First thoughts on the 2021 #Eurovision Grand Final

Let’s start with the awesome stuff!

Kudos

Congratulations Måneskin for winning the 65th Eurovision Song Contest. This is Italy’s third victory—but their first where televoting was an aspect of the scoring system. Italy’s 524 votes included 206 jury votes and a massive 318 televote points. Italy scored televote points from every other delegation, including five douze points and 12 dix points. Their jury points came from 26 out of 38 delegations and included four douze points.

When Italy were ranked fourth after the jury vote—only 61 points behind leader Switzerland—I sort of knew they would win. Because they have crushed multiple televotes in recent years (2015, 2018, 2019) and were held back by juries in some years.

Congratulations also to the EBU and Dutch broadcasting team for delivering a suite of live broadcasts under challenging conditions.

Langues

For the first time since 1996 four of the top five songs were not sung in English, including the top three: Italy, France and Switzerland. Switzerland topped the jury and also finished sixth with televoters. France finished second overall, including second place with juries and third with televoters. In fact, France’s televote score was higher: 251 versus 248 points. Not sure anyone would have anticipated that! Ukraine’s entry finished fifth overall, but were second in the televote.

The aggregate scoring system seems to be creating a space where delegations (and their voting public) are willing to send local artists in their preferred language rather than English. This is a win for musical and cultural diversity.

Respect

Finland’s sixth place for Blind Channel’s Dark Side equals their second best ever result. Netting 218 points from the televote (4th overall) is the second best ever televote result after Hard Rock Hallelujah.

Lithuania’s landed their second best ever result: eighth. Only LT United’s We Are the Winners (6th place; 2006) ranked higher.

Iceland earned its third best ever result ever result: fourth. Back in 1990 Stjórnin also took Eitt lag enn to fourth place, back in the jury era.

Varia

Two of the Big Five finished in the top 2. The other three…did not.

Half the top 10 were from the first half and half from the second. Four of the qualifiers from each semi-final ended up in the top 10, with two pre-qualified entries completing the top 10..

Greece finishes tenth overall, with Bulgaria ranked 11th on a count back.  Both scored 170 points, but Greece’s included 79 televote points versus Bulgaria’s 30.

Not great

This was Sweden’s worst result (14th) since 2013. However, this year Sweden improved to 11th with televoters while dropping out of the top 10 with juries (17th) for the first time since 2010, when they didn’t qualify for the Grand Final at all.

The UK were 11th with the Polish jury. One higher placing would have spared them the ignominy of a double nul points.

À plus tard

Once better rested (or perhaps caffeinated) we will begin drilling down into this year’s numbers.

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