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Saturday 26 May 2012

Eurovision 2012 - Baku (Azerbaijan) - the final

The results of Eurovision Song Contest for 2012

Sweden is FIRST with 372 points
Russia is SECOND with 259 points
Serbia is THIRD with 214 points
- a very convincing victory for Sweden; although I did not cast one of my votes for them, they were in fact amongst the 8 countries for whom I gave my top score of 7 3/4 - 8 (yes, it's an inexact vote - so sue me!).

Congratulations to Sweden on their win and see you next year in Stockholm. Here's the winning song:

Above is the summary of the results and below is my report on the whole evening
So, tonight is the night - the final of the Eurovision Song Contest for 2012! There are 26 contestants tonight, 20 qualifiers from the first and second semi-finals, plus the 'big 5' who pre-qualify for the final by virtue of their major financial support for the EBU and finally the winner of last year's contest and this year's host nation which also pre-qualifies for the final - the 6 nations in all that this applies to are high-lighted below.

The final will begin at 9pm (Spanish time - or 8pm in the UK) and runs for 3+ hours. The full order in which the entries will be performed is in the Eurovision website here and the page has links to view video-clips of all the competing entries.

I'll be updating the list below (in performance order) as the show progresses with my comments on each performance (updated comments for the 20 qualifiers from the semi-finals). Apart from having watched a video-clip of the United Kingdom entry once only, I had not seen any of the entries until the two semi-finals and still have not seen recordings of the entries for Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and do not plan to watch them before the performances on Saturday evening so that the whole evening will be as 'fresh' as possible for me.

United Kingdom - Engelbert Humperdinck - Love Will Set You Free Pre-qualified for final.
A true professional and a star performer singing a nice ballad - should do pretty well in a fair world. It is so low-key and nice - a real and welcome contrast to some of the other efforts 'pyrotechnics'. Will I vote for this (I'm in Spain)? - more later.

Hungary - Compact Disco - Sound Of Our Hearts
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - Not a bad effort and lead singer has a good and powerful voice. Unusual song, but I rather like it - should easily get to final. Sung in English.]
Another very sound performance - should do well.

Albania - Rona Nishliu - Suus
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - A rather strange-looking lady, singing what is probably quite a dramatic ballad, but her voice is a little 'off'. If this makes the final then I know nothing (but we knew that already – ed.)]
Just as off-putting as I found it in the semi-finals - complete joke and nonsense. Why is this in the final?

Lithuania - Donny Montell - Love Is Blind
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Singing in glittery blindfold, referencing the song title is a very good-looking man with a really rather excellent voice singing a ballad in English. Now he's taken off the mask (he has lovely eyes) and is doing sexy hip-twists and thrusts and it has upped the beat - this is certainly worthy of getting to final and might do very well there. Only flaw is that his pronunciation of 'you' is rather strange. On balance I like, though.]
Another great performance - he is so good-looking and is performing the song very well again - even is pronunciation of 'you' isn't so strange.

Bosnia & Herzegovina - Maya Sar - Korake Ti Znam
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Long-haired pretty woman singing and playing piano singing in another language a rather nice ballad - she has a very good voice, so this deserves to do well and will certainly make the final.]
She is really nice and has an excellent voice - the ballad is very tuneful (assume the meaning is 'worthy') - I am liking this a lot as it's another performance (like the UK) which relies on talent, not 'glitter'.

Russia - Buranovskiye Babushki - Party For Everybody
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - Is this some kind of joke? Eccentric certainly! A catchy tune, but surely this is so bizarre it can't win? It might just make the final I suppose for laughs! But for me it's NO, NO, NO!!!]
This is even more awful than I recall from the semi-finals! This is a joke - and a poor one at that!

Iceland - Greta Salóme & Jónsi - Never Forget
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - A bit of a dirge of the 'dum-di-dum' rhythmic variety - not a winner, I think.]
Just as their economy is beginning to get back on its feet could it really afford a win? Not something they are likely to have to worry about with this effort. Mind you the performances are very good and all are nice-looking, it is just the song that is rather 'tedious'

Cyprus - Ivi Adamou - La La Love
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - A leggy brunette. Not a bad song and she has a good voice, but not as good as San Marino although it is a very worthy entry. Should get to final.]
A nice song and well-performed - she has a great voice. Should do pretty well. However they are competing against a strong field - let's see.

