Eurovision: Ukraine 1st, UK 24th. Why do we even bother?

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Eurovision: Ukraine 1st, UK 24th. Why do we even bother?

May 12, 2016 - 08:53
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It was a night of disappointment for many of the Eurovision’s camper than camp contestants as they failed to qualify for Saturday’s final.

Jamala wins Eurovison

By Henrietta Knight

It was a night of disappointment for many of the Eurovision’s camper than camp contestants as they failed to qualify for Saturday’s final.


The most surprising act to be sent home from the semi final in Stockholm was Belarus’ Ivan. He had promised to sing to wolves while naked on stage, but he didn’t deliver. The wolves were digital and he was wearing a beige suit. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t get through.


Poor former Westlife guy Nicky Byrne didn’t qualify for his song Sunlight, which was a shame. Ireland often vote for us. There’s nothing like good neighbours and we need every one we can get.


It’s puzzling why most of the acts sing in English when they dislike the UK and would consider voting for North Korea rather than us if they could. This year the show has gone global. It's now shown live in China and the US. Even Australia has a contestant. Dami Im is through to the grand final after singing to a worldwide audience of more than 200 million. We should start taking this  competition more seriously rather than snobbishly presuming that we are the only country that regards it as an ironic joke.


Britain’s Eurovision hopefuls Joe and Jake have one of the best songs called You’re Not Alone, but we all know they haven’t got a hope in hell. They are in the big five – with Italy, Germany, France and Sweden – who are already through.


The evening’s glittering proceedings kicked off with a fabulous Broadway tribute by the hosts Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw. The song and dance number was so long and complicated that she looked on the verge of collapse.


It was baffling how dull as dishwater Mel Gierdoyc and Scott Mills managed to be quite so boring. Mel’s dreary one line quips and chummy manner made me yearn for a soggy bottom. Their silly Scandi drama about Jon Ola Sand’s lost headphones was indecipherable and completely pointless.


“Gripping stuff,” said Scott. At least on Saturday the competition, that’s in its 61st year, will be over… until 2017.

There are 15 Comments

AdrienneB's picture

For me, the most exciting part of the evening by a long way was spotting my old friend David in the audience straight after Kaliopi performed for F.Y.R Macedonia.
But on to the show. The Swedish presenters are very irritating but less so than the smug and boring Scott Mills, who looks like he would rather be anywhere else. I like Mel Giedroyc but she may as well have not bothered trying to be funny as Scott was only interested in listening to himself. Their sketches during the interval were cringeworthy to say the least.
The songs and singers themselves weren't too bad this evening, although they were often accompanied by the unexplained gymnast or weird dancer.
But where were the accordions? As the sadly missed Sir Terry Wogan often said "It's not Eurovision without the accordions".
The victors did not include Ireland nor Denmark, two prolific previous winners. Instead we had warbling Ukraine (please shut her up), bubblegum Belgium (ripping off Fleur East) and Justs from Latvia. It's possible that boy bands are unpopular this year. Not a good omen for our own Joe and Jake on Saturday night then
One of my secret favourites Poland somehow managed to get through, (as did non European Australia) and I can only assume this was because of the enthusiasm of the Polish population in the UK. So, a big high five to them.
What will Saturday's final bring?
Justin Timberlake. Yes. Really.

Kevin O'Sullivan's picture

Great review. Agreed there were no hilariously useless acts. It was all a bit slick. Pity. Meanwhile, Mel n Scott were so unfunny it hurt. And I genuinely think Joe and Jake have the best song. But everybody hates the UK, so they'll come 23rd if they're lucky.

