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Back from Lisbon: Something had to win

by | May 15, 2018

Back from Lisbon: Something had to win

by | May 15, 2018 | Eurovision |

So I am back home in Berlin. I arrived late Sunday evening and still haven’t unpacked. Before I get to do that, let my unpack my thoughts on the final results!

The winner
Congratulations to Israel!
20 years might not be that long a time to wait to host Eurovision again, but in real life, 20 years is a damn long time, and it seems to be Israel’s pattern after 1979 and 1999. Maybe we’ll finally get Tel Aviv 2039?

I have to be honest though, my excitement about Netta’s victory is rather limited. A song from the lower third of my personal ranking, something I wouldn’t put on any Eurovision playlist and that wasn’t really well performed either, won. But I am not surprised, because what were the alternatives?

The top 5
In the Top 5, we had Cyprus (2nd). While I would have loved to visit Eurovision on the Mediterranean island, this entry as the winner would have been very bad for Eurovision. I prefer imperfect singing over supported singing, and so I’m glad that Eleni didn’t win. The show she brought onto the stage was hilariously entertaining though. But the song… no, then I’d rather have “Toy”. But I’m happy for Cyprus’ best result ever.

Austria (3rd), Germany (4th) and Italy (5th)? None of these would have been a deserved winner, either. Austria maybe, but I was very surprised that Germany and Italy finished this high. Italy and Germany together in the top 5 last happened in 1987, Germany and Austria last in 1972, and these three classic countries together in the top 5 has never happened before.

Places 6-10
The Czech Republic (6th) or Estonia (8th) would have been the best winners of those in the top 10, in my opinion, though at no point did I believe either had a real chance of winning. Sweden ended up that high (7th) mostly thanks to the juries. Has there ever been such a discrepancy between juries and televoters? I was shocked that the professionals could get so blinded by this polished, arrogant, clinical stage show and fail to notice how weak the song behind it actually is. Thankfully the televoters did notice, and rewarded the Nordic country with the correct amount of points.

And then there was Denmark (9th) and Moldova (10th), both coming with remarkable stagings. I’m not surprised that televoters liked Denmark, while I would have expected a better result for Moldova. But again, neither would have been good winners either.

Places 11-15
Albania (11th) and Lithuania (12th) each reached their third-best result ever, while Madame Monsieur surely expected – and were expected – to get a better than mid-table result for France (13th). Maybe the song took too long to get to the point (“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!”)? I fell in love with Bulgaria (14th) during the two weeks in Lisbon, and would have liked to see them higher on the table, whereas I’m happy and not especially surprised that Norway‘s Alexander Rybak ended up as low as 15th.

Places 16-20
The beauty of Ireland (16th) was mainly the dance of the two guys. The song itself was boring and forgettable, but together with the stage show it worked, more as a soundtrack to a movie than a song by itself. 16th is totally okay for that. I’m happy to see Ukraine (17th) not totally under the scoreboard ladder, and surprised that The Netherlands (18th) and Serbia (19th) made it this high on it. If Australia (20th) had had a better performance, it could have reached a far higher rung on that ladder, but no surprise here after what Jessica delivered, unfortunately.

The bottom 6
Well, Hungary (21st). I thought it could be the surprise winner. How wrong I was. The rest of the bottom 6, though, was more or less expected: Slovenia (22nd) was my least favourite entry of the whole year, Spain (23rd) was nothing but an acoustic sleeping pill, the United Kingdom (24th) was my second favourite but I knew everyone else was dissing it, and Finland (25th) essentially did a “Vampires Are Alive”. Poor-too-gal from Portugal (26th), the host country, last place. That hurts a lot, but I didn’t expect much better for a difficult song like that, to be honest.

So what does all the above tell us? In my opinion, 2018 didn’t have a single deserved winner, but something had to win, and that was Israel. There was no alternative really – it was a bad year. Now I will have to file “Toy” into my “least favourite winners” box, together with “Molitva”, “Believe” and “Satellite”… and move on, because Eurovision 2019 is on its way.

It can only get better.

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Gallery: The host city Lisbon

We’ve been out and about in Lisbon, surely one of the most picturesque and personality-filled Eurovision host cities. Enjoy some of our photo highlights in this gallery!

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