Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Preview: Final Thoughts

Eurovision Final: Songs 1-5

Ben: Ukraine! They have a person in a hamster wheel!

Mike: I LOVE this entry. I wish there was a prize for most improved from debut to performance.

Ben: They would surely win it.  The only thing that disappointed me about this one is that they didn’t keep the styling from the official music video. Which, admittedly, wouldn’t go with the HUMAN HAMSTER WHEEL, but was awesome.

Mike: That surprised me too. Perhaps they had a different production designer for the video. My understanding is Ukraine spirited away Azerbaijan’s PD, which was a brilliant move.

Ben: I thought Russia did that. Regardless of who did, I fully agree it was a brilliant move. That PD got the (in my opinion, middling) “Hold Me” to second place with a memorable stage design.

Teo / Belarus (Eurovision MiniPop: Ben Morris)
Teo / Belarus (Eurovision MiniPop: Ben Morris)

Mike: Who could have used a better PD: Belarus. They had 4 months to put together a performance and guys in suits is all we get?

Ben: Seriously. As much as I ragged on that video for being a copy of a copy of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, that would have been better than the blah choice they made.

Mike: Do we think the delay in voting results on Thursday was related in any way with this entry advancing?

Ben: Jon Ola made them run the count again because he couldn’t believe his eyes.
According to his Twitter, they just needed more tabulation time. I choose to think the Eurovision producers agree with our disbelief that this made the final by saddling Teo with the doomed 2nd position.

Mike: Agreed. So Azerbaijan. A little underwhelming, I think.

Ben: Agreed.  It’s like someone on the production team opened the brainstorming session with “aerialist” and they just decided to go with that. Especially after the spectacle of last year’s performance, it’s disappointing. The lyrics of the song are crying out for a contemporary dance interpretation.

Mike: When I saw the rehearsal footage, I thought “jeez, there’s a lot of setup without any payoff,” and I assumed the camera was going to work around that for the actual show. That didn’t happen, and it made me realize the song is also a lot of setup without any payoff.

Ben: I’m trying to think back to Tuesday’s performance to remember if they used one of those great sweeping shots either to or from the ceiling of the hall and I honestly can’t remember, whereas I remember last year’s performance vividly, which says a lot.
Mike: Azerbaijan’s lowest finish ever was 8th place — is this entry going to set a new low?

Ben: I think with a really stacked field this year, we might see that.

Pollapönk / Iceland (Eurovision MiniPop: Ben Morris)
Pollapönk / Iceland (Eurovision MiniPop: Ben Morris)

Mike: How will Iceland do?

Ben: This is a heavy bias talking, but I think better than people are expecting. “No Prejudice” works really well live.

Mike: I like its placement in the lineup.

Ben: And Pollaponk seems like they’re truly having fun at the contest. I’ve been following their Facebook feed all week, and it’s brought me a lot of joy did you see their Opening Ceremony outfits?

Mike: I did not. Did they go with the track suits?

Ben: I’ll find you a photo

Mike: Found it. A little Mother-of-the-Bride, but I like the idea.

Ben: “By wearing dresses we are supporting women, mothers sisters, daughters and friends being discriminated because they are women, like not getting equal pay for the same job as men. We want equal rights for everybody.”

Ben: I’ve realized they’re not going to win the whole shebang tomorrow, but I’m hoping Europe surprises us with the final results. Pollaponk is the act this year I’d most want to get a drink with. Anyways, I have said enough about Pollaponk. How about Norwegian Ron Swanson?

Mike: Ooof. I liked the performance on Thursday, but I still don’t understand why this is one of the frontrunners.

Ben: I’m not sure I entirely understand either (power ballads, maybe?). But I thought it was a strong performance, especially after the calmer first verse/chorus.

Mike: Sorry, I should have said “was a frontrunner”: it’s now 10th favorite to win

Ben: I still think it’ll do well, although it’s first in a pack of supposed frontrunners in the lineup

Mike: Yeah, with all of Scandinavia in the Final, there are going to be a lot of points floating around.

Ben: Yeah.  It was a very good year for the Scandinavian countries. Okay, so what did you think of Romania?

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About Ben Smith 252 Articles
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at E-mail: