Written by Shirley Thielen (USA)


I have come to appreciate Eurovision over the last 2 years, primarily because my husband doesn’t shut up about it and so I figured I’d better to watch and see what it’s all about. I’ve come to like it enough that I’ve gone back to watch much of the last 6 years’ shows.


Over that time there are a lot of incredible acts, not to mention quite a few that were awful. But I also saw 9 vote results so inexplicable that they defy explanation:

Nine – Every entry in 2011. Most years we have to choose between several entries that blow us away: Performers, songs, & staging that are amazing. But in 2011 the best was merely “adequate”.  We were left selecting from who rose a bit beyond ok.  How did every country have just “average” acts?

Eight – Ok, we get it that Russia in 2010 was having a giant joke at our expense when they sent Peter Nalich (warning – this video is very painful to watch). But then people actually voted for him? An act that should have been last in the semi and quickly put out of its misery advanced to the final where it again pulled in substantial votes. The only explanation that makes sense was everyone thought they had to vote for Russia regardless of what they did.

Seven – Serbia sent Moje 3 with a beautiful song, 3 amazing singers, and staging that is possibly the worst in the history of Eurovision. The voting results are understandable due to the painfully bad staging. But why?

Six – Cristina Scarlat delivered a beautifully staged power performance, with a sound both compelling and unique. And the result? Last place. Granted, the first semi in 2014 was the most competitive semi in the history of the contest. But she delivered a performance that well deserved to advance on to the final. To give something so good last place is inexplicable. (This also put Romania in a quandary; they had to find someone else to award their 12 points to.)

Five – Kate Ryan (enough said…)

Four – Israel sent brilliant, powerful acts in 2013 & 2014 and what was the result? Last. In the semi! What is going on here? It’s like Israel is completely forgotten. Granted they’re way off on an edge far away from most of Europe, but so is Iceland. And it’s not that they get fewer votes than expected, they get ignored. Especially in 2014 when Austria & Israel clearly outclassed everyone else in their semi performances.

Three – Pastora Soler reached out and drew us into one of the most powerful performances ever in the history of Eurovision. And for a performance that should have been a solid second, what did she get? 10th. Perfect song, an amazing voice, and staging that was perfect; absolutely perfect. The response to such a powerful performance shows that Europe gives Spain no respect.

Two – Cezar delivered a truly astonishing performance in 2103. He showed a vocal range that was incredible with a song and staging that was perfect for him, and brilliant for Eurovision. The question remained:  How would the tele voters react to his performance because it was so different? Well the tele vote loved it. But the jury, that group of musical “professionals” almost universally panned it. The jurors showed themselves incapable of appreciating something outside the norm, no matter how brilliant.

One – Il Volo owned the final. In a field with a number of exceptional acts (Sweden, Russia, & more), they ended the show with a number that outclassed everything. And the tele vote agreed. But once more the jurors trashed it; again showing themselves incapable of appreciating something outside the norm, no matter how brilliant.




  1. Sorry Shirley, I disagree with a lot of this (though, we are in 100% agreement about Pastora Soler and Spain 2012). But let me shed a bit of light on Il Volo’s lack of love from the jury. I was at the Second Dress Rehearsal, the one that the juries watch and score, in Vienna. I can tell you that Il Volo definitely did not go full tilt. I remember feeling underwhelmed by their performance and wondering why so many people thought it could win. At the televised Final, they turned it up to eleven, but they had already missed out on the jury votes by this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *