Eurovision 2019 is done and we have a winner! Duncan Laurence brought The Netherlands their first victory in 44 years with the emotive yet powerful ballad ‘Arcade’. As the juries and televoters did not agree on an awful lot, him finishing in top 3 with both but not winning either of them, did result in the victory in the end. Norway managed to win the televote, while Sweden received the most points from the jury. Neither of these countries reached top 3 though. Italy finished in second place, while Russia ended up third again. Let’s review the performances and analyze the the results a bit, shall we!?
Article updated after EBU announced that the Belarusian jury votes were changed
01. Malta – Michela – Chameleon
Malta’s Michela almost seemed to have a nervous breakdown when she was announced as the last contestant proceeding to the big final from the second semi-final. The 18 years old singer should be proud of herself for bringing her country to the final and opening the show. Vocally, the nerves got to her more this time than during the semi, but she still gave a energetic performance with a youthful vibe. Personally I would have placed this absolute bop in the top 10, but the 14th position they reached is definitely nothing to be ashamed of!
02. Albania – Jonida Maliqi – Ktheju Tokës
Jonida Maliqi from Albania was one of the few performers singing a song in her own language, which is worth some praise to start with. She delivered a vocally slightly stronger performance than in the semi-final. The track is suspenseful and dramatic and Jonida is a captivating performer. She scored on a similar level with both juries and televoting which gave her the 17th position overall. Well done!
03. Czech Republic – Lake Malawi – Friend of a Friend
Lake Malawi from the Czech Republic delivered another vibrant and contagious performance of their incredibly catchy ‘Friend of a Friend’, but it somehow was not enough to convince the televoters at home. After they finished 8th with juries, televoters completely paid them dust with just seven points in 24th spot. They finished 11th overall, but I was convinced that this could become one of the post contest hits. I’ll keep playing it for sure though!
04. Germany – S!sters – Sister
First up of the countries we hadn’t seen in the semi-finals yet, was Germany. S!sters gave a vocally decent and definitely passionate performance of their song ‘Sister’, but with a staging that sober, it was no surprise that the televoters forgot all about them after hearing 22 more songs. Juries saved them from the last spot as televoters did not even award them one point. They finished 25th overall. Let us hope this won’t stop these girls from continuing to make music together!
05. Russia – Sergey Lazarev – Scream
Russia was the first of the favourites to take the stage. Sergey Lazarev started out with some shaky vocals, but improved himself towards the end with big notes and spectacular visuals. It all looked slick and sounded bombastic, but I did not really feel the emotions the performance seemed to try to convey. Russia scored a decent 8th position with juries and reached the 4th spot with televoters, which delivered him the 3rd place overall, just like in 2016!
06. Denmark – Leonora – Love Is Forever
Denmark brought one of the cutest moments to the Eurovision stage with the endearing ‘Love Is Forever’. It has to be said though, that in this competition, the Danish entry was one of the ones that least stood out to me. Interestingly enough, Leonora only just made it to the final with 1 point over Lithuania in the second semi-final, but still managed to score a respectable 12th spot in the big final!
07. San Marino – Serhat – Say Na Na Na
Serhat managed to surprise everyone by qualifying to the final from the first semi-final. As expected, this was mostly thanks to televoters. His oh so simple and infectious ‘Say Na Na’, performed with questionable at best vocal work, was put in 23rd spot by the juries, but televoters gave him the 10th place out of 26, with which he finished 19th overall. This is San Marino’s best result to date so he at least did something right!
08. North Macedonia – Tamara Todevska – Proud
North Macedonia was easily the biggest suprise to me in the result show. Tamara Todevska performed her empowering and emotional, yet quite traditional ballad ‘Proud’ with passion, although the nerves did influence her voice at the start of the performance somewhat. She improved throughout, hitting all the big notes towards the end. The juries absolutely loved her, awarding her the most points of all countries. Televoters were slightly less impressed and put her in the 12th position, giving North Macedonia a very respectable 7th place overall. This is the best Macedonian result ever so Tamara Todevska sure can be ‘Proud’ of that!
09. Sweden – John Lundvik – Too Late For Love
Sweden’s John Lundvik gave another impeccable performance of his catchy, soulful and gospel inspired ‘Too Late For Love’. The interaction with his backing vocalists was a joy too watch and the overall uplifting vibe of his performance is contagious. The juries voted him second (before the Belarusian result was changed, he was first), which caused him to be in the final showdown with the winner, but as televoting put him in ninth place, he finished fifth overall. Sweden’s seventh top five result in nine years.
