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RESULTS REVIEW | Facts and figures from the perplexing point-y end of Portugal’s first ESC

Well, Eurovision 2018 is over (NOOOOOOOO!!!) and we have a winner (obviously…what an anticlimax it would be if we didn’t). In case you somehow missed the entire voting sequence and haven’t been online since Italy’s final note, that winner was Israel. Netta’s Toy did what the odds had suggested she would do up until Cyprus’ Fuego overtook it last week – but she clucked her way into first place anyway, and you can’t say we don’t have the most original and unique Eurovision winner in a long while on our hands.

I’ll talk more about what I think of Israel’s win, my favourite performances and much more (and I’ll be holding the annual EBJ Awards for Eurovision Excellence) later on. The first order of business though, now that the show is done and dusted, is to check out the results. I’ve taken a look at the overall and split results from both semi finals and the grand final and pulled out some of the most interesting *she hopes* facts and figures, successes and fails and other observations for your reading pleasure *she hopes some more*.

Let me know what caught your eye, shocked you and made you cry tears of joy (or sadness…Eurovision is an emotional time) where the 2018 scoreboard is concerned in the comments!

 

 

SEMI FINAL 1  

Image credit: escxtra.com (because I couldn’t be bothered making my own when this brilliant one was already in existence).

 

THE OVERALL RESULTS

Israel won a semi final for the first time with Netta. Also qualifying more successfully than ever before were Cyprus (previous best 5th) and the Czech Republic (previous best 9th).

That second-ever qualification for the Czech Republic’s came far more comfortably than their first. In 2016, they slipped through in 9th, but Mikolas managed to fall only behind the two big bookies’ favourites, Israel and Cyprus – even without doing a backflip.

Ireland’s 6th place in the semi equals their highest qualification, achieved by Jedward 2.0 in 2012.

It was Finland who just snuck in to the top 10, out-scoring Azerbaijan by 14 points. A qualification is a qualification (and you deserved it, Saara!) but 10th is the lowest position Finland has qualified in.

In terms of my predictions (as seen on Instagram), I correctly predicted that the Czech Republic would qualify 3rd, Estonia 5th and Bulgaria 7th. Happy accidents happen, guys!

 

THE SPLIT RESULTS

Like in 2016 but unlike 2017, the televoters and jurors did NOT rank the same country first. Portugal won both votes last year, but Cyprus steamrolled the televote this year, finishing only 6th with the juries. Israel, on the other hand, won the jury vote but finished 4th with televoters – below Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Estonia (all of whom Netta obviously beat in the final).

The biggest differences between the televote and jury vote in the first semi concerned Finland (7th T/15th J), Greece (10th T/16th J) and Belgium (16th T/9th J).

Greece would have qualified under a 100% televote; Belgium and Switzerland deserved to be in the final according to the juries.

The only countries to be ranked in the same positions by both voting groups were Azerbaijan, Armenia, Macedonia and Iceland in 12th, 14th, 18th and 19th respectively. No agreeing to disagree there!

 

 

SEMI FINAL 2

Image credit: escxtra.com (again…I hope they don’t mind/notice).

 

THE OVERALL RESULTS

Alexander Rybak may not have won Eurovision again, but he is now the first person to win a semi final twice. That’s how you kick some butt! Maybe he’ll come back in another nine years and win a third SF?

The countries that qualified better than ever before this time were…well, none of them. All of this semi’s qualifiers have made it through in a higher position in the past (apart from Norway, of course).

Sweden has now qualified in the top three songs of the last six semis they’ve participated in. Of those six, five finishes – including Benjamin’s – were in the top two.

Denmark sailed into the final (pun intended) in the top five for the first time since 2013. There’s magic in them there beards, I tell ya!

As it turns out, it was Hungary who was lucky to make the final from SF2, beating out Romania by just 4 points.

I (miraculously) predicted that Norway would win this semi, Sweden would come 2nd and Moldova would come 3rd. I also thought Ukraine would finish 4th, which they did in the televote. Does that count? Am I psychic yet?

 

THE SPLIT RESULTS

Again, two different countries took the fancy of the televoters and juries – in this case, Denmark won the televote (!) and Sweden won the jury vote. Can you score points like a Scandinvian, ALL NIGHT LONG?!?!? Denmark ranked only 12th with the juries though, while Sweden dropped to 6th with televoters (not my fault – Benjamin got more than half of my 20 votes).

The most drastic differences between the televote and jury vote on Thursday night were with Denmark (as I just mentioned, 1st T/12th J), Hungary (5th T/13th J), the Netherlands (12th T/4th J), Latvia (15th T/6th J) and Malta (18th T/5th J).

Poland would have qualified under a 100% televote; Malta, Latvia and Romania, meanwhile, would have made it to Saturday if the juries had all the power.

Both parties were on the same wavelength with Slovenia, Montenegro and San Marino, whom they ranked 9th, 14th and 16th respectively.

 

 

THE FINAL   

Image credit: escxtra.com (ICYMI).

 

THE OVERALL RESULTS

Winner Israel netted 529 points in total, with 42 countries able to give them points – a little less than Ukraine’s 534 (with 41 countries available) from 2016, and a LOT less than Portugal’s 758 (with 41 countries available also). 2018’s competition was clearly more open than the two that preceded it.

Toy is Israel’s 4th winning song and first since 1998. They also won in 1978, so I guess we know who’ll be crowned champion in 2038.

Cyprus’ strut straight into 2nd place makes for their best result, having competed (mostly on, not so much off) since 1981 and only reached the heights of 5th in the BE era (Before Eleni). I have to say it: YEAH YEAH FIRE!

Four years after their epic win with Conchita Wurst, Austria pulled a bit of a (tall) dark (and handsome) horse move by finishing in 3rd. This marks the first bronze medal ranking for Austria in their ESC history. Hail Cesár indeed.

Germany surprised many of us (i.e. me) with a stunning 4th-place finish. This comes after an über-awful run of results that left them languishing in 21st, 18th, 27th, 26th and 25th from 2013-2017. Could they be the new Belgium?

Italy’s (again, surprising) top five finish adds a 6th top 10 finish to the collection they’ve amassed since their 2011 comeback. Power to the message song!

