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Eurovision 2021 Grand Final

It's the 65th contest.

I'm going to consider this Saturday's entry, even though it's gone 2am on Sunday...

Another day, another song contest

This time it is the biggie. This will go on forever...
A different start today, orchestral music and dancing and such. We don't have the little houses and coloured lines that we had from the semi finals.

I won't be able to write as much this time as it's a live broadcast. There's no ability to pause a live feed unless you're God, and I'm not.

It's a sort of flag parade introduction thingy. Big cheer for Malta, massive cheer for Greece. The hosts are singing "Venus" (as in the Bananarama song, which was actually written by a Dutch group, I forget the name). Big cheer for Iceland. And Finland. And Lithuania. They're whipping through this introduction. Epic cheer for The Netherlands, but we are in Rotterdam so...

What are the hosts wearing?!
Yet another cheer when Chantal switches to French for la blabla.

 

Ten minutes in, time for the first song.

1. Cyprus. "El Diablo" (Elena Tsagrinou)

The Lady Gaga song is a nice energetic way to begin the contest. Lots of gyrating and fire.

 

2. Albania. "Karma" (Anxhela Peristeri)

A woman with a dangly silver dress (not the only one this evening) being upstaged by fake smoke. She's really giving this everything. The first native language song of the night.

 

3. Israel. "Set Me Free" (Eden Alene)

It's the spider-web hair woman and the R&B number. With the synchro dancing. And not one Palestinian flag in sight.

 

4. Belgium "The Wrong Place" (Hooverphonic)

Duffy given a Dusty Springfield makeover. Sort of the soundtrack that would accompany a gumshoe in a dive bar.

 

5. Russia "Russian Woman" (Manizha)

The Russian doll with the door. Makes sense in context. Unsuccessfully trying to be Netta. You see, she was a massive pile of quirky. The second native language song of the night.

 

6. Malta "Je me casse" (Destiny)

A thumping anthem for "not your baby". As with the Russian song, it seems there's a fair amount of women's rights going on in this contest.
There was a lot of cheering going on through this song, I think it'll do well. And she was quite happy at the end!

 

7. Portugal "Love Is On My Side" (The Black Mamba)

As sublime as the semi-final presentation was, this one sounds even better. A brilliant entry from Portugal.

 

8. Serbia "Loco Loco" (Hurricane)

The colour coded not-so-dressed Serbian trio, with a typically Eurovision song performed in Serbian, the third of the night in a national language.

 

Some time wasting

A little discussion with the winner of the Junior Eurovision, and some other stuff about former winners - Jamala, Duncan Laurence.

75 million claps happened during the semi finals. Oh boy.

 

9. The United Kingdom "Embers" (James Newman)

Yup, suspended plastic trumpets. Why is it that the UK always sends such generic sounding songs, and then complaining about how everybody hates the UK when they vote for the better songs. As for the giant trumpets, nobody even pretended to play them. They were just sort of hanging there. Missed opportunity.
"Yes, come on, we love you Europe" he said at the end. Tell that to the Border Force. Your treatment of Europeans who are legally permitted to be there shames me.

 

10. Greece "Last Dance" (Stefania)

The perky blonde in purple dancing with the suits. It sounds like she's saying "Let's dance" rather than "Last dance".

 

11. Switzerland "Tout l'Univers" (Gjon's Tears)

The quiet start. I know how this one is going to go, and it's pretty fine with headphones. Okay, it doesn't have the bass of the big speakers, but still.
VinceH says he looks like a younger Tony Hadley. Yes - that's why this guy has been bugging me. It's that. Only singing in French.

 

For God's sake. I'm trying to look at what VinceH is tweeting. I'm using my older S5 Mini. Stupid bloody Twitter keeps popping up notifications and when you tap to dismiss it takes the tap as a tap on something else. Since the phone isn't fast, and Twitter is loaded with scripting... Grr... Where's the "f**k off and just show me the tweets" button?

 

12. Iceland "10 Years" (Daði og Gagnamagnið)

The nerdy guys that won last year are back with another song, and still with 8-bit versions of themselves on their jumpers, and the round keyboards that fit together to make a circle, and the background graphics generated on an Amiga. ☺ The weird poses to end with make this, don't they? A properly fun entry.
But... this is so exactly like the semi final, is this actually live? Or are they playing the footage from the semi final?

 

13. Spain "Voy a quedarme" (Blas Cantó)

This one starts off with only vocals, no instrumentation. It builds into, actually, one of the best entries Spain has put into the contest in a long time. The Prince-like wailing towards the end is unfortunate, but makes sense with the song.

