Sweden Wins Eurovision 2015

Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden has won the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with his song Heroes.

The show ran 4 hours and featured contestants from 27 countries, including special 60th anniversary guest Australia. The votes were tallied from 40 countries and their professional juries. A representative of each country gave their results live.

Russia pulled ahead early and about half-way through, it seemed as though Eurovision would be crowning a new queen, Polina Gagarina. However, Måns Zelmerlöw began slowly pulling ahead until the latter votes steamrolled him into a decisive victory. Russia came in second and Italy came in third.

Congratulations to Måns Zelmerlöw, the new hero of Sweden and Eurovision! And congratulations to all the artists who performed in the semi-finals and the finale. Great job! See you next year in Sweden!


Eurovision 2015 Finale Line-up

The 2015 Eurovision Finale will begin soon! Artists from 27 countries will perform their songs. Voters in all 40 participating countries, along with a professional jury, will vote to decide the winner.

Recap of how to watch in the U.S. and any country that doesn’t broadcast Eurovision.

The 2015 Eurovision finale will be held on Saturday, May 23, at 21:00 CEST. That’s 3:00 p.m. EDT and Noon PDT in the U.S. You can watch the live show for free on YouTube and the Eurovision website.

Eurovision WebTV

Eurovision YouTube Channel

2015 Eurovision Finale Line-up in order of appearance:

  1. Slovenia
  2. France
  3. Israel
  4. Estonia
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Armenia
  7. Lithuania
  8. Serbia
  9. Norway
  10. Sweden
  11. Cyprus
  12. Australia
  13. Belgium
  14. Austria
  15. Greece
  16. Montenegro
  17. Germany
  18. Poland
  19. Latvia
  20. Romania
  21. Spain
  22. Hungary
  23. Georgia
  24. Azerbaijan
  25. Russia
  26. Albania
  27. Italy

The favored contestant to win is Sweden, but I’m rooting for Italy. Anything can happen. Best of luck to all the artists.

Enjoy the show!

Eurovision 2015 Semi-Final 2 Results

Artists from 17 countries took to the stage for the second semi-final of Eurovision 2015 song contest, but only 10 will continue on to the finale. They are, in the order they were announced:

  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Montenegro
  • Cyprus
  • Azerbaijan
  • Latvia
  • Israel

To be honest, this wasn’t a real exciting show. Too many ballads and the level of artists between countries was markedly uneven. San Marino, we know you’re a tiny nation, but come on. Those kids belong in the junior competition and you know it. We’d all rather see Valentina again than that. And Ireland, please. You know we want Jedward back. Just do it.

Best performance of the night goes to: Sweden!

There’s a reason Måns Zelmerlöw and Heroes is favored to win. It’s a great song and he’s a savvy performer who knows how to work the crowd and the camera. Well done!

Divalicious award of the night goes to: Latvia!

The dress, the hand gestures, the confidence, but most of all, that voice. Aminata has the full diva package and jazzy Love Injected is just right kind of quirky to make her stand out.

Who brought the fun back to the show? Israel!

Nadav Guedj and Golden Boy turned the biggest party in Europe back into a party rather than a ballad-fest.

Best duet of the night goes to Norway!

Smolder. Those two were smokin’ hot! Mørland’s falsetto and Debrah Scarlett’s smoky vocals turned A Monster Like Me into the sexiest duet of the evening.

The 2015 Eurovision finale will be held on Saturday, May 23, at 21:00 CEST. That’s 3:00 p.m. EDT and Noon PDT in the U.S. You can watch the live show for free on YouTube and the Eurovision website.

Eurovision WebTV

Eurovision YouTube Channel

Eurovision 2015 – Semi-Final 2 Lineup

The second semi-final in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest is hours away. The artists and their nations are posted below, but first, a how-to recap.

Recap: How to Watch Eurovision in the USA

Eurovision has two options for watching online, completely free, either from their website or their YouTube channel.

Eurovision WebTV

Eurovision YouTube Channel

The official start time is 21:00 CEST or 9:00 p.m. Central European Summer Time. That translates to 3:00 p.m. EDT and Noon PDT in the U.S.

Here’s the lineup for the Semi-Final 2.

In order of appearance:

  1. Lithuania: This Time, Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila
  2. Ireland: Playing With Numbers, Molly Sterling
  3. San Marino: Chain Of Lights, Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola
  4. Montenegro: Adio, Knez
  5. Malta: Warrior, Amber
  6. Norway: A Monster Like Me, Mørland & Debrah Scarlett
  7. Portugal: Há Um Mar Que Nos Separa, Leonor Andrade
  8. Czech Republic: Hope Never Dies, Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta
  9. Israel: Golden Boy, Nadav Guedj
  10. Latvia: Love Injected, Aminata
  11. Azebaijan: Hour Of The Wolf, Elnur Huseynov
  12. Iceland: Unbroken, Maria Olafs
  13. Sweden: Heroes, Måns Zelmerlöw
  14. Switzerland: Time To Shine, Mélanie René
  15. Cyprus: One Thing I Should Have Done, John Karayiannis
  16. Slovenia: Here For You, Maraaya
  17. Poland: In The Name Of Love, Monika Kuszyńska

Good luck to all the countries and their artists. Enjoy the show!

