Saturday, May 11, 2024

Liveblog: Eurovision 2024

 10.43am

Can a silly song contest take the weight of Israel's grinding of Gaza and its residents? Almost certainly not. 

Although, according to YouGov, most of the people who don't think Israel should be in Eurovision are reacting to geography, rather than the country's indiscriminate and cruel reaction to the indiscriminate and cruel killings of October 7th:


Famed for its grasp of nuance, social media has been absolutely batshit for the last week or so, with people being told that they're clearly Zionist for wanting to watch Olly Alexendar bouncing around the Malmö stage, or staying up to gone midnight while the host of Moldovan state TV's Wa-Hey It's Saturday pads giving three scores to around ten minutes of toe-curling screen time. Or, equally, that they're antisemitic for deciding that this year, they might skip the event and spend the evening watching some of the non-stop Abba output available instead.

It's not going to be a normal Song Contest this year - and maybe that's actually as it should be: if Israel had been kicked out we could all have had a lovely time and forgotten all about it and pretended that the happy peaceful Europe the event is meant to reflect is a reality, rather than an illusion slipping away faster than we'd like to accept. (I don't, for a minute, think that's what the organisers were striving for when they decided that Netanyahu is not the same as Putin; but it's the unintended consequence.) Israel can't be present without the Palestinian people travelling with them. Tonight, we're all locked in together.

Can a silly song contest take the weight of a collapsing world? Almost certainly not. Join me back here at 8-ish to find out.

(By the way: these days I'm almost as rarely on Twitter as I am on Blogger - but you can find me hanging out on BlueSky under norock.)


12.27pm

Last night, there was trouble at rehearsals and the upshot is that everyone who has carefully produced a scoring sheet for their Eurovision parties this evening are having to rip it up and start again.

Joost Klein, the none-more-Dutch0named contestant from the Netherlands, was involved in what is euphemistically being called an "incident" that has resulted in police getting involved and his removal from tonight's events:

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the event, later issued a statement saying they were "investigating an incident that was reported to us involving the Dutch artist".

On Saturday, Swedish police confirmed that a man had been reported for making "unlawful threats" at Malmö Arena, after Thursday's semi-final.

"The police have taken all essential investigative measures and questioned the suspect, plaintiff and witnesses," a spokesperson said.

"The investigation has been completed by the police... and the case will now go to the prosecutor within a few weeks."

If the EBU is clear about one thing, it's not going to tolerate acts of aggressive behaviour. Well, not at the venue, anyway.

7.10pm

I imagine whoever is doing presentation for BBC One this evening has got a Tom and Jerry loaded up to slap on in a hurry, as the last minute preparations are growing increasingly chaotic:

French contestant Slimane broke with protocol during the final dress rehearsal on Saturday afternoon, by interrupting his song to make an impassioned speech.

"Everybody, I just need to say something," he told the audience. "Every artist here want[s] to sing about love and sing about peace. We need to be united by music, yes, but with love for peace.

"United by music, yes, but with love for peace," he repeated. "Thank you so much. Thank you Europe."

The statement itself may have broken Eurovision's rules on making political statements.

Oh, and also...

Earlier, the Irish contestant Bambie Thug withdrew entirely from the dress rehearsal, after raising a complaint about coverage of their performance on Israeli television.

The singer, who is non-binary, said comments made during coverage of their performance at Tuesday's semi-final breached the competition's rules.

Israeli TV station KAN referred to a "controversy" over Bambie Thug's song, whose lyrics reference witchcraft and the occult, then noted that the performer had "spoken negatively about Israel".

"But we can talk about that later," their commentator said. "Prepare your curses."

The comment may have been a reference to a lyric in Bambie Thug's song, where they put a hex on an ex-boyfriend, but the singer felt it had crossed a line.

"I'm angry with other teams breaching their rules of the EBU, and still being allowed in," they told RTÉ news in Ireland.

I picture a nervous Swedish TV producer is telling their bosses that this is just everyone getting it out of their systems before the main event. (And then knocking back a glass of vodka.)


7.25

Meanwhile - look, maybe presentation is going to need a Dad's Army to fill any gaps tonight - the disqualification of the Dutch contestant is getting murkier by the second:

In a statement, the Dutch broadcaster Avrotros, said that Klein had been filmed backstage when he had "repeatedly indicated" that he did not want to be.

