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16 May 2016 @ 12:23 am
Eurovision 2016 Final!  
We open with the contestants all walking through the stadium with models wearing paper costumes onto which national flags are projected. Some quality Vogueing there. And a genuinely decent dance mix.

Petra and Mans (soz, Mans, I've been misspelling your name in the semis, because, well, you're not Petra. But you're cute) are back to host, and they look fabulous. Ah Stockholm, you genuinely know how to party. I like to think that their opening monologue was a strong Bremain comment. And this year, Australia is voting! Not me, obviously, because I am watching this on record due to needing to sleep. But others! And holy moly, they are going to split the jury and phone votes and that IS GOING TO TAKE FOREVER!!!!!!

And with no further ado we are on to the songs, which I wll not be fully recapping if they came through the semis, because there's precious little more to say on most of these.

First up, Belgium, Laura Tesoro again with What's the Pressure. She's adorable, she'd got the moves, she's got the curls, she hasn't got the best song. She may have the backing dancers I'd most like to go out clubbing with, though. She deserves to be in the top third for that performance alone.

The Czech Republic return with Gabriela Guncikova, singing I Stand. If Lana del Rey's management are looking for a less politically questionable addition to their team, I can wholeheartedly recommend Gabriela. I'm linking this more than in the semis, though. Great hero note and, er, hair letting down. Who knows?

It's the Netherlands, Douwe Bob with Slow Down, and I really, really like his horse. I bet he's a great bloke, and he is clearly an accomplished musician, not wholly convinced by the neck ink, but I have heard this song before in both this iteration and the 452 similar versions before it and all the charm in the world is not enough to keep me here when I can ninja out and grab a cocoa before the next country.

Azerbaijan, Miracle, sung by Samra. She is s stunningly gorgeous woman in a gold jumpsuit with a good voice, but this song is 73 shades of dull. Though I like the fact that the backing dancers find the choreography so risible they are visibly holding in giggles.

Time for the gorgeous Freddie from Hungary, singing Pioneer. Clearly they have decided not to shave between the semi and final in much the same way that some athletes won't change their knickers or socks at a successful meet. At least they'll all smell better than the athletes. Is he wearing an asymmetrical T-shirt? What the hell, Hungary. There is no excuse for that. This song remains dull, he remains lovely.

Time for Italy! New song! Francesca Micheilin singing No Degree of Separation, in Italian. Her set is designed to look like a garden, and her outfit like the sparkliest pair of dungaries ever worn. Her hand gestures have gone beyond emphatic and into boxercise territory, but I like the song. It's not super exciting, but it at least has more lyrical and musical diversity than 90% of what we're hearing tonight.

Hovi Star, back for Israel, Made of Stars. I didn't talk enough about the pair of acrobats in the spinning hula hoop last time, probably because there's not a lot to say beyond that. The hoop spins, they do some little acrobatty bits, then get off it and hold it as a frame for Hovi for his dance remix bridge before the pyro wayterfall starts up. And now the hoop is shining with stars. Of course it is.

If Love was a Crime, sung by Polly Genova for Bulgaria. You know Robin's song about Dancing On Her Own? That's what Polly seems to have been going for, mixed with a bit of that belly dancing song that won about seven years ago. It's not awful, it's not even bad, it's just ... Look, she has dayglo stripes on her tigts and she deserves better.

Franz for Sweden! Hurrah! Singing If I Were Sorry. He really looks like a baby Josepph Gordon Levitt. Bless. Sweden is clearly running no risks and the pets of the Eurovision sng selection committee were likely held hostage until they came up with this perfectly pleasant tune that runs not a single chance at all of taking out this contest. I hope you're OK now, Mr Tiddles! If the late, great Sir Terry Wogan were still with us he would be sighing eloquently at this point.

