Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Thread:

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Nivash

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#1  Edited By Nivash

Dates and times:

Semi-Final 1: Tuesday May 14th, 2100 Central European Time (CET), 1500 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) 1200 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

Semi-Final 2: Thursday May 16th, Same Time

Grand Final: Saturday May 18th: Same Time

So I was reminded a few minutes ago that the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is about to begin in a few hours. A quick search revealed that I'm evidently not the only one to be taken by surprise seeing how we apparently have no thread for it. Considering that I'm Swedish and that we are the exalted hosts for the year, it's pretty much my patriotic duty to grab your attention (I'm not kidding - the ESC is Serious Business in Sweden) so I'm not allowing such a travesty to stand, and here it is. What on Earth is the ESC, you ask?

Oh, are you in for a treat! This thread will teach you everything you ever wanted to know but was too afraid to ask: live streams, previous entries - the works!

Officially, the ESC is an annual musical competition held between the European countries (and some hang-arounds) that decides which country is the bestest country in music. Unofficially it's one of the most insane entertainment spectacles in the world: mix one part nationalism, two part C-grade music with an ethnic flair and three parts over-the-top spectacle and you have the ESC. But don't take my word for it: here are a few previous noteworthy entries!

Let's start off on an easy note; the Pride of Sweden: last years winner Euphoria. Feel the glory (of the crab walk) Nothing too crazy, just some decently competent Europop with a catchy refrain. WMG doesn't allow embeds for this one, so off to Youtube you go.

Okay, that's done. All senses still intact? Good. On to the really good stuff. Last years Turkish entry, AKA "The Manboat"! A personal favorite. (The Manboat takes shape at around 2.20 during the bridge by the pirate/vampire bat- hybrid back-up dancers joining forces, Voltron style)

Last years entry from Russia, showing the world that the ESC isn't just for the young crowd: Party for Everybody! A beautiful display of how best to lure someone in with a soothing Russian lullaby and then club them over the head with Europop so you can force-feed them cookies, baked in the convenient on-stage oven.

And last but certainly not least, we have ESC-veterans Jedward from Ireland doing their best fabolous space-knight impression, also from last year.

And all of this from just last years competition! I could go on and show you clip after clip of awesome insanity from previous years, but I got off to a late start because the first semi-final begins in little over an hour as i write this. Crazy, I know! So how do you watch, you may ask? Well, if you're in Europe it's easy enough: there is a channel in every European country tasked with broadcasting it live. But thanks to the glory of the internet age, all of you non-Europeans - who probably enjoy it more anyway - can tag along on a live stream!

Live Streams

The official ESC stream: http://www.eurovision.tv/page/webtv

The BBC stream: this one's region coded, but if you already know a way to get to it it's an excellent choice, simply because it usually features some beautifully snarky commentators: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/tv/bbc_one_london/watchlive

I'll see about up-dating it with some background information tomorrow. For now: if you got the time, don't hesitate to take a look at the stream. Trust me, you won't regret it. Alcohol is recommended: the best way to watch the show is with some equally bemused friends, a drinking adds to the pleasure but can easily spiral out of control. In any case, this will easily be the craziest thing you've seen this year purely because of the absurd scale of it.

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diz

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The contest is far too long and the voting is ridiculously and predictably politically corrupt. Having said that, I still do watch it though. Graham Norton is a good replacement for Terry Wogan as BBC UK commentator.

Here's my favourite UK entry from 2003:

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They had perfect pitch!

But this is the song that should win it:

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(From Father Ted - "A Song for Europe". Coincidentally, Graham Norton also appeared in a few Father Ted episodes as Father Noel Furlong.)

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Nivash

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@diz Ha, Father Ted's awesome! Sweden actually had a serious entry that sounded a bit like it in our regionals a few years back - complete with a verse that was outright begging for votes: "I Love Europe" with Christer Sjögren. It (thankfully) didn't win.

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My favorite entry all-time is still the Ukrainian from 2007 though. I didn't include it in the OP because I felt it was video-heavy as it was.

