Eurovision 2018 – Semi-Final 1

So its been awhile since I have blogged here and even longer since I have written about Eurovision but look out! I am back! And its Eurovision Week!!!

Tonight in Lisbon the Jury Semi Final 1 is taking place while the live show takes place tomorrow Tuesday 8th.

Speaking of the Juries, there is a slight change in the weighting of individual jury rankings this year and should make the contest fairer.

19 countries are taking part in Semi Final 1 which looks set to be one of the best Eurovision shows ever! As well as the 19 entries, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom will be voting.  Only 10 of the entries will make it through to the Grand Final on Saturday and join Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany along with the 10 qualifiers from Semi Final 2 on Thursday night.

So let’s take a look at the entries.

All odds are from paddypower.com as taken on 07/05/2018

1 – Azerbaijan (İTV) – AISEL – “X my Heart” – 125/1
Debut: 2008
Wins: 1 (2011)
Worst Result: 22nd (2014)

X my Heart (pronounced cross my heart) is a great song to start the show. Azerbaijan have consistently sent great songs and since joining the Eurovision Family have never failed to make it to the Grand Final. This year is no different as this dance-pop song should easily qualify for the Grand Final.

2 – Iceland (RÚV) – Ari Ólafsson – “Our Choice” – 500/1
Debut: 1986
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (1989 – nul points, 2001)

Iceland are still waiting for their first win at Eurovision and haven’t qualified for the Grand Final since 2014, and this year they are sending 19-year-old Ari Ólafsson to try to win. This is very much a pop ballad which is very easy to listen to. But with the strength of competition in this Semi-Final, it could struggle to qualify.  It is one to listen to and enjoy though!

3 – Albania (RTSH) – Eugent Bushpepa – “Mall” – 500/1
Debut: 2004
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 17th – SF (2007)

This is the type of entry I love Eurovision for. Eugent’s ‘Mall’ mixes traditional influences with classical rock. While you won’t be rocking out to this you certainly will enjoy listening  to it. One of the one’s I hope will get to the final, where Albania hasn’t been since 2015.

4 – Belgium (VRT) – Sennek – “A Matter of Time” – 50/1
Debut: 1956
Wins: 1  (1986)
Worst Result: Last (1961, 1962- nul points, 1965- nul points, 1973, 1979, 1985, 1993, 2000)

This year it is the turn Flemish broadcaster in Belgium VRT to pick the entry for Eurovision and they have chosen singer and songwriter Sennek who co-wrote this entry with Alex Callier and Maxime Tribèche. This is another type of Eurovision I love, it has Orchestral pop, soul and electronica influences. Belgium has qualified for the final every year since 2015 and I think this will continue and possible end up a top 10 finisher at the Grand Final.

5 – Czech Republic (ČT) – Mikolas Josef – “Lie to Me”– 11/1
Debut: 2007
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (2007 – SF, 2009 – SF nul points)

This is the Czech Republic’s 7th entry to Eurovision since their Debut in 2007 and it is by far their best!! Having only appeared in the Grand Final once, back in 2016, Lie to Me is a fun foot tapper. While Mikolas has made headlines due to a back injury suffered due to a fall in rehearsals, the 22 year certainly has a bright future ahead of him no matter what happens at Eurovision.

6 – Lithuania (LRT) – Ieva Zasimauskaitė – “When We’re Old” – 80/1
Debut: 1994
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (1994 – nul points, 2005 – SF)

This is a beautiful song from Lithuania’s Ieva who won her ticket to Eurovision on her fifth attempt! Ieva, who is 24, previously entered the Lithuanian National Selection in 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017. This is wonderful pop ballad and should easily qualify for the Grand Final. Its one of my favourite entries.

7 – Israel (KAN) – Netta – “Toy” –  2/1
Debut: 1973
Wins: 3 (1978, 1979, 1998)
Worst Result: 24th (2007 – SF)

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority shut down last year following reforms of the public broadcasting in Israel and Israel is now represented by KAN. This is one of this years top songs and is seen as the one the beat! And its easy to see why! It has topped the chart in Israel and it could do the same at Eurovision. A great pop song! I expect to hear this played in night clubs in Europe whether it wins or not!

