Congratulations to The Netherlands, who have won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since 1975! To quote one of our Eurovision party guests, “The Dutch Hozier won!”
We were impressed with how well Duncan Laurence connected with the camera during his performance in the Final. He communicated the ache in the lyrics to “Arcade,” but also brought the song to a cathartic, almost joyous close. The Netherlands took a chance with a staging that could have been distancing, but instead captured the loneliness the song was describing while still giving it enough soul to capture voters’ hearts. Duncan finished second with the public and third with the jury, and that was exactly what he needed to win.
The fun part about the way the votes were presented this year is that even the casual viewers came away knowing exactly which songs resonate with the public and which resonate with the juries.
For example, San Marino finished 10th in the televote and 23rd in the jury vote. What a disparity! When we mentioned this to our son, he said, “I hate the public vote. In my opinion, the public vote ruins Eurovision!”
Czech Republic probably agrees with him. Lake Malawi finished 7th with the juries at 150 points and 24th with the public at just 7 points. That was the biggest gap between the two sets of results.
The second biggest gap went the other direction, and if any country has more of a right to complain about the jury results than San Marino, it is Norway. KEiiNO won the televote with 291 points, but only received 47 points to finish 15th with the juries. And we were so looking forward to seeing NRK’s updated clip package of Norway’s last place finishes!
While there were other interesting gulfs, there was also general agreement about the top songs. Seven entries finished in the top 10 of both voting blocs. As mentioned, this benefited “Arcade,” and it also benefited our favorite song, “Soldi.” Seeing Mahmood finish as well as he did, just 27 points behind Duncan, is gratifying. Also, he did better in the public vote than in the jury vote, which amuses us given the results at Sanremo.
On a personal note, we didn’t watch the show live this year because Jen was traveling for work. We hosted our annual Eurovision party on the Sunday instead, and we and our guests were all somehow able to avoid getting spoiled on the result beforehand. We also had the ability to skip ahead, which came in handy when we realized that Madonna’s performance was not going to get any better.
But other than that salient horror, we thought this year’s Song Contest was really good. The quality of music was high, the hosts were slightly cheesy without being overbearing, and the round robin with Conchita Wurst, Måns Zelmerlöw, Eleni Foureira, Verka Serduchka, and Gali Atari was a lot of fun.
We’re already looking up articles about Dutch cuisine to get ready for next year’s Eurovision, but we still have a lot of unfinished business to cover with this year’s Song Contest. Next up, an article about how we did both really well and really badly with our Eurovision predictions! We’re going to need to finish off the last of our Israeli wine to prepare for that post.