 

14. Moldova"Sugar" (Natalia Gordienko)

The blonde in the second dangly-bits silver dress and the enthusiastic arms-in-the-air dancing. Oh, whoops! She dropped the mic! Well, proof that this is really live.
I'm waiting for rendered motorbikes to whizz along the background neon lines, Tron-like. Yup, that's the really long note. She seems quite happy, despite the fact that she's probably thinking "ohcrapohcrapohcrap".
It's catchy, actually, this one.

 

15. Germany "I Don't Feel Hate" (Jendrik)

Ukelele flying through the air and an annoyingly catchy song with... a giant middle finger. "I don't feel hate, that's the whole point of the song". This song is meta and, all I can think of watching this is "Hi-di-hi Campers!".

 

16. Finland "Dark Side" (Blind Channel)

The pop-version of Linkin Park that is just a lot of annoying noise. And this is coming from somebody who listens to a symphonic metal radio station. I think what this is lacking is conviction. It's like they wanted to be "hard" but didn't quite have it in them to pull off Lordi.

 

Time wasting for adverts

Looking at the commentators boxes, and teasing the orchestra.

 

17. Bulgaria "Growing Up Is Getting Old" (Victoria)

The quiet song about how growing up is getting old (see what I did there?), and as with so many songs, this one builds up too. Not much to say, sorry, I'm too busy watching this - I like it. It's possibly my favourite.

 

18. Lithuania "Discoteque" (The Roop)

The embarrassing-dad-dancing Right Said Fred in yellow. You see, part of Iceland's charm is the lame dancing. But this is trying to be serious (the song says "I got the moves"), and the level of cringe is off the scale. Well, it's quite a workout, though, isn't it?

 

19. Ukraine "Shum" (Go_A)

The weird ethnic song with the pipe and the glowing frisbees. Let's just wait for this one to crank up the speed a little. A lot. Then some more. This is like a creepy alien version of Hava Nagila.

 

20. France "Voilà" (Barbara Pravi)

Now to my home country. A woman with short hair (as seems so liked by Frenchies) belting out a song, in French of course, that feels like something that ought to have been from the fifties. Can't you just picture this as the performer in a bar with air blue from fag smoke and far too many empty wine glasses on the tables, and the bottle of house red on each table too.
Well, in case you're wondering, "voilá" is clearly French for "epic".

 

21. Azerbaijan "Mata Hari" (Efendi)

Imagine an eastern Ariana Grande that's a bit older and a bit skankier singing a repetitive song and .... yeah, you're about there.

 

22. Norway "Fallen Angel" (TIX)

Corbyn crossed with Lennon and given angel wings and four devils to take the whole fallen angel theme quite literally. It's a much better song if you close your eyes and listen rather than the distractions of the dancing winged things.

 

23. The Netherlands "Birth of a New Age" (Jeangu Macrooy)

The home country now. Will it be a good song (they want to host the contest again) or a rubbish song (my god, hosting this cost how much?!?)?
A crack in the wall - I hope Amelia Pond isn't watching.
So Labi Siffre's "Something Inside So Strong" updated to the #BLM era. This is a strong statement song, and is actually pretty catchy.

 

24. Italy "Zitti e buoni" (Mâneskin)

Okay, it's time for some thumping rock, with some extremely dodgy costumes. It's better than I expected. There's a sort of authenticity about this that's missing from the Finland entry.

 

25. Sweden "Voices" (Tusse)

As much as I like this one, and think it ought to do well.... Didn't a pretty blonde sing a song about a million voices for Russia a few years ago?
It's a very Eurovision song, isn't it? Oh yes, there we go, key change!

 

My God, we're at the final song... but probably only half-way through the broadcast.

 

26. San Marino "Adrenalina" (Senhit)

The Mysterious Cities of Gold.
You know, with headphones on, I'm listening to the dum-dum-dum-dum bass line and I'm just wondering how many of tonight's songs could be mashed together.
Oh, the rap bit. Okay, time to crank open a third can of lemonade and wait for it to pass.
A-dren-a-leeeena!

 

Phone lines are open!

It's now time for the voting, so let's look at my picks.

