Monday, 18 July 2016

Eurovision 2016: The groovy grand final


 After sharing my thoughts on the first and second semi-final and Sweden and the Big 5, as well as my brother's thoughts on the contest as a whole, it is time to finish my Eurovision 2016 round-up with my opinion of the grand final.

 I enjoyed the flag parade - having it double as a fashion show was an interesting twist. I was pleased to see the musicians looking quite relaxed and happy as they strolled across the stage.

 As for our hosts, Petra and Måns... where do I begin? I've heard so many people who aren't even into Eurovision saying that they loved them and they should host every year.

 I found them a breath of fresh air, especially the brilliant Petra. She was even funnier and more charismatic than in 2013, which I hadn't thought would be possible. I love how the crowd chanted her name as she walked onto stage and how moved by it she seemed.

 I think the postcards could have been slightly more innovative. I like how they showcased the artists' countries instead of just Sweden, but I do think they could have jazzed them up a little.

 I did appreciate the cool things they did with the name of each country at the end of each postcard (different fonts and colours).

 I enjoyed Graham Norton's commentary. He seemed a little less bouncy this year, but I guess that could be linked to Terry Wogan's death. I wish he could have spoken over Petra and Måns less, though as he says every time that he has to, I suppose he must. Still, it was frustrating.

 I could very easily have done without Justin Timberlake and his patronising comments to the contestants. He clearly didn't realise many of them were top musicians in their country and internationally, and treated them like they were talent show newbies.

 His performance wasn't amazing either; I've since grown to quite like the song but that rendition didn't catch my attention. Måns and co. on Segways also looked a bit cheesy and clumsy. He can do a lot better than that.

 However, we all know the real interval act that night was Love Love Peace Peace, Måns and Petra's homage to, and parody of, modern-day Eurovision.

 The song itself is amusing, but it was their performance that made it. Especially Petra, considering she is a comedian first and foremost and not a singer like Måns. I've re-watched it more than most of the night's actual entries. Again, I've heard non-Eurovision fans praise it repeatedly.

 I don't think it quite matches Norway's 2010 flashmob, which in my view is the best interval act ever. But it was better than most we've had in recent years.

 I had my doubts about the new way of presenting the votes. However, it worked okay. It certainly made things more exciting - and tense! - at the end.

 I voted for Sweden and was glad to see they got a point from the UK public vote. To be honest, I expected more than one - Frans has a similar style to some artists who are doing well here at the moment, such as George Ezra, Tom Odell and James Bay. 

 Still, one was better than none and I was happy to see Sweden make the Top 5 - just!

 As for the winner, I think musically it was dull but vocally it was amazing and quite haunting. I won't comment on the politics, as is my general policy with Eurovision songs. 

 I would have been happy with any out of Lithuania, Australia, Sweden or Belgium winning - or the UK, of course!

 Overall, this was one of the best-hosted and generally most enjoyable contests I've watched. Sweden has such respect for Eurovision, which plays a big part in their success both as contestants and hosts. 

 I hope future host nations incorporate some elements of Sweden's two recent contests. (But not Justin Timberlake or Segways!)

 I hope you've enjoyed sharing this year's Eurovision experience with me. Here's to next year!

 Thanks for reading.

 Liz x

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