10. Slovenia – Zala & Gasper – Sebi
Some criticized the Slovenian performance by Zala and Gasper for completely lacking energy, but I did find their intimate and timid staging for ‘Sebi’ quite endearing. Zala seemed to be more nervous than during the semi-final, but it did not affect her vocals too much. With such a subtle tune in their own language, they should be proud of the fact they almost made top 10 with televoters (11th). The juries placed them quite a bit lower, bringing them to a still very respectable 15th place overall.
11. Cyprus – Tamta – Replay
Cyprus brought one of the best bops of this edition to the stage. Tamta is one of the most charismatic performers of this year’s contest. That woman is a star! Vocally she delivers a stronger performance than in the semi-final, but it did not help her reach the top 10. Maybe televoters were thrown off by the similarity to last year’s entry ‘Fuego’ as they put Tamta in 20th position. Juries were friendlier and so she ended up in 13th position overall.
12. The Netherlands – Duncan Laurence – Arcade
Duncan Laurence delivered another emotional performance of his stunning ‘Arcade’. His vocals were gorgeous and the sober staging complemented the track perfectly. He was the hot favourite to win the whole thing and after an exciting result show, he emerged victorious. As the juries and televoters did not agree on a lot this year, a second place with televoters and third place with juries was enough to finally, after 44 years, bring the contest back to the Netherlands! A worthy winner with a potential hit and a very promising start to his career!
13. Greece – Katerine Duska – Better Love
Greece had the unfortunate task to perform after the winner, but I seriously doubt if this performance would have stood out more anywhere else in the show. ‘Better Love’ is a strong and contemporary pop number, but the bombastic quality of the tune does not really shine through on stage. Katerine Duska hits all the high notes perfectly, but the lower parts in the verses lack confidence. Although the staging looks good on screen, there is nothing particularly memorable that actually elevated the song. Although I would have given this performance more than a 21st place, I am not surprised it did not get any further.
14. Israel – Kobi Marimi – Home
Kobi Marimi had the honour of representing the hosting country and he did so with all his heart. He delivered an outstanding vocal performance of the traditional ballad ‘Home’ and even got all emotional right at the end. It was beautiful to hear the whole arena sing along with him. He never really stood a chance to bring Israel back to the top of the scoreboard for a second year in a row, but the last place without any points of the juries is kind of ridiculous. The televoters put him 19th, which gave the 23rd spot overall. Well, at least no one will ever be able to take that moving moment on stage away from him!
15. Norway – KEiiNO – Spirit In The Sky
Norway’s supergroup KEiiNO delivered another top notch performance of their irresistible typical Eurovision bop ‘Spirit In The Sky’ and to the surprise of almost everyone, they managed to win the televoting! Although I did not see that coming, it is exciting to see that this type of Eurovision banger still resonates with the voting audience. Unfortunately for Norway, the juries weren’t as keen. That is an understatement, because if it was up to the juries, KEiiNO would not even have made it to the final to begin with. The differences between the jury votes and televoting were massive in the final as well, as the mix of schlager, pop and joik ended up in 16th place with the ‘music professionals’, giving the Scandinavian country a 6th place overall. A fantastic result, but I can imagine it must taste bittersweet for them.
16. United Kingdom – Michael Rice – Bigger Than Us
The Eurovision fans from the United Kingdom had hopes this year that their result would turn out better than in years before with Michael Rice’s ‘Bigger Than Us’. Although Rice has got a strong voice and did sing his heart out towards the end, the performance and song did not manage to immediately grab me. The chorus of middle of the road pop tune ‘Bigger Than Us’ sounded quite monotone before Rice started belting over it. The staging was utterly forgettable, delivering the United Kingdom the very last place in this final with just 11 points.
17. Iceland – Hatari – Hatrið Mun Sigra
Iceland brought the shock factor in the 2019 contest with a bdsm inspired performance by the band Hatari. The grunting vocals in the verses are in stark contrast of the high pitched soaring vocals in the chorus, but these were unfortunately still out of tune during the final. Although loads of people seemed immediately turned off by their appearance and the grunting, there actually is a strong pop song to be found underneath all that. Of course this was going to impress the televoters (6th) more than the juries (14), resulting in a 10th place overall.
