And the Winner Is…

Photo found on http://www.orf.at

…Sweden – which was not a big surprise. A bigger surprise was that Austria (and also Germany) did not get a single point at the Grand Finale of the Eurovision Song Contest. Really??! The song was not that bad, and should not we have gotten a couple of points just for hosting the event (think hostess gift)?

I watched the live online stream of the ORF, and the Austrian host had plenty of good ideas to make the viewing of this annual singing competition amongst European countries (see more about the competition in my previous posting) more interesting.

A surprising amount of songs were in English, which I found rather sad. Even Israel’s entry was for the first time in the competition not in Hebrew. Half of the fun of watching this competition is listening to the lyrics in different languages, such as Armenian, and trying to figure out what they are singing. From the few non-English songs, Italy’s entry, “Grande Amore,” was definitely my favorite and placed third overall.

Italy’s Performance (www.orf.at)

Here are some additional trophies that should have been awarded:

Most doves used in the background – France

Best lit-up costumes – United Kingdom

UK’s Performance – Best Lit-Up Costume (www.orf.at)

Best marching “army” of animated people – Sweden (with France a close second)

Sweden's Performance - Best Army of Animated Men

Sweden’s Performance – Best Army of Animated Men (www.orf.at)

Best fire in a piano (and also best fire on the stage) – Austria

Austria’s Performance – Best Fire in a Piano (www.orf.at)

Best singer performing while perched on someone’s shoulder – Spain

Spain’s Performance – Best Performance while Perched on a Shoulder (www.orf.at)

Most time spent with the butt to the audience – Germany

Most Gothic costume – Georgia (which also won for best use of feathers in a costume)

Georgia's Performance - Best Gothic Outfit

Georgia’s Performance – Best Gothic Outfit

Most unusual dancers that distracted from the singer – Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan's Performance - Most Distracting Dancers

Azerbaijan’s Performance – Most Distracting Dancers

Most fake machine guns – Hungary (which also won for best machine-gun tree)

At some point, it was pretty clear that Sweden would win, and then the competition was more about whether Austria or maybe even Germany would get a point, and we would be all alone in last place (success – Austria shared the last place with Germany as neither received any points). And even though Austria did not move out of last place, I learned that Austria has a world-famous percussionist (who knew there were any famous percussionists, let alone world-famous ones).

Even though the Eurovision Song Contest is not supposed to be about politics (just like the Olympics), the audience often booed when Russia’s representative was on screen, and the Austrian commentator pointed out the irony of Russia singing a song about peace.

All in all, no big surprises but mildly entertaining – but voting for more categories definitely does help.

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