. Armenia 41
  19. United Kingdom 23
  20. Estonia 19
  21. Germany 18
  22. Lithuania 17
  23. France 14
  24. Finland 13
  25. Spain 8
  26. Ireland 5
  • Denmark won the contest with a decent score, but definitely not by a landslide. Emmelie was helped along by 8 sets of douze points, none of which came from Denmark’s neighbours. Finland and Sweden elected to give theirs to Norway, whilst Norway sent theirs to hosts Sweden.
Emmelie learnt from Loreen that choking on confetti is a bad idea.

Emmelie learnt from Loreen that choking on confetti is a bad idea.

  • In 2012, Loreen won Eurovision with 18 sets of douze, her nearest rivals in that department being Albania, Azerbaijan and Serbia, all on 4 sets. Emmelie scored a meager 8 sets in comparison, two less than Azerbaijan. Ukraine scored 5, and Italy and Norway 3 apiece.
  • Let’s talk language: the 2013 top 10 featured three songs not performed entirely in English, with just two being completely native. Greece was the highest finisher of the three, in 6th place. In 2012, twice as many songs in the top 10 were, at least in large part, in a language other than English.
  • The Netherlands’ top 10 finish was their first since 1999.
  • Moldova once again proved their prowess at not quite making it when they ended 11th for the second year running – after coming 12th in 2011.
  • Countries making the biggest drops from good results to bad included Estonia, who went from 6th in 2012 to 20th, and Spain, who followed up Pastora Soler’s 10th place with 25th.
  • On the upside, Hungary went from 24th to 10th, Malta 21st to 8th, and most impressive of all, Norway from last place to the top 5.
  • Last-placed Ireland received points from three countries – the UK (1), Sweden (2) and Cyprus (2). Spain, in 25th place, received points fro, just two countries – Italy (2) and Albania (6).

 

 

Somebody stop me! I could probably pick out “fun” stat facts until the dawn of Eurovision 2099 (which, btw, will be held in San Marino for the fifth year in a row and be hosted by a cyborg in the likeness of Valentina Monetta). I think I’ve recapped Malmö enough for now. Or ever. So I’ll finish off by saying tack for reading, and by asking you…

 

…what were your highlights (or lowlights) of Eurovision 2013? Was there one performance that blew you away, or a result that shocked you to your very core (how dramatic!)? Let me know below.

 

NEXT TIME: Speaking of highlights, I’ll be expanding on that by counting down my top 10 Malmö moments. That’s everything from money notes to point revelations, interval acts, final poses and…other stuff. I don’t want to give it all away now, do I?

 

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 25, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on April 13, 2014, in Eurovision 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. It’s really unbelievable that your little countdown calendar says that there’s only 23 days to go. 😀 Just a quick list of 2013 highlights would be:
    – Belgium’s semi-final performance and qualification.
    – The Northern Lights dance performance.
    – The flag parade in the grand final.
    – Sweden’s, Belgium’s, and Italy’s performances in the grand final.
    – Sarah Dawn Finer’s version of “The Winner Takes it All.”

    I hope that 2014 will provide a longer list of highlights. 😉

    P.S. Sorry to ask again, but could you please vote and share? 🙂 http://hopefullydaedal.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/the-winner-is-heat-3/

    Like

    • Man, you are quick!! I was still editing this when you swooped in. Hashtag impressed.

      I would agree with your highlights, except probably the Northern Lights, because interpretive dance isn’t my favourite kind. Our beloved Sarah Dawn was spectacular. She can sing, she can be Lynda Woodruff…if it wasn’t for Petra being pretty awesome as hostess I’d still be weeping over what could’ve been.

      Bring on the endless list of epic moments from Copenhagen! One of which had better be the sudden transformation of the Hallerne into somewhere that doesn’t look like it’s about to collapse.

      Don’t be sorry!! Voting and sharing will be completed ASAP 🙂 I have to admit, I’m hanging out to vote for Hela Natten later on.

      Like

      • Just call me a peregrine falcon. 😛
        For me, I loved Northern Lights because of how perfectly the music and choreography worked in sync.
        LOL, it looks like there’s going to still be work needing to be done on that front.
        Tusind tak! Be ready to wait a long time, as Josef only appears in Heat 8. 😉

        Like

  2. Excellent recap, and I’m glad you’re so positive about Love Kills 🙂

    You probably know this story, but just in case: during the Jury Final for Semi 1, there was a technical glitch during Roberto’s first performance (which was a bit meh) & the juries never saw him sing. So they had to drag the poor guy out after everyone had finished & make him perform his song *again*. You could see he was angry about it… and he gave a blistering 2nd performance. The crowd did all they could to cheer him on so the jury would hear. After going through all that hassle, it’s no wonder he gave that jump for joy after performing in the Final 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks for your use of the word ‘excellent’. Always appreciated!

