Ok, now that we’re all settled…a look back!
Hey, everyone! Pardon my absence following Loreen’s epic march to victory last weekend; within three hours of Sweden clutching the crystal microphone, I was at Heydar Aliev International Airport, waiting to board the first of my four flights home from Baku to Minneapolis. There aren’t many things that I could have told you that you likely hadn’t heard already through my counterpart site, ESC Insight, or throught my friends at ESCXtra…but in short, “Euphoria” stormed to first place with the second-highest vote tally in Eurovision history, as well as the second-highest margin between Loreen and her nearest competitor, the Buranovskiye Babushki from Russia. Sweden did clinch the record for the highest number of “douze points” for a song in history, with an impressive 18, beating the 16 garnered by Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale”. Loreen also won two out of the three Marcel Bezencon Awards, for Artistic Representation and Composition. The third, the Press Award, went to hometown heroine Sabina Babayeva.
From an American standpoint, “Euphoria” was a bit of a victory for us, as well. Dancer Ausben Jordan appears to be the first American-born performer to contribute to the onstage performance of a Eurovision-winning song since Kansas-born Katrina Leskanich took the win for the UK in 1997! (American songwriter Julie Frost took a victory in 2010 with “Satellite”, but she wasn’t actually on stage…)
A few highlights from the rest of the scoreboard: Kosovo-born Rona Nishliu nabbed an incredibly honorable 5th place, making her the highest-placed Albanian representative in Eurovision history (but then again, she also won this year’s Barbara Dex Award…). This year’s “Big Six” fared generally well, with Azerbaijan in 4th, Germany in 8th, Italy in 9th, and Spain in 10th (their first Top Ten placement since 2004). Malta made it into the Finals for the first time since Chiara in 2009, Cyprus’s 16th place was their highest result since 2004, and Turkey recovered nicely from last year’s misstep, placing 7th overall. San Marino’s 14th place in the Semifinals is their highest mark yet, and Bulgaria came achingly close to breaking into the Finals for the first time in years. On the other side of the coin, however, we saw Greece crash out of the Top Ten for the first time since 2003, and the entries from Georgia and Slovakia were their respective countries’ lowest placements ever. You win some, you lose some…
Linguistically, the top of the scoreboard was very diverse. While the winner was (once again) performed in English, a whopping four out of the Top Six were either bilingual or bereft of English entirely. We heard Udmurt, Serbian, Albanian, and Estonian, and extending that view to the top half of the scoreboard, we also heard Italian, Spanish (from two entries!) and Macedonian.
There’s a lot to look forward to for next year. Eighteen nations have already confirmed for Eurovision 2013, including Armenia, who took a leave of absence for this year’s event. It’s still unclear whether we’ll be in Stockholm, Malmö, or Gothenburg, but the Swedes are prepared for events like this. The Melodifestivalen Final rivals Eurovision in terms of scope and scale, and the availability of flights, hotels, and other infrastructural assets will be an improvement over what we saw in Baku. (Plus, the fact that visas won’t be needed from most participating countries will make international travel much simpler for delegations, fans, and other tourists coming into Sweden.)
What are some of your highlights from Eurovision 2012, and what are you looking forward to in 2013?
Posted on June 3, '12, in 2012, Special Comment. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.
I’m looking forward to the ease of next year, but a bit worried about how difficult it might be to get accreditations – everyone’s going to want to be there!
I’m looking forward to a year where my top two will actually make it out of the semi-finals, unlike this year.
Which were your top two, out of curiosity?
My number one was the Netherlands and my number two was Finland. However, the losses of those two songs were negated by Germany, my number three, finishing in the top ten!
I am hoping for an ongoing paradigm change in ESC, namely more artistic substance (like Sweden, Serbia, Albania, Estonia, Italy, Macedonia and some others this year) and less gimmicks and naked flesh.
I have put a commented ranking of this year’s songs on my profile page in case anyone is interested …
Agreed. I was soooo happy about Albania – I was having a Eurovision party where I was literally Rona’s lone supporter, among a group of my friends going “urgh! what the hell is wrong with her!?!?!” And then she went and came 5th. 😀
Really happy for Kaliopi too, and the majority of my favourites made it to the final (apart from Finland ❤ and Bulgaria 😛 )
Overall… well it was just a really great year! I enjoyed all the ESCInsight podcasts and Terry Vision videos and it sounds like you all had a great time in Baku. Now lets hope we all get through the PED.. 😥
I’m personally looking forward to the seeing what changes are brought to the contest next year. Jon Ola Sand is has now been through two contests, but really he hasn’t made any huge changes since Svente Stockselius left [I’m aware of the voting window change]. But I suspect that Sand was reluctant to makes any serious changes whilst dealing with the challenges of bringing the contest to Azerbaijan. I also think Bjorkman might bring a few changes to the contest.
I know as a fan I will welcome some changes but be very suspicious of others, which is understandable, why would you want something you love to change?
I hope they change the look of the scoreboard some time soon.. theyve all been relatively similar since like 2009.. not that its a particularly major change though…
Yeah, I’m wondering what new ideas Jon Ola has for the contest – surely he has something new and interesting to bring to the table??