"This led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera. Joost did not touch the camerawoman," they added, calling the decision to disqualify him "very heavy and disproportionate".

Videos have circulated on social media of Klein being surreptitiously filmed by the Israeli delegation - but the EBU stressed in their statement that the backstage incident "did not involve any other performer or delegation member".

And also:

Norwegian media is reporting that their jury spokesperson Allesandra Mele has pulled out, citing the "inflamed situation" in Malmö.

"... well, as we've left Eurovision early this evening, we've a chance to catch up with a group of University friends retracing their steps along the Welsh borders. Pauline Quirke leads the cast on an unexpected visit to Arthur's Dyke, here on BBC One..."

Nah, I'm sure it'll be fine.

7.30

Open the voting! #eurovision

[image or embed]

— Stephen Collins (@stephencollins.bsky.social) May 11, 2024 at 19:25


7.35

Norway have also lost their jury presenter:

Alessandra Mele posted to her Instagram to say she would no longer be the person who announces the points awarded by Norway.

In the video, the former Eurovision contestant said that though she was "thankful" for the opportunity to award points from Norway, she had ultimately "taken the decision to withdraw".

"United by music - Eurovision's motto - is the reason why the music unites people," she says.

"But right now, those words are just empty words... I'm asking you all to please open up your eyes, open up your heart, let love lead you to the truth... Free Palestine." 

The words "looks like I picked the wrong week to give up sniffing glue" could be heard over the production talkback system.


7.45

Over on the Guardian's LiveBlog, Martin Belam's dog has just made his second guest appearance of the week, after having been shoe-horned into the Politics Live blog a day or two ago.


7.50

I know they've got other things to worry about but Eurovision might want to update the 'meet the artists' carousel on their homepage as... you're not going to be meeting Joost tonight.

Screengrab of Eurovision site showing Joost klein in first slot on the meet the artists carousel

7.59

Who's finished. Shhh, it's starting.

Oh, this weird EastEnders trail again.


8.00

The Guardian's sent a news alert that it's starting.


Oooh, they're doing BSL on press red this year. That's going to be fun.


The Crown Princess of Sweden is welcoming us all to Sweden, with all the warmth of a harried mother welcoming us to an 18th birth day party.


The sound's fucked, or else Graham Norton's been locked in a cupboard.


8.02

Yeah, yeah, we've all got the aurora borealias, now, Sweden. You're not special.


They're doing a 'have we mentioned Abba came from Sweden' thing, but well done Sweden for leaving it a full two minutes before bringing that up.

It's in the context of introducing what appears to be a Swedish Simon Mayo doing Hooked On A Feeling.


Icona Pop now, though, so that's better.

Every year I forget they do the walk-out like it's the Olympics at the start now. I'm not sure it adds that much.


Not sure Eden Golan lip-syncing "I don't care" as she walks out is entirely going to help make things better.

Just the sight of Estonia's group walking on has made bedtime feel a couple of extra hours away.


8.07

Roxette takes over from Icona Pop, because we need some extra Nazi action tonight, don't we?


Graham is telling us we can vote before we've even heard a song, which I suppose allows people who only tune in for the geopolitics to stir the pot and still get to see Match of the Day, but makes no sense in the context of a song contest.

Everyone walking on holding their national flags out in front of them gives a 'naked underneath this' vibe, which frankly is a bit much for this time on a Saturday night.


Sweden now reminding us that Abba - here's a fun fact - were in fact Swedish contestants on the Eurovision song contest.


8.11

"United by Music" says the backdrop. Well, that's probably overselling it.

The hosts have taken the stage. Are they going to do some knockabout comedy bit?

Malin and Petra are the safe pair of hands. Slight side-eye when saying "twenty-five countries".

Malin does a joke about Abba - "who were never heard of again". 

Petra's got the box set of Gilmore Girls for a gag. This isn't exactly Bill Hicks, but it's not as flat as the jokey bit usually is.

"We're about to create many more lovely moments tonight."

Fate is surely being tempted, right here.


8.15

Still don't understand why the UK is the only country not allowed to vote by text.

Petra mentions Dancing Queen. By Abba, don't you know?


8.18


And here's the music bit!

1. 🇸🇪 Sweden | Marcus & Martinus - Unforgettable

The twins representing Sweden are either stuck in a lift or a TLC video from 1994. They're wearing space-suit uniforms, but the sort that would be worn by people in the engine room or carrying space potatoes around. The song, despite its name, is totally forgettable.