France - Anggun - Echo (You And I) Pre-qualified for final.
Acrobatics or singing? You decide. Singing in French (thank goodness!) an interesting song with a good beat to it - I quite like it and she has a strong voice. Hardly a winner though, I suspect.

Italy - Nina Zilli - L'Amore È Femmina (Out Of Love) Pre-qualified for final.
A glamorous woman and nice backing-group singing in English. A pretty good song and well-performed. Might do reasonably well I think - it's different from and better than the usual 'dross'.

Estonia - Ott Lepland - Kuula
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Very attractive male, with unfortunately a not-perfect voice singing a nice ballad in what is I take it Estonian. His beauty may get them through to the final, but I think this would be ill-deserved as his voice is just not up to it - a pity as I'd love to be more positive about this handsome man.]
Great-looking singer, but his voice is not particularly good. It's a pity for the song itself is quite nice. I don't think this should have reached final

Norway - Tooji - Stay
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Another rock effort from a very good-looking man with a very good voice and mixed-sex backing group. Has middle-eastern overtones (almost Turkish in parts). Should do well I think.]
Again a great performance - I learn from Graham Norton's commentary that he is born in Iran hence middle-eastern tone. He is so good-looking and this is a great song. A winner?

Azerbaijan - Sabina Babayeva - When The Music Dies Pre-qualified for final.
(Winner last year)
A slightly-weak start, but she seems to be getting into her stride. Singing in English - not a bad ballad and probably should do reasonably-well.

Romania - Mandinga - Zaleilah
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - Pretty woman singing a rubbish song (IMHO of course) - formulaic and boring with 'pseud' Romanian (presumably) rhythm. Not good.]
"Stet" - just as awful as I recall from the semi-finals. She is a beautiful woman with an OK voice, that's about all I can say about this.

Denmark - Soluna Samay - Should've Known Better
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - Not a bad tune and she is certainly pretty, but her voice is not tone-perfect. Possibly won't make final I suspect.]
Not a bad song but a bit of 'dirge' on balance. Her voice is a bit 'off' at times; she is very pretty though. Hardly a winner - but what do I know?

Greece - Eleftheria Eleftheriou - Aphrodisiac
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - Greece may be on the ropes financially, but this is a 'sexy' song - who will pay for next yera's show if they win? ;) It's quite amusing actually and will probably get to the final.]
Another great performance. What WILL they do if they win?

Sweden - Loreen - Euphoria
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Long dark-haired beauty singing in English a very lively song, quite dramatic - she has a very good and powerful voice and this certainly deserves to be in final and will, I think, do well there. Lots of echo-chamber effects. Archetypal Eurovision material.]
This really is very good - it's rather catchy and I like the syncopation. She has a great voice and is putting in a good performance.

Turkey - Can Bonomo - Love Me Back
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Modern song with Turkish overtones sung in English and Turkish, very amusingly and wittily. It's quite a lively song and I rather like it and it's certainly not your usual Euro-pop, which is a nice change. Deserves a place in final.]
I rather like this - whilst I don't think it will win, if it did I wouldn't mind at all.

Spain - Pastora Soler - Quédate Conmigo (Stay With Me) Pre-qualified for final.
She has a lovely voice - powerful and true - and is rather striking-looking. Starting as a nice ballad which I'm rather liking. How will next year's show be paid for if they win? Really this is pretty good though and should do fairly well, I think.

Germany - Roman Lob - Standing Still Pre-qualified for final.
A nice ballad sung in English (Graham Norton tells us it is written by Jamie Cullum amongst others) - he is putting in a nice performance and this should do pretty well - he has a good voice and ain't bad-looking either. Yes, this is pretty decent stuff and should do well.

Malta - Kurt Calleja - This Is The Night
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - My Twitter seems to be down. A good-looking male singer and a his backing-group are all equally good-looking. It's a lively boppy tune sung in English (of course) and is pretty good and he has a decent voice - should certainly get to the final, I think.]
Another good performance - should do pretty well.

