It is standard tradition now, as to be expected from a Brit watching Eurovision, for me to look back upon the night and groan. However, for the most part, 2017’s final results weren’t nearly as horrifying as they had been in the past. The winner of the show, Salvador Sobral for Portugal didn’t have any novelties on the stage, and was one. Perhaps the fact that the spectacle was missing and he instead showed that he could have an arena wrapped around his little finger as opposed to giving everyone a seizure, was what one so many people over. Most of the runners up, such as Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov (2nd), and Belgium’s Blanche (4th), both embraced the more serious end of pop brilliantly and would both have been deserving winners. Novelty acts didn’t get too far, as not only were there not many, but besides Italy and their gorilla (more on that a bit later) there wasn’t really much silliness above 13th place (held by Croatia’s Jacques Houdek, who hilariously pretended to be two people, singing to each other in different voices).
However, in my opinion, that’s not to say that there weren’t a few discrepancies. Here are the talents who I thought should have scored higher, than some of the high scorers who were lost on me. For example Moldova’s Sunstroke Project (3rd) who had yet to learn that the use of the word “Mam(m)a” in Eurovision culture was exhausted by ABBA. And Italy’s stupid gorilla (6th). There were a few worthy victors, however I got behind Portugal during the televote part, if only so that something would snatch the points and subsequent victory from Francesco Gabbini. Anyway, the list…
United Kingdom: Lucie Jones – ‘Never Give Up on You’ (15th, 111 points)
I may as well get this one out of the way. I think that this performance might have been the best that the UK has offered in the last decade. It has felt that UK hasn’t really tried, having sent either noteworthy singers that aren’t taken especially seriously at the time of their entry (see Blue, Bonnie Tyler and Englebert Humperdinck) or runners-up from talent shows, and I admit that I similarly had little faith in the choice of Lucie Jones to start with. After all, she caught her break when she came eighth in The X Factor. Eight years ago. However, the song was great and the stage was also beautiful. Lucie’s voice might not have sounded quite as polished (and subsequently generic) as other big ballads, but in theory, that slight roughness, set in the darkness of that stage, could have differentiated itself from others as Salvador Sobral did. But sadly, no.
Whatever the reason may have been, the televote sadly didn’t treat Lucie Jones well, with only 15 points. I won’t go any further into this. I’ve heard enough bickering on the reasons downstairs in the living room, that I don’t need to go into it any more!
Belarus: Naviband – ‘Story of My Life’ (17th, 83 points)
This was adorable, and I enjoyed it more than I probably should have done. Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah yeaaah. I said that. To be fair, this song was really asking for trouble, probably being at a disadvantage by not being in English (one of only five songs to be entirely in their native language. Would this song have lost its traditional, care-free charm if I knew what the words meant?), and while they were on a boat (why?), there wasn’t much of a show alongside it. It was always a bit awkward too to watch Arciom Lukjanienka (thank you Google) pretending to play guitar throughout. The song however was just plain fun and happy.
Not that it matters. At least 90% of reflection on this song from now on will be that snog at the end. To be fair, Arciom really did seem to go for it. I don’t know whether or not that was part of the routine or whether they’re a couple. I can just envision them bickering backstage now – “I told you no tongue!”. It didn’t take long to see someone annoyed about that moment on Twitter – someone was deeply upset that the gorgeous Ksienija Žuk (ah, copy-and-paste is a godsend) was now taken.
The Netherlands: OG3NE – ‘Lights and Shadows’ (11th, 83 points)
On the subject of ballads, here was one done properly, and up to this point in the show (this was the sixth song of the night), I think this was the best performance so far. It sounded like the first flawless performance, sounding exactly the way they wanted. It was three sisters, singing in perfect harmony, a cheesy ballad for their mother, written by the father. The family sentimentality and novelty had Eurovision written all over it, but not enough so for it to storm up the table.
Austria: Nathan Trent – ‘Running on Air’ (16th, 93 points)
What the hell Europe? This guy was the one who got zero points from the televote, and I can’t quite piece together how he scored so atrociously. Admittedly, I don’t think it was a winner, and could have been better. Shortly after the off-key disaster that was Israel’s opening song, Austria’s song felt as though it would have left much more of a mark if it had had Israel’s visuals and pyrotechnics, and the chorus been a bit bigger (there were enough backing singers onstage for it!), but I certainly don’t think it was bad enough for the public to hand no points over.
Anyway, which results of Eurovision 2017 did you think were incorrect? Comment below!