Now with added Australia.
27. Azerbaijan (Hour Of The Wolf) : 12th place
I’m not saying this was the worst song of this year’s Eurovision to be honest. This is really just intended as a wake-up call for Azerbaijan to get out of their rut. Every year now it’s some 7/10 guy/girl singing a forgettable mid-tempo whilst the 9th and 15th placed contestants from So You Think You Can Dance : Caucasus Rampage flail around him/her in their pants/on ice skates/in a perspex box, getting progressively less and less homoerotic every year. You can do more Azerbaijan. You used to podium.
26. Albania (I’m Alive) – 17th place
The most “a woman sings a ballad and I don’t really care” entry in this year full of “a woman sings a ballad and I don’t really care” entries. Anti-bonus points for being out of tune, always.
25. Montenegro (Adio) – 13th place
RUN CHILDREN! RUN TO THE TARDIS! IF YOU DON’T LOOK DIRECTLY AT IT, YOU MIGHT NOT TURN TO STONE!
24. Austria (I Am Yours) – 27th place
Oh look the piano set on fire. Thematically this really should have happened in 2013, and left the ashes that Conchita rose from. (Wasn’t she an amazing host though? Much better than the three Tess Dalys Austria stuck at the front of everything. BBC 3 should be doing their damndest to get her on to do semi-final commentary next year and save us all from Scott Mills and “Dr Eurovision”)
23. Armenia (Face The Shadow) – 16th place
I’m sure there are still rules in place at Eurovision to prevent entries being entered with explicit political messages beyond “war is bad” and “let’s all be friends” and “vote for us, Western Europe, we’ve got kissing gays!” so God knows how this polemic against Turkey and Azerbaijan for denying the Armenian Genocide slipped through. Maybe by distracting the Eurovision Powers That Be by being performed with the staging of Magic The Gathering : The Musical? Maybe by clearly being made up by both singers and the orchestra on the spot? Maybe because as a reliable Russia booster Armenia were needed to prop up this year’s grand narrative? Whatever, the message was laudable, the delivery…less so.
22. Hungary (Wars For Nothing) – 20th place
Honestly I thought this was the worst song of this year’s Eurovision, but Eurovision is about more than just great songs with meaningful lyrics and charismatic performers (no, really). First of all HER NAME IS BOGGIE (and very rarely has a name been so apt given that she had all the stage presence of marsh gas), and second of all, all evening acts were using the giant video walls to project pretentious student art pieces of decaying ruins and crying children or suddden giant flame effects and fireballs and grand sweeping desert landscapes like a trailer for Mad Max : Feminism Avenue. Boggie’s performances built up to…a picture of a tree.
21. Australia (Tonight Again) – 5th place
Honestly, I get that it’s a nice idea to extend the hand of international friendship further than just Europe (plus Israel plus Azerbaijan plus Morocco whenever they were in it) but in practice Australia actually felt more involved in procedings last year when Jessica Mauboy made out with a koala, or whatever happened. This felt like a very slick and overly produced advert for an album that we couldn’t even buy, that we were paying for with votes. Not as LOLRANDOM awful as it could have been (although all the “good morning Australia!” votes needed to be thrown down a well at scripting) but it didn’t feel terribly Eurovision.
20. United Kingdom (Still In Love With You) – 24th place
After the surprise success of The Common Linnets last year, many countries this year sent boy-girl duos with blazing chemistry (Czech Republic being my choice for this year’s ROBBED SEMI-FINALS GODDESSES). We sent two performers who looked like they’d been pushed into doing karaoke together by pished-up worked colleagues in the hope of getting them together, when she’s got an anxiety disorder and he’s really not looking to be tied down right now, you know? I mean, it made sense to send out a professional Mick Jagger impersonator to balance her lack of stage presence…not so much why we then gave him an “electroswing” song to sing, which seems a bit like sending out a professional Kate Bush impersonator out to sing rap-metal (actually no that sounds amazing, scratch that). An electroswing song that sounds like 20 seconds of advert jingle stretched out to three minutes. With scatting. Actually…can I place this lower? Bump it down to 23 or something, I was just being patriotic I swear.
19. Poland (In The Name Of Love) – 23rd place
Another woman, another ballad. Obviously the distinguishing factor here is that Monica is in a wheelchair, and has insppired us all by managing to get across the stage in that dress without a trailing arm-hankie getting trapped in a spoke and ripping her arm off.
