For the first time in years I didn‘t go to Eurovision, and due to exams and thesis writing I didn‘t really *follow* anything Eurovision this year. I followed the Icelandic and Norwegian preselections, since I was covering those here on escXtra, but apart from those I only listened to the chosen songs once, on the night they were selected, and then not again until all songs were out. Then I listened to all of them in one go, and then not really again until I went to the London Eurovision Party. And after that, not really again until the semis.

So, I‘ve tried to make lists of my highs and lows of the Stockholm games. In these I just present 10 things I liked and 10 I didn‘t like so much, in completely random order. You can read all about my highlights here, and now; the „not so high“-lights…

#1 Me not being there.
Duh…

#2 Hardly any languages
One of the things I have always loved about Eurovision is that it gives me the chance to hear a whole bunch of different languages. I have always loved the sound of (to me) foreign languages, and I honestly wouldn‘t mind at all if the EBU decided to bring back some sort of language rule. (More on *that* in a later post.) This year, only 7 languages other than English could be heard on the Eurovision stage. And only Austria, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina preformed their enitre song in a language other than English. I mean, when even countries like Serbia, Italy, Spain and France, who have a strong history of „language loyalty“ perform in English (yes, I know it was just a small part of the Italian entry…but still), well, it just makes me sad. And we only need to look back to the last time Sweden hosted the contest to find more than twice as many languages represented; 16 in addition to English.

KaliopiOne of my heroes this year; Go languages!!

#3 Returning artists
I know a lot of fans love it when former participants return to the contest, and in a way I like it too. It shows that we are not the only ones to love this wonderful contest of ours, the singers do too. At the same time, though, I have to admit that I prefer getting to know new artists, just because…well; I love getting to know new artists. And this year this „returning artists“-thingy just got ridiculous; a total of SEVEN artists returned to Eurovision, which is 1/6 of all the entries… I want some fresh blood in the contest!

Poli Genova

Without a doubt my fave “returner”. I still don’t get how she didn’t qualify in 2011.

#4 No Montenegro in the final
I knew from the start that I was one of a very small minority who liked the Montenegrin entry, so I wasn‘t surprised when they didn‘t make it to the final. That does *not* mean I wasn‘t upset! There is way too little good rock in Eurovision, and to me „The Real Thing“ was exactly that; the real thing. New, fresh, good rock mixed in a great way with electronic elements and performed by great musicians with really good voices. And though they didn‘t qualify for the final I will forever and always be grateful that Montenegro gave me this song. Thank you, Montenegro.

#5 Russia‘s televote result
I just don‘t get how people didn‘t see through the Russian performance and realize that the song is a rather poor, rather dated nothing. Ok, I can see how people who are at parties, already quite drunk by the time the voting starts, would vote for Russia, since it‘s danceable and the performance had a couple of those „wow, that‘s cool“ moments. And children, who are very often fascinated by performances, colors and gimmicks. Other than that; it just beats me.

#6 No Romania
I totally agree that Romania should be thrown out of the EBU after years of not paying their membership fee. I just find it terribly unfair on poor Ovidiu that it happened soooo close to the contest. And yes, I am aware of the deadline that was set and that „everybody“ knew about it, but after years of empty threats, it‘s kinda mean to actually follow through on them at such a late date. They could have let poor Ovidiu (it‘s beginning to sound like it‘s his name now…) participate, and then kicked them out on the 15th.

Image; TVR
Image; TVR

#7 No Nordics in the final
I have to admit that apart from Sweden, who were already in the final, none of the Nordic entries really worked for me. Denmark and Finland were both in my bottom 10, and I would have been quite upset if either of them had „stolen“ a ticket to the final from a worthier entry. As I already talked about in the „highlights“ article, though, I feel that both Norway and Iceland had deserved a spot in the final, not because they were among my favorites, but because I feel they were better than some of the songs that did qualify. And it was a bit weird to have a final with Sweden as the only Nordic country.

#8 Norway not sending „Afterglow“
For me personally, this is one of the saddest things to happen this season. Just like Iceland not sending Sunday with „Feathers“ last year. I‘ll just leave it at that.

#9 Poland‘s (lack of) points from the juries
Really?!?!?!

szpak

Right?!

#10 My personal „what the…“ moment; San Marino NOT finishing last in their semi with 0 points…
I still have difficulties accepting this. And every time I talk to people about this year‘s results, this is the one where I actually need to remind myself; No, San Marino *didn‘t* finish last in their semi with 0 points. They, and I haven‘t a clue how this happened, were only *two* places away from qualifying, they beat both Montenegro and Iceland, and there is NO WAY I will ever be able to wrap my brain around this…

So, there you have them; my top 10 „not so high“lights of Eurovision Song Contest 2016. (I should really have had 11, so that I could include Justin Timberlake too, but since I decided to stick with 10, he *just* got away…) Do you agree? And if not; which are yours?

I'm Norwegian, presently living in Iceland. My mom loves Eurovision, and always let me stay up to watch the contest since before I can remember, so I'm "second generation Eurovision lunatic". My musical god is David Bowie, so I'm obviously not into the stereotypical Eurovision songs. I prefer the rocky/bluesy/jazzy/ethnic songs over schlager and mainstream ballads, though I occasionally surprise myself (and others)... I HATE canned drums and "Cvet Z juga". Photo © Tobias König

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One Comment

  1. Garp83

    June 28, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I agree….Montenegro should be in the final! Not that horrid sugaroverdose from Austria. The juries were right.

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