Recap of Eurovision Song Contest 2019

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.

8 thoughts on “Recap of Eurovision Song Contest 2019”

  1. Hi Jen and Chris,
    Just like the last four years, I have been following your site during the Eurovision season and wanted to thank you for the funny and insightful articles. It is always interesting to read about ESC from an American perspective. And this year, being Dutch, I am absolutely over the moon. I am 46 years old and have been watching and following the contest ever since I was 4 years old. Never ever in all those years have we won, so this really feels like a once in a life time experience. And imagine that after the 2012 contest, our national broadcaster was about to pull out of ESC for good, and the Avro / Tros channel decided to take over and give qualifying for the grand final one more chance with one of our biggest stars. I think Anouk should get some of the credit for this victory for sticking her neck out and volunteering to be the Dutch entry in 2013, thus lowering the barier for other established Dutch artists to get involved. So all in all, extremely happy with the outcome of that process, and hoping to read your posts next year. I am already looking for ways to volunteer at the contest. Love from Amsterdam.

    1. Hi Lisa, thank you for your comment (and also hopefully forgiving us for not picking The Netherlands to win)! We agree with you that Anouk has really paved the way for your success. The quality of the Dutch entries since then have been really high, so it always felt like it was a matter of time before you took home the trophy! We can’t wait to see what next year’s show has in store for us. By the way, if you have any suggestions for Dutch dishes we absolutely need to have at our next Eurovision party, let us know!

      1. Are you going to have a dutch themed Eurovision party? How nice, that makes me realize how much this thing is going to put us in the spotlights next year.

        This is a site that might come in handy, all in English. I can recommend all the dishes.

        Also if you can get them, (don’t know if they are sold in the US), you should get “stroopwafels”, a typical dutch cookie, and off course a Dutch cheese platter. After all, our nickname in Europe is cheeseheads.

        1. Thank you, that site is great! We’ve made it a tradition to do the cuisine of the host country when we host our parties (even Azerbaijan), so we’re looking forward to diving in. We can get stroopwafels, and those will be a necessity! And honestly, any excuse for us to eat a lot of cheese is always welcome.

          1. That sounds like a lot of fun! And good to hear you can get stroopwafels and Gouda cheese over there.

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