8 – Belarus (BTRC) – Alekseev – “Forever” – 80/1
Debut: 2004
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 22nd (2006 – SF)

For this years entry Belarus have sent 24-year-old Alekseev with a synth-pop love song called ‘Forever’.  The song which has charted in the Ukraine and Russia could find it hard to qualify as neither of those countries are in this Semi-Final, but I think song could still qualify as it is a song that will people will like.

9 – Estonia (ERR) – Elina Nechayeva – “La Forza” – 11/2
Debut: 1994
Wins: 1 (2001)
Worst Result: Last (2016 – SF)

Estonia have decided to send a song in Italian, an usual choice but not unheard of, especially when you hear this beautiful operatic pop song. I do expect spectacular staging for this entry going by the national final. This instantly reminds me of Melana Erman’s 2009 Swedish entry ‘La Voix’ which was in English and French. That finished in 4th that year, could Estonia see a top five finish or their 2nd win at Eurovision?

10 – Bulgaria (BNT) – Equinox – “Bones” – 12/1
Debut: 2005
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 19th (2005 – SF)

Bulgaria who were runner’s up last year and back and they are hoping to do well again. Equinox are a five-piece band made up of Bulgarian singers Zhana Bergendorff, Georgi Simeonov, and Vlado Mihailov, and American singers Johnny Manuel and Trey Campbell. This is a pop love song that should do well and could possible be a dark horse, will Eurovision be heading to Bulgaria? Only time will tell! They want to win!

11 -Macedonia (MKRTV) – Eye Cue – “Lost and Found” – 250/1
Debut: 1998
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 16th (2011 – SF, 2013- SF)

This is another song that is going to be a guilty pleasure from Eurovision (it joins a long list!). With EDM and reggae influences this is a great entry from Macedonia and could be great fun on the night. Vocally strong and modern this could surprise us and qualify!

12 – Croatia (HRT) – Franka – “Crazy” – 200/1
Debut: 1993
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 16th (2007 – SF)

It’s at this point of the show we realise how tough it will be to pick 10 songs to qualify! This is fantastic pop entry from Croatia’s Franka which has reached number 2 in the charts in Croatia. This for me is 50/50 on whether it will qualify.

13 – Austria (ORF) – Cesár Sampson – “Nothing But You” – 80/1
Debut: 1957
Wins: 2 (1966, 2014)
Worst Result: Last (1957, 1961, 1962- nul points, 1979, 1984, 1988- nul points, 1991 – nul points, 2012 – SF (Nul points also in 2015 along with Germany))

This is a great entry from Austria. This is a soulful R&B inspired song with a gospel flare. It is one that has quickly grown on me. While its only been 4 years since Austria won Eurovision, this is one that could do very well, if it gets to the final.

14 – Greece (ERT) – Yianna Terzi –  “Oniro mou” (Όνειρό μου) – 66/1
Debut: 1974
Wins: 1 (2005)
Worst Result: 16th (2016 – SF)

‘Oniro Mou’ which translates as My Dream is this years Greek entry and it has already topped the chart in Greece. This pop song is certainly what you expect from Greece. It’s very easy to listen to. It could be a top 10 finisher, I don’t think it will be Greece’s second win at Eurovision

15 – Finland (YLE) – Saara Aalto – “Monsters” – 40/1
Debut: 1961
Wins: 1 (2006)
Worst Result: Last (1963 – nul points, 1965 – nul points, 1968, 1980, 1982 – nul points, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2009, 2015 – SF)

Saara Aalto previously tried to represent Finland in 2011 and 2016 and finished in 2nd both times. She may also seem familiar as she was in the 13th series of X Factor UK where she also finished as runner-up! 2018 is Saara’s year with this amazing pop entry! ‘Monsters’ is one that will get you dancing, it has reached 14 in the Finnish charts so far, can it do better at Eurovision?

