I am back home, and it’s finally Eurovision day! Months of anticipation are over, and in just a few hours the Grand Final will begin and Europe will decide the winner. Russia is still being touted at the hot favourite, with Australia, Ukraine, France and Sweden in the top five.
I still think this year is gloriously unpredictable. A couple of years ago *no one* could have guessed that Conchita would win for Austria. That year Armenia had been installed as favourites for months. Same here with Sergei and Russia. It will all depend tonight whether it sounds like a good song, or it looks like a good performance, and what people vote for. If it was both, then he would be a winner for sure. The trouble is, there are still a lot of people pointing out that the song is actually a bit dated and dull, it’s only the clever staging that makes is memorable. At least Måns last year had both to ensure victory. We’ll have to wait and see.
I still think a surprise is on the cards: Sweden, Ukraine or The Netherlands…
Tonight the proceedings will have an extra special guest – Justin Timberlake. Feels a little like that will pull focus from the other artists, but at least it will give us an interesting interval act. The broadcast is increasingly longer, and now at 3.5 hours, his inclusion might actually give this broadcasting marathon a boost.
The Eurovision Research Network (ERN) has also been active during the week, as we have tweeted and Facebook-ed our thoughts and views on the contest and the issues it’s been highlighting this week. We have had lots of interest, and there is a large academic community now doing some really interesting work in ESC related areas. Hopefully EHU will host a symposium later in the year, as well as a re-launch of our website, so interesting times ahead for ESC researchers.
Set against the backdrop of light entertainment, there are social, cultural and political themes and tensions that are simmering, so it’s always good to take a step back and appraise the wider impact of this event. Yes, it is highly entertaining, but there are also more serious discussions that should be had. That’s why I’m proud to be in a network of academics doing some really interesting work.
Hopefully tonight Graham Norton will be on good form, and guide us through with wit and insight, rather than judgment and cynicism. I hear that the commentary by Scott Mills and Mel Giedroyc during the semi-finals was all rather giddy and embarrassing. Sort it out BBC! Like I said, it can be entertaining, but it doesn’t need to be a big joke.
Anyway, here are our (Brian and myself) predictions for tonight. See if you agree with us…
I still hope that Sweden will win! .However it turns out, and whoever wins, I think we’re in for an exciting night.
To you all – have a awesome night!