It was Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman who once said of the entertainment industry: “Nobody knows anything”. And he’s right.
I’ve seen a lot of satisfied opinion since Azerbaijan won on Saturday night. Lots of delight in having picked the winner. Well, that’s absolutely wonderful. Congratulations! Some even won money – even better!
However, not one single commentator can put their hand on their heart and vow that they knew for sure that Azerbaijan was going to win. And for all the crowing about predictions, I’ve seen much less conceding that all the hype about France was ridiculous.
This is why I never make predictions. I only give opinions, and guarded ones at that. This year, I made it clear that my reviews of the Eurovision songs were based entirely on the studio versions, many of which bore little resemblance to what happened on stage. But no matter. Because that’s not the point.
I just find it all a bit boring. Incessant talk of odds and strategies, rehearsal issues and vocal problems. I listened to a podcast that criticised one singer for daring to have fun at EuroClub. Yawn. I know that for many Eurovision fans, this is all part of the fun, but it’s all just a bit tedious. France’s Amaury Vassili was apparently amazing in his rehearsal. The result? 15th. The UK’s Blue were supposed to be as equally appalling in theirs. The result? 11th.
Nobody knows anything.
Nobody, that is, except my fabulous friends, Schlagerprofilerna themselves, Ken Olausson and Ronny Larsson, of course. What absolutely marvellous coverage they kindly allowed me to use here at Schlagerfiasko. They provided a uniquely S’fiasko experience despite my not being able to be in Düsseldorf, and I am eternally grateful for their help and support.
I’m also very thankful to all my readers – so that means you! My hit counter has gone through the roof during Eurovision period, so many thanks to everyone who took the time to visit and have a look. There’s plenty more to come, so don’t go anywhere. Please.
Let’s round off this year’s Eurovision with a brief look at Schlagerfiasko’s highs and lows.
“The bookies’ favourite” (© every bore in Europe) crashed and burned in 15th. The hype certainly did not live up to the reality of an off-key performance. Amaury can sing, and he’s bloody amazing. Just not on Eurovision night. ”Stay the hell away from opera or you’ll end up in 21st place!!” jokingly warned Sweden’s 2009 opera entrant, Malena Ernman. But she’s one of the few commentators this year who actually did know what she was talking about with this song. And she was almost right.
A couple of Greek Twitter people told me to “die” after I criticised this at the semi-final. Not very in keeping with the spirit, is it? I usually love Greek entries, too. Kalomoira, Helena Paparizou and Sakis Rouvas have all brought so much fun to the Contest. Let’s hope Greece gets its groove back next year.
I don’t need to explain.
We definitely missed lovely Stella.
Rumours suggest that Raphael Gualazzi’s second-place success was down to the juries. We won’t know until later on, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was. And Latvia’s late 12 points to Italy knocked Sweden into third place. Grrr, as they say in the woods. And certain specialist gay bars.
Enough with the lows, here are the highs…
Predicted or not, Azerbaijan’s song from Ell/Nikki was a worthy pop winner completely in the spirit of the Contest. I’m obviously biased because two of the backing singers (and I may have mentioned this once or twice before) were two-thirds of the fabulous Shirley’s Angels, Vera Prada and Jessica Marberger.
Just one thing – if Azerbaijan is three hours ahead of continental western Europe, does that mean next year’s Contest will be starting at midnight there?
Sweden’s glass broke!
Thank goodness. Eric was great, as well. He brought some much-needed energy to proceedings as the seventh performer on stage. Excellent progress on his path to world pop domination. And third place is Sweden’s best result since Charlotte Nilsson (as was) in 1999. Bra jobbat Eric!
Bloody hell! Performance of the night. And she barely moved. What a wonderful surprise. With stunning camera work, including some beautiful super close-ups of her face, Lena’s completely paired-back rendition of Taken By A Stranger was one of this year’s great highlights. Doesn’t matter in the slightest that this came tenth, it was part of a very small group that I thought was head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. And no, I’m not telling you who else is in that group, because Eurovision is over now!
Conducted themselves amazingly on and off-camera by all accounts. Excellent work.
Serbian Nina and her back-up singers’ look to camera just before her postcard started
Iceland’s happy heartbreak
This could have come last and they wouldn’t have cared. A lovely tribute to Sjonni.
Austria and Switzerland
Nadine and Anna both delivered great vocals. Nadine in particular took a huge risk with her acappella intro that paid off greatly. Not that any of the voters noticed, of course. 18th and 25th places respectively.
I’m sure there are other highlights I’ve forgotten about, but if you’re reading this, you’re in the one per cent of readers who’ve made it this far.
See you in Baku! (I tried to write that in Azerbaijani, but failed miserably. And I don’t want to offend anyone more than usual.)