Next year in… Kiev

Well, the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest has ended with yet another country scoring a first ever victoryUkraine. What seemed like several hours of voting ended with a rather comfortable victory for Ruslana’s Wild Dances in the end or, in simpler terms, the ex-Soviet block voting proved stronger than the Balkan block voting. The question of what may or may not have been the best song is pretty much irrelevant at this point, and I can’t enlighten you at all as to which may or may not have been the best as I didn’t see any of them! Please feel free to argue in the comments as to which song may actually haver been the best…

Update: The full scoreboard can be found on the official site – it’s a javascript pop up from the front page (‘final results’). Ukraine had 280 points, Serbia & Montenegro 263, Greece 252. Seven-time winners Ireland came next-to-last, only receiving 7 points – all from the UK – with Norway last receiving only 3 points, all from Sweden.

16 thoughts on “Next year in… Kiev

  1. I’ve written about it just afterwards, too. Of course I liked very much the german song from Max, but my favourite was the Turkish Band Athena.
    Even when their song was missing a little bit of being special, it was the best of them all. Second Max, third this girl from Cyprus and Ukrainia close after, not for the song, but for the interesting oice of the singer and the performance, I guess.
    Song Contest Songs always have to be a bit… bombastic in one of another thing to really fascinate the masses.
    I was expecting something political, because IMO it’s time for another “Ein bisschen Frieden” (with a better music, of course!) or some another political song, but I seem to have been the only one.

  2. Well, the Turkish guy did briefly show the ban the bomb sign and made a yell about peace, love and respect.

    I liked Germany and Cyprus best, I saw those two as the least show-off-ish performances with instead real singing talent, and after that the Turks and Serbia & Montenegro.

  3. Personally the winnder werent even remotly bad enough to deserve a win (lets be honest we’re not grading talent but gaudiness no?!). I cant remember where they were from, one of the balkan states, but the male-female duo singing in Les Miserables fashion were definetly my top pick. Or perhaps the guy i think from, well cant remeber in the black suit with terrible singing, looked like a great 70’s throw back.

    Perhaps the best moment for us viewers in the UK came when the Greek point announcer said: “we look forward to seeing you at the 2004 olympic games in athens”, to which our UK commentator replied: “well you get it ready and we’ll be there”

  4. saw the voting part of it on BBC prime, it was hilarious. Somebody should see which country in europe has the most neighbors and check their points after each contest. The British commentator was the main reason to watch the whole thing. At the end of it all, he wrapped it up by saying: “The program will continue on BBC 3. God help us.”

  5. The BBC commentator is Terry Wogan, who’s something of a Eurovision legend though people who, unlike me, actually watch it for the music tend not to like him as they think he detracts from the seriousness of the event.

    Wogan’s actually an Irishman which reminds me of something I thought the other day – the last time the UK won the contest (1997), it was with an American singer (Katrina and the Waves, though the song was written by an Englishman) and then when we hosted it the main presenters were a Swede (Ulrika Jonsson) and an Irishman (Wogan) which sums up the whole thing, and Britain’s attitude to it, in some way.

    Thoigh, I was talking about it with a friend this morning, and we were wondering if one of the big Western European countries might get bored and take it seriously by entering a big star. My bet’s on Spain entering Enrique Iglesias in the next couple of years.

  6. Wild Dances was a moderately interesting song, but what really caught the voters’ attention was most likely the Xena-meets-Janet-Jackson costuming and choreography.

    So although regional loyalty certainly had a lot to do with the voting (who knew Ukraine had so many friends?), in the end it all came down to tits. Just like last year.

  7. It will be interesting to watch the next years, how this friendship-voting will change the contest. To me, the fact that Max came on 8th even with not being from Ukraine or Albania is a sign how good his song was. The same for the Turks.
    So we’ll see for how long old friendships hold. (As far as I remember Austria didn’t get a single point from Germany – for what?)

  8. Who knew Xena was Ukrainian?

    — The big disappointment in our household was Serbia. They fielded an excellent band that chose to dumb itself down for the competition, and still came in second. We were rooting for them.

    (The girl who announced the point awards from Belgrade appeared to be intoxicated to the point of dropping the microphone… yet another reason to have given it to the Serbs. Oh, well.)

    The other one we wish had won: Turkey. Turks doing ska, complete with red hair and peace signs… they /deserved/ to win.

    Greece? Ghastly even by the standards of the event. “First my backup singers will pull of their dresses to reveal sequined bikinis. Then they’ll pull of my shirt, to reveal my hairlessly buffed and waxed chest!” Something for everyone!

    One to grow on: Albania. She could actually sing, sort of, and would probably have been a contender if she’d had a decent outfit. It looked like her grandmother whipped up that dress on her kitchen table. “Here, little one, I made this from the flag that flew over Skanderbeg’s tomb…”

    Most unfairly neglected act: Poland. Come on, people. You had half a dozen Poles doing reggae, behind a lead singer whose dress consisted of electrical tape and gauze. Eurosong at its purest, and they should have gotten ’12s’ all over.

    Ah, well. Next year.

    Doug M.

