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Eurovision 2017 - grand final

  • Updated 2016/05/15 with markup and pictures, and this year - videos!

Okay then, there's 26 countries to watch perform. It's gonna be a loooong night! ☺


We have the opening flag ceremony to take the first eight minutes. Then the hosts come out. Okay, it's the same three blokes and their jokes. The theme is "celebrating diversity" so... no coloured people, no Asians, not even a female...


As is the case every year, I have totally ignored YouTube, social media, Twitter, and all the rest. My only Eurovision information is the two semi finals and this, the grand final. I watch the songs live and pass opinion on the performances.
The images from this, the grand final, are from a recording of a live television broadcast on uploaded to YouTube by the EBU. It would normally be a recording from BBC One, but my PVR went a bit nuts partway through the broadcast and, well... The beauty of MP4 video files is that if they aren't correctly "finalised", they're just a big load of junk data.
In a change this year, instead of giving you just pictures with the descriptions, I will link to videos of the performances themselves. So if I liked or hated something, you can see it for yourself, either to rewatch or if you happen to have not been some of the >200 million that watched it live.


Right, after twelve minutes, we can begin with the stuff we're interested in. Let's go. Israel kicks us off.


1. Israel "I Feel Alive"

Hmm, a few false notes at the start. He seems more confident tonight, but I can't see him well half the time with this huge stage and the frenetic noise across the video wall. Okay, it's a good way to kick things off, but will it be memorable a billion years from now?


2. Poland "Flashlight"

Nobody has ever won from second position. A change of pace for a barely-there dress and a power ballad. I rather suspect that second place won't win this year, but she's certainly pulling out all the stops for tonight.


3. Belarus "Story of My Life"

Now for the oddballs on the boat thingy. At least, I think that's what it is supposed to be. So here's the first bridal outfit of the night. No idea what the song's about, but they're certainly having fun performing it. Credit for a non-English song (first of the night) with an English title.
Aren't the fans supposed to be turning, or did Health and Safety say "oi, you, NO!"?
Yeah, that was fun.
Oh, epic snog at the end!


4. Austria "Running on Air"

Oh yeah, it's the shiny moon bloke. Nice performance of a song that may well not be memorable later on.


5. Armenia "Fly with Me"

Artsvik, a good name for a performer from a country known for sending arty entries. This won't win, but it ought to be a middle scorer.


6. Netherlands "Lights and Shadows"

Okay... sisters - two twins and the other one (and, no, the "other" isn't the dark haired one!). Or as I prefer, two who can sing and one ... less so.
That said, the vocals are much better than in the semi final. A good performance.


A small natter with the hosts, I'm guessing an advert break on lesser networks?


7. Moldova "Hey, Mamma!"

They last represented Moldova in 2010 - it's sax-guy and the wedding band from an alternate universe.
Just waiting for the obligatory costume change. And.... There it is. The backing singers outfits turn into bridal stuff and then it all gets a bit crazy.


A local(ish) supermarket was selling some English stuff, something I picked up was a can of Vimto. Crank open the top, insert a straw, and enjoy.


8. Hungary "Origo"

The ethnic singing and playing a milk churn. I actually liked this until the point where he switches to rap. Way to crap up an otherwise solid performance. Though, credit for eschewing English. Credit also to the female dancer totally chewing the scenery - check out her facial expressions in the close ups.


9. Italy "Occidentali's Karma"

Okay, it's the gorilla. It goes without saying that Italians are going to celebrate their lovely language and not sing in English, comme d'hab. Okay, I can see why people like this, it's catchy.
I'm not sure what the point of the ape is, but hey, it's a great song, and the audience participation.... whoa, breakdancing ape. Hahah. This is great. Okay, it's going to be a damn hard choice - I liked Croatia but... well...
As with last year, this entry from Italy was the winner of the Sanremo Song Festival. The sorts of stuff Italy has sent since rejoining the contest, kind of makes one wish the BBC could, you know, stuff Glastonbury, broadcast Sanremo!


Look - if you're reading this days/months/years after the contest, just take three minutes out of your life and click on the video above.


