If you think the Eurovision semi finals are fun, you don't know the half of it.
The grand final is where it's at of course. Not just because it's where the winner gets crowned, England gets humiliated and you get to watch a lot of awkward banter.
Noooo the fun part is not about the stage performances, but rather the reporting of the votes in every country. You know, by television hosts who are giving up the 12 points from picturesque piazzas.
Some of my favourites this year were: Germany (mutton!), Cyprus (when you still live at home with mum), Sweden ("we can afford another stadium." And that quip about junk in your trunk or whatever) and maybe Moldova for the Gossip Girl outfit. You know she reminded me of Dan's little sister.
I wasn't a fan of the Ukraine's song but that's okay. No rule says I have to be. In the end, they won me over simply because of their correspondents. Only Lee Lin Chen threw down the fashion challenge as much, though the Ukraine brought the headscarves and the fizz so. not even LLC can compete with that.
The new voting system at Eurovision really shook things up and there were some remarkable results. It looked like Dami Im and Australia had it in the bag, but those naughty Eurovision peeps like you to have a false sense of confidence. They love pulling a last minute switch a roo.
Firstly, I was glad to see Poland polled well because I was dying to make that sentence and it had been awful seeing Chris Cornell Jnr sitting in the bottom after the jury vote. (Happy that Bulgaria and France also did pretty well with the public vote.)
Secondly it's always fun trying to predict the geopolitical votes of each country when it comes to the jury vote but you just don't get that when it comes to the public one. It was interesting to see for example that Australia placed fourth in the public vote behind three Eastern bloc nations. I thought they would out perform Poland in the end but Eurovision is like a calling card for all the displaced Europeans around Europe.
The Eastern Bloc is the messy, political maze of votes that makes Eurovision what it is. Just like you know that Cyprus will vote Greece (oh they couldn't this year- and the allegiance has switched to Ru$$ia hmm) you know that there is always going to be an anti Russian sentiment amongst certain countries.
Russia though won the public vote- and it was interesting and awkward how it came down to them and the Ukraine. And how Australia ended up in the middle of them! More awkwardness!
But I really felt for Sergey Lazarev as he was hung out on tender hooks and the whole Russia/Ukraine situation played out in an entertainment arena. Do you support the heartbreaker (aka Russian Ricky Martin) from the bad country or the gal singing from her heart about the country the bad guys are slowly trying to strangle?
In the end not even those wings on Sergey's upper arms could get him out of the awkward place he'd ended up in. And worse, after being the favourite going in he ended up in 3rd position. Those tricky Eurovision peeps. But it says something about EV that Justin Timberlake was in attendance and no one even gives a rat's.
Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
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