Eurovision: the morning after

Well, that was interesting, wasn’t it?

I think Lisbon did a fantastic job of hosting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Yes, a few of the interval pieces dragged a little, and yes, some of the ‘natural’ conversations between hosts and entrants were a little strained – but aren’t they always?

The set was amazing, many of the acts were impressive and Graham Norton was on top form commenting for the BBC. I also managed to introduce the Eurovision concept to a whole new group of people. Last night, we had friends over to share in the ‘experience’ and I was amazed – no, really – that two Italians and a Frenchman had never watched it before.

So, what followed was a lightning fast explanation of:

  • Why it was being held in Lisbon
  • Why there were so many countries
  • Why (as predicted) Australia and Israel were in it
  • How the scoring works

What I couldn’t explain was why some asshole decided to invade the stage as the UK entrant was doing her very best and why, at one point, one of the presenters asked the Austrian singer to basically use her as a weight for bench-presses.

Truly bizarre.

As expected, the UK didn’t do well at all, finishing in 24th place out of 26 songs. Ouch. I’m unsure why this is, though many are pointing to Brexit. I’m not sure there’s a ton of evidence to back this up, really. I didn’t think the song stood up against some of the other performances and, these days, on-stage antics count for as much as the song itself. SuRie was all alone on stage (except when molested by the loser) and it lost a little something in that.

Ireland and Spain did much worse in terms of points than I was expecting. Ireland ended up in 16th place, while Spain could only manage 23rd. Both great songs, delivered well on the night. Oh well, they can walk away knowing they did a great job.

The moments when the last few votes were announced were really excellent Eurovision TV. It could have gone to any one of a few countries – but Israel snatched victory in the end, leaving Cyprus – and a genuinely surprising Austria – in their wake. It’s not a song I’ll be listening to again, but it was genuinely memorable. Which is so important, when you’re up against 25 other songs in one evening.

So now, on the morning after, I can look forward to settling in and eating all the leftovers from last night’s party. Except for the prosecco. I had enough of that last night… It’s always a highlight of Eurovision weekend. Cold cuts, cheese and various breads and dips, combined with a review of our favourite acts and their performances.

Along with vague promises to ourselves of some day actually going to see the Eurovision live. And counting down to the next contest!

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