Well, at least Russia didn't win, though for a time it came awfully close to it. That was my main consolation of the night.
actual winning song, 'Heroes', performed by very good-looking Mans Zelmerlow, had been
the bookies' favourite for weeks, though I would have ranked it in about 10th
place (I'd have placed Russia around 6th or 7th).
I think what helped him one was the sometimes remarkable backscreen effects, so one was distracted from what I felt was a little more than ordinary song.
This was Sweden's sixth win in the 60 years of the event's history, one better than the U.K's achievement so far, and one short of Ireland's record-holding seven wins to date.
Wurst, bearded drag-queen winner for Austria in 2014, made multiple (too many, for me) appearances in the roles of presenter, interviewer and performer during the nearly four hour-long show, supplementing the already
three-woman-strong presenting team. He was so ridiculously over-lauded throughout, that one might have thought he was the Second Coming incarnate!
Russia's entry, 'A Million Voices', being one of the better songs, its message of unity,
hope, love and tolerance was so at variance from the political workings of the
current ruling class in that country with their odious domestic policies and their
supine support of the repressive Russian Orthodox Church, that it seemed
a joke to their ever having approved the song, affectingly
performed by a sweet young thing, Polina Gagarina (containing in her name echoes of both Lady G. and the first man in space) who sang her heart out - and who cried
when the voting was half way through when it looked like she was the
most likely to win. (Of course the message of the song is the image the Russian rulers want to project, as though we were all totally stupid). Comforted by the ubiquitous Conchita, she was
careful this time not to be seen getting too pally as, according to commentator
Graham Norton, she was reprimanded by her Russian overseers at the
semi-finals for exchanging pecks on the cheek with him. ("Euro-pervs!")
very satisfying moment was seeing the first-ever Australian entry, 'Tonight Again', with
their happy, baby-faced smiler, Guy Sebastian, finishing in an
unexpected and extremely creditable fifth place - and looking every bit that he was thoroughly enjoying himself. It was an mood-uplifting performance. Give that Guy a hug!
from that it was a long night of groans and incomprehension - in other
words, much as it's been in previous years. With more countries (27)
participating than ever before, the extended running time itself
over-ran by half an hour, finishing close on midnight.
championing from the start of the upbeat, chirpy and risk-taking British entry, the 1920s pastiche 'Still in Love with You', from
duo 'Electro Velvet' (Bianca Nicholas and Alex Clarke, he of the disarming smile), turned to dust as we limped into 24th place with
an aggregate of just 5 points (as against Sweden's 365 and Russia's 303
), and those points from only two of the other 39 voting countries. (Craig, in comments below, says he thinks three countries gave us some minimal support). I
still like the song.
My own top choice, Estonia, (Elina Born & Stig Rasta with 'Goodbye to Yesterday') finished in 7th place:-
However, my runner-up choice, Austria, (the 'Makemakes' with 'I Am Yours') was spoilt by the gimmick of a piano on fire - part
of the 'act') and finished joint last with Germany, both countries picking up zero points!
Cyprus I liked too, with an unpretentious, simple song performed with modest resources - and I gave nods to Hungary and Romania as well.
third place was the well-received Italian entry, 'Grande Amore', performed last, with a young version of
'The Three Tenors' doing a reasonably attractive, though not very memorable, song.
Belgium came in fourth place, their highest finishing position for as long as I can recall.
However, for very nearly all the voting time it was clear that the real competition was going to be between Sweden and Russia until, even before all the votes had been declared, it was announced that Sweden was going to be the winner as by then it was clear that it couldn't be caught.
And how can we omit mentioning Lithuania's full-on gay kisses? - the 'shock' of the night if one wasn't expecting it. Several national governments will have been outraged, including China that was broadcasting the contest live for the first time. Good :-
A reasonable event for 2015, then, though I think not the most entertaining of recent years.
So, the question for us, as it seems it's been forever is - Will the U.K next year finally break the jinx? (Even a top five placing would be refreshing and reassuring) - or are we so disliked in so many countries that the question contains its own answer?.
5 hours ago