Last night saw Eurovision 2019 come to a satisfyingly explosive conclusion. There were many terrific performances, a stuffed interval show featuring, amongst others, Madonna, and a very exciting voting segment made more intense by new changes to the way the televotes are announced. Here are the highlights of the results.
The Netherlands Ends Forty-Four Year Wait For Victory
Duncan Laurence was the big favourite with bookmakers and fan websites coming into the contest, but at the midway point of the voting, it looked like they had got the results wrong. However, a strong televote score allowed the Netherlands to fend off Mahmood from Italy to end a winless streak going all the way back to 1975. The Netherlands finished with 498 points in total, 26 points ahead of their Italian rivals. Sergey Lazarev again finished in third place for Russia but was much further back than in 2016.
North Macedonia and San Marino Mark Best Ever Results in the Contest
Behind the top three, Switzerland’s catchy track “She Got Me” claimed a great fourth place, their best finish since 1993. There were several other countries that stormed to their best result in history or for many years. Tamara Todevska’s powerful and heartfelt ballad took North Macedonia into the Grand Final for the first time since 2012, and then won the International Jury portion of the Final voting, surprising many of the fans and websites. Though the momentum couldn’t be held into the televote, it left North Macedonia in a brilliant seventh place overall. Prior to this year’s contest, twelfth in 2006 was their previous best showing. Iceland and Hatari completed the top ten, their best result since Yohanna claimed runner-up in 2009. Finally, after qualifying for only the second time in their history, San Marino, this year represented again by Serhat, took home nineteenth place, marking their best ever finish.
Italy Soar, Rest of Big Five Struggle
Whilst Mahmood had stormed to the runner-up spot in Tel Aviv, the rest of the automatic qualifiers had a torrid night. Bilal Hassani helped France to finish a respectable sixteenth, though was tipped to finish well inside the top ten from the great reception during rehearsals. On the wrong end of the leaderboard, four of the bottom five didn’t go through the semi-finals, with Belarus the only exception. Despite another great reaction to their performance, Spain were way down in twenty-second, followed by the host country Israel. Germany at least avoided the wooden spoon despite bland staging and the dreaded nil points in televoting, because The United Kingdom came last of all, some poor staging combined with a plodding anthem to give them only eleven points.
Confusion in the Voting Post-Contest
After the dust had settled on the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, there were several major issues with the results that came to light. The first involved the Belorussian jury vote; the members had already been dismissed for revealing who they were going to vote for, so a aggregated result was used. Unfortunately for the EBU, it included the bottom ten and not the top. Whilst this meant that Israel lost the only jury points given to them, it also resulted in North Macedonia winning the jury vote instead of Sweden, with the latter jumping Norway for fifth place, and Germany dropping behind Belarus into twenty-fifth. There was also suspicions that a couple of jury members voted backwards in the semi-finals, which would have put Poland and Lithuania into the Grand Final instead of Denmark and Belarus.
The big news coming into the contest was that superstar singer Madonna would perform as an interval act in the Grand Final. This was the second time in recent years a superstar performed, after Justin Timberlake in 2014. After a speech about how Music brings the people together and after giving advice to artists in the Green Room, she took to the stage to perform her classic song “Like a Prayer” and a new track titled “Future”. However, viewers were not impressed with the vocals of the veteran, stating that both sounded out of tune. Amusingly, her official YouTube page has videos of these performances, but dubbed over with a perfect rendition. To sum up, her staging was spectacular but the vocals were not.
Official Results of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019
So that means that we will be off to The Netherlands for the 2020 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Many congratulations (and jubilation) to Duncan Laurence and his team for a stunning stage show and entry. This marks the end of my Eurovision 2019 series; thank you to everyone who has read and interacted with my posts, it is greatly appreciated. I will see you all in six months when the next batch of entries are selected. In the meantime, there will be several regular series that will run on The Blogging DJ, including Book Reviews, Boxset Binge and Personal Thoughts so I hope to hear from you all in those.