  9. Of course having a lot of neighbours is essential to winning but it?s not enough. Even tough most countries reserve their douze points for their neighbours I think the swedish commentator said something that amounted to Ukraine getting some points from all voting countries, which in the end can outweigh the neighbour vote. After all is there not more countries on the Balken than in the european part of the former Sovjetunion?

  10. You had half a dozen Poles doing reggae, behind a lead singer whose dress consisted of electrical tape and gauze

    And glittery stuff, Doug; let us not forget the glittery stuff. Our eastern friends certainly didn’t; Misses Poland and Romania were liberally slathered and if I don’t remember it from the others, it’s probably because I didn’t look hard enough.

    Hard luck for the Turks, whom I quite liked. Their problem, I think, is that they were far too good for the venue. I mean, they sucked, of course; they sucked impressively. But by Eurovision standards they were pretty much Mozart and the Pixies rolled up into one, weren’t they?

  11. I think the too good for the venue syndrom applied to the Germans (my second favourite song) and the Brits. The six I liked best were: Spain, UK, Germany, Turkey, Cyprus and Spain. The two I hated but thought would do well as they were Eurovision-friendly were the Bosnians and the winning Ukrainians. Oddly, I thought the Albanian entry was a good song let down by a poor singer. The Serbs were obviously talented musicians but fake Irish Celtic-pop always makes me want to vomit, and for some indubitably prejudiced reason doubly so when it’s performed by Eastern Europeans – come on lads, you should know better!

    I can’t believe the Belgians were being touted at pre-tournament favourites – what a shit song! The Maltese at least provided us with some comedy value and the Greek and French entries sounded like transplants from 1976.

    The Irish entry was undoubtedly the worst. I usually vote for the Irish song on patriotic grounds (along with the rest of Northern Ireland’s Catholic population), Eurovision being like a football match where if you’re an NI Taig (or a Macedonian Albanian, or Estonian Russian) you can score a goal for your own team. But this year I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. We didn’t deserve the 7 points we got. I eventually voted for Turkey after a long internal struggle with Germany.

    Any other UK residents now also feel Terry Wogan has long past his sell by date? His inaccurate political references (yeah, the Albanians voted for Serbia because of they’re such great friends!) and snide attitudes to Eastern Europe should be dumped. And he’s a bore.

  12. Ah, glittery stuff. Right you are, Mrs. T.

    (I admit, we were wondering if there’d be a Janet Jackson-style “wardrobe malfunction” at some point. But no — phew, what a relief.)

    Mrs. T, the Bosnians were a great steaming pile of cheese served with cheese sauce and grated cheese on top. Even for Eurovision, it was bit much of the old coagulated dairy product. Or so it seemed to me.

    The Albanian gal suffered from not speaking a single word of English. In the Green Room interview, she had her translator sitting next to her. (And it was fun to see the panic on the face of the woman with the microphone when she suddenly realized that /this girl doesn’t understand English/! It was a very short interview…)

    The Irish entry was indeed pretty awful. What was wrong with that poor kid?

    Doug M.

  13. (yeah, the Albanians voted for Serbia because of they’re such great friends!)

    I was suprised by that as well. Then again, Croatia gave Serbia and Montenegro twelve points, so it looks as if the ancient ethnic hatreds just ain’t what they used to be. (Dragan Antulov suggests that political differences were over-ridden by mutual love of turbofolk.)

    Does anyone know if Kosovo participated in the Serbia and Montenegro televote? It might explain how Albania managed to pick up eight votes from their sworn enemies.

    And, while we’re on the subject of Brotherhood and Unity, did anyone else notice the Swedish results announcer (with a distinctly ex-Yugoslav name) who said ‘Srbija i Crna Gora’ before remembering that he was supposed to be speaking English?

  14. I think Dragan Antulov is right – pseudo-irish Celto-pop goes down well all over the Balkans. It would have been nice to hear Terry Wogan remark on how people have put ancient feuds behind them. But instead he continued to make snide and supercilious remarks about things he obviously knew nothing about. Time for BBC to sack this third rate pillick.

    I did notice the very obviously Serbian presenter in Stockholm with some glee.

    If you speak Turkish you got to hear some pretty awful attempts at Turkish through the night as well! There was one presenter who did speak a little bit of proper Turkish, but can’t remember which now.

  15. Note also that Turkey gave a vote (OK one point – but it’s something) to Cyprus and ten to Greece… While Cyprus reciprocated with four.
    The Serbs gave eight points to Albania and five to Croatia… While Albania gave 12 points to Greece…
    Peace, brotherhood and Eurovision?

    Young Fogey: It isn’t pseudo-Irish Celto-pop, its as balkan as eurovisually possible. I blame the pentatonic scale for the similarity, although a common Indoeuropean musical root is possible. Even more probable is that the Ancient Irish snuck in to the peninsula and stole the music from the unsuspecting peoples of the Balkans.

  16. Poor Malta, didn’t get a chance to win although the song was 200 % ESC. And I loved Albania… I really think that the Swiss Cheese band was bad but zero point !!!!! Come on people !!! DIDN’T YOU GUYS VOTE FOR SWISS CHEESE LAND AND NORWAY BECAUSE WE ARE NOT IN THE EU ?!?!?!?!

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