As expected – once Mikolas Josef got out of hospital – the Czech Republic outdid any contest outcome they’ve had before by a million miles. Qualifying once in 2016 and finishing last in the final was their personal best until Saturday night. A substantial televote allowed them to leapfrog into 6th place, no lie (HA HA HA), and I feel strangely like a proud mother despite having no Czech ancestry whatsoever.

Sweden found themselves in the top 10 for the fifth year running, though not in their usual style (I’ll get back to that). Estonia, meanwhile, made it after DNQs in 2016 and 2017. Moldova dropped to 10th from last year’s 3rd, but since that’s two top 10 results on the trot (Hey Mamma being their first song to hit those heights since 2007), I don’t think DoReDos will be unhappy with that.

Albania’s commendable 11th place came mostly via the jurors who clearly rewarded Eugent’s INCREDIBLE vocals. I’m fine with that – the man is a powerhouse, and I’m proud of Albania for qualifying and then grabbing a really decent spot after all was said and done.

Alexander Rybak must have come back to the ESC with the intention of winning again, but that was always going to be the toughest of tasks. What ultimately happened was that Norway became the first country to win a semi final, then finish outside of the top 10 in the final. Hey, at least it’s another milestone for Rybak…just not the kind he was hoping for.

I can’t not be a little devastated for Australia and my girl Jess Mauboy, after we ended the evening with our worst result ever. But we still qualified comfortably, and Jess did an amazing job in the final (that I think deserved a better deal, but I’m biased). She left nothing in the tank, and the crowd LOVED it.

We’re all aware of the Eurovision Curse of Number Two, but Saara Aalto’s personal curse of a similar nature struck again in Lisbon – only this time, she wasn’t just behind the winner, but just ahead of last-placed Portugal. Ouch. I’d predicted Finland to wind up mid-table, so that’s a bit of a shocker. But maybe they threw a bit too much at the staging and people didn’t know where to look (a problem shared with Malta).

 

THE SPLIT RESULTS  

We had a clear televoting winner and a nose-ahead jury winner this year. Eventual all-around champ Israel snatched the public vote preference from Cyprus by a 64-point margin, finishing third with the juries; and Austria (the most pleasant surprise of the night) pipped Sweden by 18 points with the professionals…despite ending up with the 13th-highest televote.

Sadly for our hosts Portugal, the one thing televoters and jurors agreed on during the final was that O Jardim should be ranked last. I’m not quite sure how the heck that happened – I thought Claúdia was mesmerising, and not just because her hair had reached new and extreme levels of pinkness. Whatever went wrong, Portugal can now join the unfortunate club of countries who have dropped as far down the scoreboard as possible from one contest to the next (but if it helps, at least they weren’t slapped with a big fat zero á la Austria 2015).

Inconsistencies between the televote and jury vote were all over the place in the final, and in a big way. The most notable differences, from least OMG to most OMG were re: Austria (13th T/1st J), Australia (26th T/12th J), Italy (3rd T/17th J), Denmark (5th T, 20th J), Ukraine (7th T/26th J), and Sweden (23rd T/2nd J). Australia’s televote bomb and Sweden’s whopping difference of 21 places between televote ranking and jury ranking were the revelations that had my jaw on the floor. I have no explanation for those, and I am NOT AMUSED.

 

 

Which scores and split results caught you by surprise, and which ones were exactly what you were expecting? Let me know below!

 

 

 

 

Jaz on film, JESC split results and a Viennese top 5 – Welcome to 2015!

Yes, ladies and gents…we are now in the year after 2014 and before 2016, and I am scared, confused and excited, in that order. I didn’t get the chance to say auf wiedersehen to 2014 here on EBJ because I’m a disorganised slowpoke; nor did I get to say a big HAPPY NEW YEAR to those of you who inexplicably still read my ramblings even though they’re usually as up-to-date with current ESC-vents as Daria Kinzer was up-to-date with her fashion choices in Düsseldorf. I.e. not very. So…yeah, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope you had a fabulous NYE which involved getting your non-fan friends drunk enough so that they actually confessed to enjoying the Qele Qele remix you were playing on repeat. Unless you’re under the legal drinking age in your state/territory in which case I’m sure it was fruit punch all the way, woohoo.

Clearly I’ve been indulging in some “fruit punch” this evening, but let’s push that to one side and crack on with today’s posting. I’m starting 2015 with a wild and untamed ramble, covering multiple Eurovision and Junior Eurovision bases and mostly filled with info that you already know – just to prove that I’m staying the same old Jaz this year (only with a long-promised new-look blog on the horizon). Here’s a summary so you can choose to abandon ship now, or continue on into the murky yet glittery depths…

  • EBJ takes Youtube: Talking all things ESC with Terminal Three!
  • Divide and (not quite) conquer: The JESC split results, revealed
  • What’s good enough for Russia is good enough for San Marino…right?
  • Ladies’ night: The awesome foursome who’ll host contest no. 60
  • The first five Vienna-bound entries: first impressions and rankings!

If you’re still interested? Then let’s get going!

 

EBJ takes Youtube: Talking all things ESC with Terminal Three!

Once upon a time, way back in November – Junior Eurovision weekend, to be specific – I had the pleasure of attending a Eurovision gathering of the club variety (a.k.a. a Euroclub…duh) right here in Perth, highlights of which included a) dancing on a stage with a mass of flag-draped revelers, belting out Fairytale word-for-word, and b) actually being encouraged to judge the fashion choices of others as a decision-maker in a Best Dressed comp.

I must admit though, my absolute highlight of the evening was meeting the boys from Terminal Three – Fraser, Matt and Jason – who have turned their respective ESC obsessions into a schlager-ific Youtube channel. Hashtag Aussie Eurofans are the best Eurofans (in our own minds). In amongst the countdowns, news flashes and other awesomeness of the T3 channel are interviews aplenty, and recently I was lucky enough to be the subject of one!

As much as it pains me to say this, as I am the Queen of Awkward when a camera’s on me (and at most other times) you can watch me chat one-on-one with Fraser below re: the origins of this li’l ole blog, Melodifestivalen, and my undying love for Ott Lepland. Please keep in mind that I’m much funnier, personable and attractive in real life.

