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Eurovision 2022: Grand Final

The Eurovision 2022 is over and we have the winner β€” Ukraine! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ As I wrote in my article after the second semi-final, the biggest shortcoming of the contest this year is how predictable things are. I also stated that the only thing that would surprise me is if Ukraine does not win, but there were no surprises.


Overall impressions

Now, as Eurovision 2022 is finally over, I can briefly share my overall impressions from all of the three live shows. This year, there were quite a lot of issues with the organisation of the event which was disappointing to the fans who have been following the whole process of putting up the show. I have expressed some of them already. The kinetic sun was one of the two main features of the stage ( the second one being the waterfall). The kinetic sun moving slower than required meant that it could not be used for the individual acts. We saw the sun moving during the opening and the interval acts and it was not at all that exciting. Still, it was good to see it in action.

I would say that both semi-finals were good, although not overly exciting. The grand final was alright, but it did not top up the show from the last year. Song-wise, I think that this year there were some very strong entries which were on par with the last year's.

You can find my opinion on each of the semi-finals here and here.


Ukraine is the winner of eurovision 2022

As expected, Ukraine won the contest this year. What is happening in Ukraine is something that cannot leave you indifferent. In that respect, Ukraine winning is something that we have all been anticipating and has also given me time to analyse the situation and form my opinion on it.

Ukraine has been doing great in Eurovision. It is the only country that has never failed to qualify for the finals. The country has a total of seven top-five placements. Some of the iconic appearances Ukraine has had at Eurovision are "Wild Dances" by Ruslana in 2014 (which was one of my favourite songs back then), "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" by Verka Serduchka in 2007, and "SHUM" by Go_A (which was my favourite song last year). Ani Lorak represented Ukraine with "Shady Lady" in 2008 which is another Eurovision favourite of mine. Ukraine won the contest in 2016 with the song "1944" by Jamala. While the song is emotional and touching, I think the winning situation was very similar to what happened this year, ie being politically influenced.

I believe Ukraine should have won last year. And I believe it should not have won this year. It is a music contest and music should be what matters the most. This should go in hand with the artist's personality. Oleh Psiuk, the Kalush group rapper, has been a bit full of himself in the past few months. Ukraine's broadcaster and Kalush have taken full advantage of the situation that Ukraine is in which is at least disturbing for the country and the group. Oleh Psiuk has been giving interviews for media around the world as a winner before the show (for example β€” Bulgarian's bTV). While I have had many tough moments in my life, begging for people's mercy has always seemed very degrading to me. And this is what Kalush have chosen as an approach. I quite like how BBC has described the event yesterday:

...a symbolic show of public support following the country's invasion by Russia.


I was pleased to see that the professional juries did not all vote for Ukraine with 12 points β€” which was what I was fearing. There has been some drama going on behind the scenes. It is not clear how and if it has affected the final results. Anyways, it was the general public that gave Ukraine the prize. How much will this vote help the country? I am really curious to see. Ukraine will (most probably) not be able to host the event next year. The hosting country usually invests around twenty million euros on average. I am not sure if Ukraine will have this amount of money to spend on Eurovision. Furthermore, the situation might still be too hostile for an event of this scale to take place. It is also important to note the plans for the show are put months in advance. Finally, people might also not be aware of how much each country spends to participate in the contest. The predetermined victory for Ukraine is disgraceful to all of the other participants.

Another thing I wanted to mention is how talking and making everything about Ukraine can eventually backfire and make people turn on them. While many have been donating and sympathising with Ukraine, I can very easily see how this over-saturation might eventually lead to the sympathy we have to fade away.

Lastly, as some have noted, Ukraine won Eurovision with a song that did not even win their national selection. The national winner was Alina Pash with the song "Π’Ρ–Π½Ρ– Π—Π°Π±ΡƒΡ‚ΠΈΡ… ΠŸΡ€Π΅Π΄ΠΊΡ–Π²", but she was disqualified due to document forgery. As stated in my pre-Eurovision 2022 article, I would have preferred Ukraine to win this song instead.


The final scoreboard

Looking at the top 10, perhaps the biggest surprise for me is Serbia being placed higher than Italy with 44 points more. I have already wrote about how happy I was that "In corpore sano" qualified for the final, and while I like the Italy's entry as well, I am happy to see Konstrakta being fifth. Moldova doing well was interesting to see, however, as I mentioned in my article yesterday, their performance was the third most watched from the first semi-final, so I expected a good placement.

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Eurovision 2022 Scoreboard

I would have loved to see the Netherlands in the top 10. A day before the big final, only the entries from Ukraine, Norway, and the Netherlands made it into the Spotify Global Viral Top 50 and this, on its own, is a great achievement. Regardless of the result, "De Diepte" will remain as one of my favourites from this year.

While I did not enjoy the UK entry, I am happy that Sam Ryder did that well! I am also happy for Spain as they had a good song with an amazing performance. The entries that I did not enjoy at all β€” Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and Australia β€” scored low.


My Favourites

It turned out that this year there were more entries that I enjoyed than initially expected β€” I like more than half of all forty. If I had to list my top 5, it would have been something like this:
Compared to my pre-show top 5, there is only one difference β€” the Netherlands replacing Norway β€” although, I would argue that I like the entries listed above, including Norway, about the same.


Eurovision: My Favourites

As a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest, I have maintained a playlist with my favourite entries throughout the years on Apple Music. I have thought about making it public on a few occasions, though I was waiting for the right moment to do so. I am happy to announce that the playlist "Eurovision: My Favourites" is now available on Apple Music.

eurovision.jpg 52.1 KB


As of today, the playlist contains 85 songs. However, it will grow in future with the next editions of the contest.


Conclusion

The Grand Final of Eurovision 2022 took place in Turin on the 14th of May 2022. The winner is Ukraine, as anticipated. Which country will host the event next year remains unknown. I liked the shows, despite the issues the organisers had with the stage. I would say that the event was not as exciting as it was last year, mostly because of the predictability and the lack of a competitive element. The predetermined victory for Ukraine showed that Europe is united about Ukraine, however, the outcome is disgraceful to all the other participants and the other broadcasters.

The final scoreboard looks similar to what my expectations were. Congratulations to Serbia for the great placement β€” it is absolutely deserved. Also congratulations to the UK for finishing as a runner-up (the country came last with zero points last year). I hope that the UK will host the contest next year, but time will tell.

My favourites from this year have remained largely unchanged, however, the Netherlands' entry has grown on me in the past two weeks. The playlist with my all-time Eurovision favourites is now available publicly on Apple Music.


Article cover image by eurovision.tv

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