Eurovision 2015 Semi-Final 1 Results

As an American, Eurovision makes me weep for one big reason: it’s so damn efficient. In two hours, there’s a big opening, a bit of host blathering, 16 performances, voting in 40 countries, a bit of local color and performances, tallying of votes, and announcing the winners. In two hours! One of the reasons I stopped watching shows like American Idol is because they take too damn long.

Got that off my chest. Onto Eurovision 2015 Semi-Final 1!

The evening started with the reigning queen of Eurovision, Conchita Wurst, singing her winning song Rise Like a Phoenix. She looked lovely in her signature strapless gown, this time white, showing off those gorgeous shoulders.

Artists from 16 countries took to the stage, but only 10 will continue on to the finale. They are:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Russia
  • Romania
  • Hungary
  • Greece
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Serbia
  • Belgium

Best performance of the night goes to: Russia!

Polina Gagarina was amazing! What a great voice and such a powerful song. A Million Voices was not one of my favorite songs, but I’m loving it now.

Divalicious award of the night goes to: Serbia!

Beauty Never Lies starts out as a ballad and becomes a party! Bojana Stamenov​ commanded the stage with ease with her big voice and powerful presence.

Surprise of the night goes to Romania!

Voltaj​’s powerful performance vaulted their (mostly) non-English song De la Capat (All over Again) into the finale.

Most touching moment goes to Armenia!

Tears came to my eyes as each performer moved to different countries on a map of the world, representing the Armenian diaspora after the 1916 genocide. Face the Shadow remains one of my top songs, but Genealogy’s performance needs a little more work.

Eurovision Semi-Final 2 will be held on Thursday, May 21, at 21:00 CEST. That’s 3:00 p.m. EDT and Noon PDT in the U.S. You can watch the live show for free on YouTube and the Eurovision website.

Eurovision WebTV

Eurovision YouTube Channel

How to Watch Eurovision 2015 in the USA

Eurovision 2015 is upon us and the first semi-final is mere hours away. Most U.S. fans, like myself, can’t watch the competition on broadcast television or even cable.

But don’t panic!

Eurovision has two options for watching online, completely free, either from their website or their YouTube channel.

Eurovision WebTV

Eurovision YouTube Channel

The official start time is 21:00 CEST or 9:00 p.m. Central European Summer Time. That translates to 3:00 p.m. EDT and Noon PDT in the U.S.

Here’s the line-up for the Semi-Final 1.

01 Moldova
Eduard Romanyuta
I Want Your Love
02 Armenia
Face The Shadow
03 Belgium
Loïc Nottet
Rhythm Inside
04 The Netherlands
Trijntje Oosterhuis
Walk Along
05 Finland
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
Aina Mun Pitää
06 Greece
Maria Elena Kyriakou
One Last Breath
07 Estonia
Elina Born & Stig Rästa
Goodbye To Yesterday
08 F.Y.R. Macedonia
Daniel Kajmakoski
Autumn Leaves
09 Serbia
Bojana Stamenov
Beauty Never Lies
10 Hungary
Wars For Nothing
11 Belarus
12 Russia
Polina Gagarina
A Million Voices
13 Denmark
Anti Social Media
The Way You Are
14 Albania
Elhaida Dani
I’m Alive
15 Romania
De La Capat/ All Over Again
16 Georgia
Nina Sublatti

Good luck to all the countries and their artists. Enjoy the show!

Eurovision 2015 – My Top 10

With the first Eurovision semi-final only a few days away, it is time to unveil my top 10 of 2015.

As I revealed earlier, I’m a bit disappointed at the plethora of ballads this year. I’m also unhappy that so many participants chose to sing in English rather than their native tongues. That being said, my top 10 does include artists who sing ballads in English.

My choices are, of course, according to my personal taste in music. Your top 10 might be very different. However, we can all agree that all the artists deserve love for stepping onto one of the world’s largest stages to represent their countries in front of millions of people.

I’ll also add that many artists surprise me during the actual competition, giving rock star performances above and beyond their official videos or previous live performances. My top 10 list usually changes during the actual competition.

That being said, let’s get to it.

1 point to Estonia – Elina Born & Stig Rästa, Goodbye to Yesterday

2 points to Spain – Edurne, Amanecer

3 points to Finland – Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, Aina Mun Pitää

4 points to Montenegro – Knez, Adio

5 points to Georgia – Nina Sublatti, Warrior

6 points to Norway – Mørland & Debrah Scarlett, A Monster Like Me

7 points to Israel – Nadav Guedj, Golden Boy

8 points to Latvia – Aminata, Love Injected

10 points to Armenia – Genealogy, Face Every Shadow

And finally… drumroll…

12 points to Italy! Bravo Il Volo. Grande Amore is a fabulous song sung to great dramatic effect by a trio of polished performers with fantastic opera-trained voices. This is the stuff winners are made of, at least in my book. I have no idea how well Il Volo will do in the competition, but I’m hoping they make it all the way to the top.