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Animasta

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I'm not european so I usually just listen to the winners/runners up/anyone who's super funny (like jedward).

maNga was my favorite, and they should've won against Lena D:

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Nivash

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If you're not watching yet, you just missed two rapping astronauts in space suits backed up by a borg fairy with Google glasses. So get in on this shit!

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RazielCuts

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#6  Edited By RazielCuts
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zeforgotten

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#7  Edited By zeforgotten

Being from Denmark I should probably watch this (everyone else seems to be. Not a single car in the streets at 10pm)
I miss Lordi.. they were just the right kind of insane for me to watch the whole thing once.

Also, screw you UK.
You have Graham Norton as a commentator-guy and Denmark is stuck with the same old half-dead guy who was relevant for a second back in the 70s.
Unless of course he "finally" died or just retired.

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Castiel

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#8  Edited By Castiel

I'm European and I hate everything about Eurovision Song Contest. The music is terrible, it all sounds the same and it's never bad in a funny way if you ask me. Eurovision is the worst and most clinically cold show in the history of television. It's european in the worst way.

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Bismarck

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#9  Edited By Bismarck
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Lordi and that ukrainian chick Svetlana were probably the best thing to come out of Eurovision. Eurovision competirots are too tryhards. Trying to mix folk music of their country with modern music. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt ( mostly it doesnt). Most of the songs that go to Eurovision from my country Bulgaria, are garbage and I wonder how do they get picked at all.


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zeforgotten

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@bismarck: Yeeees!
I'm glad to see I'm not the only person in the world who enjoys the crazy of Lordi.
Then again, they won, so I wasn't alone back then but as always, the rest just move on to worse things and never stick with the good music.

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Nivash

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@zeforgotten: You're definitely not alone - Lords was awesome! It was pretty funny how there were quite a number of metal entries the year after too, definitely made for some variety among the Europop and ballads.

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zeforgotten

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@nivash: It did!
Up until that point it had really just been the "same" songs over and over again since 1956.

I guess Denmark won with that Fly on the Wings of Love thing that one year... So hey, my country did something that nobody really remembers! wooo!

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thomasnash

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Poor showing this year. Perhaps so many countries choosing not to compete because of poor finances has left the batshit insane to ballad ratio to low - Bosnia and Herzegovina could have been counted on for some insanity.

I'm hoping the dubstep spacemen get through.

Also, I think with the amount of "dubstep" this year means we can officially declare the genre dead.

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Nivash

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#14  Edited By Nivash

@thomasnash: I've been hearing rumours that they might be trying to get some of the weaker songs out of the way early. Even so there does indeed appear to be unusually many ballads this year - we'll still get at least five more in the next semi if this video is something to go by:

Loading Video...

Also, boo... Montenegro didn't get through to the final :(

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thomasnash

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#15  Edited By thomasnash

Yeah, I am very disappointed with that result. Hopefully we'll get something a bit more in keeping in the next semi. The only things close to some of the glorious offerings of previous years has been the woman emerging from a disco ball and her fabulous becardiganed dancers.

I knew Montenegro wouldn't go through, Rap never seems to do well at eurovision.

What's really sad about it is that the semis are usually a haven for the really mental shit. The final often has some weird stuff, but the first time I saw the sort of stuff going out in the semis it blew my mind. On tonight's showing, it feels like the final is going to be a disappointingly tame affair.

We need more spinning violins and wonky saxophone:

Loading Video...

We need more drunk balkan tramps:

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We need to know how looks the trumpet:

Loading Video...

If Eurovision wants to reintroduce this wonder, it can be my guest.

Loading Video...

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fisk0

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#16  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

I didn't watch the entire thing, but I loved that they ended the show with "Thank you, and forgive us, Europe".

Also, I don't know if this was also included in the English language broadcast, but I found it pretty interesting that in Sweden they didn't exactly depict all the countries in the best of light. Just about everybody knows that Belarus is "the last Soviet state in Europe", but it was pretty surprising to hear them say "it's the least democratic country in Europe" during the show, as well as this little anecdote about Ireland: "it used to be that you could marry when you became 18, but you weren't allowed to buy condoms until you turned 20".