16 – Armenia (AMPTV) – Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami” (Քամի) – 250/1
Debut: 2006
Wins: 0
Worst Result: 12th (2011 – SF)

‘Qami’ which translates as Wind is this years Armenia entry. Armenia has only missed the Grand Final once, in 2011, but with the strength of the entries in this semi final, Sevak may find it hard to qualify with this pop ballad.

17 – Switzerland (SRG SSR) –  ZiBBZ – “Stones” – 300/1
Debut: 1956
Wins: 2 (1956, 1988)
Worst Result:  Last (1964 – nul points, 1967 – nul points, 1974, 1998 – nul points, 2004 – SF – nul points, 2010 – SF, 2011, 2015 – SF, 2016 – SF)

ZiBBZ are brother and sister Corinne “Coco” Gfeller (vocals) and Stefan “Stee” Gfeller (drums, keyboard). Stones is pop rock entry which stands out in this Semi-Final. Switzerland has only qualified for the grand final twice since 2007 (2011 & 2014) and with this Semi Final will they qualify? It’s highly unlikely, but surprised do happen at Eurovision!

18 – Ireland (RTÉ) – Ryan O’Shaughnessy – “Together” – 200/1
Debut: 1965
Wins: 7 (1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996)
Worst Result: Last (2007, 2013)

Ireland holds the record for the most wins at Eurovision, but recently have struggled. Ireland hasn’t been since at a Grand Final since 2013. This song is one that has grown on me since I first heard it. The video, which was filmed in Temple Bar, is also beautiful. It’s unlikely to get to the final, but I will be hopeful for 25-year-old Ryan O’Shaughnessy!

19 – Cyprus (CyBC) – Eleni Foureira – “Fuego” – 8/1
Debut: 1981
Wins: 0
Worst Result: Last (1986)

The final entry in this Semi Final is from Cyrus who have qualified to the Grand Final in 2015, 2016 & 2017. This years looks to continue that pattern with this Mediterranean inspired dance entry from Eleni Foureira. This is a great song to finish on and should be remembered easily by the voting public and juries and see it easily into the Grand Final. Cyprus have yet to win Eurovision, could this be dark horse?

So who do I think will qualify? (in no particular order)

  1. Israel
  2. Estonia
  3. Austria
  4. Belgium
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Finland
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Lithuania
  9. Greece
  10. Cyprus

Semi Final 1 takes place at 8pm on Tuesday 8th of May and will be broadcast on RTÉ 2 and BBC 4.

The Church of England and THAT House of Bishops Report

Last Friday the House of Bishops of the Church of England published a report entitled “Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations“. It runs to 19 pages and was eagerly awaited by those of us interested in the debate on LGBT+ relationships in the Anglican Communion. The report will be the subject of a ‘takes note’ debate at General Synod in February.

I for one am despondent due to its tone and content. It suggests no change for the church nor does it paint a path forward for anything to change. The language is non-inclusive and full of otherness. It talks of “Same-Sex Attraction” rather than Same-Sex Relationships. It complete ignores Bisexuality.

Now I am not a stake holder in the Church of England, but I am part of the wider Anglican Communion. I have been lucky to make friends in the Church of England, Gay and Straight. I am part of organisations for LGBT+ Christians in the UK and Ireland. Seeing this report and seeing the pain of my LGBT+ Anglican siblings in England is heart wrenching. I cannot remain silent and want to point you in a few directions where people have written responses to the report and some give ideas for going forward.

Fr Pip – The old order. The C of E, LGBT and holding on.

Quiet Vicar – Chasing Shadows…..and getting very cross with the House of Bishops

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes – Sex and the bishops

Jayne Ozanne (Statement) – Unbelievable, Unacceptable and Ungodly.

Rachel Mann – More Dust: Personal Response to the Statement on Sexuality

Kelvin Holdsworth – How to change the Church of England – a quick recap

Good luck to all. I pray that you will eventually succeed!