18. Sweden (Heroes) – Winners
As you can see, it was the innovative and exciting staging that really delivered Sweden the victory in this year’s Eurovision, as their song was, to be honest, a fairly nothingy and repetitive slice of David Guetta/Corona lifting dance-po…sorry, I opened the wrong file there, hang on…
As you can see, it was the innovative and exciting staging that really delivered Sweden the victory in this year’s Eurovision, as their song was, to be honest, a fairly nothingy and repetitive slice of David Guetta/Corona lifting dance-pop. Chiefly it will be remembered by me for the scandal deliberately whipped up by the gay-media as an excuse to print semi-nude pictu…I mean to seriously address homophobia, based around something Mans said on Come Dine With Me Sweden (seriously, can more Eurovision scandals be based around what people did when pissed up on Come Dine With Me? Can Lesley Josephs be our entry next year?) about gay sex not being as natural as straight sex. Truly Mans’ resultant media tour, encompassing Pride events, wearing t-shirts saying “HOMOS, HETEROS, HEROES!”, all culminating in him basically saying he’d make out with a dude for votes if you want, was hilarious. Song’s still drab though.
17. Greece (One Last Breath) – 19th place
Shut your eyes it’s your mum trying to sing Conchita’s song from last year from memory. Open your eyes it’s…actually is that even Greece? There were so many of these women this year that I’m not entirely sure. I might have her and Albania the wrong way round. Sort of worth it for the wind-machine at the end.
16. Germany (Black Smoke) – 26th place
Poor Ann Sophie. Truly the Raggedy Ann of this year’s Eurovision. Firstly only here because Germany’s first pick backed out. Then pushed out in the front of the world and forced to writhe around sexily in a C & A pantsuit with a giant dinner-lady bun. Then one of Eurovision’s legendary “nul points” club, but then not even afforded the dignity of being the dead-last “nul point”er, with Austria getting to the “having a sense of humour” button first. You just want to give her a hug don’t you? The song wasn’t even that bad.
15. Lithuania (This Time) – 18th place
A lot of Eurovision performances build up to a climactic kiss. This one built up to climactic kisses. Lots of them. The singers, the backing vocalists, random passing gays, audience members…Every 5 seconds somebody seemed to be shoving their tongue down somebody’s throat, with Vaidas (the guys-singer, 8/10 wouldbang) stopping periodically to get everyone to whoop and cheer and stick their hands down their pants for love. I would have enjoyed this far more if the whole song didn’t sound quite so Mumfordy…
14. Israel (Golden Boy) – 9th place
Oh look, someone’s rich daddy bought him some hot friends to act as his wingman. Everyone I saw was really shocked that Nadav here is 16, which is odd, because I feel like I’ve seen this sort of…routine from teenage boys at many a bar mitzvah. Extra points for using “Tel Aviv” as a euphemism for your penis though.
13. Romania (All Over Again) – 15th place
I mean, there have been far worse attempts to bring chugging mid-tempo rock to Eurovision. Including this year.
12. Italy (Grande Amore) – 3rd place
Which one do you think your mum most wants to do? I’d say my mum would probably want to do the one in the middle. This actually won the televote, which means in all honesty we should be trekking off to Rome for next year’s contest, but in terms of the contest moving forwards I’m not sure I could have taken the tidal wave of popera that would have ensued, even if this was a passable enough slice of the genre. Thank goodness they did a Lee Ryan and completely fucked up the jury performance.
11. Russia (A Million Voices) – Runner-Up
I like how Russia sends a different flavour of wide-eyed innocent dressed in white like a virgin sacrifice to throw into the anti-Soviet boo inferno that is modern Eurovision (because of course no other participating countries have appalling records in terms of LGBT rights and human rights abuses COUGH COUGH). Two years ago there was the wide-eyed farm girls asking us to bury our guns (…yeah, you go first), last year there were the eerie twins joined at the plait telling us all to show some love. This year though…what a basket-case. The mad eyes, the constant crying, the Conchita-hugging, the constant reaction shots as the results were revealed of her slamming back wine or screaming with delight at every positive result long after it was obvious she couldn’t win any more. They’ll have a tough job beating this next year, even if the song was another serving of ballad mush. (Russia also get bonus points for sending one of the top 5 score-announcers this year, with that hot try-hard light entertainment douche who pretended Russia were going to give 12 points to Russia. The other four being Disappearing Suzy, the woman who looked like the lovechild of Iveta and The Cheeky Girls, that Dutch woman who had her boobs out, and of course NIGELLA)
10. France (N’Oubliez Pas) – 25th place
I don’t care if I’m supposed to hate all the ballads this year, I will never not be here for a menopausal winebar-singer French woman shouting her head off about the Holocaust.
9. Slovenia (Here For You) – 14th place
Featuring Violet Chochki on invisible violin. That voice though. Somewhere between a dog toy and Kenneth Williams, I can imagine it was something of an…acquired taste for Europe, so I’m surprised this did as well as it did in the end. Well done for her on circumventing a Jemini situation (they were totally only hideously out of tune because they couldn’t hear the backing track you guys, honest) and bringing her own headphones though. That’s planning.