I’d like to thank Terminal Three for wanting to interview me in the first place, then taking the time to do it. You can check out everything they have to offer on Youtube, and/or connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t deprive yourself of such Eurovisiony goodness!

 

Divide and (not quite) conquer: The JESC split results, revealed

It took some time, but the EBU did finally release the split scores of November’s Junior Eurovision this week. That’s a belated Xmas gift to all of us who now get to spend weeks dissecting the differences, and discussing how irritating it must be to Armenia to find that they were ranked second with both the juries and televoters, but ended up in third place (that’s just how the system works at this point in time, Betty. Besides, bronze ain’t a substance to be sneezed at). Here’s my dinky little version of the results, with a much more professional one feat. all the figures available here.

js14

Firstly, congratulations to both Bulgaria and Italy for winning their respective halves of the vote. I’d consider that almost as good as a legit victory for Bulgaria, whose previous JESC participations have ended very differently. As for Italy, it’s just further proof that they’ll always have power over the juries because they are classy as f%#k. Unlike myself.

Vincenzo didn’t manage to wow the folks at home in the same way he wowed the industry pros. I blame the fact that I wasn’t on European soil and was therefore unable to vote for him until my fingers fell off. I can understand viewers being spellbound by Bulgaria instead, considering a) how magnificent Planet of the Children is and b) how ridiculously adorable Krisia is. Oh, and c) how talented Hasan and Ibrahim are at tickling the ivories.

The jury was more impressed by Federica’s age-defying operatic pipes, ranking her third versus the televoters’ seventh. They also appreciated Sophia Patsalides’ flawless performance (and Cons + chiffon combo) considerably more than the televoters, which is surprising. As is Sweden’s situation – 15th with the fans and 11th with the juries, in spite of the staging and costuming being stronger than Julia’s vocals. I can only assume there were some jury members just as partial to the glittery fringe-fest as myself.

Sympho-Nick may be scratching their heads right now as they attempt to comprehend their 3rd/12th results. Maybe all the jury members went on a group trip to see Frozen at the movies, hated it, and Ukraine’s performance brought back bad memories? Or were the fans won over by the girls’ vocal transformation since the Ukrainian final?

Still, only four countries were seen as equals by jury members and televoters alike: Armenia (2nd), Belarus (8th), Georgia (10th) and Croatia (16th). I guess poor Josie made a breathlessly off-key impression on everyone, whilst nobody could resist Betty’s sunny charms and bendy backup dancers. Fair call.

What do you think of the results? Are you flabbergasted that Krisia & Co topped the televote or would you have seen that coming even with Donny Montell’s crystal blindfold glued to your face? What is up with that disparity between how the televoters and juries saw Ukraine? And how much would you bet on my asking inane questions like these at the end of every section of every post I put up in 2015? Let me know below.

 

What’s good enough for Russia is good enough for San Marino…right?

WTF am I talking about, I hear you ask? Sending a couple of ex-JESC contestants to carry the hopes of a nation on their teenaged shoulders, that’s what. While Russia went with a pair of twins who managed to win Junior Eurovision back in the day, San Marino have selected two much less successful teens from different wombs to represent them, neither of whom is Valentina Monetta (obviously she’s not a teen, but it’s so shocking to not have her flying the Sammarinese flag I thought I’d clarify).

croppedAnitaMichele1

Ages combined, they’ll still be younger than most of their competitors in Austria.

Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini are the sixteen-year-olds in question, as you’ll no doubt know since they were internally selected around the time man discovered fire (as always, I’m on to breaking news with all the speed of a comatose sloth). Both he and she failed somewhat unfairly in JESC in my opinion – Michele finishing 10th out of twelve last year in Kyiv, and Anita and her fellow Peppermints coming second last in Malta. Some might say that doesn’t bode well for the duo, but I disagree. Here’s why:

  • JESC is separate enough from ESC that it shouldn’t affect them negatively, IF they have a good entry that’s grown-up enough for the adult contest. Did the Tolmachevy sisters make the top 10 in Copenhagen because they’d won JESC six years earlier? Nope.
  • We have high-definition proof that both Michele and Anita have stage presence, live vocal abilities and good camera engagement. Plus, they both look super pretty on TV.
  • They’ve experienced the closest thing to a Eurovision rehearsal that isn’t a Eurovision rehearsal by competing in Junior, so they won’t be clueless kids on an adult stage.
  • Age has no bearing on Eurovision success. People went nuts for the Russian grannies, but Engelbert Humperdinck floundered (granted, he didn’t provide everyone with woodfired treats baked on-stage, but the point’s still valid). Meanwhile, Anjeza Shahini, Olta Boka, Safura, Maja Keuc and Roberto Bellarosa have all held their own in adult Eurovision in recent times as teenagers. And there was that nineteen-year-old named Lena who did fairly well for herself in 2010.

I’m not sure why I’m leaping to *insert genius couple name for Anita and Michele here* defence when they haven’t even been subjected to a barrage of hate from the rather opinionated Eurofans…yet. But if you were skeptical when you heard the announcement, why not wait until their entry is debuted and then have a good ol’ bitchfest? Or not. You never know, you might like it. At the very least, it can’t be more immature than The Social Network Song.

 

Ladies’ night: The awesome foursome who’ll host contest no. 60

I use the word ‘awesome’ purely because it rhymes with ‘foursome’, as we won’t know how yay or nay these women are when it comes to hosting duties until the contest comes around. Mirjam Wiechselbraun, Alice Tumler and Arabella Kiesbauer (say that three times fast) are ORF’s choice to head up the proceedings of the 60th contest, with reigning champ and generally exquisite creature Conchita Wurst taking on the role of Green Room host.

ORF_ESC_Mod_small2

This is as close as we’ll ever get to the Spice Girls hosting Eurovision.

Now, I’m all about girl power, but as someone who believes no more than two people should host Eurovision at any given time, I’ve got to label this as excessive. How many people do you need to engage in cheesy scripted banter sporadically over seven hours, really? Sheesh. I am looking forward to seeing Conchita in action though, as I think she’ll make the often awkward interviews with contestants seem effortless – and no doubt she’ll be wearing something amazing when doing so.

