It’s the Eurovision 2012 Final!

8pm, BBC1
Official ESC Live Stream

It’s here! Join Graham Norton as 26 countries from around the Eurovision battle it out in the contest literally nobody is referring to “the Superbowl of Singing”. Engelbert Humperdinck represents the UK with Love Will Set You Free, other ones to watch out for include the Russian Grannies singing in sixth spot, favourites Sweden in 17th and JEDWAAAARD! in 23rd.

If you want to give marks out of ten here, feel free.

If you don’t have a party to go to but want some amusing company anyway, friend of the Bar Tom Scott, Tim Jeffries and Matt Gray are ‘doing’ an alternative commentary with The Eurovision Hangout which sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

In other news, it’s Round 11 of the Bother Series of Poker tomorrow at 8pm – £5.50 entry, all welcome.

26 Comments

  1. The Banker's Nephew says:

    If the Universe decides that it likes me, it’ll be Iceland or FYR Macedonia winning. I have a terrible feeling that it’s actually going to go to either Jedward or Sweden. Don’t fail me now Europe!
    …You probably will, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

  2. Alex says:

    Iceland have no points so far.

    Europe, you disgust me.

  3. The Banker's Nephew says:

    Europe, please stop giving points to Sweden. You’re just embarrassing yourself.

    • Alex says:

      I’m a lot happier that they gave it to Sweden then let bloody Russia have it.

      • Brig Bother says:

        I don’t get the appeal of Sweden’s entry at all, it’s their most boring song in years.

        On the other hand, happy to be proven right re: Waterline not being as good as Lipstick.

      • The Banker's Nephew says:

        At least Russia’s entry had an amusing and (I think) unique gimmick. Sweden didn’t have anything to grab my attention, let alone a half-decent song.

  4. The Banker's Nephew says:

    Finland, in a word: What? Glad you gave points to Iceland, but again. What?

  5. Travis P says:

    A quick heads up that next Saturday sees the the TV Total Autoball Europameisterschaft 2012 on ProSieben.

  6. Nico W. says:

    yes, Germany has made it to the top ten! And I’m sad, Russia and Italy didn’t make it. Iceland was also one of my favourites though…

  7. Weaver says:

    Things I noticed in the final and can remember the next morning:

    * That opening number really dragged.
    * Can the BBC find someone less pitchy for next year? Are The Saturdays available?
    * Good Spot the Hidden Vocalist work from Norway and Cyprus.
    * France needed less choreography.
    * Estonia shouldn’t have put in a false climax at the end of the first chorus.
    * Pizza out of the oven is hot.
    * Spain and Germany cancelled each other out.
    * The vote results going Albania – Montenegro – Romania? They’re concealing a Baltic winner.
    * Oh, do shut up Lordi.
    * Australian wine on a hot day may be dehydrating.

    And we do it all again, 14-18 May next year.

  8. CeleTheRef says:

    that same night, the “80s special” Affari Tuoi episode went on the air. for added retro-effect, the prizes were in lire! they even brought back the multiple choice question to select who plays the game.

    here’s the board (one British £ equalling 2,420 Italian £)

    £100
    DALLAS
    £1,000
    PANINARO
    X
    £100,000
    SGRANELLO
    500,000
    £1 million
    PACCO MATTO

    £10 million
    £25 million
    £50 million
    £75 million
    Y
    £100 million
    £250 million
    £500 million
    £750 million
    £1 billion (€516,456 or GBP 413,223)

  9. Hodders says:

    Well, after last night’s farce I’ll make a few observations:

    1) The Swedish entry was very Jessie J like, not good. In additon, Loreen’s song is already a #1 single in quite a few European countries, so in truth gave her an unfair advantage.
    2) It’s by now evident that the juries aren’t preventing some of the more blatant backside-kissing of the Eastern block.
    3) Albania’s entry was bleeding awful. Azerbaijani, Spanish and Italian voters in the semi-final should be ashamed.
    4) The Hump’s entry wasn’t helped by going first, and was probably punished for being too sedate (Tar to Belgium, Latvia and Estonia for the non-Irish points) though.

    Finally, the 4 countries I give kudos to are Iceland (which should have done a lot better than 21st), Lithuania (A good song, should have done better), Germany (always make a good effort) and Malta (Malta take Eurovision seriously and it shows.)

  10. Mart with a Y not an I says:

    Every year I add another thing to the list of things to try and drag the violently angled playing field to a something that a sprit level bubble would consider ‘a good days work’

    This year.
    No song that represents any country can be released as a commercial single to buy or download until the competition has finised. Sweden’s appaling winner was number one in several countries before Saturday. That said, Sweden really do go to town on Eurovision, so at least they can have a ticket fiasco next year to go to the Saturday final, like we did for the Olympics.