8. Estonia (Goodbye To Yesterday) – 7th place
The pre-pre tournament favourite here, as Estonia capitalised on the success of (yes) The Common Linnets last year and combined it with some Miles Kaneish 60s throwbackery, with a deliberately minor key break-up song with lyrics that were both slightly rapey (“what didn’t you wake me up? I’m pretty sure I would have told you to stop”) and cringingly deliberately mundane (“I was frozen by the jingle of my keys at the door/as I got outside I smiled to the dog”) (good grief) it was left up to the performance to redeem and my God did it, as Stig looked blokishly blank as Elina raged furiously at him before squeezing out several angry lady-tears right at the end. Chicks, right?
7. Cyprus (One Thing I Should Have Done) – 22nd place
What a sweetheart. Like, I think the reaction the rest of Europe had to Il Volo I apparently had to this, the 22nd place finisher. I’m so alternative like that, you guys. I never go for the obvious ones. Anyway, this was Heart FM Late Night Love in excelsis, like “To Be With You” by Mr Big crossed with “I’ll Never Break Your Heart” by The Backstreet Boys crossed with every Boyz II Men album track you never heard all set against a backdrop of twinkly stars sung by a graduate of Junior Eurovision. Just the sort of thing to have a bath and some boxed wine to.
6. Latvia (Love Injected) – 6th place
This year’s most hipster entry, buoyed up almost entirely by the juries in the face of an indifferent public vote, Latvia’s entry was an anguished howl of cutting-edge bleepy-bloopy electronics, kind of like 80% of the music they play on daytime 6 Music now, but not shit. It’s basically what you end up with if the cake that was baked last year (still basically the most robbed thing ever) got left out in the rain. It maybe had more impact when it blitzed like a knife through an otherwise pretty MOR semi-final, but for 3 minutes, Eurovision felt almost…modern?
5. Spain (Amanceer) – 21st place
Apparently she’s a WAG. Makes sense. If you had the money you’d spend it on a hot shrtless Spanish dancer to throw you around as well. You just maybe wouldn’t invite so many people to watch (or maybe you would, I’m not judging). My favourite part of his involvement (other than looking like that) was when he pulled Edurne’s dress off and ran off with it, like he was stealing the knickers from her washing line. (Also I think there was a song and it was some kind of angry ballad fantasia? Whatever)
4. Norway (A Monster Like Me) – 8th place
So he killed someone when he was a teenager in a fit of rage and she just found out by being nosy and he thinks she should leave him and find someone more pure but she’s kind of horrified but turned on? Maybe? I dunno, the official video kind of makes it look like they reconcile their differences to murder a whole group of people together including some children so…that’s a happy ending of sorts, right? Right? They packed a lot into three minutes, really, and I do love a dense text.
3. Serbia (Beauty Never Lies) – 10th place
There was no greater moment in this Eurovision than the point in this, halfway through, when everyone ripped their clothes off and it turned into a massive Poppers O’Clock Eurobanger. The road up to it wasn’t unpleasant (and of course for that moment to *be* a moment there needed to be a road up to it) but what this Eurovision song contest really needed was something that looked like a ballad and then turned out to in fact not be a ballad, even if it was still about accceptance and loving yourself and finding beauty in difference and all that good ballady stuff.
2. Georgia (Warrior) – 11th place
But a warrior against what? A malfunctioning smoke machine for the most part, as Nina was entirely subsumed with fog for the first half of the performance, emerging triumphantly from the gloom to wind machine her way to the end of the song. No piece of stagecraft yet invented could stop this gothic warrior princess. If the Gears Of War advert had her imploring me to be her hero rather than Kate Upton in push-up bra, I’d probably download it. Probably. I’m not going to lie, a large part of this ranking, even though the song was amazing, was because Nina was granted a coveted “stand here on BBC 3 during the semi-finals whilst Mel and Scott Mills do bad comedy skits” slot, and used it to brag about having made her costume herself, throw shade at Malta for being boring, and ask Mel what the fuck “teal” is. I mean the guy from Cyprus was adorable as well, but I know a star when I see one.
1. Belgium (Rhythm Inside) – 4th place
If Norway were play-acting at being murderers then it feels like Belgium served up the genuine article for my favourite entry of this year’s Eurovision, a boggle-eyed teen who looked a bit like Owen Jones after 4 days of no sleep and a handful of pills from mummy’s handbag, ranting about death and WICKEDNESS DOWN BELOW without blinking or pausing for breath. Sounding like a cross between Lorde and Diana Vickers, Loic’s…intensity (particularly during that dance break where he did 17 pirouettes then started clawing at his own face) and brapbrapbrap and above all else volume won Eurovision for me in 2015.