Oh, now they're trapped in the Matrix. Let's leave them there.

8.22

2. 🇺🇦 Ukraine | alyona alyona & Jerry Heil - Teresa & Maria

Jerry Heil? Really? That name has 'You Have Been Watching' all over it.

This pair look like a mismatched cop duo from an early 2000s ITV series.

A lot of "ooooh-oooohing". Jerry has got a piece of a suit of armour on her shoulder. The LED screens are apparently showing tracer shots, which I suppose Ukraine can get away with.

Alyona Alyona has popped up to do a rap bit, while Jerry is regenerating in the background.

This isn't bad, but its thudding beat could sell a shedload of Anadin.

I think they've just done a die-in on the screens. But of course they can't have done, because no politics, right? Right, EBU?

8.26

3. 🇩🇪 Germany | ISAAK - Always On The Run

The little preview bits are... slightly lower budget this year; bit of archive, some surely-not-actually-phone-footage.

Isaak starts his song sitting next to a brazier, and so it's possible he's actually out on strike.

I don't think anyone is going to be pushing for ACAS to be involved in getting him quickly back to work.

He looks like someone who would go on Britain's Got Talent just so Ant and Dec could be surprised at his voice.

Norton thinks he was terrific, which... I guess shows what going to work for Virgin Radio does for your musical taste.

8.30

4. 🇱🇺 Luxembourg | TALI - Fighter

Oh, it's the one who looks like Lene Lovich.

There are some half naked men on stage with her who don't seem sure why they've been invited to Tali's party.

It's a bit mid-european chugga-chugga, but trying to pull off some handbrake turns to make it interesting. 

The men, disappointingly, are wearing more clothes than it seemed at first.

Some giant cgi leopard action going on, though, which picks things up a bit.

Every so often the music resolves itself into a massive electronic fart.

8.34

6. 🇮🇱 Israel | Eden Golan - Hurricane

Not five, of course.

"You may have seen on the news..." says Graham, chanelling Histor's Eye. Yes, Graham. We have seen on the news.

(Are the audience overcheering, or have they just turned the atmos up on the soundtrack?)

This is the sort of ballad that Whitney Houston would have thought a bit much.

Bit on-the-nose that Golan is wearing a dress made out of bandages.

"A mixed reaction" says Graham.

8.40

7. 🇱🇹 Lithuania | Silvester Belt - Luktelk

Hey, it's Silvester here, with my fun sunglasses! I am your fun penfriend! Let's have big fun, yes?

Oh, now he's come on stage he's got more of a Mark Zuckerberg vibe to him.

Thirty seconds in, and an unseen producer pushes the "chugga-chugga" button.

I looked away and when I looked back he appeared to be wearing his raincoat. The weather changes so swiftly in Scandinavia, I hear.

8.42

They're doing a commercial break. I suppose if Sunak does win the election, the only upshot of him being in charge of the BBC charter renewal is we'll get adverts for Kit-E-Kat instead of these bits of padding.

They're showing the Israeli jury from 1975 fucking things up for the live programme. I mean, that's well chosen, right?

8.45

They're recapping the rules. Nothing about not doing a genocide, it turns out.

8.46

Back to the music:
8. 🇪🇸 Spain  | Nebulossa - ZORRA

Nebulossa looks like they've taken a night off from their Dollar tribute act.

And they've got the first keytar of the evening.

Tall female drummer bringing Bobby Gillespie era Jesus and Mary Chain vibes.

Aha, now we've got some half naked men in corsets and fishnets.

(Ironically, someone was thrown out of the auditorium earlier because they had a non-binary flag, which was political.)

8.51

9. 🇪🇪 Estonia | 5MIINUST x Puuluup - (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi

Norton's done his Terry Wogan toast.

Oh, it's TWO bands. That's why there's so many of them.

Puuuluuup, not lead, sadly, by Jaaaaaarviiiiissss Cooooockeeeeer.

One of them's down shaking the hands of the audience like this is a proper gig and not a choreographed attempt to pretend that geopolitics doesn't really exist.

If this is what they can do with two bands, imagine what they'd be like with five or six other bands. Just as tiring, I fear.

It's growing on me a little. A taste of the wind blowing off the steppes in a cold winter.

8.55

10. 🇮🇪 Ireland | Bambie Thug - Doomsday Blue

Norton warns parents young kids might find this a little frightening. Graham, they've just sat through a bald beardy bloke yelling at them. Any kids still standing are gonna be okay.

Also, they'd have to be kids who were scared by the Wicked Witch in Snow White. 

This is suburban goth. Aleister Crawley.

The mix is terrible, as well - I suspect her voice would be making this all hang together but it's been lost.

Rosie Webster during her goth phase

"Muuuum, you just don't understand..."

9.00

11. 🇱🇻 Latvia | Dons - Hollow

Had forgotten the cat was out, and only remembered as we hit the sixty minutes in point.

Dons is wearing a sexy hard outfit, which looks unfortunately like it's been made out of a kiddie's paddling pool.

He's got a pretty strong voice, which is working with some pretty weak material.

The cat's fine, though. That's what counts.

9.03

12. 🇬🇷 Greece | Marina Satti - ZARI

Marina's song has been co-written by Gino The Ghost.

She might have gotten away with the diaper-like shorts if she'd not started her song squatting down.

The song sounds like Olivia Rodrigo sending morse code. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

(Martin Belam's suggested it sounds like O Superman, which is being somewhat kind.)

9.08

13. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom |  Olly Alexander - Dizzy

Halfway through. Olly's having some fun in Union Jack swimming shorts on the pre-song bit.

He's brought his dirty toilets with him, which is nice.

I've not heard this before - the vocal sounds like it's lost in the mix.

Ooh, some consensual touching of an upside-down boxer's boxers. 

This is the gayest thing that has ever happened at Eurovision. Of 'not the Eurovision type' of gay, anyway.

I don't think it's his greatest work, but it's better than the contest probably deserves.

9.13

Lynda Woodruff bit while the ads are on. Actually works. The song about the EBU director is actually the best song we've had so far.

9.16

14. 🇳🇴 Norway | Gåte - Ulveham

A guitar keyboard violin type thing

I do not know what that instrument is even meant to be. Is this a Mad Max thing? Has Mcgyver fashioned it after being locked in a music shop by some bad guys.

Gate seem to be lost in the forest.

There's a lot of interesting ululation going on, but there's nothing holding it all together. Certainly not Edward Guitarhands.

9.20

15. 🇮🇹 Italy  | Angelina Mango - La Noia

She's started like she's fighting for breath.

Ooh, this is quite something - it's like someone's tried to blend Demi Lovato and classic Eurovision and... it doesn't totally suck.

The staging - a Diet Coke break at the gym in a room decorated with someone's synapses - is unsettling, and the bit where she sings so quickly she might be doing the terms and conditions on a mortgage ad doesn't quite work, but if you can't vote for the UK, you might as well vote for this.

9.24

16. 🇷🇸 Serbia | TEYA DORA - RAMONDA

(Whispers) I think Teya might be a proper goth.

Oh, yes: this is very much a late night in the graveyard vibe.

Don't spoil it by going all upbeat.

It keeps threatening to go diggy-lou, diggy-lay, but holds itself back.

It doesn't sound like a Eurovision winner, but I wouldn't mind having this on shuffle on the phone.

9.28

17. 🇫🇮 Finland | Windows95man - No Rules!

This is going to be wacky, isn't it?

Young people: Radio 1 DJs used to make 'comedy'. records. This sort of thing was the result. There is a reason why Radio 1 no longer has the type of DJ who would be making comedy records on its airwaves.

The 'oooh, he's got no pants however will they stop us seeing his cock' is inventive, if you've never seen Calendar Girls or that Stella Artois nudist colony advert.

He's zipped himself up and gone away.

9.32

18. 🇵🇹 Portugal | iolanda - Grito

Iolanda is being surrounded by men dressed head-to-toe in white, which gives the awkward impression she's being hassled by a bunch of mutant size sperm.

The song is interesting - it's a bit military goth, a bit stuttery march. It's not the first time this evening a contestant has given the impression of singing despite, rather than with, the backing music.

9.37

James in the comments - comments! On a blog! In 2024! - points out that Germany having a literal binfire on stage is a perfect metaphor for the competition this year.

19. 🇦🇲 Armenia | LADANIVA - Jako

YOU'RE TOO CLOSE TO THE CAMERA LADANIVA FOR CHRIST SAKE I CAN SEE YOUR CORPUSCLES.

