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October 28, 2021

Goodbye Sweden, hello Ukraine

Ukraine has won the 61st Eurovision song contest in front of over 200 Million TV viewers and 15,000  euphoric fans packed into the Globen arena in Stockholm.

I’ve been to 18 Eurovisions and I have to admit it was one of the best staged and hosted shows. In addition,  we even had mega musical superstar Justin Timberlake performing his new single as part of  the interval act. The show even ran to time which is normally unheard of.

There was a change to the voting this year, first the jury’s from each country gave their votes and  once they were announced Australia were in the lead and Europe thought we had a winner.

But there was drama still to unfold when the Televotes were being announced, all 42 countries  votes  were added together giving a possible maximum 492 points, sadly Europe didn’t rate the  Czech Republic song and gave them Zero points. One by one the hosts announced each country’s  collective votes till we were left with the top 3, which was the same top 3 that the Jury’s voted.

There was gasps as Australia were announced 3rd best from the Televoting &  people then  realised that perhaps they might not have enough to win the contest.

Ukraine were placed second in the Televotes and secured enough to points to overtake Australia  pushing them to the top of the leader board. So Russia was the winner of the Televoting but was  there enough points for them to overtake Ukraine? The  change in the voting system was  supposed to create a more exciting finish to the show and I’m sure the organisers didn’t think that it  would generate such an exciting end to the show. The hosts announced the Russian points total,  then the camera switches to the Russian delegation in the green room where they looked so  serious as they desperately wanted to win this event, but it wasn’t enough to catch Ukraine: thus  Jamala scored Ukraine’s second Eurovision victory,  they previously won in 2004.

So now the  backlash starts. If the voting system remained the same as last year then Australia  would be the Eurovision winner. Russia wants the voting system to be just Televotes only and do  away with the jury votes altogether. The jury’s and the Televoters votes were pretty similar but Poland got 7 points from the jury’s, but received the 4th best total by the public. Perhaps it’s all the Polish immigrants who are now living all over Europe and voting for their country.

So the planning for 2017 begins, can Ukraine afford to stage a Eurovision that includes 3 live  shows?’ If so where in Ukraine will they stage it? As Kiev, Lviv & Odessa all have giant arenas  capable of hosting such a show.

Russia always said that they would not take part if Ukraine wins but have not confirmed one way or  another if they are to participate. The Ukrainian song was about the historical event in 1944 when Russia expelled Crimean’s to Uzbekistan, & Jamala’s great grandmother was one of the Crimean’s  expelled so it was something very personal to her.

Ironically the jury’s from Ukraine and Russia did not vote for each other but the Russian and  Ukraine Televoters gave each other 12 points each.

The dates for Eurovison 2017 are 16th, 18th & 20th May.

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