I’ll do the same thing I did last year, and for the same reason, so there will once again be two posts, this one including my classification and some general comments about the final and the semifinals, while the next will contain the comments about the top songs, both in the actual classification and in mine. Once again, I’m hoping to manage to post that second one on Monday, but the fact that I did so last year doesn’t have to mean I will again, so not making promises at the moment.
Overall, can’t say I was impressed with this edition, my general opinion varying between the rather poor first semifinal, the quite good second one and the so and so final. There were plenty of acts that were decent, even good, including a few that sadly failed to make it into the final, but not much to truly stand out. Also, and without even counting the cases where the problems were obviously technical, noticed a fair number of issues with the voices, songs that deserved to sound better than they ended up sounding. And the show value was quite poor in general, many seeming to no longer give much importance to actually doing something on stage, regardless of how much use they made of the screens, lights or pyrotechnics.
Didn’t know that much about the performances before the actual competition this year, only listening a couple of times to the songs, in the official versions posted on the official channel. Didn’t follow news or updates, didn’t watch anything from rehearsals and only remember glancing at a few videos from a couple of national finals a while back. That means I had no idea about the potential show value or how good or bad the voices were likely to sound live, and definitely knew nothing about any background stories… And in this case I’m guessing the background made a huge difference in terms of deciding the winner.
My ranking system is still the same, giving one mark for song and another for show value, plus a positive, neutral or negative modifier, and ranking first according to the overall mark that is the result of averaging the song and show ones, then according to the song mark and then, if both marks are equal, according to the modifier. In case all three are equal, the ranking is the result of me trying to quickly compare the performances in question at the end.
Once again, still largely for my own use, I’ll list all the information here, with the first number being the position in my classification, the one between parentheses that follows it being the actual position, the first number that follows the country name being the overall mark, the second being the song mark and the modifier, if not neutral, being listed at the end. All links are from the official channel, so they shouldn’t vanish.
1. (13.) Croatia (7, 7.5, plus)
2. (19.) Greece (6.75, 6.5)
3. (14.) Azerbaijan (6.75, 6.5)
4. (7.) Romania (6.75, 6.5)
5. (17.) Belarus (6.75, 6.5, minus)
6. (15.) United Kingdom (6.5, 7, plus)
7. (11.) Netherlands (6.5, 6.5)
8. (6.) Italy (6.5, 6.5)
9. (24.) Ukraine (6.5, 6, plus)
10. (5.) Sweden (6.5, 6, minus)
11. (20.) Denmark (6.25, 7, plus)
12. (22.) Poland (6.25, 6.5, plus)
13. (3.) Moldova (6.25, 6, plus)
14. (23.) Israel (6.25, 6)
15. (10.) Norway (6.25, 6)
16. (16.) Austria (6.25, 5.5, plus)
17. (8.) Hungary (6.25, 5.5, minus)
18. (25.) Germany (6, 6.5, plus)
19. (12.) France (6, 6.5)
20. (2.) Bulgaria (6, 6, plus)
21. (18.) Armenia (6, 6, plus)
22. (21.) Cyprus (6, 6, plus)
23. (26.) Spain (6, 5.5)
24. (1.) Portugal (5.75, 6, plus)
25. (4.) Belgium (5.75, 6, plus)
26. (9.) Australia (5.5, 5.5, plus)
My ranking matched the actual result for Austria, was one place off for Cyprus, two places off for Italy, and three places off for Armenia, Romania and Spain. On the other hand, I was at least ten places off for Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine, and even more than 20 places off for Belgium and, obviously, Portugal.
And to mention the semifinals as well, they were again very different in terms of quality.
From the first one I only actually wanted Azerbaijan, Finland, Greece and Poland to go through. Past that, and other than Finland, my classification also eventually had Albania, Latvia and maybe Slovenia through instead of Armenia, Australia, Belgium and Portugal, but right below the line were Iceland, Georgia and the Czech Republic and I had a very hard time separating that group of four, as in including Slovenia. Not that it matters, since none of them made it, but eventually the order ended up the one I listed them in here, and I can leave the Czech Republic at the bottom and out, but would have rather wanted the others through, or at least Iceland instead of Sweden, which was just boosted by some decent show value. Either way, definitely have no idea why Australia made it, and can say the same about Belgium due to the performance, especially that evening, though the song itself is decent. Know why Portugal made it, and I’m only talking about the song itself now, but it’s definitely not my thing at all.
The problem with the second semifinal was that I wanted no less than 12 acts to go through, and also that four of them ended up outside the top ten in my classification, two others making it in due to the show rating. My classification had Estonia, Ireland, San Marino, Serbia and Switzerland instead of Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Israel and Netherlands, but definitely no problem with Denmark and Netherlands making it in, as those were also among the 12 and actually some of the better songs overall in my view, Denmark in particular, the entries being dragged down by the lack of show value. The other three, however, were out of the only four I specifically didn’t want to see making it, the fourth being Lithuania. And I am particularly bothered by the fact that Estonia was left out.