Mans and Petra are back, and they are introducing Jamie-Lee from Germany singing Ghost. FABULOUS K-Pop/J-Pop stylings and spooky Kate Bush-esque backdrop. Visually, this is far and away my favourite of the weekend. But as far as the song goes it's ... Um, yeah, look, it's not the dullest we'll hear this weekend.

France time! Amir singing J'ai Cherché, and he's been looking for an excuse to wear white trainers with a dark suit. I like the boppy chorus of this song, which is fun and has the audience singing along by repetition three, but there may be more tempo changes than a sane person would have written. Still, a solidly commercial offering from France and much more likely to score points than the traditional angry young person ballad. I have a terrible feeling this is the song that I will be accidentally singing all week, ad he's certainly selling the hell out of it.

Michal Szpak, with Colour of Your Life for Poland. He still has magnificent hair and coat, but his song is making Rusketus the cat run around the house caterwauling and I am taking that as a sign to finally get that cocoa I forgot to get earlier.

DAMI IM TIME! Look, it's still stupid that Australia is at Eurovision, but at least we are sending quality talent. Sound of Silence is the song, and it's not bad at all. It's not really that good as an actual song, but she performs it so well, it's easy to overlook that. I still have no idea how she gets down off that plinth for the end of the performance, though. The Australian commentators are pimping her for the win, and that's not crazy talk, but it would be madness to follow through on it in the voting.

Minus One, singing Alter Ego for Cyprus, and I am going to drink my cocoa now it's cooled a little, because I love you, Cyprus, but you and I both know that band is only here because the qualifying votes come at the end of a long, long night of alcohol for most people.

One of my actual faves, Goodbye (Shelter) by Zaa Saja Vucic for Serbia. It's five magnificent women fronted by one big voice and a lot of excellent plaiting. I live in hope it could win, but people are more likely to vote for some hot boy.

On the topic of which Donny Montell, for Lithuania, I've been Waiting for This Night. I've been waiting for you to get a better jacket and song, Donny. We're both going to be disappointed if I'm any judge of voting, because you're not the only cute boy there tonight. Though I will grant you that you have the best mid-song flip. Which the camera teams totally failed to capture. My sympathies, Donny. I know you nailed it.

The lovely Nina Kraljic from Croatia singing Lighthouse. I still love this frock, I still find this song a missed opportunity. And her voice is a little tired in some of the later parts of the song, which, fair enough.

And Song 18 is Russia, Sergey Lazarev with You Are the Only One. My feelings on this have not changed since the semis. If it wins, it will be a triumph of style over substance, but I live in a country with Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, so that does happen. If it wins and he has to perform it again without all the shiny tricks, it will be immediately apparent that this is not a great song.

Spain! Barei singing Say Yay. She is wearing Classic Rock Star that looks as though it could have been designed by Versace and with one of the best haircuts of the evening. There's a lot going on with the choreography: she's walking, she's waving, she's falling, she's running, she's finished. I'm exhausted.

Latvia, Justs, Heartbeat. He is still beautiful, I am still choosing to ignore this song in favour of patting a cat.

Ukraine bring Jamala with 1944 and it has a really beautiful tone to the singing that stands out because so mauch of this year is so pre-packaged pop. I live in hope that it will take out the vote this year.

Lovely Malta lady is back, Ira Losco with Walk on Water and it turns out she is six moths pregnant not four and I've just remembered I left the drippers on in thr front garden. Look, it's nice and brilliantly performed, but not super exciting. I know she'll ace it again, she's that good. Back in time to catch her nimble backing dancer, he's having fun. It's all a bit like the redemptive song in the final act of a teen hero's journey film.

Oh hell, it's Georgia again, Midnight Gold by Nika Kocharov and the Young Georgian Lolitaz. If the White Stripes ever did Eurovision, it would be a lot like this. Perfectly good, but whatever.

Austria, Loin d'ici, sung by Zoë. Still as lovely as in the semis, all fairytale and Princess Sparklepony. Tragically, I fear this song will also be earworming my future.