    And
    Nationalistic voting. When I predicted 29 of the 42 ‘douze’ points, it really is time to think about pressing that button marked ‘nuclear’.
    Draw a line down the center of Europe, and as best as possible, spilt the countries as 21 East and 21 West. And on the night, those west countries can only vote for east ones, and vis versa. That would stamp a lot of the sillyness out.

    But it’s all pointless, as they have deep sandpits and nice head shaped holes in Geneva do Eurovision..

    • Lewis says:

      Your nationalistic voting solution appears to favour the central countries to me. Because I’m no geography expert, let’s assume the line somehow lies somewhere between Sweden and Finland. Would that have stopped Finland and Estonia from giving their douze points to Sweden?

    • Luke the lurker says:

      Three very unorthodox suggestions:

      I wonder whether there’s any way of not announcing which country is which in the first half, having the voting on song alone, and then announcing which country is which before the results show.

      It might have been possible twenty years ago, but unless countries can be forced to enter completely unknown acts (no-one’s going to think Jedward are Finnish, for example) and the broadcasters keep mum about the singles beforehand, it might work.

      Or just extend the semi-final concept (though this would sorely piss off the broadcasters) – have five semi-finals, with only some eligible to vote in the first round, then take through two or three winners from each and have 10-15 in the final. The cumulative effect might be to reduce national voting, but it might also push the Eastern countries over the edge in the semis and lead to everyone else being frozen out in the final as usual.

      Or switch the voting system. Award the top five countries one point each from each set of voting, the song that convinces the most countries wins. Require the contest to be won on breadth of preference rather than depth of preference. But that’s less exciting come the results show, and gives a much higher probability of draws…

      Clearly mechanism design for Eurovision is much more interesting than revising Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem…

    • Weaver says:

      What is the purpose of voting in the Eurovision Song Contest? Ultimately, to determine the most popular song in the competition. And, regardless of perceived merit, I challenge anyone to demonstrate that any recent winner hasn’t been *the* most popular song internationally, or (as in 2003) one of a small group containing the most popular songs.

      For the sole purpose of turning the most popular song into a winner, the Eurovision algorithm works every time. For finding the 10th best song, it’s not so good, because it wasn’t designed to be good. The best thing they’ve done is stop the top ten in one year progressing straight to the final the next time around.

      Until about 1998, there was a rule preventing Eurosongs from being promoted outside their country. Developments like the internet made that pointless, and the EBU’s website is a central reference point for all the pre-contest build-up.

      Flogging a hundred thousand digital copies of “Euphoria” is going to encourage other popular acts to enter SVT’s contest; knowing that they’ll lose 70,000 sales for arbitrary geographic reasons isn’t.

      Mr. the Lurker’s multiple semi-final idea is interesting, and the EBU determines the countries most likely to vote for each other. What they could do is have one semi-final of Balkan / Soviet countries, one of Baltic and non-aligned entries, and see if the result is indistinguishable from the present semi-random draw.

      • Alex says:

        2010 could technically have the most popular one not winning, but that’s probably down to Americans finding the Moldovan entry’s sax player really hilarious about a month after the entry lost its cultural relevance.

      • Mart with a Y not an I says:

        But the Eurovision algorithm is flawed and needs a serious rethink.
        It’s always gone on this neighbourly voting lark, but during the 80’s and 90’s sporadic outbreaks (12 to Greece from Cyprus and the return, the nordic countries voting for each other)and therefore tollerated with a rolled eyes skyward.

        Whilst the former Russian/Baltic states entering pretty much saved the ESC, but then it wrecked it. As the march of names on the scoreboard marched slowly east, measures should have been put into place to stop or at least reduce the ‘them next door’ syndrome.
        I still maintain that Sir Tel’s rant on this matter as the credits rolled on his last stint in the box at the back of the Telenor Arena in Oslo, was deliberate as he could see what was happening and it was spoiling it. It was heard in the Uk, but fell on deaf ears further up the food chain.

        It’s not just blatant – but it makes the rage induced anger of the obvious truck belting, headlights blazing towards us, worse by the stalling, mugging, grinning of the vote mark presenter with the punchline “and we give twelve to our beautiful neighbours in…”

        So, apart from doing nothing – what can be done? Here’s three further suggestions.

        1 – Increase the percentage weighted to the national jury, so instead of the 50/50 jury/phone vote split, bang it up to 75/25% jury/phone vote.

        2 – Block all voting for geographically neighbouring countries. So, the UK could not vote for Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, France or Spain.

        3 – Instead of all loosing semi-finalists giving out the votes in turn, split them into 4 geographically devided groups, aggregate all the votes and divy them up and announce them as semifinal looser groups 1, 2, 3 and 4.
        The 25 countries in the final get to announce there marks in the usual way.

        Till the same argument, next year…

  11. Andy "Kesh" Sullivan says:

    Did anyone notice that when the voting was on, they used a track from Schlag den Raab. All it did really was remind me what I would rather have been watching than the voting…

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