Like half of the people in Europe, I was glued to the edge of my seat at midnight (UK time) last night waiting to see the final outcome of this year’s Eurovision. Like almost everyone watching in the UK—plus a few migrants elsewhere, like my friend SJ who moved from Yorkshire to Mexico—I was in a state of shocked disbelief that we were actually doing rather well at it all. We won the jury vote and came fifth in the popular vote, pushing us up to an overall second place. Really quite a surprising result compared to some previous entrants; see, we can do well in Eurovision if we actually take it seriously.
Of course, most of the songs I liked myself really got very far, but I’m used to that by now. Here are the ones I liked enough to make notes on, in roughly reverse order:
- Finland I thought would do better, but clearly fans of The Rasmus didn’t turn out and vote for them.
- Serbia—I rather liked their 19th century medical aesthetic, aside from the song being pretty decent too.
- The Netherlands were the only one of the many many ballads this year to really make an impact on me, which was all down to the tune and the performance. For some reason, there’s something about the particular shape of the melody that I really liked. It helped a little that I know enough Dutch to pick up a handful of the words.
- Moldova had an interesting modern take on The Ramones, almost like a mirror-universe Helen Love with a bit more folk violin. Apparently the song was something about trains.
- And finally France were my favourites, with a Celtic rave that turned into some sort of summoning ritual along the way. I bet any BDSM people watching were looking at all the triskele symbols in the staging and going “hmm, I bet they’re kinky too”.
OK, two of my favourites (Moldova and Serbia) genuinely did also do well in the final results, and the Netherlands were middling, but France in particular came absolutely nowhere, which I thought was a terrible shame. Oh well, if my favourite song ever did come first, I’d start to worry about myself.