F.Y.R. Macedonia - Kaliopi - Crno I Belo
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Black trouser-clad (the clothes, not the singer) dramatic-looking female singing what appears to be a feisty ballad which is perfectly tuneful and may well get through to final, not quite as good as Serbian effort on my reckoning, though.]
Deserved its place in final and will probably do quite well, but I suspect not a winner - but voting patterns may make that comment look foolish a little later, if past form is anything to go by.

Ireland - Jedward - Waterline
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - I find Jedward completely awful, usually, but despite myself this ain't half bad - in fact it is pretty good, it is fast-paced, lively and of course their choreography is very good and their singing is pretty good too - could easily do rather well.]
Another very sound performance of this catchy 'europop' effort - could this win and how would the country pay for next year's show?

Serbia - Željko Joksimović - Nije Ljubav Stvar
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Polished semi-classical instrumental introduction for the good-looking male singer who has a lovely voice and the ballad (although I don't understand it) is lovely - should certainly make it to final.]
I'm still liking this - perhaps not a winner, but still very good and he is still VERY 'easy on the eye'.

Ukraine - Gaitana - Be My Guest
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Female with flowers in her hair - lively song which I find AWFUL - it's not tuneless completely, but her voice is not perfect and she's just shouting a lot of it. Should not get to final, but probably will, with voting patterns in recent years.]
I still don't like this, but it is perhaps not quite so awful as I found it in the semi-finals. Her voice is really not good at some points. If this wins then I really do know nothing!

Moldova - Pasha Parfeny - Lăutar
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - A nice-looking fellow with a troupe of equally-attractive females singing in English quite catchy tune - and he has a decent voice. Could easily make final and if it does might do well there. Yes. it is quite a decent song and a good performance.]
Another good performance and I'm still liking this a lot. If this won I wouldn't be disappointed.

(23.10) I've voted now - rules say you can vote upto 10 times - I voted twice for UK, 3 times for Germany and once each for 3 others (Hungary, Norway, Moldova), 2 votes not used.

(23.35 - and so on)
I'm going to list the top vote (12 points) from each country (out of the 42 who vote) and for whom that vote was given:
1 Albania votes for Greece
2 Montenegro votes for Serbia
3 Romania votes for Moldova
4 Austria votes for Sweden
5 Ukraine votes for Azerbaijan
6 Belarus votes for Russia
7 Belgium votes for Sweden
8 Azerbaijan votes for Turkey
9 Malta votes for Azerbaijan
10 San Marino votes for Albania
11 France votes for Sweden
12 United Kingdom votes for Sweden
13 Turkey votes for Azerbaijan
14 Greece votes for Cyprus
15 Bosnia & Herzegovina votes for Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
16 Moldova votes for Romania
17 Bulgaria votes for Serbia
18 Switzerland votes for Albania
19 Slovenia votes for Serbia
20 Cyprus votes for Greece
21 Croatia votes for Serbia
22 Slovakia votes for Sweden
23 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia votes for Albania
24 Netherlands votes for Sweden
25 Portugal votes for Spain
26 Iceland votes for Sweden
27Sweden votes for Cyprus
28 Norway votes for Sweden
29 Lithuania votes for Azerbaijan
30 Estonia votes for Sweden
31 Denmark votes for Sweden
32 Latvia votes for Sweden
33 Spain votes for Sweden
34 Finland votes for Sweden
35 Georgia votes for Lithuania
36 Italy votes for Albania
37 Serbia votes for Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
38 Germany votes for Sweden
39 Russia votes for Sweden
40 Hungary votes for Sweden
41 Israel votes for Sweden
42 Ireland votes for Sweden

The final tally of votes (top 3):
Sweden 372 points
Russia 259 points
Serbia 214 points

NB/ I shall also be 'tweeting' simultaneously my reaction to each of the performances in the final this evening - my Twitter feed is here. In case you are interested, you may read my blog articles on the first semi-final held on Tuesday 22nd May 2012 here and on the second semi-final held on Thursday 24th May 2012 here.

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