10. Denmark "Where I Am"

An Ozzie for Denmark, there's "Celebrating Diversity" for you.
Does it open with "Laying down my llama"? Surely not...
Too shouty.


11. Portugal "Amar Pelos Dois"

Slow and bizarre. I can imagine those who love it will really love it (some of the audience were really getting into it) while others I can imagine would hate it. Me? I dunno. I thought the semi final performance was better.
Another non-English entrant. And, for what it's worth, another song unlike anything else in the contest. For all the power ballads and noisy confusion of the video walls, Salvador eschews all of that and chooses to perform on a tiny stage in the middle of the audience, a very simple song performed in a manner of quirk unlike anything else. I think I already said "unlike anything else", but those three words just don't come close to doing justice to how unlike anything else this song is...


12. Azerbaijan "Skeletons"

Okay, the horse head guy on the ladder in the chalkboard room. Is this a parable of Grange Hill? Don't ask me. It's clearly aiming for the memorable staging award, which is going to be a hard sell this year...


13. Croatia "My Friend"

The odd duet which is... himself in all the parts. The Three Tenors in one man. I really like this.


A little after the first hour, we're halfway through the contest. It seems to be going quicker this year.


14. Australia "Don't Come Easy"

A rather meh song with a voice lacking power. Not one of Australia's better entries. Mom, who has stopped by to watch a few songs, says he might be alright in ten years.


Some not-green room time wasting, so lesser channels can punt shampoo and cars.


15. Greece "This Is Love"

The paddling pool disco song. Another dose of meh.


16. Spain "Do It For Your Lover"

The bookies give this odds of 250 to 1. They think it'll come dead last. I can see why. This needs to win the stupid lyric of the night award. Actually, let's be straight, this was awful.


17. Norway "Grab the Moment"

Another stupid song. Can we have Alexander Ryback back please?
The guys are wearing masks so nobody will know who they are tomorrow.


A comedy moment (more adverts?!?).
And, annoyingly, my OSD crashed. Well, not exactly crashed. I dunno, the OSD popped up a message saying "Starting application - please wait" during recording (so not supposed to happen!), and no response to IR input. Hmmm... Never seen that one before.
Curse MP4 for the fact that the recording until now has been trashed (no TOC written). Great idea, huh? Resilient, huh?
I also have the backup recording from the iPodRecorder. Much lower quality and breaks/resumes recording every hour (with a gap), but as you can see it pays to be paranoid! ☺


Anyway, I reckon it'll be on YouTube soon as they are no longer promoting the official DVD during the programme. I'll grab a copy. Maybe. I think I'll need ~4GB for the 480p version (2GB for the data, 2GB temp for muxing). Yikes.
I'll worry about that tomorrow.
[edit: 1.7GB, but close enough; I'm not sure my downloader could cope with any of the HDs - 720P was a negative size and 1080P was about 300MB, oh the joys of using a signed 32 bit integer to represent sizes expressed as an unsigned 64 bit integer! (geek translation: stuffing an elephant into a Twingo and wondering why it doesn't work...)]


18. United Kingdom "Never Give Up on You"

An interesting opening, but it needs to go up a gear or two. It's somewhat waily. Still, one of the better British entries in a long time. Maybe she ought not pull such bizarre expressions. Okay, we get to the key change, but it's very late.
Well, no boos. Lots of applause. Not bad.


19. Cyprus "Gravity"

A reasonable song well performed, let down by wacky choreography. At least he holds the stage, which is more than we can say for some.


20. Romania "Yodel It!"

Nothing to say, just sit back and enjoy the madness.


21. Germany "Perfect Life"

I was worried that this would be yet another generic power ballad, but it's actually quite good.
My only comment is on why she likes to wear her hair in such a severe manner...the intro pictures where she has her hair down, looks a lot better that way.


22. Ukraine "Time"

I'm listening to this and wonder how the bookies said Spain will come last. This is dreadful.


Please... finish...


23. Belgium "City Lights"

The jarring song of the worried woman with the low pitched voice and the techno soundtrack. Are the backing singers out of time? It sounds a little odd tonight.


24. Sweden "I Can't Go On"

Sweden trying to reinvent the boy band. It's a good performance (if we ignore the small technical hiccup) of a song I won't remember in five minutes.