      I did hear that story, and I felt so bad for him – he seemed unsure of everything as it was, and that incident could’ve totally messed with his confidence. I loved his reaction to qualifying. With some acts they respond like “Ohh…we made it. That’s good. Yeah!”. But you could tell Roberto was happy in a ASDFGHJKL I CAN’T EVEN kind of way. And then the jump just capped it all off come the final.

      Like

  3. What a great recap of Malmö 2013!

    But more importantly thank you soooo much for using my photos of Malmö as a part of your latest blog and having me inside of it was a very big surprise yesterday ;). When I saw them on your blog on that lazy Sunday afternoon, all my memories of last year’s song contest came back to my mind. So I was pleasantly delighted and you made my (Sun)day ;-)!

    But now: my highlights and lowlights of Malmö 2013:

    1. Semi final:

    Highlights:

    – Zlata had an awesome performance, the best on that night, IMO!
    – Roberto qualifying in his First Communion suit!
    – Anouk qualifying for the Netherlands after 10 years of failing!
    – Ryan Dolan qualifying for Ireland with one of the best songs in the contest!

    Lowlights:

    – Dina having an old-fashioned “Dion-esque” performance for Russia straight from the IKEA lamp department in Malmö
    – Belarus and Estonia qualifying, and Serbia and Slovenia not qualifying; that was a little shock!
    – Montenegro with the worst performance of them all!
    – The Danish commentator was sooo boring!
    – The Interval dance act wasn’t my thing either!

    2. Semi final:

    Highlights:

    – Mags from Norway was THE highlight of the 2nd semi!
    – Iceland qualifying with a beautiful song.
    – Valentina had a really good performance for San Marino!
    – The voice of Moran Mazor was brilliant! OK, THAT dress and THOSE glasses ruined her performance! Why didn’t anybody tell her that this “Nana Mouskouri” look was rather dated and inappropriate???
    – And of course: Darin and Agnes were awesome!

    Lowlights:

    – Romania wasn’t my song; I hardly could take that performance seriously, but as a fun entry it wasn’t funny enough ;-)!
    – Armenia was my toilet break! Qualification was a big surprise, IMO!
    – Romania and Armenia qualifying instead od San Marino and Israel, who did not, was a total shock of the night!
    – Latvia was just boring to me and deserved that last place!

    The Grand Final (which to me was the Jury Final):

    Highlights:

    – the introductary film with that little caterpillar developing to a beautiful butterfly and showing us Malmö was so cute and such a good idea to start the show with!
    – Zlata again blew me away with her performance and her perfect vocals!
    – Italy, Denmark and Norway with very good vocal performances!
    – Azerbaijan surprised with a stunning stage show that distracted us from this average song!
    – And of course: Linda Woodruff showing us Sweden and spoiling the milk / Sarah Dawn Finer performing “The winner takes it all” in her own version!

    Lowlights:

    – Ryan from Ireland ending up last was the shock of the night and totally undeserved! I did not see that comming!
    – The performance of France with Armandine looking like the angry “Gollum” was a total mess!
    – And sorry to say that, but Spain was much too boring and the female singer looked like “Bibo” from “Sesame Street” in that yellow dress, or was it a Canary bird, I don’t remember ;-)!
    – Lena not getting the German points right!!! That was embarassing!

    That completes my high- and lowlights of Malmö 2013! And it was, as always, a great pleasure to read your memories of last year’s Eurovision!

    Read you soon and until next time!

    Like

    • Hey Wolfgang!! Just to let you know, I will have a lengthy email heading your way in the very near future. I didn’t forget to reply, I swear.

      Thanks again for sharing your photos with me 🙂 I’m sorry they didn’t upload better (I’m not sure what went wrong) but I’m glad you liked the effect of the little banner. I loved seeing them the first time, and your postcard from Malmoe made my day!

      I love your description of Russia’s performance…that pretty much sums it up. I thought the ‘tossing the lights into the audience” bit was so cheesy as well. I suppose it did suit the song in that sense.

      Moran’s voice is just amazing! Almost amazing enough that I forgot about THE DRESS at the time. Almost…

      Armenia qualifying definitely surprised me too. I still don’t get how that happened. If they DON’T qualify this year, that will be the shock IMO!

      I loved that caterpillar film so much. I think we all knew where it was going (caterpillar—> We Are One butterfly) but it was still so cute.

      I wonder how Amandine would react to being called an angry Gollum?!? Although I kind of see what you mean…I actually really liked her performance though. She really attacked it.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your highs and lows with me 😀

      Like

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