Ah, Eurovision, you hold a special place in my heart. For many of us, Eurovision would probably have been the first time we were allowed to stay up late to catch the show and the lengthy results. It is still, to this day, one of my favourite nights of the year.
Yet, this year left me a little disappointed.
No special focus
This year marks a special year for the contest, as it is the 60th year of the competition. Exciting things were promised – Australia was invited to participate, despite the competition only being open to EU members. The show attracts a lot of Australian viewers and seemed to be a step towars making Eurovision more international and less of a joke.
But there was nothing special about any of the songs or entries. Nothing was focused on the anniversary occasion and nobody stepped it up. So many of the entries were slow ballads with the silliest entry undoubtedly from the UK. I found myself missing the days when Russian grannies or a Turkey puppet were genuine contestants that created a lot of buzz.
— BBC Eurovision (@bbceurovision) May 23, 2015
Still a political game
The theme for this year was, aptly, building bridges and in the run up to the final the announcers were reminding the audience to keep politics out of it and only focus on the music when voting. This was a fair call but one that has been made for years with no results. The contest is notorious for political voting (to the extent that the voting process was changed in 2009 to allow half of the points to be allocated by professional judges who watch the final rehearsals) so it felt a bit like an exercise in futility.
For me, one of the greatest aspects of the show is the commentary from Graham Norton, who generallys gets more and more hilarious and uncouth as the night progresses. I’m pretty sure alcohol plays a good part in that.
The results were a three horse race between Sweden (the eventual winner), Russia and Italy and, to be honest, I was surprised by the outcome. Sweden was the favourite from the start but I was convinced that the UK, Germany and Serbia would do better than they did. Then again, Eurovision has never been easy to predict and this year the voting certainly proved that.
— Eurovision (@Eurovision) May 23, 2015