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Eurovision 2022

I definitely hope that things will improve soon, because I was saying that last year’s edition was quite poor and now I find myself needing to say the same about this year’s. Admittedly, it can be said that I didn’t pay close enough attention to the semifinals, since I watched the first and part of the second while working on dinner, but I did pay attention to the final and must say that it was quite a struggle to do so, finding myself getting increasingly bored and drifting off more and more after a certain point. The fact that one of the best overall acts and what struck me as possibly this year’s best song, albeit harmed by a low show value, didn’t make it, both actually ending up next to last in their respective semifinals, definitely didn’t help, though most of the automatically qualified entries did add to the level of the final. There are few, if any, songs that I’ll keep in mind after this edition, and while the overall show value was better than the overall musical value, I wouldn’t say that any entries actually stood out from that point of view either. But at least the use of camera tricks, which had been bothering me in recent years, was reduced to some extent.
At least when it comes to the songs, I knew what to expect, having listened to them after all were posted on the official channel, once to the entire list, a second time to those that didn’t put me off right away and a few more times to the few that I found more interesting. I don’t know what might have been, however, since I didn’t check national finals as well… Or at least I don’t recall doing so, despite meaning to at one point, so I either gave up on the idea right away or checked the entries that ended up second and maybe third in a couple that I thought were more likely to be interesting, found nothing memorable and then gave up.

Of course, there was no question about this year’s winner. Or, more exactly, if Ukraine wouldn’t have won, it’d have meant that humans are even worse beasts than I think they are, which would be quite hard. The performance wasn’t bad, but it was irrelevant. The vote was completely political, and it’s the one time when it absolutely had to be this way. It seems unlikely that Ukraine will be able to host next year’s edition, but that matters too little at this point.
United Kingdom ending up second was a surprise, on the other hand. I did find myself thinking that I should be liking it more and ranking it higher, but I just couldn’t get myself to do so, at least not so late during the final, when I was struggling to still pay attention and it was a new song, not one I already knew from the semifinals. So it was one of the better entries and maybe I was unfair to it to some extent, but even after listening to it again while writing this, I can’t see it among the top five, not to mention second.
Spain had a powerful entry, with a decent show value, but I was unimpressed by the song itself and they actually struck me as trying to overcompensate for it. Most obviously thought otherwise, but in this case I stand by the relatively low position I placed them in, plenty other entries being better.
On the other hand, Sweden probably had the best song from the final, the problem being the relatively low show value. The singer did her best, but there was only so much she could do, being alone on the stage. Even so, not counting Ukraine, this was the entry that best deserved its high position, and one of those I could have seen being second, even though that relatively low show value made me place it fifth.
On the other hand, in Serbia’s case it was pretty much the opposite, their good result likely being almost entirely thanks to the show value, and maybe to some extent also the message, since there were subtitles for some of the lines, the song itself being one of the worst in the competition. Not that the performance would have been enough to stand out even from the point of view of the show value on a good year, but this wasn’t a good year.

With those thoughts of changing my ranking system being put aside, even if I sometimes disagree with the results, I’m just sticking to the one I’ve been using for so long, 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. (8.) Greece (6.75, 6.5, plus)
2. (20.) Armenia (6.75, 6.5, plus)
3. (21.) Finland (6.75, 6.5)
4. (15.) Australia (6.75, 6.5)
5. (4.) Sweden (6.5, 7)
6. (7.) Moldova (6.5, 6.5)
7. (24.) France (6.5, 6)
8. (16.) Azerbaijan (6.5, 6, minus)
9. (23.) Iceland (6.25, 6.5, plus)
10. (12.) Poland (6.25, 6.5, plus)
11. (1.) Ukraine (6.25, 6, plus)
12. (2.) United Kingdom (6.25, 6, plus)
13. (18.) Romania (6.25, 6)
14. (22.) Czech Republic (6.25, 6)
15. (3.) Spain (6.25, 6, minus)
16. (5.) Serbia (6.25, 5.5)
17. (10.) Norway (6.25, 5.5, minus)
18. (13.) Estonia (6, 6.5, plus)
19. (17.) Switzerland (6, 6.5, plus)
20. (6.) Italy (6, 6)
21. (19.) Belgium (6, 6, minus)
22. (11.) Netherlands (5.75, 6, plus)
23. (25.) Germany (5.75, 6, plus)
24. (9.) Portugal (5.75, 6)
25. (14.) Lithuania (5.75, 6)

