I’ll do the same thing I did in 2016 and 2017, 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 the previous two times doesn’t have to mean I will again, so not making promises at the moment.
Overall, really wasn’t impressed with this edition, finding few acts in the semifinals that I really wanted to go through and quite a few of those I would have picked if I had to failing to qualify, others that I liked less or not at all taking their place. In spite of that, the final seemed a bit better, in part because the countries that automatically qualified sent decent songs this time around, and in part because a few acts seemed better performed than during the semifinals. Either way, on top of few songs impressing me, I again noticed a rather poor show value overall, many again seeming to no longer give much importance to actually doing something on stage, regardless of how much use they made of various effects. Also, not keen on camera tricks being used the way they were, several acts having images overlaid instead of something actually happening on stage or at least being displayed on the screens there.
Once again, didn’t know much about the performances before the actual competition this year, only listening a couple of times to the songs, mostly in the official versions posted on the official channel. Didn’t follow news or updates, didn’t watch anything from rehearsals, and if I happened to see a couple of videos from national finals, it was more by accident and only of the winning songs anyway. Also, pretty much didn’t watch or otherwise follow anything over the last month or so before the competition. That means I had no idea about the potential show value, how good or bad the voices were likely to sound live or any background stories.
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.
One thing I want to point out though is that I probably have more questions than ever about my own classification. There were quite a few acts that I gave different marks to in the semifinal and the final, in part because of what I already mentioned, namely that I found some acts to be better performed in the final, but I must also admit that there were moments when I perhaps didn’t quite pay enough attention during the final, and this last part may have affected the six acts that qualified directly the most. I’m quite sure the results would be somewhat different if I’d watch and rate again, but this is how I saw things live and this is how it’ll remain.
1. (9.) Denmark (7, 7)
2. (25.) Finland (7, 6.5)
3. (8.) Estonia (6.75, 7.5, plus)
4. (18.) The Netherlands (6.75, 7)
5. (23.) Spain (6.75, 7)
6. (16.) Ireland (6.75, 6.5)
7. (17.) Ukraine (6.75, 6.5)
8. (10.) Moldova (6.75, 6)
9. (1.) Israel (6.75, 6, minus)
10. (12.) Lithuania (6.5, 6.5)
11. (14.) Bulgaria (6.5, 6.5)
12. (15.) Norway (6.5, 6.5)
13. (19.) Serbia (6.5, 6.5, minus)
14. (11.) Albania (6.25, 6.5, plus)
15. (4.) Germany (6.25, 6.5, plus)
16. (3.) Austria (6.25, 6.5, plus)
17. (20.) Australia (6.25, 6.5, plus)
18. (5.) Italy (6.25, 6.5, plus)
19. (24.) United Kingdom (6.25, 6.5)
20. (13.) France (6.25, 6.5)
21. (2.) Cyprus (6.25, 6)
22. (22.) Slovenia (6.25, 6, minus)
23. (21.) Hungary (6.25, 5.5)
24. (6.) Czech Republic (6.25, 5.5, minus)
25. (7.) Sweden (6, 6)
26. (26.) Portugal (6, 6)
My ranking matched the actual result for Portugal and Slovenia, was two places off for Hungary, Lithuania and Moldova, and three places off for Albania, Australia, Bulgaria and Norway. On the other hand, I was at least ten places off for Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine, and even more than 20 places off for Finland.
To mention the semifinals as well, in my classification I had Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium and Iceland go through from the first one instead of Albania, Austria, Cyprus and the Czech Republic, but would have also wanted Switzerland there instead of Israel, though it was clear that Israel wasn’t going to get kicked out. At the same time, the only one I really wanted to go through was Estonia, the rest being acts I’m not, or wouldn’t have been, particularly upset over, while Albania and Austria were acts I didn’t mind going through, though the same can’t be said about the other two, which were last in my classification. As for the second one, had Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino going through instead of Australia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and Sweden, but only actually wanted Denmark, The Netherlands and Romania, so at least two out of three made it, the rest again being acts I didn’t care too much about, while at the same time not exactly being bothered by most of those that did qualify either, the one exception being Slovenia.
Still on the topic of the semifinals, it was the first time Azerbaijan, Romania and Russia didn’t make it through a semifinal. Not sure about any other firsts, but these were obvious, and while Russia didn’t deserve to go through even if you just consider the performance itself, the other two should have clearly been in the final.