 

The first five Vienna-bound entries: first impressions and rankings!

We’ve reached out first milestone in terms of ranking the Class of Vienna, with five entries now decided (more or less). Until we meet again at ten, here’s how I’d stack them up.

  1. Malta – it’s a mess, but a hot one. MESC wasn’t that high-quality this season, and even with the clear amount of work the needs to be done on Warrior, it did stand out, and I can’t help liking it. I hope they don’t swap it for something else. PS – Having a rule that stipulates the winning song can be changed is the stupidest thing ever. Why even hold a national final if that’s the case?
  2. Albania – First listen = forgettable Disney ballad. Second listen = girl crush on Elhaida and sudden appreciation for Diell, which has that Albanian something-something to it that intrigues me. Please don’t switch to English.
  3. Netherlands – It’s good. It’s catchy. But it’s repetitive and I don’t think it’ll sound fresh come May.
  4. Belarus – Not Uzari’s best effort, but I love him and I love Maimuna, so having them both on the ESC stage will be phenom. Assuming no rigging scandals emerge that get them disqualified.
  5. Macedonia – I don’t hate it. It’s going to be a slow-burn grower for me, I reckon.

Feel free to share your Viennese top 5 below. Just keep the swearing to a minimum, won’t you?

 

I’m going to wrap things up now, before you lose the will to live. The thought of the month ahead might pep you up, as there’s more national final action than there might seem at first glance. We’ve got prelims and semis from Lithuania, Cyprus, Hungary and Iceland throughout January, as well as the Georgian final on Valentine’s Day and the Swiss final on the 31st. That’s just the start of the wonderful craziness to come as we barrel down the road towards Eurovision no. 60. I’ll be reviewing and predicting as many NFs as I can, in amongst the top 10s, playlists, country profiles and other random stuff that will make 2015 basically the same as any other year as far as this blog’s concerned. I hope you’ll join me on the ride!

Until next time.

EBJ Signature

 

Warm off the press: a look at the 2012 split results

Bonjour! I hope you remember me after the week or so I didn’t manage to post (I had to actually prioritise study over Eurovision for the first time, and it was very traumatic). Now I am free as a bird – a bird with a bachelor degree, that is. Insert Applause Here. Anyway, that means it’s back to business, and the business of the week was the release of the 2012 split results, at long last. As usual, the splits showed some very interesting inconsistencies, as well as some very boring, very expected placements. For those of you who haven’t checked them out, and for those of you who have but want to/are being forced to again, here are the results for the semis and the final, accompanied by a little analysis. Enjoy (even if you’re one of the people being forced to read this. In that case I COMMAND you to enjoy).

 

Semi final 1

Rank Jury vote Televote
1 Albania Russia
2 Moldova Romania
3 Greece Albania
4 Cyprus Ireland
5 Romania Greece
6 Denmark Cyprus
7 Hungary Moldova
8 Russia Iceland
9 Israel Denmark
10 Ireland Switzerland
11 Iceland Hungary
12 Finland Finland
13 Switzerland San Marino
14 San Marino Montenegro
15 Belgium Latvia
16 Montenegro Israel
17 Austria Austria
18 Latvia Belgium
  • After the first semi it was revealed that one country only made the final thanks to the juries, and another only because of the televoters. We all thought those two countries were Albania and Russia, when in fact Rona and the grannies topped the jury and televoter lists respectively, and ranked decently vice versa. It seems to me that it was Hungary and Iceland who were lucky to make it. If things had been a little bit different, Israel and Switzerland may have advanced instead.
  • Only two countries were ranked on the same level – Finland and Austria. Amazingly, neither party disliked San Marino enough to place them last. I guess the juries found some musical integrity in The Social Network Song (presumably outside of ‘so you wanna make love with me?’ Actually, outside of all the lyrics).
  • I was surprised to see Moldova and Greece ranked higher by the juries than the televoters. I guess the days of over-the-hill, fuddy duddy jurors are gone. Either that, or they’re all sleazy old men who really wanted Eleftheria’s aphrodisiac.
  • If the televotes here prove anything, it’s that the public aren’t that interested in sexy sex. Neither Iris’ see-through dress (unintentional, I’m sure) or Trackshittaz’ pole dancers made them want to pick up their phones. Then again, they did vote the grannies first, and they are hot stuff.

 

Semi final 2

Rank Jury vote Televote
1 Sweden Sweden
2 Serbia Serbia
3 Ukraine Lithuania
4 Estonia Turkey
5 Malta Estonia
6 Bosnia & Herzegovina Norway
7 Croatia Bosnia & Herzegovina
8 Georgia Macedonia
9 Macedonia Bulgaria
10 Lithuania Netherlands
11 Belarus Malta
12 Portugal Belarus
13 Turkey Portugal
14 Slovenia Croatia
15 Slovakia Slovakia
16 Netherlands Slovenia
17 Bulgaria Ukraine
18 Norway Georgia
  • There were a few countries that the Js and Ts completely disagreed on, which allowed a few low-rankers to squeeze in to the final. The juries favoured Croatia (yay!) and Georgia (hmm…) over eventual qualifiers Turkey and Norway, which I suppose is understandable – Love Me Back and Stay were very much fan-geared entries. It was thanks to the viewers at home that Norway advanced.  
  • As for those peeps at home, well, they would have preferred to see Bulgaria and the Netherlands in the final over Malta, and, unbelievably, Ukraine. That has to be a teensy victory for two countries who kind of suck at Eurovision (don’t be offended. The same could’ve been said about Germany a few years ago).
  • Speaking of Ukraine, does anyone else find it strange that Be My Guest rated so low with the televoters and so highly with the juries? You’d think it would have been the other way round. I know what I said earlier about the juries being hip and cool these days (unlike myself, since I just used the term ‘hip and cool’) but this still strikes me as odd.
  • Congratulations to Sweden, who won the jury vote, and Sweden, who won the televote. I did NOT see that coming.

