We wrap up our look at what might have been with a gander at the Big 5 countries and Sweden.
United Kingdom. Internal selection, not applicable.
Sweden. Yohio, “Heartbreak Hotel.” It takes some guts to name your song “Heartbreak Hotel,” but any 17-year-old who can craft a perfect androgynous anime character look is not short on guts. Yohio overwhelmingly won the Swedish public vote. However, he couldn’t overcome placing second from last in Melodifestivalen’s international jury vote to snag the win. Robin Stjernberg came second in the public vote and first in the jury vote, which was more than enough to book his place in the Eurovision Song Contest Final. Frankly, we’re not complaining since we felt like Yohio’s stunning style couldn’t prop up a sub-par HIM-meets-The Ark pop-metal number.
Italy: Internal selection, not applicable. However, since Italy picks its Eurovision entry from any of the artists who perform at its Sanremo Music Festival, it could have done what it did in 2011 and selected Sanremo’s Young Artist award winner, “Mi servirebbe sapere” by Antonio Maggio (who sports a similar quiff to Samremo winner Marco Mengoni). On the other hand, Maggio’s song is a bland slice of quirky Italian pop, so we’re not going to suggest the selection panel made the wrong decision.
France. Internal selection, not applicable.
Spain. El Sueño de Morfeo, “Atrévete.” ESDM was an internal selection, but a vote was held to pick the band its song. If you can imagine Dervish rocking out, then you might conjure up something like “Atrévete.” It was the wild card pick chosen online before the Spanish National Final. However, when it came time to choose, “Contigo hasta el final” received 53.4 percent of the public vote and the first place vote from all three judges on the jury. “Atrévete” was the clear runner-up, with second place votes from the three judges and 33.7% of the public vote.
Germany. LaBrassBanda, “Nackert.” The voting structure for this year’s Unser Song combined votes from a public televote, a live jury that included last year’s German representative Roman Lob, and a vote conducted of radio listeners who registered their choices online after all the songs aired on nine radio stations around the country. Cascada was the favorite going in (since they were already an established pop act), and they scored 12 points from the televote, 10 from the radio listeners, and 8 from the jury.
LaBrassBanda were the clear choice of the radio listeners, who gave their horn-driven beer hall rave-up 12 points. They also captured 10 points from the televote. However, their chances to win were demolished by the jury, who only gave them 1 point. It almost makes you wonder if the jury knew the radio vote going into the final. Cascada won by seven points, and if the jury vote had been consistent with the other two groups of voters, Germany would have had a far different sound gracing the Malmö Arena.
UPDATED 24 APRIL 2013: Ospero points out in the comments section that my analysis there doesn’t quite work out, mathematically speaking. Still, it is worth noting that the jury was absolutely not impressed with LaBrassBanda.