The grand finale opens with what seem to be drumming riot police. Or is this a very confusing anti-war statement? I have a feeling there will be quite a bit of anti-war themes tonight!
We endure another rendition of last year’s winner, Ukraine, with folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra, before the flag parade of the finalists interspersed by short musical interludes from Eurovisions past.
Finally, our four hosts make it on stage, with Ukrainian singer, Julia Sanina and three UK hosts: Hannah Waddingham (of Game of Thrones fame), Graham Norton and someone else. Famously, Eurovision hosts are unfunny and lack any charm whatsoever, but Hannah Waddingham absolutely nails it, her French is impeccable, and she is just so so excited to be there. Absolutely adorable!
We kick off the competition with Austria’s Who the Hell is Edgar? Applying minimum dance moves (literally just 2 steps to the left and 2 to right), Teya and Salena are flanked by multiple red wiggles that digitally proliferate into a literal army. Solid performance and 15th place.
More red wiggles for Portugal, a red frilly dress for Mimicat and clashing, fuchsia-coloured gloves, which may have cost points – 23rd.
Remo from Switzerland is next as is the first anti-war song. Remo, in an all-black, oversized, and glittery suit, means well, but in a boring way – 20th.
Sporting the best shoulder-length glove of the evening, Poland’s Blanka lowers the tone considerably, with a vacuous (albeit entertaining) number about showing her ex what they are missing out on – mostly some very energetic dancing in glittery outfits. 19th place.
Insomniac, Luke Black from Serbia is next with a musically and visually confusing performance – why are there deep-sea divers on stage? A deserved 24th place.
Far more comprehensible is France’s La Zara – an unmistakable French chanson that has been pimped up with disco beats and lasers. A glittery dress and dainty little beret (also glittery). 16th place.
Cyprian werewolf Andrew Lambrou is next, howling his way through Eurovision, barefoot in a black (oversized) suit that is missing its sleeves (showing off a nice set of guns). An inexplicable 12th place.
More howling and wailing from Spain – paired with unmotivated stage fog – an unsurprising 17th place
Sweden, one of the favourites is up next, Loreen (who already bagged the Eurovision title in 2012) appears in an outfit reminiscent of the Borg (inclusive of cybernetic fingernails) appropriately staged on a cube. Excellent wind machine action propelled a not very exciting song into first place! Stockholm, here we come!
Albania’s family-friendly Balkan pop makes it onto stage. Albina is dressed as a Klingon queen and brings big emotions, drama and more wailing… 22nd.
Glittery Marco from Italy is next, a gimmick-free and strong performance – a deserved 4th place.
Estonia’s Alika and the first (possibly only) grand piano of the competition… this one can play all by itself, leaving Alika free roam the stage in her mauve-coloured jumpsuit. Europe liked it – 8th place!
Now time to Cha-cha-cha with Finland’s Käärijä, a hot favourite and the entire stadium screams along. Finland clearly won the popular vote, but the jury found the song lacking – second place!
Easily the best plaits of the competition, Czechia’s Vesna struggle to hold the harmony but wear excellent pink pantsuits – and there is glitter! How did they make it to 10th place?
Australia is next and they have brought the 90s with them, inclusive of Kitt from NightRider, keytars and (glittery) shoulder pads. A very energetic performance that catapult Voyager into the top 10, but only just – 9th place.
Keeping with the 80s/90s theme, Gustaph from Belgium gives us a soulful number and has something Boy George about him (is it the hat) – 8th place! Was it the pink jodhpurs?
Armenia’s Brunette has excellent hair and is sending a message to her future lover – 14th place.
Moldova’s ethno-pop (inclusive or drums and annoying flute) takes over – Pasha’s manbun and bare chest came to no avail – 18th place.
Last year’s winner, Ukraine is next. With more Borg enhancements, Tvorchi rides Europe’s solidarity with the Ukraine and makes it into 6th place.
Norway’s Alessandra makes it onto stage, having raided, the Klingon wardrobe. The jury thought the song stank, and they would be right, but somehow the popular vote propelled Alessandra into 5th place.
German glam-rock Lord of the Lost is next and is swiftly relegated to last place. A bit undeserved, as the outfits were excellent!
Wearing an unremarkable orange dress without on-stage gimmickry, Monika from Lithuania delivers a solid and mesmerising chorus and is rewarded with 11th place.
Israel brings bad-ass girl attitude (and a very supportive bra). Clearly, the dance performance carried the song into third place, as Noah was often out of tune and out of breath.
How Slovenia’s boy-band Joker Out made it to the finals, we will never know. Rock clichés and a flat song – 21st place
Joke-entry Croatia delivers a serious anti-war message. The song and staging are nothing short of chaotic, ending with everyone standing in their undies on stage – 13th place
The UK entry is the last of the performances – with a dreadful song delivered vocally flat– at least the red wiggles were back. Second last for the UK!
While the world sends in its votes, we are treated by the ghosts of Eurovisions past performing classics: Beatles, Atomic Kittens, Dead or Alive, and the most relevant for Liverpool – You Never Walk Alone – bringing everyone to tears.
My favourite part of Eurovision is next – the awkward presentation of the votes from each participating country. You can just watch the life drain from the eyes of hosts Hannah and Graham as the national presenters just go on and on and on….
Sweden ran away with the jury votes, plenty of 12 points to Sweden, and Finland dominated the popular vote, but fell short by less than 50 points.
While Sweden is the winner by points, Hannah Waddingham is the overall Eurovision Queen!
And there you have it! I am utterly exhausted – see you next year!
Mariella Herberstein & Club Douze Points