Kisses and best wishes to all the participating countries and their artists!

Eurovision 2015 – United Kingdom

The UK is one of the most successful countries to perform at Eurovision, having won the contest five times. However, in recent years the UK has struggled to put forth a winning song, and has only made the top ten once in the past ten years.

What will 2015 bring this former powerhouse? Are they performing a standard ballad or doing something a little different?

They’re doing something really different! Take a look and listen to Electro Velvet, who are representing the UK with their song I’m Still In Love With You.

EDM Jazz. Now, that’s different! This is a ridiculously fun song with a catchy beat. Bianca Nicholas is gorgeous and has the pipes to sing this kind of amped-up jazz. Alex Larke is really more of a performer than a singer. He’s fun to watch, but his voice isn’t quite up to par. Regardless, they are definitely going to stand out! I do hope they keep the jazzy rave vibe for the finale performance. This year’s Eurovision desperately needs some wacky moments of memorable fun. Neon glowing flappers fits the bill nicely!

Thank you UK and Electro Velvet! Ballad weary voters might very well vault you into the top ten this year.

Eurovision 2015 – Montenegro and Romania

As I’ve stated before, this year’s Eurovision contest has too many ballads. It also has too many songs in English: 33 out of 40, which is ridiculous considering English is the native tongue of only three participating countries (England, Ireland and Australia.)

For that reason, I want to give love to the seven hold-outs who stand firm and sing in their native tongue. You are the rock stars of Eurovision and I hope you all do well, in the contest and in the future.

Five of these countries are singing standard ballads. Yesterday, I reviewed the female singers: France, Portugal and Spain. Today, I’m focusing on the men: Montenegro and Romania. Note: I’ve already reviewed the other two countries: Finland (punk rock) and Italy (pop opera.)

Knez was chosen by internal selection to represent Montenegro with his song Adio (Farewell.)

I love the violins and the ethnic flavor of this song. Knez has a really nice, smooth voice. For me, though, he has big shoes to fill. Last year, Sergej Ćetković and his song Moj Svijet had my 12 points. Don’t get me wrong! I loved Conchita, but this was my favorite song of Eurovision 2014. I don’t think Knez quite fills those shoes. Not the same amount of power in his voice and Adio isn’t as  much of a standout as Moj Svijet. I do love how both videos show the natural beauty of Montenegro. So proud of their country. I love it!

Voltaj were chosen by national selection to fly the Romanian flag in Vienna with their song De la Capăt (All Over Again.)

I’m all about social justice, so I’m very inclined to like this song about the plight of Romanian children whose parents were forced to leave their country to seek employment. It’s a sad plight of Romania and much of the world. Those of us fortunate enough to live in prosperous nations need to consider the welfare of our fellow humans and their struggles to make ends meet and provide for their families. So, well done, Voltaj! The song itself is lovely and melancholy with a nice ethnic flavor. It’s a good song, but not a standout, except that they’re singing in Romanian with a bit of English thrown in.

Which brings me to what I think is a great compromise I wish more countries would have done this year. Sing in the native tongue and throw in some English, maybe every other chorus or something like that. I know that English language songs are more likely to win. People like to understand what they’re listening to. Compromise is so much better than an Anglo contest.

I don’t see either Montenegro or Romania winning or even making it into the top 10. I will be sorely disappointed if they don’t make the finale. Kisses and best wishes from the United States!

Eurovision 2015 – France, Portugal and Spain

What do these three countries have in common this year at the Eurovision song contest? If your answer is three beautiful women with strong stage presence, all singing ballads, you would be correct. But there’s one more thing.

What they have in common is actually what they don’t share in common: they are all singing in their natives tongues. This year’s Eurovision is not only Balladvision; it also Anglovision. Only seven countries (Finland, France, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania and Spain) aren’t presenting songs in English. It’s a trend that has to stop, so I dearly wish one of these countries will be the winner.

Can one of these three women make it to the top? Let’s take a listen.

Lisa Angell was chosen by internal selection to represent France with her song N’oubliez Pas (Do Not Forget.)

Leonor Andrade was chosen by national selection to fly the Portuguese flag in Vienna with her song Ha Um Mar Que Nos Separa (The Sea that Separates Us.)

Edurne was chosen by internal selection to represent Spain with her song Amanecer (Daybreak.)

First things first. Hey, leather vest Spanish dude: you don’t turn and run from a tiger! You back away slowly, not making eye contact. Haven’t you ever watched National Geographic or whatever the Spanish equivalent is? Yeesh.

Had to get that off my chest.

That aside, I would say that Edurne is the strongest singer and Amanecer is the best song of the three. Lisa Angell is a close second in terms of voice, but N’oubliez Pas isn’t as exciting. Portugal has an exciting song, but Leonor Andrade isn’t nearly as good a singer as these other two women.

Honestly, I don’t see any of these women as a winner. I think Spain has a decent chance of making the top 10, depending on when they perform in the finale. If Edurne is in the midst of a batch of weaker ballads, she could very well stand out enough to win votes.

Best wishes to all three of these women and heartfelt thanks for keeping it real and resisting the urge to go Anglo.