So, today ended another year of the most ridiculously huge and expencive music competition in the world. For some reason Australia is still in, even though they're not a member of the European Broadcasting Union and are nowhere near Europe, but whatever.
Ukraine won this year. A well deserved victory, in my opinion, even though it really wasn't my taste at all. I'm not really a fan of soul music, but the reason I think it's so well deserved is that it was a song with an actual specific message and story to tell (as opposed to the stereotypical and very shallow-sounding "peace and love" bullcrap that some countries send in to Eurovision every year), it was written by the person who sung it, and it was one of the very few songs in the finals that weren't in the pop/europop genre, with the other non-pop songs I can remember being Cyprus (some sort of rock), Georgia (rock), and Netherlands (country). Ukraine wasn't one of my favorites, but I would much rather that Ukraine win than say Australia or Russia or especially Belgium (*cough* Shirley Temple/child star/Hannah Montana/Annie *cough*), because those three countries were all in the same genre as the majority, and so even though their songs weren't necessarily bad, they still didn't really stand out in my opinion. One of the reasons why I love that a song that wasn't pop won, is that since Eurovision always tries to imitate last year's winner, this means that next year, there will probably be a lot of ethnic-sounding music that isn't necessarily pop, which will be great. This is why 2007 was my favorite year, 'cause that was the year after Lordi won, so half the songs were rock.
As usual with Eurovision, my favorites are almost always at the bottom of the votes, which is depressing, but not unexpected since it's like that almost every year. My personal favorites were Hungary, Cyprus, Croatia and Georgia. It's pretty funny that every single one of my favorites were in south-eastern Europe since usually I don't like the songs from that part of Europe (not sure if Georgia is technically European, but they're very close). Also liked Israel and Bulgaria quite a lot, and though Romania unfortunately didn't compete in the European semi-finals, I actually really loved the Romanian song too. I think this is the first time I haven't voted for anyone in northern or western Europe, as all my favorites were inexplicably south-eastern.
Sweden is waaaaaay too fond of Eurovision, it's a little bit ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, I think they did a great job of hosting Eurovision this year, but it does get a little bit too much sometimes, too much glam and flashiness to the point where you end up kind of exhausted. This is especially so since last year's winner won mostly because of the spectacular stageshow, and so in typical Eurovision fashion, most of the entries try to imitate last year's winner, and therefore most of the entries this year had over-the-top flashy entries, where many were interesting to look at, but a few of them were just a little bit too much in my opinion, to the point where it becomes a little bit tacky.
Having a middle-show with Justin Timberlake also seemed really out of place in my opinion, and I think it would be better if they had for example a famous Swedish singer or band, like maybe Europe with Final Countdown or something like that. Justin Timberlake has literally nothing to do with either Sweden or Eurovision, so having him there just seemed almost like... I dunno, appealing to the lowest common denominator by hiring some American celebrity that most people have heard of instead of taking something less famous that is more relevant to the competition.
However, I give props to Sweden for finally exposing what a mess the voting system is. It's fucking ridiculous that the jury votes count as 50% of the total votes when they make up less than 1% of the people actually watching the competition. It also became very clear that the juries are in total disagreement with the rest of the viewers on many of them, as the jury put Australia on top and Poland at the bottom, while the actual audience put Russia on top and Poland in third place. Ukraine won because it got a lot of votes from both the audience and the jury, even though it wasn't technically the favorite among either.
Personally, I think they should just get rid of the jury altogether. What purpose do they even serve? Dominating the competition with their crappy taste? Why should their opinions count more than the opinions of the majority? It's just unfair, and they don't really contribute anything in my opinion. If they insist on keeping these stupid juries, then they shouldn't make up 50% of the votes, instead they should only make up around 10%, 15% at most.