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Nivash

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#17  Edited By Nivash

@thomasnash said:

Yeah, I am very disappointed with that result. Hopefully we'll get something a bit more in keeping in the next semi. The only things close to some of the glorious offerings of previous years has been the woman emerging from a disco ball and her fabulous becardiganed dancers.

I knew Montenegro wouldn't go through, Rap never seems to do well at eurovision.

What's really sad about it is that the semis are usually a haven for the really mental shit. The final often has some weird stuff, but the first time I saw the sort of stuff going out in the semis it blew my mind. On tonight's showing, it feels like the final is going to be a disappointingly tame affair.

We need more spinning violins and wonky saxophone:

We need more drunk balkan tramps:

We need to know how looks the trumpet:

If Eurovision wants to reintroduce this wonder, it can be my guest.

Oh, man! Can't believe I almost forgot about Epic Sax Guy! He even has his own flash game. And How Looks the Trumpet Guy is amazing just because of how much he looks like Littlefinger. Yeah, this year hasn't been nearly as crazy. A shame, really. Maybe the more eccentric nations will come back next year.

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konig_kei

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Why did no one post wolves of the sea, the greatest eurovision song ever.

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ever.

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Gilbert64

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#19  Edited By Gilbert64

Eurovision is the European version of the gathering of juggalos. Worst song, less violence... fucking terrible.

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Bismarck

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#20  Edited By Bismarck

Why did no one post wolves of the sea, the greatest eurovision song ever.

Loading Video...

ever.

Alestorm's cover is awesome, but gotta hand it to the original song it has a catchy tune and cool lyrics

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SharkEthic

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#21  Edited By SharkEthic

Being from Denmark I should probably watch this (everyone else seems to be. Not a single car in the streets at 10pm)

I miss Lordi.. they were just the right kind of insane for me to watch the whole thing once.

Also, screw you UK.

You have Graham Norton as a commentator-guy and Denmark is stuck with the same old half-dead guy who was relevant for a second back in the 70s.

Unless of course he "finally" died or just retired.

You will speak of Jørgen de Mylius with fear and respect in your voice, or not at all, good sir!!

Also, fuck Eurovision Song Contest, why anybody would subject their ears to that shit once a year is beyond me.

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zeforgotten

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#22  Edited By zeforgotten

@zeforgotten said:

Being from Denmark I should probably watch this (everyone else seems to be. Not a single car in the streets at 10pm)

I miss Lordi.. they were just the right kind of insane for me to watch the whole thing once.

Also, screw you UK.

You have Graham Norton as a commentator-guy and Denmark is stuck with the same old half-dead guy who was relevant for a second back in the 70s.

Unless of course he "finally" died or just retired.

You will speak of Jørgen de Mylius with fear and respect in your voice, or not at all, good sir!!

Also, fuck Eurovision Song Contest, why anybody would subject their ears to that shit once a year is beyond me.

I will do no such thing!

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SlashDance

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#23  Edited By SlashDance

Hosting that thing costs a whole lot of money, and since the winner gets to host the contest the following year, each country selects the most atrocious song they can find just to make sure they don't win.

That's what I keep telling myself anyway... It's the only logical explanation for this annual tragedy.

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SharkEthic

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@sharkethic said:

@zeforgotten said:

Being from Denmark I should probably watch this (everyone else seems to be. Not a single car in the streets at 10pm)

I miss Lordi.. they were just the right kind of insane for me to watch the whole thing once.

Also, screw you UK.

You have Graham Norton as a commentator-guy and Denmark is stuck with the same old half-dead guy who was relevant for a second back in the 70s.

Unless of course he "finally" died or just retired.

You will speak of Jørgen de Mylius with fear and respect in your voice, or not at all, good sir!!

Also, fuck Eurovision Song Contest, why anybody would subject their ears to that shit once a year is beyond me.

I will do no such thing!

But he's a (somewhat dusty) nationalklenodie, dude!