 

The final

Rank Jury vote Televote
1 Sweden Sweden
2 Serbia Russia
3 Albania Serbia
4 Italy Turkey
5 Spain Azerbaijan
6 Estonia Germany
7 Ukraine Romania
8 Azerbaijan Albania
9 Moldova Greece
10 Germany Ireland
11 Russia Macedonia
12 Cyprus Estonia
13 France Moldova
14 Lithuania Lithuania
15 Bosnia & Herzegovina Cyprus
16 Malta Bosnia & Herzegovina
17 Macedonia Italy
18 Greece Spain
19 Iceland Iceland
20 Romania Ukraine
21 Denmark United Kingdom
22 Turkey Hungary
23 Hungary Denmark
24 Norway Norway
25 Ireland Malta
26 United Kingdom France
  • The differences between the jury top 10 and the televote top 10 are much more drastic here. The people at home got their gold, silver and bronze preferences just as they wanted, but it was the juries who got their way for the most part. 8 of their top picks made the final top 10.
  • If you were in any doubt over Sweden’s victory, here is proof that it was deserved. Unlike in 2011, when Italy topped the jury vote, the decision was unanimous in 2012. Apparently Loreen choking on her fake snow during the jury final didn’t affect the marks they gave her. For all we know, it made her voice huskier and they liked it.
  • It was well and truly a public success for Turkey. Can may have come out with 7th place and been ranked 4th with the viewers, but the juries were not impressed by his stripes or sailboats. Or his song, come to think of it.
  • Again, Ukraine’s placement confuses me, as does the UK’s. We could put Engelbert’s higher placing with the public down to his widespread fanbase, but I still don’t get why he was placed last with the juries.
  • Italy and Spain were saved by the juries, and in Spain’s case, I thank them for it. Muchas gracias! I can’t help but wonder if the televoters are a bit dead inside not to have been moved by Pastora Soler’s performance, but I suppose I’m biased. And very emotional during the Eurovision season.
  • Lithuania, Iceland and Norway were the only countries (besides Sweden) to be ranked equally, in 14th, 19th and 24th places. Unfortunately, due to the disparity between the lowest-placed songs, this still meant a last place for Norway.
  • Some of the major differences: Italy (J 4th/T 17th), Spain (J 5th/T 18th), Ukraine (J 7th/T 20th), France (J 13th/T 26th), Greece (J 18th/T 9th), Romania (J 20th/T 7th) and Ireland (J 25th/T 10th). Turkey made the biggest jump, as mentioned, from 22nd place to 4th.

 

The release of the splits was really the final stepping stone to the 2013 contest, which is now hovering between Malmö and Stockholm (I suspect the capital will prevail…though I did say that last year too). Developments are already underway, which is understandable given there’s less than a year to go. In the meantime, we have JESC to look forward to, so long as it isn’t cancelled due to low participation numbers – but more on that later.

Until next time…

 

Jaz x

REVEALED! Who really came last in Azerbaijan…

It’s been three weeks since Sweden won Eurovision 2012, and even though we’ve stopped using the word ‘euphoria’ to create lame puns and such, the EBU has still not released the split results, goshdarn them. There’s been a lot of individual country results trickling out on the internet, but nothing complete. Apart from annoying me (I am not a patient person) this has messed me around a bit on the blog front since I had planned a split analysis, which I should be doing now. Without anything to analyse, I’m scraping the bottom of the Baku barrel for something to write about.

Having said that, my mysterious and thrilling title (cough) does not lie – I do have a revelation to reveal. And here it is: Norway didn’t actually lose the contest this year. I don’t know if that has already occurred to you, but as president of the “Tooji is Amazeballs” fan club, the it was quick to occur to me, and I was planning on tweeting the fact to Tooji himself to make him feel better, but I figured he was probably over the whole thing by now.

Basically, we all know what happened in the final, point-wise. Namely, this:

  1. Sweden – 372
  2. Russia – 259
  3. Serbia – 214
  4. Azerbaijan – 150
  5. Albania – 146
  6. Estonia – 120
  7. Turkey – 112
  8. Germany – 110
  9. Italy – 101
  10. Spain – 97
  11. Moldova – 81
  12. Romania – 71
  13. Macedonia – 71
  14. Lithuania – 70
  15. Ukraine – 65
  16. Cyprus – 65
  17. Greece – 64
  18. Bosnia & Herzegovina – 55
  19. Ireland – 46
  20. Iceland – 46
  21. Malta – 41
  22. France – 21
  23. Denmark – 21
  24. Hungary – 19
  25. United Kingdom – 12
  26. Norway – 7

Yes, Sweden nearly beat Rybak’s record, and got the highest amount of douze points in history, blah blah blah. We all know that. But what about the semis? Unlike Norway, there were 16 countries who didn’t even make it to Saturday night, so technically they were all beaten by the Tooj. Now, for your convenience and possible interest, I have combined those 16 and ranked them by the points they accrued* in order to figure out who actually finished last – and who still has bragging rights in saying they came 30th, or whatever.

Let’s start with the 27th– 35th placed countries.

* FYI, the countries from semi 1 are in red, and those from semi 2 are in blue. Also, if there were equal scores, I have ranked them according to who received more high scores. You know, in the slightly dodgy EBU way.

 

  1. Bulgaria – 45
  2. Switzerland – 45
  3. Croatia – 42
  4. Finland – 41
  5. Portugal – 39
  6. Georgia – 36
  7. Belarus – 35
  8. Netherlands – 35
  9. Israel – 33

Bulgaria and Switzerland were the two countries that just missed out, which in way, must be more irritating for them than if they had lost.

Bulgaria not only got the same point total as Norway – failing to qualify because Love Unlimited didn’t get any lots of 8 points – but as Switzerland too. Sofi placed above Sinplus (IMO) because she got a 10 and a triple 6, whereas the Broggini brothers got a triple 8, and a 7 – but feel free to swap them around if it’ll help you sleep at night.

As you can see, there’s a block of higher-ranked songs from semi 2 here, which proves once again which semi was the strongest. Georgia’s 32nd placing is officially their worst ever, considering they’d qualified on every participation in the past. I can’t say I feel sad for them, although I do still want to strangle whoever decided to give Anri Jokhadze a rhyming dictionary for Christmas.

Belarus and the Netherlands also share a point total, but this time the division is clearer – Litesound managed to score a douze and an 8, whereas Joan was left with an 8 and a double 7. If you’d ever wondered what people prefer to look at – chainmail and leather or feathers – wonder no more.