I’m Fed Up

i-can-t-keep-calm-i-m-fed-upI’m fed up with politics these days.
I’m fed up of the shouting on Twitter and Facebook.
I’m fed up of people playing the man not the ball.
I’m fed up of people being cut down because you disagree with them on one issue, while agreeing with them on many more.

I’m fed up.

Why do we think we can win arguments by shouting on social media, or only dealing with those we agree with creating our own echo chambers?Why do we think that certain issues are defining issues, then ignore them after a month? Why do we only complain, yet never offer solutions?

This is why I’m fed up.

Politics has changed. Its changed into something I no longer recognise. I used to feel at home in the political sphere, staying up at night discussing issues, disagreeing with friends and family, yet always having respect.

The respect is gone.

Now I don’t feel at home talking politics. While I’m still interested and always will be. I’m not as comfortable discussing issues. Why? Cause more and more people are appealing to opinions rather than fact. To populist causes rather than solutions that will work.

8803e3a7b39eb8592f3ccee708ac5bf9We need to get real.
Yes, things aren’t great for a lot of people. Can they be fixed overnight? No. We need to engage. We need to talk, debate and argue to discern the best course of action for those who need the most action.

All parties and those not members of parties are guilty of this.

We are too quick to judge, quick to argue, yet not quick enough to consider. I too am guilty of this. But its something we all need to do.

I find myself on a political island, assailed by both the loud right and the loud left. I find myself defending views that I thought were widely held and see friends who I used to have debates and political disagreements with on this same Island having the same problems. How did it come to this?

Is it education? Populism? Or is it for some people when they are fed up they lash out?

745119212-luke-lirot-quote-it-is-not-a-perfect-world-but-we-can-do-betterWe can do better.

We all can do better.

I’m not leaving politics, but I am leaving any hopes I had of a political career. I am not able. Somethings are more important. But I have a voice and I will use it. I will support the causes I care about and I will remain a member of Fine Gael.

But I am FED UP!

“Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

It’s not very often I find myself as an Irishman quoting Oliver Cromwell, but the latest revelations on Donald Trump’s relationships with and views on Women give me no choice. I am a firm believer in the party system, and believe that true debate of ideas and polices make the eventual winner of an election a better one as they have been tried and tested.

In the US Presidential Election this year there is no true debate. One side have detailed policies and ideas of the future, the other feeds off the anger of those left behind, both economically and socially, but has no true plan to fix what ails them.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)
Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

In the past I have supported (from afar) candidates from both major parties in the United States. This year, I have made no secret of my support of Hillary Clinton and now I feel that if this election is to be a true election, with debate on ideas and policies then Donald Trump must resign as the Republican Nominee for President and be replaced with a candidate with true conservative credentials and the ability to lead the country. Whether that is his running mate Governor Mike Pence or another Republican such as Speaker Paul Ryan that is an issue for the Republican National Committee.

Mr Trump has proven time and again that he does not have the temperament or the ability to lead a country. He has maligned Women, Immigrants, the Disabled and Muslims. He has continued his candidacy through events which would have felled better men, but as he knows no humility and has surrounded himself with ‘Yes Men’ he has continued his campaign.

Mr Trump’s comments about women in the Hot Mic episode is a description of Sexual Assault. Nothing else. It is not locker room banter. It is not excusable for any man, whether a “star” or not to treat a women in the way Mr Trump describes.

America deserves better than Mr Trump. America deserves a debate on its futures and the ideals its holds dear. America deserves a better candidate for the President then the current Republican Nominee. America deserves a real apology from Mr Trump, not an apology that turns political by drawing in President Bill Clinton. That is not a true and real apology.

With less than a month to the Election Day on November 8th and Early Voting begun in a number of states, a solution is needed urgently. Mr Trump if he has any humility would resign as the nominee and withdraw from politics. I for one do not see Mr Trump displaying that type of humility, or humility in any form. He has failed to do so throughout this campaign.

