KEiiNO – Spirit In The Sky

“OKAY THEN let’s have a debrief.”

Tim: OKAY THEN let’s have a debrief. ITEM ONE: the winner was tedious garbage which won because every country found it basically okay (perhaps the lowest proportion of 12 points for a winner ever, just 8 out of a possible 80).

Tom: It’s an awful compromise victor, the Eurovision equivalent of a shrug. I’ll be honest, I think this is the first time I’ve been genuinely annoyed by a Eurovision result. I think part of that is John Lundvik’s face when he hears the final numbers: that was such a good track, my favourite of the night, and to end up sixth with less than half of the televote points he needed is absolutely brutal.

Tim: It really is, because it’s great, though your mention of John Lundvik leads us on to ITEM TWO: my favourite, a.k.a. ours, did appallingly, coming last overall but technically not coming last with either the jury (sorry, Spain) or the televote (suck it, Germany, with your NO POINTS), so I’m viewing that as not a complete loss.

Tom: Mm. Part of that is surely the Brexit effect, but I’m still baffled as to why that’s your favourite. Moving on.

Tim: ITEM THREE: Finland, with their dance champion Darude, finished dead last in their semi-final, and by no small margin.

Tom: I previously predicted middle of the table for that, so I was completely wrong. Given some of the other dreck in there, I’m surprised it did that badly.

Tim: It does, mind, conclusively prove my point from a few weeks back that star power is absolutely not a thing – hell, it’s arguable that the worst performance of the night was Madonna’s. ITEM FOUR: as with last year, we’ve the occasional significant disparity between the initial juries and the later televotes (looking at you with smug satisfaction North Macedonia, looking at you with slight sympathy Sweden, and looking at you with delight Spain).

Tom: If they go full jury vote, it feels wrong. If they go full televote, diaspora votes take over. There’s no good answer.

Tim: True, and I guess we just have to trust that most of the time it more or less works. Other times, though, it causes an issue, such as ITEM FIVE, being this from Norway. Won the televote, and had a severe technical cockup on the jury viewing but weren’t allowed to redo it. SCANDAL, cried NRK, and most pop fans across Europe, because, well, watch and listen.

Tim: Isn’t it great?

Tom: It’s certainly nice to know what René from Aqua’s up to these days. (I joke, but that guy’s actually called Fred-René, which is a pleasant coincidence.)

Tim: Oh, that is fun. Thing is, I didn’t appreciate it hugely during my initial run through, but having watched it in its semi-final and then again on Saturday, it was the winner of the ‘stuck in your head the next morning’ test, which isn’t surprising when we break it down bit by bit. It’s a good melody, it’s a strong message, a hefty beat, and with its joik it includes a bit of regional music, such as I was lamenting the loss of just a few days ago.

Tom: And it’s regional music that still works for a regular European audience. They’ve done well to integrate it. It’s a good song, and it would have been a deserved winner. And yet, we’re stuck with the Netherlands. Which means Eurovision 2020 will probably be a year of soppy piano ballads. Ugh.

Tim: Shall we all read this, from just two weeks ago?