It's the UK. I am so sorry. They are sweet lads, though, if their Graham Norton appearance was anything to go by. Those are some beautifully groomed eyebrows. And at least the song is nicely upbeat and bloody hell I know the words after two hearings and that is not going anywhere, dammit. There is a lot more boyband than usual at Eurovision this year. At least these two are actually young. I hope it does their careers no lasting harm, they deserve to do well, or at least marry money.

Last song! Armenia, Lovewave sung by Iveta Muckunchyan. She of the Beyonce riffs, hair and curves. And that is where the resemblance ends. Moving on.

Petra is in a green frock and she looks lovely! Mans is still in a tuxedo. IAN McKELLAN AND DEREK JACOBI! STATLER AND WALDORFING! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, SWEDEN!!!!

Voting is about to begin and the green room is filled with people wondering if it's safe to get drunk yet. Yes, yes it is, Georgia.

Mans is hanging with the contestants and there is Justin Timberlake being a total sweetheart with little Franz. Bless him. People are losing their collective minds around him. Petra was kept from him because she is too much woman. Austria girl has just pecked what looks like Netherlands boy on the cheek in the corner of the screen. Smooth!

And we have a brief tour through Swedish popular music, including ROxette who I confess to still being fond of, and then a touch of death metal, Loreena and Mans. They do very well, there.

Timberlake time. He's one of those acts that I can appreciate the excellence while generally not being super interested in what he does. The production is spectacular and he really is a star, just not my type. However, he is rocking that stadium and bringing the good times, so more power to him! I really like the fact that one of the guitarists looks like the man who validates the voting every Eurovision. Hiring on talent not looks is deeply cool, Timberlake.

Mans is there with Destiny who won last year's Junior Eurovision! She was astonishing. We are all invited to Malta. Mans and Petra bring us a little Eurovision gag talk and tune about forming the perfect Eurovision song from past winners. Open with a big start; bring on the drums (preferably played by hot half naked men or clothed grannies); Bring in a random folk instrument played by someone bearded and don't worry if your coutry doesn't have one, 'Just make something up, no one will know'; Bring a violin (NORWAY BOY!); Add a DJ with some scratching 'In real life this is 30 years old, but in Eurovision this will give your song a contemporary feel'; Step 6, costume, and they strip off their outer layers for a pink pantsuit on Petra and Greek white on Mans. Step 7 a song about love, peace or similar. Mans is singing now as is Petra, and they are really the best hosts ever and please can other countries just hire them in? Anyone playing the Eurovision drinking game is downing shots like there is no tomorrow at this point. There may actually be no tomorrow if they don't call a halt to things. SO MANY IN JOKES I CAN'T EVEN! Milkmaid girl, Russian skater, man in hamster wheel Lordi, Grannies baking. THEY REALLY KNOW HOW IT IS MEANT TO GO!

After that, Lynda Woodruff takes the stage talking for the EBU, answering some questions while Petra and Mans have a costume change. The poor Chinese and Americans who are looking for answers to the question 'What is this madness?' will not be getting them here.

Mans is back, singing and riding a hoverboard. That is a lot of practice and he is hiding the look of horror in his eyes quite brilliantly. And now Heroes of Our Time Redux, which is a good reminder that he is more than just a cute chap who works as a foil for Petra. Solid voice and stage presence!

ANd now, the votes, which will be broken down into separate presentation for the national juries and viewer votes.
12 points to Australia from the Austrian Jury, thanks, chaps! Hope we were there for you. 10 from Iceland, bless! They give their 12 to The Netherlands, which is OK. 7 points for Oz from Azerbaijan, bless! Their 12 goes to Russia, I am not shocked. San Marino, who were robbed in the semis, have sent a rapper to give the points. Their 12 go to Ukraine, YAY! Good choice. Czech Republic give 12 to Sweden, Russia is on top at the moment. Malta and Australia tied behind.