All this brings to mind another quote, one from Joseph Welch in response in Senator McCarthy during the Army hearings. “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

I fear that along with humility, Donald Trump does not have any decency and it would be a tragic day for America were he to be elected to the highest office in the United States of America.

Its been quiet here….

UCC Express Logo2So of late its been a bit quiet here on the blog, but then again I haven’t not been writing. I have a few pieces up on the UCC Express Website that may be of interest to some of you. I have also started to write about sport, which is a change for me and an interesting challenge.

Majority of Irish people think the UK should remain in the EU

Refugee Team to Contest Rio Olympics

Florida Key to White House

Independents Slump As Parties Regain Support

Theresa May Set to Become UK Prime Minister while Labour Split Continues

Census Results Presents Constitutional Problems

Podcasts the Express Staff are Listening to

The Irish at Rio 2016

Pro-Choice and Religious: Is it possible?

Irish Paralympic Team Crowdfunding for Rio 2016

All my articles for UCC Express can be viewed here

Orlando – A Gay Christian’s response

pulese“I’ve been waiting all week for this. A Saturday night out with the boys. Maybe I’ll meet someone. Always a chance of that in Pulse”

Replace ‘Pulse’ in the above with any gay club or bar in any city around the world and that is probably the thoughts of some those there. It’s normally similar to mine on Friday or Saturday night out in Cork.

But for those attending Pulse in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night, it all ended so differently, so tragically. when a gunman opened fire and killed 50 people, and injured countless others. Members of the LGBT*Q Community, just like me.

It’s hard to figure out mu feelings on this. I’m hurt, angry, heartbroken, shocked, vulnerable and sad. I’m angry that this could happen. That someone could target people just because of who they are, who they love, how they were created.

But we cannot respond in kind. We cannot blame a particular religion, or all religions, for one man’s actions. We must be better than this. If we react to hate with hate, then hate wins. Martin Luther King speaking in 1963 said

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

lgbt half mastWe must now reach out the hand of comfort to out LGBT*Q Brothers and sisters in Florida who are hurt, grief-stricken, and scared. We must reach out to those who mourn the loss of family friends and friends. We must also look out for those in the world-wide LGBT*Q Community for whom the fear of attacks, rape and murder are a daily fear.

But on the other hand we must also reach out the hand of understanding to our Muslim Brothers and Sisters here and the US as they face the inevitable backlash due to one man’s actions.

We in the LGBT*Q Community must continue to stand tall, roar loudly to be treated equally, demand our place in the Public Square, and not bow our heads in shame because of who we are pr who we love. We must do this, not just for ourselves, but those worse off. The members of the LGBT*Q Community who still live in countries where it is illegal to be gay, for LGBT*Q Muslims, and for LGBT*Q Refugees.

Those of us in religions must continue to work hard to ensure an affirming welcome for all in our churches, temples, mosques and synagogues. This work isn’t easy, nor should it be. But we cannot put limits on God’s love that is open to all.

Vigils are being held in Ireland this week in remembrance for those who died. Tonight In Dublin Belong To, GLEN – GAY AND LESBIAN EQUALITY NETWORK and Transgender Equality Network Ireland are in Bernardo’s Square (beside City Hall on Dame Street, Dublin 2) at 6.30pm Monday and also in Tralee tonight at 9pm in the Square.

In Galway on Wednesday in Eyre Square organised by Amach and also in Cork on Wednesday.

