That’s it all over for another year. For once I predicted the winner – not like in 2013 when I called it for Georgia which finished 15th! Congratulations Sweden – a deserved victory. On the night though, as controversial as this might be, I was rooting for Russia. I liked the song, Polina gave an amazing performance and it would’ve been incredibly interesting to watch the Russians cope with an influx of gay people (of course not all ESC fans are LGBT)
It was another disappointing night for the UK but it wasn’t unexpected. Let’s not blame politics though – Austria, the heroes of Europe in 2014 scored zero in 2015! Electro Velvet were a delight all week and I think they did themselves proud. As always a huge thank you to the BBC Eurovision team – always a pleasure working with them and these guys work so hard, I don’t think they get the credit they deserve. That said, it’s time to seriously look at the UK selection process, our music industry is huge and the pool of talent is wide – let’s use it!
One thing that was very obvious though was the canned applause during the voting. I fully appreciate that the EBU don’t want the show to turn into a pantomime with the booing of big bad Russia. However the powerful thing about Eurovision is that it’s based on raw emotion which gives it integrity. I was getting texts from friends in the hall saying that the Russian singer was upset and the booing were very loud and persistent. It was so much so that the presenter interrupted the voting to essentially tell the crowd to behave. On TV all we heard was huge cheers. This does not sit well with me; the EBU is based on values of freedom of expression and essentially what is happening is censorship.
As always Eurovision was a hugely impressive spectacle and it’s absolutely to the credit of the organisers that it has managed to remain at the top of its game after nearly 60 years. Here’s to the next six decades!