I know precious little about Armenia's music, and so this could either be bang-on modern for them or a throwback to traditional music, or both, but it's a lot of fun. Like, actual fun. Not Windows95 Man "hey, we're having fun" style fun; genuinely like people are enjoying the fuck out of what they're doing.

9.40

20. 🇨🇾 Cyprus | Silia Kapsis - Liar

There is only one song called Liar, Silia.


Also, Silia, there is only one Shakira.

(Actually, I quite like this. And they're using a lot of turquoise in the staging, which is a colour that doesn't get enough stage time.)

9.44
21. 🇨🇭 Switzerland | Nemo - The Code

Obligatory Celine Dion mention.

I'm getting Jamiorquai vibes from Nemo's pre-performance video. Let's hope that stops.

It's stopped. It's now more Mika. I think I'd just like them to stop and get cuddled. They seems to really need to be told everything's going to be okay. Calm down, Nemo. Calm down.

Apparently there's a bit of The Magic Flute chucked in here. Hope Mozart's on points.

9.48
Ah, more commercials for some; a weird bit of archive of a woman losing her skirt and changing her top into a dress.

Bucks Fizz ripping skirts off klaxon.

Good god, they're showing Bardo. Not playing One Step Further, because they're not insane. But they're showing them.

Petra's just had their mother-in-law rip their skirt off. (She designed the Bucks Fizz outfits, it's not entirely random).

9.53
22. 🇸🇮 Slovenia | Raiven - Veronika

We're reaching the final stretch of the first bit.

That's so Raiven.

Is this the first catsuit of the evening? I think it is.

The song is the sort of thing that you'd normally only hear a bit of on an advert for a perfume you might give your mother at Christmas. It'd have a second-string model in it driving in an open-top car on a clifftop as a storm gathered. She'd possibly have a tiger on the passenger seat, depending on the budget and health and safety rules in the country the ad gets shot.

9.57
23. 🇭🇷 Croatia | Baby Lasagna - Rim Tim Tagi Dim

Mmmm, lasagne.

Mr Lasagne looks like he should be shepherding pensioners back onto a sight-seeing coach somewhere in Winchester.

The staging is 'the sixth form are doing Amadeus' and the deputy head hasn't yet been along to any rehearsals.

The song is what a paper shredder might sing if it was given consciousness by a passing wizard.

Very much this year's 'if this is the sort of thing you like...' entry.

22.01
24. 🇬🇪 Georgia | Nutsa Buzaladze - Firefighter

Only another two hours to go, everyone. Chin up!

Nutsa's come straight from the marathon and is still wrapped in foil. 

Her dancers are doing the full-on Marti Caine style hiding behind her and sticking their arms out bit, which is nice to see a dying art revived.

It's that point in the evening where it's unclear if this is actually alright, or I've just been bludgeoned by the previous 22 songs. 

22.05
25. 🇫🇷 France  | Slimane - Mon Amour

France! I'd forgotten France. How had I not noticed we'd not had France yet?

"A big hearted ballad called Mon Amour" says Graham, and I am agog at the inventiveness.

Slimane is wearing a shirt made of cheesecloth. His pants are also cheesecloth. Through the cheesecloth we can see that his underwear, too, has been fashioned out cheesecloth.

The song he sings also has a faint air of brie hanging over it.

He spins the camera; as it completes the arc it's pointing at his cheesecloth-clad groin. He gently redirects its gaze to his face - "my eyes are up here". 

22.09

Did you know Abba came from Sweden?

(This leads us in to a little bit of business with Brighton getting a moment in the sun, to answer the question how it was affected by the victory. "Hasn't really". Jokes actually landing during Eurovision! Truly an age of wonders.)

10.12

26. 🇦🇹 Austria | Kaleen - We Will Rave

"We will rave" says Kaleen, throwing it back in the face of John Major and his hatred of repetive beats. 

She's bought a version of Zendaya's C3PO dress off of BooHoo dot com.

"Rum-de-dum-dum we will rave."

Eurovision written while circling the M25 at 2.30am on a Saturday morning trying to find the field your friends with the 'snacks' have gone to.


10.15
Well. We've got through that bit. Just the voting to go now, then.

10.21
They've just given us a reminder of the songs we've just spent two hours listening to. I think that's called "rubbing it in"

10.23
Just when you say out loud the jokes and landing, there's a bit about Alcazar being confused with Abba. Which I guess might be hilarious if you've heard of Alcazar.