Further Reading:

Thoughts on Orlando – UCC Express Editorial

Queer Muslims exist – and we are in mourning too – The Guardian

Taoiseach’s Seanad Nominees announced

Seanad_Alan-BetsonThis evening the Taoiseach’s 11 nominees to Seanad Eireann were announced. They are as follows:

  • Paudie Coffey (former Senator, Dáil Deputy and Minister of State)
  • Joan Freeman (Founder of Pieta House)
  • Michelle Mulherin (former Dáil Deputy)
  • Ray Butler (former Dáil Deputy)
  • Frank Feighan (former Senator and Dáil Deputy)
  • John O’Mahony (former Dáil Deputy)
  • Dr James Reilly (Former TD and Minister)
  • Billy Lawless (advocate for Irish immigrants in the U.S.)
  • Colette Kelleher (CEO Alzheimers Ireland)
  • Pádraig Ó Céidigh (Businessman)
  • Marie-Louise O’Donnell (Former Senator)

Joan Freeman, Colette Kelleher and Pádraig Ó Céidigh were all nominated by the request of Fianna Fail.

One are that has been completely overlooked is that now Tipperary is the only county in Ireland which does not have a Fine Gael national representative. This will make it hard for Fine Gael to regain a seat in this constituency.

The first meeting of the new Seanad will take place on Wednesday 8 June at 3pm.

Ministers of State Announced

ministersofstate2016Today an Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced the appointments of Junior Ministers which were agreed at Cabinet today. They are as follows

  • Minister of State for European Affairs, Data Protection and the E.U. Single Digital Market– Dara Murphy, Cork North Central, (Departments of the Taoiseach, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Justice and Equality)
  • Minister of State for Financial Services, eGovernment and Public Procurement – Eoghan Murphy, Dublin Bay South, (Departments of Finance, and Public Expenditure and Reform)
  • Minister of State for Tourism and Sport – Patrick O’Donovan, Limerick County, (Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport)
  • Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal – Damien English, Meath West, (Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government)
    5. Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources – Sean Kyne, Galway West, (Departments of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht, and Climate Change, Communications and Natural Resources)
  • Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture – Andrew Doyle, Wicklow, (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine)
  • Minister of State for Employment and Small Business– Pat Breen, Clare, (Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)
  • Minister of State for Training and Skills – John Halligan, Waterford, (Departments of Education, and Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)
  • Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People – Helen McEntee, Meath East, (Department of Health)
  • Minister of State for Health Promotion – Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Offaly, (Department of Health)
  • Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief– Sean Canney, Galway East, (Department of Public Expenditure and Reform)
  • Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development Aid – Joe McHugh, Donegal (Departments of the Taoiseach, and Foreign Affairs and Trade)
  • Regional Economic Development – Michael Ring, Mayo, (Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht)
  • Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy– Catherine Byrne, Dublin South-Central, (Health, and Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht)
  • Minister of State for Justice with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration – David Stanton, Cork East, (Department of Justice and Equality)

    These appointments are in addition to the three Ministers of State who were appointed when the Government was formed – Regina Doherty, Finian McGrath and Paul Kehoe.

The total number of Junior Ministers now stand at 18. Of those 3 are Independent TDs (Finian McGrath, John Halligan and Sean Canney) and the other 15 are members of Fine Gael.

Eurovision 2016 – We are off to Ukraine!

Ukraine win the Eurovision Song Contest, JamalaCredit: Andres Putting (EBU)
Ukraine win the Eurovision Song Contest, Jamala Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Congratulations to Jamala and the Ukraine on winning the 61st Eurovision Song Contest! This is the Ukraine’s second Eurovision win. They first won the contest in 2004 when Ruslana and her “Wild Dances” stormed Eurovision.

In the best contest in years, Jamala’s “1944”, a song about the deportation of Crimean Tartars by Stalin, showed how a strong song that stands out from the crowd can win the Song Contest.

Petra, Mans and everyone involved at SVT put on an amazing show! I adored the Interval act! Ukraine’s NTU have a tough act to follow!

The voting sequence was fantastic. The new voting system led to real suspense right up to that last moment!

Scoreboard following the Televote
Scoreboard following the Televote
Australia's Dami Im gets 12 points. Credit Thomas Hanses (EBU)
Australia’s Dami Im gets 12 points. Credit Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Going into the televote Australia had a commanding lead of 109 points over the Ukraine. Many thought it would be insurmountable, but Australia were not as popular with the televote as they were with the Juries as they came 4th in that vote.