LaughsDee's picture

Please be aware of flashing lights! and ladies in strange tights!!! A naked man upon the stage ooh gasp they'll be an outrage but phew you spared our blushes. Have all the ladies bought their dresses at the same shop oh Lady Ga Ga must be fuming. Mel and Scott are not amusing and to tell Nicky Byrne you were once young. Australia why!! Terry Wogan was Mr Eurovision he made the show bearable. How many points will UK get on Saturday ? Justin Timberlake will perform on the night ooh let's hope Mel doesn't get in a tizz ooh all that free fizz, and think he's one of the contestants on the night. My votes go to Justin if you asking Mel. Eurovision ooh love or loathe it, you know you have to watch on the night.

andysimon55's picture

I'm very fond of Europe. I've seen a good bit of it over the years. And I like to think that I am pretty "Open Minded" when it comes to differences between cultures.

However all that completely falls apart when the
Eurovision Song Contest comes around.

This OTT music fest which every year at this time explodes onto our screens with all the gusto, bells and whistles the lucky host country (if you can call them that) can muster showers us (via huge amounts of state of the art technology) with what is the best music (ahem) Europe has to offer.

And to be fair some of it (dare I say) is not all that bad.

However to a large extent I view this entire contest as a kind of musical annual report on the current mental state of Europe generally and to be honest . . .

I'm a little worried.

I mean let's face it; we've seen it all on this show over the years.

For example; in 2006 there was Finland’s prosthetic-clad metallers, Lordi and their winning song, Hard Rock Hallelujah, then there was Ireland's Dustin the Turkey in 2008 (who can forget that one?) then there was Moldova's 2011 entry, Zdob şi Zdub - "So Lucky" Pointy hats and a trumpet playing fairy riding a unicycle?

What was that all about? Oh there's more . . .

Who can forget about the Russian grandmas performing a song about partying in 2012? Must have brought a tear to Putin's eye. It definitely brought a tear to mine but for all the wrong reasons. And finally; there was Conchita Wurst, Rise Like a Phoenix in 2014

For me personally, a warbling woman with a beard who goes on to win what is considered by some as the biggest song show on the planet proves beyond all doubt that Eurovision and Europe as a whole is as diverse and as crazy as you can get when it comes to big visual effects, weird stage performances and eye popping outrageous displays of eccentricity.

It can only happen in Europe. And this got me thinking.

In June this year; us Brits will be going to the polls to decide whether or not to remain part of the European Union and I'm wondering (taking into account the sheer musical madness that is Eurovision) if leaving is a good idea?

Just think of what you'll be leaving behind!

Because with each passing year; the Eurovision Song Contest proves beyond dispute time and again, that those who take part in this over the top musical circus are all stark raving bonkers. And this year's show will be yet another example of this continuing and some would say disturbing state of affairs.

But hey; it's good telly . . . isn't it?

Perhaps when all is said and done, Eurovision is something everyone needs to watch, like it was some kind of "Right of Passage" towards sexual maturity? Or maybe you should watch it just to see if all those rumours about it are true.

Trust me; they are.

Kevin O'Sullivan the renowned TV Critic and trusted guide and guardian of our televisual wellbeing in TV land suggested that we write a review on Eurovision prior to tomorrows extravaganza in Stockholm Sweden.

I thought I would take up his advice for two reasons.

Firstly I will be way too traumatized (and drunk probably) to write one after watching it and secondly; you really shouldn't ignore advice freely given from those you admire and respect.

And if all that Eurovision razzmatazz is way too boring for you, there's always the political voting at the end of the show to enjoy. Did I say Political?

Ooh the very thought. Tut tut Andy.

Enjoy the show.

And thanks for reading.


22000Days's picture

Oh What a Night!!

For one glorious moment the UK song was in the top half of the Eurovision scoreboard but inevitably began to slide down to leaderboard especially once the televotes came in. Still, looking on the bright side at least we weren't bottom with 'nil points'.

As the jury results poured (ok tricked) in, I began to think if the people voting had heard the same as I had - I mean the UK expert jury giving what I considered to be the worst song of the night douze points was almost unbelieveable!

The gulf between experts and public opinion was wide to say the least - Poland was bottom with 7 points before the televote and ended up in the top 5 but it has to be said the new scoring system did add some tension to the occasion. I felt sorry for that well-known European country Australia as they were pipped to the post by possibly the second worst song of the night by Ukraine.