Oh, they're dragging out again after the band have played.

10.26
Now, they're really talking about Abba. It's surprising they've not mentioned them already.

They're doing a link-up with the Abba hologram thing in London. Giving the whole event a bit of a deepfake porn vibe.

Stadium now singing along to Waterloo, though, so they're all happy.

10.30
They trotted out Charlotte Perelli, Conchita Wurst & Carola to join the weird karaoke, which is probably the fullest-on 'please don't boo' you're going to see tonight.

10.40
They're taking the piss out of Loreen's nails before bringing her out to do last year's winner again.

10.46
Graham's doing some shout-outs now. You can take the man out of Radio 2, but...

10.51
They've closed the voting. Netanyahu can stop shoving coins in the phone box now.

The green room is just part of the stadium seating which looks uncomfortable.

There's a load of booing drowning out Martin Bigboss bloke's confirmation the voting's all kosher.

10.53
Ukraine wearing a dress that looks like she's trying to shove a duvet into a cover. 12 to Switzerland. Nothing to the UK. (Thanks, Kyiv)

UK have got Joanna "I'm Joanna Lumley" Lumley doing our scores. 12 to Portugal.

Luxembourg are excited to be back. There's a weird delay on the line tonight. 12 to Switzerland.

Early indications are Switzerland might do well. UK on zero but so are a lot of people.

10.57

Azerbaijan are the first jury presentation to sing. It's ill-advised. 12 to Switzerland.

San Marinohave popped out of Cinderella Rockefellas to give 12 to Switzerland again. I think we're seeing a pattern here.

Malta's guy has killed several teddy bears and is wearing their corpses, but no shirt. He also sings. Tje divorce is going well, clearly. 12 to Switzerland. Might set up a keyboard shortcut for that.

Croatia have sent a sensible broadcaster, but he's wearing a tshirt to show he's fun. Portugal get 12.

Not a bean for Olly yet.

11.00

Albania! Albania! Looks like its someone from the local council has turned out to give 12 to Switzerland.

Czecha is keeping the jewellery. They give 12 to Ukraine.

Israel, so far, have managed to scrape three points. (Still better than the UK)

Time for their votes, too - to a lot of booing from the hall. Luxembourg get 12 points from Tel Aviv.

11.03
Australia calling. He's got a fucking keytar. Four points to the UK at least takes Olly from nul points. 12 to Ireland. 

Estonia still yet to score.

Denmark claim to be able to hear the noise from across the water. 12 to Switzerland, who are now opening up a hell of a lead.

Spain are going to catch a chill in a skirt that short. Two to the UK; 12 to Switzerland.

11.06

Norway standing in front of the Northern Lights (you're NOT SPECIAL ANY MORE). They've given 8 to Israel, taking them high up the bottom half. 12 to Switzerland.

Germany have come as Madonna from the Vogue video; also give 8 to Israel and 12 to Sweden. (Have they mistranslated Switzerland?)

Armenia is padding her bit.  (The subtitles say she was called Brunette, but that can't be right, surely?). 12 to France, though. 

Slovenia are trying fuschia but it's not working. 12 to France. A sudden awakening. (They gave 10 to Switzerland, though, so it's not like things are changing that much.)

Georgia appears to have accessorised with office equipment, specifically treasury tags. 12 to Switzerland. UK still not had anything for a while.

Switzerland are overexcited, which is risky in that dress. 3 to Olly, 12 to Greece.

11.12
Moldova has a smile that couldn't be faker if she was telling you she didn't really want a card for her birthday anyway. 12 to Ukraine.

We're more than halfway through. Swizterland, France, Italy and Ireland the top four. Israel solid mid table. UK already standing down Hannah Waddingham for 2025.

We're in the green seating area and Nemo is over-excited and over-tired.

Cheesecloth Man from France is sitting with the air of a man who knows we're only going through the motions of him having a chance.

11.15
17 juries and the public vote to go. John Curtice running a slide rule over things.

Greece have a dress that's a bit much for this sort of thing but is a great dress even so. Start this section of scores with 12 for Switzerland.

Estonia are dressed more demurely. But the ear jewellery is quite something. 5 to Israel, 12 to Switzerland. Zero, of course, to the UK.