18. Estonia – Victor Crone – Storm
Victor Crone’s qualification in the first semi-final came as a surprise to some, but although slightly forgettable, his ‘Storm’ did not seem misplaced in the grand final. Vocally he started out shaky again, but redeemed himself by hitting the bigger notes in the second half. The camera work here was shoddy to say the least though. His Avicii inspired ‘Storm’ did make it to the 20th place on the scoreboard in the end which is about right for this tune and performance I’d say.
19. Belarus – Zena – Like It
The 16-year-old singer Zena from Belarus gave us another high energy and vibrant performance of her simple yet effective pop tune ‘Like It’. The backings helped her out with the vocals so she could impress us with a choreography on stage. It turned out juries saved her during the semi-final as she did not reach the top 10 with televoting on Tuesday. In the final she ended up on the 24th spot, but she sure can be proud that she reached the final in the first place.
20. Azerbaijan – Chingiz – Truth
Azerbaijan tried everything to return to the top of the scoreboard this year. Chingiz performed his slick pop tune ‘Truth’ surrounded by robot arms, lasers and eye-catching graphics. His backing singers play a big part in the live performance almost sounding like the studio version. This is one of the performances that did well with both juries and televoting giving him the 8th position overall, bringing Azerbaijan back in the top 10 and deservedly so!
21. France – Bilal Hassani – Roi
Bilal Hassani emerged as one of the favourites in the last week and with a stunning performance of the empowering tune ‘Roi’, he would have deserved a better result if you ask me. The ballet dancers looked great on stage and underlined the message of not letting anyone tell you you are not good enough. Vocally, Bilal did a great job and the camera work was very much on point too. Juries awarded France the 13th place while televoting placed him 18th, resulting in the 16th spot overall. To me this was top 10 worthy!
22. Italy – Mahmood – Soldi
Italy’s Mahmood took the stage with ‘Soldi’, a song about how money can destroy a family and his personal story about his dad who left the family at a young age. He packed the emotional lyrics in a captivating mix of pop and hiphop with a hypnotic main hook with catchy handclaps. Mahmood is joined by three dancers, but it is hard to take your eyes off of the singer himself, as he delivers a passionate vocal performance in which the pain is audible. It is easily one of the most moving performances of the night, while the song is one of the most contemporary yet intriguing. Both juries (4th) and televoting (3rd) appreciated ‘Soldi’, giving Italy and Mahmood the second place overall, only 26 point behind te winner.
23. Serbia – Nevena Bozovic – Kruna
Serbia’s Nevena Bozovic delivered another pitch perfect performance of her Balkan ballad ‘Kruna’. Her vocals are some of the strongest of the night and the atmospheric staging does the song justice. The appeal of ‘Kruna’ was not universal enough to come close to top 10, but the Serbian delegation definitely should not be ashamed of this 18th place. They kept it classy!
24. Switzerland – Luca Hänni – She Got Me
Pop star Luca Hänni single-handedly broke Switzerland’s Eurovision curse with yet another slick performance of his absolute banger ‘She Got Me’. The choreography is fun to watch, his vocals are on point and the whole staging just works. With an 8th place with juries and a top 5 result with televoting, Luca Hänni ended up 4th, giving Switzerland their first top 5 result since 1993! This man deserves a statue in Switzerland and a summer hit on European radio!
25. Australia – Kate Miller Heidke – Zero Gravity
Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke emerged as one of the favourites after the rehearsals started. Her spectacular, gravity defying performance of opera and pop hybrid ‘Zero Gravity’ did impress both juries (6th) and televoting (7th) which gave the Australian team a 9th position overall. I personally think that if you can sing like that flying around on a stick above the stage, you deserve at least top 5 but oh well. Kate Miller-Heidke gave Australia their fourth top 10 finish in five years participating and that isn’t too shoddy either!
26. Spain – Miki – La Venda
Miki from Spain ended the grand final with a big bang. His party number ‘La Venda’ brought a fiesta to the arena in Tel Aviv. The Spanish delegation finally made some effort with the staging and the colourful, high energy performance was a great way to end the show. Unfortunately, juries did not appreciate Spain one bit and let Miki almost finish last. Televoters at least let a bit of a party in their lives as they placed him 14th, which delivered Spain the 22nd position overall. Miki was, as the Eurofans call it these days, robbed! It sure wasn’t the best vocal performance of the night but 22nd is a bit harsh.