Bulgaria - my favourite of the night
Portugal - smoothness
France - voilá! voilá! VOILÁ!
Greece - let's dance
Moldova - even if she dropped the mic
Sweden - classic Eurovision
Iceland - geeky dancing
Switzerland - Hadley reborn
Cyprus - run from the devil
Spain - the Spanish Prince

 

VinceH said: Don't foget #Eurovision watchers, the best way to troll post-Brexit UK over our idiotic attitude to foreigners is to vote for us to win, so we have to host the event next year.
Alternatively, pretend the UK doesn't exist... ☺

 

Music Binds Us

The first interval act.
This isn't what I expected when they mentioned a live orchestra, but it's actually pretty good.
Wait, have they recreated the bridge on the stage? Now it's gone. Hang on, was that a digital rendering laid into the live video? That was pretty damn good.

 

Another recap, followed by another cringey Eurovision tutorial. Which I missed (oh, diddums) because the signal dropped out.
I came back to some random behind-the-scenes stuff.

 

Driving around with past winners

This was obviously filmed early in 2020 before the end of the world. I really hope that's a self-driving car!

 

The audience

Playing compliments to the audience. There's a lot of hope about things getting back to normal. And thank you to the audience for staying faithful. Well, there's seven hundred and fifty thousand people watching the live stream on YouTube. It's times like this that will really exercise CDNs.

Another recap. It's not too late to vote.

 

I would love to see Bulgaria win. The bookies reckon Italy. But, then, this is Eurovision, so it might just as easily be Lithuania. We're going to get the jury votes which will be predictable (both Greece and Cyprus are in the contest this year), and then the televotes that will turn everything upside down.

 

Interval act - the rooftop party

Starting with Mâns, obviously. They've taken his backdrop animation and overlaid it into the live video.
Switch over to Ding-a-Dong, which was from so long ago. It's like the care home sing-a-long.
Then Sandie Kim, I think it said, from 1986.
Lenny Khur from 1969!
Helena Papirazou from 2005.
Lordi. Nuff said.
Three buildings, loads of cameras, and a drone or two to make an impressive interval.

 

Duncan Laurence

Who must stay at home (did he or somebody close to him test positive?). The magic of television made it look like a proper performance. Either that, or he has an entire universe in his garage.

 

The countdown

A lot of people in blue making the numbers. Stylish.

 

The results - jury votes

While the televoting is counted, the jury voting is good to go...

Israel with an interesting dress offers 12 to Switzerland, who is like "what the fuck!".
Poland, what is she wearing?, offers their 12 to San Marino... huh?
San Marino offer their douze to France.
Albania give their 12 to Switzerland.
Malta offer 12 to Albania.
Estonia and massive hair offer another 12 to Switzerland, who responds with "Oh my fucking God!" (if you don't like the sweary, it's at exactly 3h in the live stream, I'm just quoting).
North Macedonia give their 12 to Serbia. Surprise!
Italy isn't doing so well from the juries, they are third after Switzerland and France.
Azerbaijan give 12 to Russia. Another surprise.
Norway and their 12 is for Malta.
Spain's 12 goes to France.
Austria with a BIG cheer for a T-shirt that says "EQUALITY." (though the full stop seems a bit fastidious), as 12 points to Iceland.
Ah, Iceland aren't in the Green Room area. They are somewhere else. I think their performance tonight was a replay from earlier.
Malta is now third, Italy dropping to fourth.
The UK offers 12 points to France. Whoa. The UK giving max points to France.
Italy has 12 for ..... Lithuania!
Slovenia offers their 12 to Italy.
Spain, Germany, and Norway now have points. Guess who now has zero points. ☺
The Greeks have a child offering 12 to Cyprus. That was predictable.
Latvia has 12 for Switzerland.
Ireland, will there be points for the UK here? 12 Oirland points go to France. The UK still with nothing. Ouch.
The Epic Sax Guy from Moldova, and 12 points to Bulgaria! Yes!
Serbia have 12 for France (and Bulgaria is 6th!).
Bulgaria offer 12 to Moldova.
Cyprus gives 12 to Greece. I wrote that before he even started talking.
Belgium. 12 points from them to.... Switzerland or France? Switzerland.

They took an ad break, I took a pee break. I came back just in time.