My ranking didn’t match the actual result for any country, was one place off for Moldova and Sweden, and two places off for Belgium, Germany, Poland and Switzerland. On the other hand, it was at least ten places off for Armenia, Australia, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

With nothing truly standing out, Greece struck me as a good overall performance, with a good enough song that was performed well and a singer that was alone on a stage that was nevertheless filled, this actually also making sense in the context of the song. And singing about dying together also struck me as bold when this toxic positivity keeps being pushed for so long.
Armenia was in many ways similar, also a good enough song that was performed well and a lone singer that didn’t imply a low show value. The difference was that it was more of a performance, more effort being put into the show value, but the song itself seemed slightly weaker than Greece’s, and the message more common, which was what made the difference in the end.
Even if Finland didn’t strike me as being as good as Bulgaria, they were the ones that qualified and represented the genre in the final, so maybe their position is in some part thanks to that, but the overall performance was also one that was, or should have been, good enough to matter.
With Australia, I mostly get back to what I said about Greece and Armenia. A good enough song, a lone singer performing it very well and also putting some effort into the show value, and a good and relevant message. But maybe the song wasn’t quite as good as those, or maybe it was the difference between male and female voices that made me rank it lower.
I already wrote about Sweden, but I’ll just say again that it was probably the best song that made it into the final, the problem being the pretty low show value, and probably also the topic that was so common.
In Moldova’s case, the fact that I understood the lyrics likely meant that I had a better opinion of it than I’d have had if it’d have been in any other non-English language… Even though I oppose those who want to reunite Moldova with Romania, as I oppose any attempts to integrate any country or territory into another, because it leaves those who want to remain independent or as they are with nowhere to go. I still wonder how they got away with such a political message, however, and even they thought they’ll probably need to change it. But, moving past that, it was a pretty powerful entry that could stand out and drive away some of the boredom that was setting in by that point of the final.
By contrast, I have no idea what France’s entry was about, but it was also a pretty powerful one and they paid even more attention to the show value, so it stuck in my mind to some extent, seeming to stand in its own category, even though there wasn’t much to the song itself.
My opinion of Azerbaijan’s song improved in the final, quite a lot in fact, and they also put some effort into the show value, even if it only seemed to be a matter of effort and not also of thought, so all I can say is that the combination was good enough for this position.
Iceland had such a soft and sweet song, and sometimes that also stands out and sticks to mind. The performance was entirely static and they made use of those camera tricks that I was complaining about, but they just looked so “right” for the song.
I must admit that I was drifting off by the time Poland’s turn came, and maybe the fact that I became aware of it during the United Kingdom’s performance and thought that I should have ranked that higher made me do so for this one instead, so maybe it should have ended up a little lower, but the song was performed very well and at least there were some more people on stage.

As for the semifinals, in the first one I had Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia and Denmark instead of Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal, which actually were my bottom four. Still, just Norway making it actually bothered me in itself, Lithuania, Netherlands and Portugal having songs that I guess appeal to juries, though oddly Lithuania was actually taken through by the televote, and I did sort of want at least Netherlands to make it based on the song itself, the problem being the lack of show value. And I also don’t mind that Austria didn’t make it, the fact that they ended up in my top ten being a result of my system, and can’t say that I particularly mind that Denmark failed to qualify either, but I would have liked to see Croatia in the final and Bulgaria definitely had to be there, striking me as having one of the best overall performances this year. As for the second semifinal, I had Malta and Montenegro instead of Azerbaijan and Belgium. The problem isn’t that those two made it, Azerbaijan’s entry actually growing on me in the final, and probably also not that Malta didn’t, the song seeming much weaker during the actual competition than it had seemed to me when I had listened to it before, so I might have placed it among the top ten mainly because of that first impression. Montenegro, however, struck me as having what was probably this year’s best song, so while it was plagued by a lack of show value and I actually had to cheat a little in order to get it in my top ten for that semifinal, it definitely should have qualified… And I cheated a little for Estonia as well, and that song wasn’t as good, yet it qualified and Montenegro didn’t.

Since I just keep getting slower and couldn’t include the comments about my top ten before going to bed, needing until 5:10 AM to even post what’s above that section and the paragraph about the semifinals and ending up getting in bed when it was almost 5:20 AM as a result, I initially meant to split this post in two, adding those comments as a separate one. But I keep editing personal posts in order to add sections that I don’t manage to write in time, so I eventually decided to do the same with this post, editing it Sunday evening to add that section.


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