So the bookies were spot on for once with their tip of Sweden being this year's Eurovision Song Contest winners. Mans Zelmerlow's rendition of "Heroes" was voted as the worthy winner on the night. There was to be no fairy tale ending for Australia, as their debut at the annual #Music jamboree finished with a credible 5th place for Guy Sebastian. The United Kingdom's entry for Electro Velvet was at least spared the ignominy of the wooden spoon, but not by much. Neighbours Austria and Germany shared in the pain of 'nul points' to claim that distinction in joint last place.
The top five placings after a rather late finish (it seems to stretch on later each year) were:
1 Mans Zelmerlow (Sweden) - 365 points
2 Polina Gagarina (Russia) - 303
3 Il Volo (Italy) - 292
4 Loic Nettet (Belgium) - 217
5 Guy Sebastian (Australia) - 196
Perhaps of equal importance to those interested in the UK's performance were the bottom four places:
24 Electro Velvet (UK) - 5 points
25 Lisa Angell (France) - 4
26= The Makemakes (Austria) - 0
26= Ann Sophie (Germany) - 0
Close contest developed
The contest for the top place remained close between Sweden and Russia, as the various countries' voting patterns were divulged to the many thousands of Eurovision parties watching. Then it seemed as though Mans Zelmerlow's swingometer of popularity swung into orbit, allowing his well-received victory to be announced ahead of the final votes.
Russia found favour this year
Polina Gagarina's "A Million Voices" had seemingly appealed to many voters, with its messages of peace and the backing for world tolerance. A fine sentiment after last year's chaos. Then Russia's entry was roundly booed by the audience, a reflection on the country's intolerant views and the Ukraine crisis. So near and yet so far, they will need to lick their wounds and come back stronger next year.
Australia experienced highs and lows
Guy Sebastian seemed to find favour with some countries but not with others, perhaps witnessing at first-hand how disparate some of the selections for top track choice can be. If only they could have persuaded Kylie to represent the Aussies, then the outcome might have been different.
Little support for UK
Electro Velvet's "Still in Love with You" found little backing unfortunately during the voting process. They remained upbeat afterwards nonetheless, telling waiting reporters that they had "the most amazing, brilliant, unforgettable time." No doubt many of the previous entrants over the years would have echoed the sentiment, as it seems to be one of the best gigs in town from an enjoyment point of view.
Sweden to host next year #TelevisionIn true Eurovision tradition, Austria will hand the baton on to Sweden as the hosts in 2016. The UK will once again need to go back to the proverbial drawing board and consider how to provide a competitive entry next year. 'C'est la vie', as the French would probably concur.