Recap of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest

Jen:

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Denmark
  3. Netherlands
  4. Italy
  5. Greece
  6. Iceland
  7. Russia
  8. Ukraine
  9. Georgia
  10. Ireland

Last Place: Spain

Chris:

  1. Netherlands
  2. Denmark
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Italy
  5. Russia
  6. Iceland
  7. Sweden
  8. Ukraine
  9. Georgia
  10. Norway

Last Place: Spain

Europe:

  1. Denmark
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Ukraine
  4. Norway
  5. Russia
  6. Greece
  7. Italy
  8. Malta
  9. Netherlands
  10. Hungary

Last Place: Ireland

Congratulations to Emmelie de Forest and Denmark! It’s a win we’ve of course been denying would happen for weeks now, but a win that seemed inevitable. The key to this year’s contest was finding a song that had appeal throughout Europe.  Denmark, in the end, got 281 points. They had fewer douze points than 2nd place finisher Azerbaijan, but they got points from every country except San Marino. In this way, the result is not unlike Russia 2008.  In 2008, Russia won with 272 points, another country bested them for the most douze points, and three countries that year got over 200 points. In all, Denmark’s win was convincing but not a blowout.

Though we and our guests were disappointed by the ultimate result, we thought this was a highly entertaining show. The performers brought their A-game, and we hope they are satisfied with their performances no matter what points they received. And we enjoyed Sweden’s interval acts. Indeed, it’s not often that you see one of your party menu items (in this case, Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce) dancing onstage.

We both picked seven of the final top 10. Both of us over-valued Georgia and Iceland, Chris over-valued Sweden, and Jen really overvalued Ireland. Even Chris thought “Only Love Survives” would finish on the left side of the leaderboard, so we were really surprised that it finished in last place. We weren’t wrong about Germany, though, which brings us some comfort. (So how’s Stefan Raab’s schedule next year?)

Ukraine was lovely and while the giant delivered a WTF moment at our party it did not prove a major distraction. Meanwhile, Norway rallied from what we thought was a mediocre performance in the semifinal. Margaret Berger was great last night and delivered an extremely respectable 4th place finish for Norway.

Malta and Hungary making it into the top 10 pleased us greatly. ByeAlex shook off the nerves he had in the Semis and was able to snag 12 points from Germany on his way to 10th place. Meanwhile, how cute is Gianluca from Malta? So cute. Malta was trending on Twitter in the U.S. after his performance. And Roberto Bellarosa’s reaction at the end of his performance of “Love Kills?” Talk about adorable. He took Belgium to 12th place, and we both want to believe his giddiness at the end got him some extra love from the voters.

Cezar from Romania has generated a lot of traffic to our site, for which we are grateful. We hope Cezar and his crew are happy with their 13th place finish, because they had to know operatic dubstep was a hard ask for most voters. We don’t know what it says about us that we didn’t think the staging of “It’s My Life” was as batshit insane as everyone seemed to think it was in rehearsals. I mean, it’s no “Carry Me In Your Dreams,” for example.

Chris picked Netherlands to win just because he liked it, and we could quibble about the reasons why it ended up in ninth place, but considering how long it’s been since Netherlands were even in the Final, we hope no one there is complaining about finishing in the top 10.

Jen picked Azerbaijan to win, and after Farid Mammadov’s performance, we thought there could be a chance. You could argue that he didn’t have a great song, but Azerbaijan has won with worse. He sang well and worked the camera and the staging did the rest. Of all the songs we watched tonight, his was the only one we felt had a chance to knock Denmark off its perch.

For those you that are keeping score — four entries used the fireworks curtain (AKA the Azerbaijani shower).

Eurovision has also released the points totals from the semifinals. Denmark won the first semi, and Azerbaijan won the second semi, despite early draws for both. Happily, there were no tragic 11th placers who missed the cut by only a point or two. Lithuania, seen widely as a surprise qualifier, finished 9th in the first semi (Estonia was 10th).  The overall last place finisher was Slovenia, who managed only 8 points, which, incidentally, is the same number of points Trackshittaz had last year. Ouch.

In the end, though, Denmark couldn’t be denied. We wonder how many tin whistles will be on display during the various national finals next year. So long as there are no rhyming couplets from the hosts.

4 thoughts on “Recap of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest

  1. Fun fact: Azerbaijan got 234 points, 13 more than they got for their winning song two years ago, and with four fewer countries voting to boot. The voting apparently wasn’t quite as scattershot this year as in 2011.

    Three years of top 10 in a row seem to have made us Germans complacent. Either that, or sending established artists just isn’t the right move, especially when those artists are a wee bit past their prime, a lesson the UK could stand to learn (France and Spain as well, for that matter). The only Big Five who seem to really have figured this out are Italy.

  2. We both completely agree with you. We kept thinking the model for this year was Azerbaijan’s win in 2011, but it turns out it was Dima all along. Emmelie’s win was actually more convincing than Dima’s because she got more points with fewer participating countries. And yes, Germany needs to go back to what brought them Lena and Roman Lob. We’re afraid this result may inflate Stefan Raab’s ego a bit…

  3. Hi Chris and Jen,

    I just discovered your website a few weeks ago and have been checking it out regularly. It’s great to read about the ESC seen through American eyes. I love your fun comments and sharp analysis’, a big compliment for that.

    Since I’m Dutch, I also want to thank you for your appreciation (hope I spelled that right) and trust in our entry this year. And in answer to your comment above: Everybody in the Netherlands is very happy with the top 10 finish, exactely for the reason you state, and Anouk was met by a crowd of fans and journalists at the airport when she arrived back home. We are just happy we have finally sent something of quality this year, and to see it was appreciated. Many ESC fans in the Netherlands have been very frustrated with the crap broadcaster TROS has been sending, and we hope they also feel that their change of strategy this year has payed of.

    Well, good luck on your website, I will visit it next year for sure.

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