Ireland give their 12 jury points to Belgium, with none to Australia, which I think just shows they don't like any of the relatives they have over here. Georgia's 12 go to Ukraine. I can only hope. Bosnia and Herzegovina give 10 to Australia and 12 to Ukraine! Good taste! That's the two countries at the top briefly. Malta now, 3 to Australia. Sigh. 12 to UK, bless em. Thanks, chaps. Tradition is beautiful.

Spain's jury give their 12 to Armenia. Australia is on top. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Finland give their 12 to Sweden. I am not shocked. Switzerland's jury man whistles and gives 12 to Australia, so he can be a wacky as he likes. Denmark give 12 to Ukraine! HURRAH! Now in second with Australia leading. France are big Justin Timberlake fans and give 12 to Italy, which is deserved, if out of the blue. Moldova's lady looks like a hitwoman and I am a big fan. 12 to Ukraine. If only the popular votes follow! Armenia give 12 to France! Cyprus give theirs to Russia.

Bulgaria give 12 to Armenia. The Netherlands give 12 to Australia and their spokeswoman is drunk, but who cares, she's fab. Latvia give 12 to Ukraine, nice. Israel are not appearing on the screen, Petra is filling in nicely and an ad break is covering up the technical fail. They're back. 12 points to Ukraine! She is closing in on Australia! Hurrah! Belarus give their 12 to Russia, which I typed before he said it and did not need to correct. Germany give 12 to Israel, because they are drunk and he did have a fab voice.

Russia's spokeswoman has a great frock and Manscrush. 2 to Australia, 12 to Armenia. Sigh. Norway give Australia 10, ta loves! 12 to Italy! Nice! LEE LIN CHIN IS THERE! I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!! Our 12 points go to Belgium, because everyone on the jury has just got in from clubbing. Belgium give us 12! WOO! Neat! We do love you chaps. UK give their 12 to Georgia, and that's because they have been drinking since lunch. Croatia give their 12 to Australia! Good lord. You chaps DO NOT want to be coming all this way. You have no idea how much hell that flight is!

Greece give their 12 to Russia. Lithuania give theirs to AUSTRALIA ARE YOU ALL HEAVILY ON THE PISS? Serbia give theirs to Ukraine, which is more like it. FYR Macedonia give theirs to Ukraine! Yay! Albania give theirs to Australia. And look, you juries are terrific, do give Dami lots of work, but I hope the popular votes are not this mad. Estonia (hot boy!) give 12 to Sweden, bless. Ukraine have a granny and the second placegetter from 2007 and that is so gorgeous! 12 to Lithuania. Italy give 12 to Spain, Poland give 12 to Ukraine.

Poor old Germany is on 1. That's not fair.

Slovenia is singing theirs, 12 to Ukraine. Thank goodness! Hungary give their 12 to Australia and I do frequent your restaurants, so I can see that, but aiya! Montenegro give their 12 to Malta! Germany still on 1. Sweden give their 12 jury votes to Australia, and we do genuinely love you guys, as ABBA's entire career trajectory shows. We are miles in front. This is madness and Europe, I hope your non-musician citizens have more sense than this.

Dami is hosing down expectations but giving some nice thanks for all those jury points, because she is a dear. And now, the televotes!

Germany is still on 1. Poor Germany, you were better than many others.

The televotes are added, and I am pleased to see that the UK is snubbed as is tradition. You are just asking for a Brexit, chaps! Germany at least has 11 points now. Belgium is out of the running, as is the Netherlands. Really only Ukraine and France look as though they could take it from Australia. Fingers crossed it's Ukraine!