Now we come to the countries ranked 36th– 39th:

  1. Slovenia – 31
  2. San Marino – 31
  3. Slovakia – 22
  4. Montenegro – 20

Poor Slovenia, who most of us had pegged to qualify, finished in a dismal unfortunate 36th place (I don’t want to destroy a teenage girl’s hopes and dreams any more than they’ve already been destroyed), just out-scoring San Marino with a 10 and an 8. Speaking of San Marino – well, they’re not going to be saying ‘uh-oh’ about 37th with 31 points, because it’s one of their best results EVER. That’s not as spectacular as it sounds, but it’s something Valentina Monetta will probably include in her status updates on Facebook…er, I mean, that social network, for the rest of her life.

Amazingly, Montenegro kept themselves out of the bottom three, possibly by borrowing Anri’s dictionary (choosing words with more syllables). Here are the unlucky trio who couldn’t be saved by Eurovision-themed lyrics, see-through dresses or pole dancers (apparently sex does not sell at the ESC).

  1. Latvia – 17
  2. Belgium – 16
  3. Austria – 8

So, when we’re talking about points, it was Austria’s popo-shaking duo Trackshittaz who came dead last this year. Congrats, boys!

I guess it’s apt that a song all about rear ends came bottom. We should have seen it coming – I mean, didn’t Loreen tell us she was going up-up-up-up-up-uuuuuppp? Then again, We Are the Winners didn’t turn out to be gospel back in Athens. I guess you never really know what’s going to happen in this competition. Isn’t that part of the fun?

 

NEXT TIME: If we finally get a looksee at the split results, I’ll be picking my way through them so you don’t have to. Otherwise…well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

 

The 2011 split results revealed, and ranked!

THE FINAL

 
It wasn’t until July last year that the split results were released, so to wake up this morning and see that the EBU had made them public just a fortnight after the contest was a great surprise!
 
I’m wondering if you’ll be as shocked as I was by some of the entries that both the juries and televoters decided were worthy of their highest points…here’s a brief look at the final stats as seen above.
 
  • If the outcome of Eurovision was still decided by 100% televoting (as it was up until a few years ago), this year’s top 10 would have consisted of Azerbaijan, Sweden, Greece, Ukraine, UK, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Russia, Germany, and Ireland. So not too different country-wise, but quite different position-wise!
  • And in a fantasy land (not mine) where Eurovision is decided by the pros alone, Italy would have won, followed by Azerbaijan, Denmark, Slovenia, Austria, Ireland, Ukraine, Serbia, Sweden and Germany.
  • That means the J’s and TV’s have just 50% of their top 10’s in common.
  • Azerbaijan and Sweden were very close with the fans, with just 2 point separating them.
  • The UK might take some comfort in the love they got from the televoters – all 166 points worth –  despite the fact that the juries didn’t rate them.
  • Fan favourite Denmark shockingly owe the juries their 5th place – not the televoters, who pushed them down to 18th!
  • The countries on the most equal footing are Lithuania, Iceland, Romania, Germany and Azerbaijan, who attracted a similar amount of attention from both sides.
 
 
Check out the split semi finals below (click them bigger):

SEMI FINAL 1

  • The juries got 80% of the qualifiers they wanted; the televoters got 70%.
  • You can see two very different winners from each group…both more than a bit stereotypical! The juries lavished the love on Lithuania, a grand, old-fashioned ballad belted out with gusto (and a bit of sign language, which was a nice touch, albeit stolen from Latvia’s 2005 performance) whereas the televoters couldn’t get enough of Greece’s ethnic-modern fusion (and perhaps their absurdly attractive singer).
  • Also expected is the popularity of Norway with the TV’s in comparision to its rear-end-of-the-scoreboard relegation with the J’s.
 
SEMI FINAL 2
  • Here, the juries, got 80% again, whereas the televoters got 90%. It seems the compromise is working out fair!
  • Once again, we can see two very different, but not surprising semi winners. The powerhouse vocals of Maja from Slovenia won out with the pros, whilst the Popular powerhouse performance/party anthem of Sweden got the TV’s dialling.
  • The viewers shared Anastasia Vinnikova’s love for Belarus, it seems.

 

What do you think of the split results? Were you shocked or surprised, or did you expect what you saw? Let me know down below!

And, FINALly, for the final!

At last I’ve got my act together! I know how old this news is at this point but I can’t analyse enough the split results…imagining what could have been! This is the big one, and you can see how major the differences are between how us fans and the jury members saw things.

Lena made the biggest impact of all in Oslo.

Place

Televoting

Points

Jury

Points

1  Germany 243  Germany 187
2  Turkey 177  Belgium 185
3  Denmark 174  Romania 167
4  Armenia 166  Georgia 160
5  Azerbaijan 161  Israel 134
6  Romania 155  Ukraine 129
7  Greece 152  Denmark 121
8  France 151  Turkey 119
9  Georgia 127  Azerbaijan 116
10  Serbia 110  Armenia 116
11  Russia 107  Greece 110
12  Spain 106  Albania 97
13  Ukraine 94  Portugal 69
14  Belgium 76  Bosnia and Herzegovina 65
15  Iceland 40  Russia 63
16  Bosnia and Herzegovina 35  Ireland 62
17  Albania 35  Norway 61
18  Moldova 28  Cyprus 57
19  Israel 27  Iceland 57
20  Portugal 24  Spain 43
21  Norway 18  Serbia 37
22  Belarus 18  France 34
23  Cyprus 16  Moldova 33
24  Ireland 15  Belarus 22
25  United Kingdom 7 United Kingdom 18

RED = the actual top ten

  • TELEVOTING: Gold/silver/bronze – Germany/Turkey/Denmark
  • JURY: Gold/silver/bronze – Germany/Belgium/Romania
  • Unsurprisingly, the UK languished in last place on both counts.
  • France and Serbia were thought worthy of the top ten by viewers, but not by juries, who believed that Israel’s song deserved a top 5 position.
  • Germany’s win was unanimous – despite the jury’s tendency to pick more old-fashioned ballads. It certainly is a cracker!