25. Bulgaria "Beautiful Mess"

Impressive stage presence and a remarkably powerful voice, especially for somebody so young. This is good, it'll be a top five for sure. Maybe top three even.


26. France "Requiem"

Here's Alma for my current country wrapping up the contest. In French, of course, except for parts of the chorus. Her voice isn't really powerful enough to carry this. Compare to the previous song. Nice use of the video wall. It's a giant picture postcard of Paris. Just in case you didn't realise that this was, you know, French.


Okay, that's it. All songs have been presented.


Of course Verka comes out. Like, Ukraine's main Eurovision idol.


My picks

  • 1. Austria - on the shiny moon
  • 2. France - look, it's the Eiffel tower!
  • 3. Romania - Yodel insanity
  • 4. United Kingdom - surprise!
  • 5. Belarus - snoggy madness
  • 6. Belgium - all alone in the danger zone
  • 7. Germany - nice
  • 8. Italy - gorilla guy and Westerner's Karma
  • 10. Bulgaria - just a great performance
  • 12. Croatia - pop opera par excellence


Interval act 1

Rulana (Wild Dances!) comes back for a very repetitive song, but the biggest shock is how much she has aged since I last saw her...fourteen years ago. Okay, now I feel old.


Another recap while Norton reads out an endless list of people who want a shout-out on telly.


Kind of wish in this digital age, we can have an audio stream that is live audio without commentary because I really really don't care that somebody in Suffolk is having chicken dippers.
[edit: I got my wish, I guess. The YouTube version is commentary free, yay!]


Interval act 2

The next interval act, starring Ghost In The Shell extras, begins with lots of regional instruments, and goes off in a techno direction. A lot of looking at the instruments and trying to guess what they are. Was somebody playing a vacuum cleaner?
That was bizarre.


The winner of the JESC comes out on stage to welcome people to Georgia in Novemember. So cute! The Western nations have pretty much given up on JESC... which is why I no longer report on it. I used to have to realign my dish to pick up the Cypriot channel "PIK". Her English, actually, is impressive.


Norton comments that nobody has mentioned Brexit, saying "its as if they don't care". That's about it. It's much less of an issue in Europe. The UK is walking away, not the other way.


Interval act 3

There was a minor stage invasion behind Jamala's performance, a performance where she seems to miss practically every note.
Norton, and maybe some of the other commentators, apologised for what happened. Because, hey, it's a live broadcast and if anything unscripted goes down then apologies must be offered so stop Angry From Manchester writing to complain.
But me? I'm just going to say... what an asshole!


The jury votes

Now for the jury votes - after Jon Ola Sand still looking surprised. I'm not going to take a picture of this. Just look at any other picture of Jon Ola Sand any time ever. I think "surprised" must be his default expression.


Here are the jury votes...


Portugal off to an early lead from Sweden.
Next, 12 to Belarus from Azerbaijan.
Another 12 to Portugal. And another. San Marino and Latvia.
And another. And some sad news from Israel - after 44 years, IBA is going to cease broadcasting. Will any replacement channel qualify Israel to enter the contest in the future?
12 from Montenegro to Greece.
Albania gives their 12 to Italy.
Malta's 12 to Italy.
FYRMac gives 12 to Bulgaria.
Denmark's 12 goes to ... Sweden?
Austria's 12 is for The Netherlands.
Norway's 12 is for Bulgaria.
Spain's 12 to Portugal.
Finland's 12 goes to Sweden
. France's 12 goes to Portugal.
At this stage, Portugal has a lead of around 44 points.
Greece gives 12 to Cyprus. Listen to the booing, hehe.
Lithuania offers 12 to Portugal.
Estonia offers 12 to Bulgaria.
Moldova's 12 is for Romania.
Armenia gives 12 to Portugal.
Weird that Germany still has nothing. Spain, less so...


Verka pratting around, it's empty space for adverts on lesser channels.