France is out of the running! Russia could very possibly do it, but I don't think so. Austria is getting a very nice ovation, because she was lovely. This is a bit of a cruel method as the countries that don't bump up to number 1 when the televotes are added are automatically eliminated. Poland currently have 7 points and are somewhere in the top 4 of the popular vote. WTF? Fourth highest popular vote is 191 points to Australia! That's 511, which is terrifying. Third highest is 222 points to Poland. Marvy. I can hear the Australian commentator whispering that she has a sick feeling in her stomach and I feel that is probably fear that we could win and she will be landed with hosting gig next year, which is clearly absurd as it would go to Kylie or Lee Lin Chin. Second highest is Ukraine, ahead of Australia!! YAY!!!! 534 points! Televote highest is Russia, with 361 points and it is not enough! They are third! UKRAINE WIN, AUSTRALIA COMES SECOND! It is the best result because, SERIOUSLY IT IS 26 HOURS TO GET HERE PEOPLE!!!!

Oh, that's a relief. One of the few good songs sung well. It's time for the winner to sing her song again, get her trophy and embark on a year of madness, but for me, sleep!
AutumnHearti_autumnheart on May 15th, 2016 02:55 pm (UTC)
Your commentary is always a treat - thankyou for taking the time to type it out!

I found it a bit meh this year; Mans and Petra's perfect song was much more entertaining than any of the actual acts. Also, spoilers were everywhere this morning, though I'm not peeved enough to consider getting up early enough to watch the actual simulcast.

I was glad Australia didn't win. It's ridiculous that we're even competing, but would be beyond stupid for us to be hosting. Some things are much more fun when you don't have to mind about the result :)

Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on May 15th, 2016 03:04 pm (UTC)
♥ ♥ ♥
Jamie-Lee deserved more points but yeah, the song was not all that a Eurovision song could have been.
Kristina Anderssonkriscat on May 15th, 2016 03:45 pm (UTC)
I honestly wanted Australia to win. I liked your song best. But I thought for the most part that it was a 'meh' starting field this year. But I'm proud of the swedish production. Måns and Petra were awesome. Petra's pink pantsuit was a nod to Charlotte Nilsson's look when she won in 1999. ;) And it's not the first time Frans have a hit song in Sweden. 9 years ago, he sang about his love for football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic. ;)

germankittygermankitty on May 15th, 2016 04:20 pm (UTC)
At least we got points this year -- 11 is better than zero, right? (Even if we still came in last ...)

But go, Australia! If Israel -- which is about as European as Oz -- can twin ESC twice, you can do it, too!
lokifanlokifan on May 15th, 2016 05:32 pm (UTC)
I totally agree Ukraine winning and Australia coming second was the best possible result, even though I voted for Australia because she was EXCELLENT and also Australia winning Eurovision would be hilarious.

Your commentary is HYSTERICAL and also very true, as always!!
connorblondconnorblond on May 15th, 2016 06:42 pm (UTC)
There is such a hub-hub about the Ukrainian song now! Not sure if it makes me want to shake my head in disbelief or laugh like a loon.
Catherine17catherines on May 16th, 2016 04:08 am (UTC)
I love your commentary so much! We got up early to watch it, and the voting was *incredibly* exciting, my goodness! I really loved Ukraine and wanted them to win, so I was very happy with the result but if Australia had won I would be campaigning heavily to a) hold it in Austria (thus confusing everyone forever) and b) have Lee Lin Chin and Conchita as the presenters.

Or Petra and Måns could host it again. Because I wanted to vote for them, and strongly suspect that so did everyone else and that's why Sweden's incredibly dull song did so well (5th? Seriously?). I want them to get their own show, I really do.

Bondeannawol on May 16th, 2016 07:46 am (UTC)
Oh my wow! I have to admit that I liked the split voting this year. I was actually on the edge or my seat until the very last reveal.

I was kinda disappointed that there were no "out-there" acts this year but Love Love Peace Peace just rocked my little cotton socks off.

I did want to ask, who was the lady who represented the Australian Jury? She looked interesting and I want to know more!
Nennenenne on May 17th, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
Good Heavens! You are really into this!

His name is actually Måns with an A with a ring over it. You would pronounce it something like Mons though. :-)
glorafinglorafin on May 24th, 2016 12:21 pm (UTC)
In Eurovision circles, 2016 will always be known as the year of the Polish mystery.