And so here we are in this time of the year when many wonder how it is possible that Israel and Azerbaijan are considered European countries and why exactly is Australia taking part in this contest for the second time in history. I’m obviously talking about Eurovision – the most kitsch music event of the year.
It’s already Saturday which means the two semi-finals are behind us and all that is left is tonight’s final.
Usually there is some controversy surrounding Eurovision. Sometimes it may concern the political aspect of the voting (specific countries vote/don’t vote for each other because of friendship/fear/emigration or whatever other reason), sometimes it’s connected to the performer (e.g. Conchita) and sometimes to the song itself (e.g. Georgia’s We Don’t Wanna Put In).
Comparing to the previous years and their “scandals”, Eurovision 2016 doesn’t really stand out much. The musical level keeps going downhill with very few songs that could actually have a chance at making it outside of the contest and with almost no big controversies to talk about.
However, there was one thing that set social media on fire after the first semi-final: Iceland not making it to the Grand Final tonight. It came as a big surprise as the audience positive reactions were overwhelming after Greta Salome (returning to the contest after a very successful entry in 2012) took the stage.
At the end of the evening, when the results were coming in, the fans gathered in the Stockholm arena were shouting “Iceland! Iceland” clearly expecting a place in the final for Greta. She did not make it though and Twitter users went crazy:
Samra didn’t sing one note right and she’s qualified instead of Iceland?? This is an actual joke #Eurovision
— TEAM BAREI SONG 19♡ (@chloemollie_) May 10, 2016
Iceland will probably set off another one of their volcanoes now. #Eurovision
— Jonny Morris (@jonnymorris1973) May 10, 2016
Iceland was robbed. #Eurovision
— Victoria Chiesa (@vrcsports) May 10, 2016
Also Finland didn’t qualify from the first semi-final, but I have to admit that not only they had the worst place in the singing order (first), but Sandhja’s song didn’t really stand out in any way.
The second semi-final that took place on Thursday proved to be even more uneventful than the first one with songs so similar to each other, that one could barely remember any of them separately. Following Iceland’s and Finland’s misfortune, also Denmark and Norway got kicked out of the contest making Sweden the only Nordic country to be present in the final (and they organize the show this year, so they’d be there anyway).
As history proves, Eurovision is not really about the musical level of the competing songs. There’s no winning formula here and generally the case is that it’s not the truly best song that wins. To be honest, I think that in many situations the artists who are not successful in the eliminations or the final, are actually better off this way.
Since Tuesday Greta has received so much support from the fans through social media and other channels and so much has been written about the whole thing of her not getting into the final, that maybe even the people who couldn’t care less about Eurovision have heard about her.