HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?
It was a big year for Eurovision this year.
The Stockholm edition had its share of controversy, geopolitical dramas and some great moments.
For the first time, it aired in Asia and in the US in addition to the European and Australian coverage which has been going on for decades. And they even threw Justin Timberlake into the mix (though with so many contestants and an exciting new delivery of votes, no one had enough energy to pay attention to JT).
For those of us who have been watching it for years, can we be honest? Has it lost some of its kitsch appeal and become a little more X Factor-ish in recent years?
I think so. Still, I'd rather watch Eurovision than put myself through anything remotely X Factor ish.
If you felt like the contestants this year were more polished than usual, fear not. Because we still had the awkward Skype this is Baku calling moments that we just love, and they really didn't disappoint. That was where the real contest was kiddies!
The Ukraine of course took out the main title this year with 1944, a politically charged number that has Russia all cranky pants (surprise), but the crossover to their results was the real win of the night. Anything with Verka Serduchka included is an unbeatable proposition and so that made it a double win for the Ukraine this year.
In second place in the official competition of course was Korean born Aussie Dami Im, whose The Sound of Silence won the judge's round and is proving to be the standout hit from the contest as the week continues. And of course, the cross over to Lee Lin Chin replicated the final result: she was the second most fantastic correspondent reporting on the final 12 points of the Australian vote.
For those of you who don't know LLC is a newsreader in Australia and a cult figure. Eurovision is LLC in her element because she would have no issue with pronouncing all those names perfectly.
Elsewhere, serious nods for the blah blah calling should go to Iceland (thanks for bringing the dog), Azerbaijan (loved the body language), Germany (for the old school German glamour) and Lithuania (for making me rethink physics and proportion in general).
The girls were gorgeous, but this year, it was mostly about the boys.
Måns Zelmerlöw, last year's winner and this year's co-host, did a great job of erasing that awkward PR disaster from last year when he allegedly referred to same sex relationships as being unnatural or something before claiming that what he was saying got lost in translation.
In addition to doing a fine job of presenting, (along with Petra who was great, but clothed) Måns also got his kit off at one point in reference to Belarus' very conceptual performance which (thankfully) didn't make it into the Grand Final. Måns also made a quip about love being a crime in some countries that was widely interpreted as aimed at Russia's disgusting stance towards the LGBT community.
Did I mention Måns got down to his drawers people? Et voila, no more pesky PR awkwardness with the LGBT community. Hell, he's practically just been crowned its King/Queen for his efforts in activism and nudity. But those Swedes aren't the only ones who aren't afraid of getting butt naked, right?
Russia's own Ricky Martin (RoRM), Sergey Lazarev had hearts fluttering. I thought his performance of You Are The Only One was the night's best for showmanship, but because the song itself was so crap, I don't think he deserved to win even though he was the bookie's favourite going in. But let's face it, RoRM is a cutie. He's a superstar in Russia these days, but low and behold, some rumours have surfaced in recent days about him having a porn star past. Jesus, talk about throwing down the gauntlet to Måns. We're going to have to decide who we want to rule our Euroworld, Måns or RoRM. Maybe they need to duke it out!
Perhaps one of the images that has surfaced may help us decide:
The jury is out.
Next year, Eurovision moves to Kiev. Hopefully, it will be as good a show as this year (though with some more kitsch next time round. Pleeeeeeaaaaassssseeee!)