I’d love to know which top ten you would have preferred – the voters or the jury’s. Personally, I’d give it to the voters (just don’t tell anyone that this is mainly because Serbia would have made it). But in the end I think this was too good a year for me to have to pick a top ten! 35 or so great songs makes for difficult pickings.

I’ve just one more Oslo-oriented post to post before I can crack on with 2011, but it won’t be the last you see of one of the best (music-wise) Eurovisions ever. The Norwegians may not have created the unbeatable spectacle of Moscow (perhaps because it was unbeatable) but they sure did a commendable job. I have a feeling the long-Eurovision-suffering Germans are going to bring it next year and show Europe what they’ve been missing all this time…..

Splitting the second semi

Sorry about the wait (I’m sure you were hanging out for this next instalment!) but I’ve been busy trying to cram into my holidays all the stuff I wanted to do before they come to an end. Wishful thinking. Anyway here’s my brief analysis of the split results from the second semi final. I apologise for the horrendous table – the last one wasn’t much better. I’m not the best at the technical stuff…

Place

Televoting

Points

Jury

Points

1  Azerbaijan 126  Georgia 117
2  Turkey 119  Turkey 93
3  Romania 113  Azerbaijan 89
4  Denmark 106  Israel 88
5  Georgia 102  Armenia 84
6  Armenia 90  Ireland 84
7  Ukraine 77  Denmark 83
8  Lithuania 65  Romania 80
9  Sweden 64  Cyprus 79
10  Cyprus 53  Ukraine 78
11  Netherlands 49  Sweden 76
12  Israel 46  Croatia 54
13  Ireland 43  Lithuania 27
14  Croatia 22  Netherlands 26
15  Bulgaria 15  Bulgaria 25
16  Slovenia 11  Switzerland 14
17  Switzerland 1  Slovenia 5

RED = qualified when results were combined

  • Turkey was the second favourite for both.

    Safura unsurprisingly won the viewer vote...

  • If the televoters had prevailed in this semi, Lithuania’s sparkly hot-pants and Sweden’s Anna would have taken the places of Israel and Ireland.
  • For the juries, everything went according to plan….
  • The decision of the bottom three entries may have differed a little between the two parties position-wise – but both agreed that the same trio of nations didn’t cut it.
  • In this semi the juries would have been the ones exchanging high fives as all ten of their top picks squeezed through into the final. Us poor televoters missed out on two.
  • The top ten of the jury was definitely more ballad-oriented in this semi – whether this is because there were more ballads to choose from or not remains unknown.
  • Harel from Israel must be puzzling over the difference between the J and T reactions to his song – whilst the jury thought it good enough to make the top 5, the viewers at home dismissed it at 12th place.

...but it was Georgia's entry that was most appreciated by the jury.

I’ll see you soon for the picking of the final results bone, plus my annual write-up (an homage to the great John Kennedy O’Connor) and then we can move forward into Berlin/Cologne/ Munich/ Hanover/ etc 2011!

Split decisions produce interesting results….

 PLACE

TELEVOTING 

POINTS 

JURY 

POINTS 

 1  Greece  151  Belgium  165
 2  Iceland  149  Portugal  107
 3  Belgium  146  Greece  99
 4  Russia  92  Albania  96
 5  Serbia  92  Bosnia and Herzegovina  86
 6  Finland  69  Iceland  85
 7  Albania  68  Malta  66
 8  Belarus  63  Serbia  65
 9  Portugal  58  Estonia  64
 10  Moldova  54  Macedonia  62
 11  Bosnia and Herzegovina  42  Poland  58
 12  Malta  40  Belarus  47
 13  Poland  38  Moldova  42
 14  Slovakia  34  Russia  41
 15  Macedonia  30  Finland  37
 16  Estonia  22  Slovakia  25
 17  Latvia  12  Latvia

 15

RED = qualified when results were combined

 

As you no doubt know, the 2010 split results have now been released, and it’s safe to say that the jury has made its mark! Above you can see the split for semi final #1, and what would have happened if the qualifiers had been decided by either the televoters or the jury alone. Look a bit closer, and some of the things you will notice are that:

  • The top two were different for both.

    The top choice of televoters

  • If T had had all the power, Finland would have made it through instead of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • If J had had all the power, Malta, Estonia AND Macedonia would have been lucky. Belarus, Moldova and Russia would have missed out.
  • The top choices are starkly contrasted – the viewers went for the foot stomping, drum banging, shouting, roof-lifting spectacle song from Greece, whilst the juries preferred the simplicity of Belgium, this year’s most humble entry.
  • The top two were  entirely different nations for both.
  • The only agreement between the two was in who took last place. Latvia didn’t measure up for T or J.
  • In the end the jury got their way where favourites are concerned, with Belgium qualifying first as a result of the combined points…
  • …but the televoters ended up with the best deal – 9 of the 10 countries

    The top choice of the juries

    they preferred progressed to the final, whereas only 7 of the 10 the jury rooted for were finalists.

  • Juries proved that they aren’t only focused on the big ballads, with only three of their top 10 falling into that category.
  • Both voted for a diverse range of songs – ballads, tradititionals, rock, pop, folk and dance all triumphed.
  • The country that benefited the most from the viewers was Russia, who qualified 4th from them, but wouldn’t have made it at all (as aforementioned) as far as the jury voted.
  • The countries that benefited the most from them were the three mentioned above who similarly wouldn’t have made it if the televoters had ruled.

 

I’m always eager to see these results, and imagine what could have been – especially where the final is concerned! Stay tuned for my observations on the splits of semi #2 and the final, as well as many more exciting posts (erm…yeah).

Love Jaz.

Retrospective reviews: C to F

In beginning this second instalment I just want to apologise for the lack of character accents in names. I know (and you will see later) that without the accent, “Algo Pequen-YI-to” reads “Algo Pequen-EE-to” but my MS Word has been very uncooperative since my laptop had a virus and now refuses to perform these functions. Therefore I’m not being ignorant! Anyway, please enjoy part two.

CYPRUS – Life Looks Better In Spring – Jon Lilygreen & the Islanders

Gimmick: AWOL; Reminds me of: Three Doors Down’s Here Without You.

