Saturday Flashback: Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices

“She’s acting well enough to actually make it look like she believes it.”

Tim: So, you know how, on occasion, if you’re out for an evening in a club or wherever, you hear a song that you’ve never heard before, or might have forgotten, and feel it to be absolutely amazing, and then get remarkably obsessed with it over the next few days?

Tom: I remember, many years ago, having that happen for Special D’s Come With Me. 2004, there.

Tim: Ah, what a track that was, and indeed still is. For me, the most recent example is this, which I played a good few dozen times last weekend, after a FABULOUS night out.

Tom: Well, not only is she belting that out with a lot of power, but she’s acting well enough to actually make it look like she believes it. Or, perhaps, she actually does believe it.

Tim: Hmm, she’d be in quite the minority of her compatriots if she did, given the number of rainbow flags flying that evening, but sure, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt – Europe certainly did, with it actually beating Måns’s winner in the televote.

Tom: Side note: does someone fix a light at 2:09 or something, or is that a miscue? I’m fairly sure the backing singers aren’t meant to suddenly be spotlit like that.

Tim: Huh, yes, that is weird. Musically, mind, we could talk about clichés all day long – that ‘hold off on the main drums until she mentions them in the inspirational lyrics’ is as textbook as they come, and absolutely brilliant – but all in all this is a terrific track (with brilliant staging, dodgy lights aside) and as far as a room full of drunk gays in a club in London was concerned, seemingly the best song to have been performed in the world ever. Until the next one came along, anyway.

Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices

“The first ever non-winner to score over 300 points.”

Tim: We’ve covered the well-deserved winner of Saturday previously, but for a while on Twitter it seemed like every gay in Britain was taking to the bottle, realising they may have to go to Russia next year because of this second-placer.

Tom: Worth noting: on televotes only, Italy would have won — while the UK would have given 12 to Lithuania.

Tim: ​Whilst receiving…ah, just two points in total. Brilliant.

Tim: Russia’s an odd one – it has a fairly terrible human rights record, and has one of the least accepting viewpoints of homosexuality in the developed world. For some reason, though, they seem to believe that as long as they send an inspirational enough track to Eurovision such as this, Shine or What If, people might forget that for one night.

Tom: Which, apparently, it does. Because that is a decent song.

Tim: And, I suppose, it almost worked, with the first ever non-winner to score over 300 points. Didn’t stop them in the stadium, mind – cheers for the song, but booing aplenty every time the got 12 points, so much so that Polina had to be comforted by Conchita.

Tom: And there were a heck of a lot of rainbow flags in the audience during that song.

Tim: Aaanyway, all that aside, it’s a fairly good song? Very much one of the least-dreary ballads the night saw, certainly —

Tom: Although that’s not a high bar to clear.

Tim: True, but then it also benefited from being near-last in the running order and a camera that focusses almost entirely on her face or her being circled in some sort of halo – the rest of the people up there get barely fifteen seconds between them, so she’s got a perfect connection with the audience and transmit said inspirational track across. Perfect Eurovision ballad performance, really.