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mandude

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And here I was hoping that nobody would mention Jedward. :(

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thomasnash

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#26  Edited By thomasnash

@slashdance: Not being a bureaucrat in a host country I can't say for sure, but I think the benefits probably outweigh the negatives. Most of the cost of hosting is actually covered by all competing countries, and the UK, France, Germany, Spain and (since 2010) Italy regularly make the largest contributions (regardless of host country) which is why they automatically qualify. According to wikipedia there are also corporate sponsors who help with the cost, and I imagine broadcasters in european countries pay for rights to the broadcast, although that money is just as likely to go to whatever Eurovision's equivalent of Fifa or the IOC is to pay their costs.

The capacity of this year's arena I believe they said last night is 10,000, over 3 nights (semi-finals and final) so that's a potential of 30,000 (obviously not accounting for domestic audience) people putting money into your economy for that week. Obviously it's not going to be as beneficial as an international football competition, but it's probably a decent boost, especially for some of the poorer countries in the competition. Then there's the fact that you basically have a massive tourism advert that lasts 3 hours (plus 4 more on the semi-finals) being broadcast across Europe.

I guess it only confirms that it's not about the music, but in amongst the more anodyne "in it to win it" offerings sometimes you do get something that is to music what Asylum creature features are to cinema; they are completely shit, but everyone is taking it so seriously and there is joy to be had in seeing people unashamedly producing nonsense. It's frequently much more edifying than listening to or watching stuff that's cynical, either in it's production or it's outlook.

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Pezen

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I am still bummed Robin won over Yohio. And I don't even care about this whole thing. Except my wife will force me to watch the grand final while eating too much cheese.

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Soap

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#28  Edited By Soap

As someone from the UK I enjoy Eurovision, if only to laugh at how backwards the rest of Europe appears to be. Even though I know they are putting as little effort in as we are.

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altairre

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#29  Edited By altairre

Maybe I'll catch a few minutes but boy is that show terrible for the most part. Germany's entry this year really sucks too (not that the quality of the song is a criteria) but maybe there a a few decent songs (probably not though).

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thomasnash

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From the snippet of the german entry I've heard, it's astounding just how almost exactly the same as last year's winner it sounds!

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zeforgotten

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#31  Edited By zeforgotten

@zeforgotten said:

@sharkethic said:

@zeforgotten said:

Being from Denmark I should probably watch this (everyone else seems to be. Not a single car in the streets at 10pm)

I miss Lordi.. they were just the right kind of insane for me to watch the whole thing once.

Also, screw you UK.

You have Graham Norton as a commentator-guy and Denmark is stuck with the same old half-dead guy who was relevant for a second back in the 70s.

Unless of course he "finally" died or just retired.

You will speak of Jørgen de Mylius with fear and respect in your voice, or not at all, good sir!!

Also, fuck Eurovision Song Contest, why anybody would subject their ears to that shit once a year is beyond me.

I will do no such thing!

But he's a (somewhat dusty) nationalklenodie, dude!

He is, but that doesn't mean we have to keep killing him slowly by having him commentate ESC!
Let the man live his life without terrible music!

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SharkEthic

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#32  Edited By SharkEthic

@sharkethic said:
@zeforgotten said:

@sharkethic said:

@zeforgotten said:

Being from Denmark I should probably watch this (everyone else seems to be. Not a single car in the streets at 10pm)

I miss Lordi.. they were just the right kind of insane for me to watch the whole thing once.

Also, screw you UK.

You have Graham Norton as a commentator-guy and Denmark is stuck with the same old half-dead guy who was relevant for a second back in the 70s.

Unless of course he "finally" died or just retired.

You will speak of Jørgen de Mylius with fear and respect in your voice, or not at all, good sir!!

Also, fuck Eurovision Song Contest, why anybody would subject their ears to that shit once a year is beyond me.

I will do no such thing!

But he's a (somewhat dusty) nationalklenodie, dude!

He is, but that doesn't mean we have to keep killing him slowly by having him commentate ESC!

Let the man live his life without terrible music!

After years of hosting shit on P4, I think his threshold for terrible music surpasses that of mere mortals.

Real talk though, I thought the dude was dead already.

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Castiel

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#33  Edited By Castiel

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Welp I have nothing better to do tonight so I might as well leave this on in the background.