Pros: Guitar. Voice. Lyrics. Melody. Jon. The Islanders; Cons: I don’t think a gimmick (a classy one, of course) would have gone astray in getting them to the top 10 (where they SHOULD HAVE BEEN!), especially in the draw they got for the final.

I give the vocalists: 10; I give the song: 10; I give the staging: 7.5; Average score: 9.2

Points from me based on song: 12

Actual placing: =21st

CROATIA – Lako Je Sve – Feminnem

Gimmick: Bare feet and a big red heart; Reminds me of: Nothing, really.

Pros: Builds up to a great climax – has real light and shade. This song is one of my top five for sure – I just love everything about it, and I think it would have been ruined if they’d translated it into English. I was devastated when it missed out on a spot in the final (as you will no doubt be aware of if you read this blog =D); Cons: The vocals weren’t top-notch, except from Nika, the newbie. I know they can all sing….maybe it was nerves? I don’t know. I also don’t think the lack of shoes suited the package of genre/performance.

I give the vocalists: 7.5; I give the song: 10; I give the staging: 8; Average score: 8.5

Points from me based on song: 12

 Actual placing: 32nd

DENMARK – In A Moment Like This – Chaneé & N’evergreen

Gimmick: Silhouettes; Reminds me of: Oh, that beginning! Every breath you take…

Pros: These two are great live, though apparently they weren’t in rehearsals – but I didn’t see it, so as far as I’m concerned it didn’t happen! They have good chemistry and good looks on their side. Some people have complained about the “wanna know wanna know wanna know” bit, but I love it. Very catchy; Cons: The lyrics are rather clichéd in the verses. The first time I heard it, I knew what they would say next before they said it. Surely there’s some other word you can rhyme with ‘you’ that isn’t ‘blue’? Also, Chaneé’s bangs are wonderful and settle right back into place even after a full-strength wind machine has been blasting them. Therefore I hate her. If you had my hair, Christina, you’d understand.

I give the vocalists: 10; I give the song: 8.5; I give the staging: 9; Average score: 9.2

Points from me based on song: 10

Actual placing: 4th

ESTONIA – Siren – Malcolm Lincoln

Gimmick: That thing Robin does with the camera. You know!; Reminds me of: Anything indie and Australian, to be honest.

Pros: It’s different to your usual cookie-cutter schlager pop. I actually really like it, partly for that reason. I think the chorus has sing-along power, and I like the changing rhythms. Vocalist Robin is endearing, if a little similar to Austin Powers in costume; Cons: It was never going to make it out of the semi finals. It just isn’t a Eurovision song, a song that uses everything in three minutes to pull in the voters. That isn’t a bad thing…but I wonder if Estonia thought they had a chance. In my opinion, this is an album song. And you know what? I’d buy that album. Cruisy!

I give the vocalist: 10; I give the song: 7.5; I give the staging: 5; Average score: 7.5

Points from me based on song: 7. Or 8. I can’t decide!

Actual placing: 30th

FINLAND – Työlki Elää – Kuunkuiskaajat

Gimmick: Nothing specific. Is extreme folk a gimmick?; Reminds me of: Todomondo’s Liubi Liubi I Love You. It’s the changing rhythms or something.

Pros: This song is so sweet and catchy that I would feel guilty saying anything bad about it. I like the way it begins almost a capella and then launches into that accelerating chorus – the first hook that got stuck in my head this year; Cons: I’m about to feel guilty. Folk isn’t my preferred musical genre and whilst I do love this I have to say that it doesn’t have a je ne sais quoi (yo Iceland!) that elevates it from a nice song to a great potential winner. This may not be due to the genre but honestly, have you ever seen a climactic folk tune? I haven’t.

I give the vocalists: 9; I give the song: 8; I give the staging: 7; Average score: 8

Points from me based on song: 8

Actual placing: 27th

FRANCE – Allez Ola Olé! – Jessy Matador

Gimmick: Tie-in with the World Cup; Reminds me of: Ricky Martin’s The Cup of Life. Gee, I wonder why?

Pros: It is brilliant. I love this song! It’s catchy and fast and it makes me feel happy no matter how down in the dumps I happen to be. And it is the ultimate zumba song, be that at an actual class or in my (er, your) lounge room. I adore those “badabadabumbadumbadumba’s”!; Cons: I’m guessing it didn’t take a great amount of time for the lyrics to take shape. But who cares? It’s not a message song, for ABBA’s sake!

I give the vocalist: 10; I give the song: 10; I give the staging: 6; Average score: 8.7

Points from me based on song: 12

Actual placing: 12th

Aussies making a mockery

Last night on Channel 10’s 7pm Project, the panel mentioned this year’s final. It is news, after all, even though the media here basically ignore it most of the time. But, as is common for Australians, this was not a mention filled with praise, but a stab at what most people believe to be a kitschfest with no musical credibility at all. It opened with something along the lines of “In spite of this [the fact that host Charlie Pickering is a music fan] I watched the Eurovision Song Contest last night…’. They then proceeded to sarcastically refer to the final as three hours of ‘art’ and then make a laughing stock of the Belarussians and their butterfly wings. The 6pm news on Channel 9 had done a similar thing the night before.

I am sick of so many Australians making fun of the contest. All they’ve seen (if any) is maybe Bucks Fizz, or Verka Seduchka, and all they’ve heard is the camp, and suddenly they think they know everything about Eurovision and are certain that it’s a load of crap. I have a message for these people: maybe if you sat down and actually watched it for once, you would see that it’s an amazing celebration of world music! Yes, there is certainly some rubbish – but you know what? There’s always more brilliant songs. Better than most of the generic American stuff which is all we ever hear on radio in this country. And even if you still hated it, that’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion. Just don’t go around rubbishing it to us, the people who love and appreciate all it offers. We don’t tell you that the things you like are shit, even if that’s what we really think.

Well, there’s my mini-rant over. I say that because I could go on for pages and pages, but I think I voiced my opinion pretty clearly above. I’ll leave it with this: the ESC haters in Australia should take a look at the eurovision.tv site, where there is currently an article about the ever-increasing Eurovision popularity here. There’s a very substantial and passionate army of us, and we are only too willing to defend our  beloved contest against the intolerant enemy…….