Bulgaria offers 12 to Austria.
Iceland's 12 goes to Portugal.
Serbia offers max points to Portugal.
Australia offers 12 to their 12 to...the UK!!!
Italy's 12 is for Azerbaijan.
Germany gives 12 to Norway.
Portugal offers 12 to Azerbaijan. What?
Switzerland offers theirs to Portugal.
The Netherlands (with a puppy) offers 12 to Portugal.
Ireland's 12 gives 12 to the Belgium.
Georgia's 12 goes to Portugal.
Nearly 80 point lead to Portugal.
Cyprus offers 12 to Greece. No surprise. Neither is the booing. If this is a JURY vote, it's hardly impartial, is it?
Belarus has 12 for Bulgaria.
HungaryRomania's love is for The Netherlands.
Hungary's 12, another for Portugal.
Slovenia offers 12 to Portugal.
Belgium offer douze pwah to Sweden.
Poland gives 12 to Portugal.
The UK gives their 12 to Portugal. Maybe the only time the UK agrees with the rest of Europe.
Croatia's 12 is for Hungary.
The Czech Republic offers their 12 to Portugal.
The Ukraine, the last result, gives their 12 to Belarus.


Here is the scoreboard following the jury vote. Quite a lead for Portugal, but will the public agree?


The public vote

Okay, now for the public vote. This is rather more savage, Austria opened proceedings with zero points. That's the shiny moon guy.

A huge difference compared to the jury votes, but, will it change things much? 10th highest score - France
9th highest - Croatia...what?
8th highest - Sweden
7th highest - Hungary
6th highest - Italy, the bookies favourite flounders
5th highest - Romania
4th highest - Belgium
3rd highest points - Moldova
2nd highest - Bulgaria.


The winner - PORTUGAL

Portugal has won it, but it came down to a tense final two countries. No runaway winner this year. Portugal's first ever win, since forever. Something like 57 years?


So now its the recap of the winning song. A rather sweet duet with his sister (the writer of the song).


Bulgaria was good too, but poor Croatia. :-(
And Germany... deserved better.


Random comments to follow, otherwise... same time same channel next year. After that, who knows? The UK, in its wisdom, is in the process of abandoning everything with "Europe" in the name, regardless of whether or not it makes any sense. I'm sure there are people who will call for an end to BBC's participation (with taxpayer licence fee money) in the song contest because "they all hate us" (actually, everybody hates Germany this year...) and "it has 'Euro' in the name", etc etc.
If I wasn't a British national, I'd facepalm at what's going on. But unfortunately I hold a British passport, so I'll just cry...


One last thing - if you have 226 minutes spare, watch the entire contest!



Your comments:

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Rob, 14th May 2017, 20:41
Drat... I was going to try to get a shout-out to YOU, but wasn't sure which nation's version you would be watching, so didn't. 
This was the first time in years I managed to watch it live - missed it completely the last couple. Spent rather too much time looking to see if I could spot the cameras - so many close-ups but no sign of a camera near the stage in the long-shots. Very efficient! I only saw one crane swinging away once...
Rick, 14th May 2017, 22:28
There were a few faults, but by and large it was very well put together. 
Mom was watching with me this year (she detests the Portuguese entry), a shout out might have blown her mind. 
If BBC is broadcasting, I will watch BBC. If BBC is not, I will watch ARD1 on the slave LNB. If neither the UK nor Germany are broadcasting (hello JESC!), then I just won't bother... 
[hmm, just noticed JESC is on YouTube too - might watch it some day...]
Rick, 14th May 2017, 22:49
Downloaded the broadcast from YouTube. 1.7GB for the 480p version, and the colours are really vivid on my phone's AMOLED...
VinceH, 28th May 2017, 11:36
This reminds me... 
As I've done for the last two or three years, I've got a little tipsy and tweeted my way through the contest. This year I decided to pull my tweets and dump them in a draft post on my website - so I need to add things like the YouTube links and publish. Some time this weekend.
Rick, 28th May 2017, 19:24
That'll be great, Vince. I think your last blog update was around two years ago? 
Let me know when you've done it, it'll be interesting to see how scientific application of ethanol based liquid refreshments affects the interpretation of the contest. ☺
VinceH, 28th May 2017, 23:39
Two years? 
Crumbs - yeah, July 2015. 
I really should post something a little more often. :) 
VinceH, 30th May 2017, 23:03
Now done:

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