So, next up is Germany who gives their 12 to France. Voilá!
Australia, and a big cheer for the fact that it's the morning, offering 12 points to Malta. The UK still has zero.
Finland with 12 to Switzerland. It's France and Switzerland duking it out for the top spot.
Portugal offer 12 to Bulgaria. ☺
Ukraine, well, that's going to be 12 points for Italy.
The person from Iceland wants Ja Ja Ding Dong. Brilliant! 12 points for JA JA DING DONG! Begrudgingly he gives 12 to Switzerland.
Romania offers 12 to Malta.
Croatia offers their 12 to Italy.
Czech Republic and their 12 go to Portugal.
Georgia with 12 points for Italy, taking them up to fourth position.
Lithuania and their 12 points are for Ukraine.
Denmark offer 12 to Switzerland. I don't think France can catch, only five countries left.
Russia with Polina Gagarina (yes, she was the Million Voices, wasn't she?). She gives the Russian 12 to Moldova, a woman that looks like the younger her!
France and their 12 points... go to Greece. Well, that was unexpected.
Sweden, with Carola, trying to keep it together as she had somebody shoving a microphone in place as she came on screen. Their 12 points are for Malta.
Switzerland quickly offer their 12 to France.
The final country is the Netherlands, who offer the final 12 of the night to France.

Switzerland has won, with France in second place, Malta third, Italy fourth, Iceland fifth, and Bulgaria sixth. The United Kingdom with zero points.

But, wait, there's the televote. This will shift everything, won't it?

 

The results - the televote

They're good to go. So...

The UK first, as they are last. They get ZERO points. Oh my god. I can imagine how Norton is announcing that.
Germany, also, gets zero points, so the UK is not alone, at least.
Spain, another zero. This is painful.
The Netherlands... yet another zero.
Norway, finally with some points. They get 60.
Serbia gets 82 points.
Albania receives 35 points.
Azerbaijan gets 33 points.
San Marino now with 13 points.
Sweden and a mere 63 points.
Cyprus get 44 points.
Moldova receive 62 points.
Lithuania with 165 points. The yellow guys made an impact.
Belgium got 3 points. Oooh!
Israel got 20 points.
This scoring is eccentric. I can only imagine the big winners will get huge points.
Finland gets 218 points.
Greece, now, get 79 points.
Ukraine is given 267 points. The French girl's expression is like "what?".
Russia from the public get 100 points.
Portugal have a mere 27 points.
Bulgaria gets 30 points. Wah.
Iceland, this ought to score big. They receive 180 points.
Italy now, the ones predicted to win, receive 318 points. That's massive, they have 524 points.
Malta now, to receive 47 points. Oh, that's a slap.
France now. They need about 300 points. They get.... 251 points. Not a winner.
So it's down to Switzerland. He needs about 260 or so. Will he snatch it away? The public televote has given Switzerland...
...dramatic pause...
...building tension...
Switzerland has 165 points.

As predicted by the bookies, Italy has won the contest.
I hope they will put on a better show than the weird mess that was their last host from 1990.

 

Italy is the winner

So, a thumping rock number wins.

ROCK AND ROLL NEVER DIES was their message to the world. Well, they won, so I guess rock and roll never dies. On the live stream there were 2,700,965 watching.

 

Europe hates Britain?

Yup, Europe thinks you suck. Hell, even your friends in Ireland and Australia didn't offer a single point. Ouch.

Call this a "Brexit Benefit", and why not? I'm still waiting to hear what the other so-called benefits are supposed to be...

 

And finally

So, that's it. Three nights, three contests, and about fifteen hours of my life. It's quarter past two so I'm going to drop this on my blog, grab a rice pudding, then go straight to bed. I hope I remember to get undressed first, because... I am so tired.

And, finally, Bulgaria, a ❤ from me.

Good night.

 

 

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David Pilling, 23rd May 2021, 13:28
I read that the UK entry peaked in the UK charts @#42 might have been a clue there as to the final outcome.
VinceH, 23rd May 2021, 13:50
42? It was the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything? 
 
I can't actually remember what the UK's _song_ was like. It must have been quite bland for it not to have registered at all. 
 
All I remember are the giant trumpets that were a wasted opportunity. (I see Rick made a similar comment above about those that I did on Twitter.) 
Rick, 24th May 2021, 08:45
Wow, so many screwed up accents (especially in voilà) that I shouldn't have bothered. I did read through, but it was like half two in the morning so I was quite bleary-eyed by then. 
 
Oh, and Italy's abysmal mess of a show was in 1991, when Carola won for Sweden.
Rob, 28th May 2021, 00:39
Iceland - one of the group got covid, so they couldn't perform live: What we saw, in both the semi-final AND the final, was actually a recording of their second rehearsal! Although fairly tightly edited, you can occasionally see that there is no audience, and, in one shot, someone in hi-vis walking about!
Rob, 23rd June 2021, 15:02
How Iceland appeared in the stadium: 
https://youtu.be/AF_P9pOUbOM?t=606

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Last read at 11:25 on 2021/10/22.

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