Seeing Poland jump from 2nd last with 7 points from the juries to 8th place thanks to the televote really shows the beauty of this new voting system!

Russian Entry Sergey Lazarev. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)
Russian Entry Sergey Lazarev. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Russia narrowly won the Televote as they received 361 points to the Ukraine’s 323 but when added to the televote the Ukraine won with 534 points! 

Ukraine now hold the record for the most points for a Eurovision winner beating Alexander Rybak’s 387 point total for “Fairytale” in 2009. In fact the top 3 this year beat that score!

  1. Ukraine 534
  2. Australia 511
  3. Russia 491

This year was the first year that the winner of the Contest did not win either the Jury or the Televote! The Ukraine finished second in both.

But the Ukraine did win the most Douze points at the contest getting 17. They received 12 points from the 11 Juries, those were Bosnia Herzegovina, Denmark, Georgia, Israel, Latvia, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, San Marino, Serbia and Slovenia. While Ukraine topped the televote in six countries, those were Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland and San Marino.

Russia got 14 Douze Points (4 Jury, 10 televote) while Australia got 12 (9 Jury, 3 televote).

Bloc voting was all over the place. It was near impossible to predict where 12 points were going to go. Norway not giving a single point to Sweden in the Jury vote was a prime example!

They did come 4th in the televote though getting 7 points from Norway.

Russia did win the 1st Semi-Final beating Armenia, while Malta finished in 3rd. While in the 2nd Semi Final Australia beat the eventual winners Ukraine (2nd) with Belgium coming 3rd.

How did Ireland vote?

The Irish Jury wasn’t very good at picking a winner and failed to give the Ukraine a single point!! They in fact ranked it 15th! Belgium got the top marks from the Jury in both the Grand Final and the 2nd Semi-Final. They finished 10th overall. Lithuania, who finished 9th, won the Televote vote for both the Final and the Semi-Final The Irish televote had a bit more sense and ranked it 4th so it got 7 points.

Belgian Entry Laura Tesoro, 10th Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)
Belgian Entry Laura Tesoro, 10th Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

The Grand Final Irish Jury Vote:

  1. Belgium 12
  2. Bulgaria 10
  3. Netherlands 8
  4. United Kingdom 7
  5. Italy 6
  6. Sweden 5
  7. Israel 4
  8. France 3
  9. Czech Republic 2
  10. Latvia 1
Lithuania Entry Donny Montell, 9th Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)
Lithuania Entry Donny Montell, 9th Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

The Grand Final Irish Televote

  1. Lithuania 12
  2. Poland 10
  3. Russia 8
  4. Latvia 7
  5. Australia 6
  6. Bulgaria 5
  7. Ukraine 4
  8. United Kingdom 3
  9. Sweden 2
  10. Austria 1

Ireland’s Nicky Byrne who failed to qualify for the final from the 2nd Semi-Final finished 15th with 46 points finishing 1 point ahead of Albania!

Ireland got points from

  • Australia (Televote 4th – 7 points),
  • Belgium (Televote 7th – 4 points),
  • Denmark (Jury 7th – 4 Points, Televote 7th – 4 points)
  • Israel (Jury 9th – 2 Points, Televote 10th – 1 point)
  • Italy (Jury 9th – 2 points)
  • Latvia (Televote 10th – 1 point)
  • Lithuania (Televote 10th – 1 point)
  • Norway (Jury 8th – 3 points, Televote 9th – 2 points)
  • Poland (Televote 9th – 2 points)
  • Switzerland (Televote 9th – 2 points)
  • Ukraine (Jury 9th – 2 points)
  • United Kingdom (Jury 9th – 2 points, Televote 4th – 7 points)

Adrian Kavanagh has looked into the points in more detail.

So we are off to the Kyiv next year where 7 countries have already confirmed their participation. They will have a hard act to follow after the amazing job done by SVT and the hosts Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw!

I can’t promise this is the last Eurovision post this year as Ireland takes part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta later this year!