Netherlands not appearing because they're in a huff. The audience are not happy as Martin gives their 12 to Switzerland.

Austria are wearing an Equality tshirt, which is a statement. The host looks like she's going to cry as he talks about equality. 12 to Switzerland. They also gave 2 to Estonia, taking them from nul points.

11.19
France in front of the Eiffel Tower incase you don't get which France it is. 12 to Portugal. 3 to Israel.

Italy are wearing a bow-tie and talking way too much. He's gently moved on. 12 to Switzerland. They're nearly at 250 now. France are on 143 in second.

Finland has got a gold lame jacket. 12 to Switzerland.

Graham Norton trying to keep things interesting by saying the public vote could change everything. Could it?

Portugal give 4 to the UK. They're in a Miss Selfridge spotty number and say something softly political about love. 12 to Switzerland.

11.24
Belgium - six to the UK (now on 19, sort of middle of the bottom half); 12 to Switzerland.

Iceland - 8 to UK (late rally kalxon) and 12 to France.

Latvia have slipped off the tie and are relaxed - 3 to UK, 2 to Israel, 12 to Switzerland

11.26
Ireland give 4 to the UK  - now top of the bottom half; switzerland get 12 and are now over 300.

Poland have interrupred filming a reboot of Bewitched. 12 to Switzerland.

Cyprus looks like the man who swindled your nan out her pension. 8 to Israel; 12 to Croatia. 'Member them?

Lithuania has a dinner party to get to, and they're not sure if its a swinging one. 4 to Israel; 12 to Switzerland. The UK rally has dried up.

Serbia have come as a space nun. 4 to UK. 12 to Croatia.

Final votes from Sweden. 8 to UK, now bottom of second half. 12 to Switzerland.


11.31
So, jury's voting done. Switzerland lead with 365; France have 218; Croatia 210.

UK one place behind Israel 12/13, 52-46

Nemo now looks a little bit sick with excitement.

We're turning now to the public vote. Will it unleash chaos?

It feels a bit like they're padding because they're under-running slightly, which has got to be a first.


11.35
Estonia get 33 points, finish on 37

Finland 31, to 38

Norway 4 points ! to 16

Slopvenia 12 to 27

Georgia 19 points to 34

(jury and public seem pretty similar in taste so far)

Austria 5 to 24 (deserved more)

Spain 11 to 30

Serbia get 32 points, end on 54

Lithuania 58 points, bounce to 90

Cypris 44 making 78

Latvia 28 points, 64

Greece 85 pts, 126

UK...zero points. Olly trying to smile. Arena not happy.

Israel 323 points. Cough. Takes them to 375 and temporary leaderr

Luxembourg 20 points to 103

Germany 18 pointsend on 117
Armenia 82 go to 183

Sweden  49, makes 174

13 for portugal 152

Ukraine 307 points, bounce to top on 453

Ireland 136 points 278

Italy 104 points - 268 final figure

Croatia. get 337 points. 547 and at the lead.

France is next up, but they're showing us the faces of the top three from the jury vote now to build tension.

23.43
227 points to France, gives them third place. 445 points.

So how many for Switzerland?

It's Nemo or Lasagne.

The public vote has given them... 

Two hundred and... it gets lost in cheers.

(Actually looks like the subtitlers didn't catch the number either.)

11.47
So Nemo has won and is heading to the stage to do their song all over again.

Olly came in at 18th, which wouldn't be that bad but a zero from the phone vote is... pretty bad. How is that even mathematically possible? It's just a hunch, but I think we always do poorly when we put in a really successful artist: that sense of 'we're throwing our biggest guns at this' doesn't play well. And the result is like the cricket team in Ever Decreasing Circles having a go at Martin for fielding an Cambridge Blue.

The massive disparity in the jury and public votes for Israel is interesting, isn't it? There were semi-final conspiracy theories that this was basically Mosad manipulating the vote; but equally it could just reflect a diaspora vote turning out in a way that it doesn't typically do. I forsee a lot of noise around that over the next few days.

Overall, though, congratulations to Swedish TV for keeping the wheels just about turning, and - for the first time I can ever remember - finishing the thing on time.

See you back here next year, probably, for number 69. Nice.


2 comments:

James V-T said...

That burning bin in the Germany performance really sums up this year's contest, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

As always thanks for the blog, I love reading your comments on the songs, I've been listening to them since March and it's great to get "virgin" responses

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