Russia won. What I liked best about the song was the ice skating, which just shows how much the contest is about spectacle as much as music.
None of us chose Russia in advance as the song to support. I went with Greece, figuring it stood a good chance at winning and anyways, it was cute and catchy. hungry_pixel had the good taste to support Azerbaijan's angel-demon number, despite choosing it without having seen or heard it, only on the basis of the country's name. C., of course, went with the Latvian pirates. penlington, again sight-unseen, backed Georgia, with disappointing voting results: still, the song had a lot of presentation in its favor - pyrotechnics, magical insta-costume change, blind singer; it's just that the song itself needed more personality. tanglewitch actually waited to hear the songs before backing one, and mostly went with Bosnia & Hertzgovinia with their wacky knitting brides. G. backed Croatia, won over between the 75-year-old rapper, scratching on a gramophone, and the pretty dancer in red, playing the bottles.
Full voting breakdown
- Terry Wogan didn't seem very funny this year. It didn't help that he didn't seem to have watched the semi-finals, and thus repeated a lot of what had already been said in those, omitting lots of the more entertaining factoids about the entertainers (with which I was embarassingly well-equipped, thanks to my last week's worth of prep.)
- The UK stood no chance this year. It's a fine song, but it's not catchy, it's not particularly memorable, and there was no real stage glitz to make up for these qualities. At least being last was a three-way tie, all with votes from more than one country.
- France: It was the video that made the song, not the song. The stage performance was a bit of a wash.
- Ukraine's Shady Lady has really grown on me. Mostly that's because its stage version is much superior to its video version, which is merely okay. The whole synchronized nodding thing was visually catchy too.
- Wogan didn't get Azerbaijan's song. I didn't get Turkey's. This morning, this diagram (found via the brits_americans community) explained why Turkey did so well. That or it's memorable to people with very different tastes in music than any of us had.
- I've been grumping about the BBC skipping out on the semi-final half-time shows. Well, they showed the half-time show for the final... and I could have skipped it quite easily. Their judgement was better than I was thinking it was.