:(

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RazielCuts

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Oh Romania...what have you done...

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hakunin

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Oh Romania...what have you done...

Something magical

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Dixavd

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#36  Edited By Dixavd

The lead singer for Armenia is basically the Prince from The Prince if Persia.

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baldgye

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Since Terry Wogan stopped commentating it, it stopped existing.

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Castiel

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#38  Edited By Castiel

Oh no Jeff is trying to watch this train wreck. Somebody stop him!

Seriously it's not that good and never was. Eurovision is just one of those things that will never appeal too me.

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Castiel

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#39  Edited By Castiel

Sweden is apparently represented by a anime character.

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Nivash

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@castiel: That guy actually won the Swedish popular vote this year, the only thing keeping him from representing us tonight was they jury vote. Search for "Yohio Melodifestivalen 2013" if you want to see his song.

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Scampbell

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#41  Edited By Scampbell

I hate myself because the only reason I care is because we are winning.

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CashBailey

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#42  Edited By CashBailey

@baldgye said:

Since Terry Wogan stopped commentating it, it stopped existing.

He was the master. Why did he stop? Was it because of complaints from the people who take this garbage way too seriously?

British fantasy novelist Joe Abercrombie was live tweeting the show and I had to laugh at this one: 'Good songs are ten a penny. What Romania did tonight, you just can't get anywhere else.'

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Nivash

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#43  Edited By Nivash

Well that's all she wrote, people. Denmark has just been declared the victor so next years competition will be held in Copenhagen (or maybe Århus) In a fitting move, or maybe an infuriating one, the competition will take a small hop across the Öresundsbron. They could practically pack the whole show and save on costs for next year. No really, - Malmö is only a little over half an hours drive away from Copenhagen.

So with no further ado, here's this years winner:

Loading Video...

I guess it's a decent enough song. But my heart is still with the rapping cosmonauts from Montenegro:

Loading Video...

And just a little bit with the falsetto-singing opera Dracula from Romania (a fact that's just awesome)

Loading Video...

It's been great having you folks! See you next year!

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thegoldencat7

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#44  Edited By thegoldencat7

Thoroughly enjoyed that. Really glad that the best song and my personal favorite won again. Would have been a shame if Ukraine or Azerbaijan had won through political voting. Ireland definitely didn't deserve to come last though, that was pure nonsense.

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ItBeStefYo

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I watch this every year, fuuuuuck this bogus shit, DENMARK?!?! That song was so mediocre. fuckin norway or greece should have won :'(

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zeforgotten

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#46  Edited By zeforgotten

I watch this every year, fuuuuuck this bogus shit, DENMARK?!?! That song was so mediocre. fuckin norway or greece should have won :'(

Hahaha, speaking of mediocre

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Dixavd

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If there is one thing I out of this, it's awesome to see hot people from all over Europe. See you in Denmark next year!

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thomasnash

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#50  Edited By thomasnash

So after feeling that the semis were disappointingly low on crazy shit, the main event proved that in a (marginally) more controlled environment, the more subtle craziness shines brighter; the dancers for Belarus and there stupid backwards clapping, the number of boiling bunnies during Finland's song (I was honestly surprised that it didn't do better; feminist bloggers take heart!) and Malta's singer, a man so happy to be there that he ended up looking like Nicolas Sarkozy in Toby Jug form.

My favourites were (obviously) Cezar and Greece's Koza Mostra. Greece's entry was just super fun, and reminded me a lot of Gogol Bordello. As for Cezar, it was just so weird and different - especially because during the key change (surely the highest ever at the ESC) it seemed like his "falsetto" was lower than his natural Soprano voice.

A good time had by all!

Disappointed that Denmark won tbh. It was the bookies favourite, and that is almost always an accurate predictor, but it was a bit dull. It's the problem with the split vote (between public and panel), that the panels seem to play it safe. I half wonder if panels were warned not vote for greece because they might be unable to host it :p.

Also totalyl with you @nivash, the rapping spacemen were my highlight of the week, even if it does signal the end of dubstep as a credible genre.