No, really. When Loreen won I wasn’t happy, but I mellowed a little when Swedifans said that this would be the BEST. YEAR. EVAH for the contest and stuff. Well, I said. Let’s give’em a chance.
And there were a few good things, like the part where both juries and public rank all the songs, or the way points will be announced. I liked it. But then…
And this is what we got:
- With the excuse of giving us a simpler, crisis-fit, more austere show, they made the contest in a stage that can barely hold a Melodivestivalen semifinal. Of course, the Melodifestivalen itself keeps getting done big-scale. Because you know, we’ve gotta have priorities.
- With the excuse of giving us a more exciting and varied show, the producers would handpick the running order. This proposal got mixed reactions all over Europe: Christer Bjorkman, the Melodifestivalen overlord, is said everywhere to use this (among other just as handy tricks) to boost or drown entries in the Melodi.
And this is what I mostly want to talk about. This proposal was approved by the Eurovision Reference Group (which, by the way, includes Bjorkman) to let the show producers (who, again, includes Bjorkman) to determine the running order. Which can make an entry shine if they receive a good placing, or fade if they get eclipsed by others. It’s a powerful tool and if properly used can have a big impact on the placing of an entry. I think if this had been proposed a year ago, with Azerbaijan hosting, it wouldn’t have been so well receive.
But you know, I’m f*cking Sweden and I’ll f*cking do what I f*cking want.
Once we knew the finalists, plus which half they had been sorted into, lots of people in a forum I visit predicted that Lithuania would be second, Denmark would follow Hungary, and Denmark would perform last. Which all happened. Our criteria? The fact that they would appoint an already lost song to perform second, an upbeat song outside the favorites to close, and about Denmark… well…
This entire contest seems to have been not-so-subtly rigged in favor of Nordic countries, and, most specifially, Denmark. Three Nordics (Denmark, Finland and Norway) sang right before pauses in the semifinals, which would allow them to make more impact. If any country other than Denmark (besides Sweden itself) was mentioned by name by Lynda Woodruff in their interval skethces, while lines were open, I didn’t hear it.
And, paying attention to the running order, Denmark is placed between Hungary and Iceland, two slow-tempo, low-profile ballads which will give it a chance to really stand out . And right after Iceland it comes Azerbaijan, another not-too different ballad, also performed by a man, that if we followed their own reasoning should have been, by any capacity, apart from Iceland.
How about the competition? Taking a look at the other favorites, they’re all placed in positions that wouldn’t do them any good. Azerbaijan, Greece, Ukraine, Italy, Norway and Georgia go one after the other, so they’ll pretty much cancel each other out. Ukraine, the strongest in the bets, is placed right after the spotlight-stealing squad from Greece. Russia, the stronger entry from the first half of the final, will be followed by Germany, again, a contrast that probably won’t work in its benefit. Yeah, it hasn’t been proven, but it seriously doesn’t look good. The effect of these placements, even if slight, might be enough to topple things for or against a particular country if the race is close, and I really hate the idea of feeling that someone decided which side would it topple.
I feel kinda disillusioned with this year Eurovision, and yes, I blame Sweden. This entire thing seems to be too manipulated and dishonest for me. Of course, I will keep on watching because dammit, it’s Euro-f*cking-vision, but I can’t wait for the next year.
Wait, since probably this will work and I really don’t like the idea, make it the year after that. Please let’s all fast forward to Eurovision 2015, hopefully not in a Nordic country.
I don’t think this will be good for Emmelie, by the way. I don’t like her song, but I think she would have had enough to win it without all this seedy stuff, but that’s something we will never know. And, in case she wins, her victory, at least for me, will be forever tainted by the doubt. Did she…? What if…?