Perhaps we should scrap the EU vote on 23 June and just go with the Eurovision result instead - it's pretty clear the rest of Europe doesn't like us much!

BTW Unusually I did like the UK song and thought Joe and Jake' did a pretty good job and the Swedes put on a wonderful show!

NancyD's picture

So the Ukraine's Jamala won Eurovision with a politically-charged dirge.

She's the first Crimean Tartar to enter the contest in its 61 year history. The Russians tried to have her song about the deportation of her people banned altogether. Perhaps if they had their way, Joe and Jake might not have done so badly.

The UK duo came 24th - or 3rd to last with their catchy tune You're Not Alone. That's despite the fact that the judges seemed to like them.

Some people are trying to blame our pathetic result on the new voting system, but it's really because no one in Europe likes us. Blame it on Brexit.

It was very sweet when Graham Norton gave a nod to his predecessor Sir Terry Wogan, who died in January. He's worth every penny of the millions of pounds paid by the BBC. Not.

But as Jamala screamed as she held her trophy: "Peace and love." Yeah man.

Another year, another Eurovision. Why do we bother to watch this rubbish? Because it's hilariously funny and extremely silly. Roll on next year!

SyJohnEwing's picture

My Review Of this Years 2016 EuroVision

But just before EuroVision What the hell was Dale Winton Wearing?

A Big Suit and Shoulder Pads are we back to 1970s ? (Dallas)

So on with the show, The Beginning was like a 90’s version of “No Limit” by “2Unlimited” now that takes me back, Are they still stuck in a loop hole ???
What the heck are those paper costumes about? And wearing Bridget Jones’s Knickers ?

Ok I wrote every act on a Post It not with their rating out of 10 and other comments, Sorry this is not an Essay.
1. Belgium – Catchy, Good Euro Pop, 8/10

2. Chz – Lotr of Triangles and backing singers not shown ??? 6/10

3. Netherlands – The Clock background good, Guitar playing whilst singing great, but seemed very Country, Good Entertainer. 7/10

4. Azbajan – Love the Gold Mic, It seemed she was mimicking “Shakira” the Male Dancers were a treat LOL, 8/10

5. Hungary – A very Gravel voice, what was the Whistling about? The Monk/Tibet guy was not in time with the drums, the Backing singers were not in time, the whole chorography was Shite, the Guy 8/10 the whole thing 6/10

6. Italy – Strange, but good but way too crowded, why all the FX ? 6/10

7. Israel – It was like a EMO singing, his Hair belongs on a horse, a very weak song. 5/10

8. Bulgaria – The Makeup was great, A “Toyah Willcox” look a like, Very good, the costume has a bit of a “faux pas” we thought she had not trimmed down below, Ewwwww

9. Sweden – It was a Peace Song, the guy was a “Heart Throb”, it was a very brave and bold move to have just one person. 9/10

10. Germany – The costume was Quirky, the Stage effects OK, the the song was Boring. 4/10

11. France – Great Stage Effects, Great Uplift Song, Good Voices, Great Lyrics, 8.5/10

12. Poland – Umm who stole Michael Jacksons Jacket ? It was a strange song, a Boring stage setup. 4/10

13. Australia – (Someone tell me again why they are I the Eurovision?) Loved her dress, A Very Strong song, the Stage setup was straight out the Movie “Minority Report” It was refreshing and great. 10/10

14. Cyprus – A Good rock band, it was way to Loud and heavy, but really good, (Did they the band turned left instead of right on the road?) 7/10

15. Serbia – Loved the stage effects, Heart felt Lyrics, A very strong Singer and full of passion. 8.5/10

16. Lithuania – Very Good, the performance was Professional and the stage setting and effects were great. 8/10

17. Croatia – It almost sounds like one of “The Corrs” singing, (I love The Corrs BTW) Why Wearing a TENT?, It was like Tutankhamun’s wife costume wise, The song was ok, A bit Gothic, the people in the back looked like death coming for you, and “Sarah Harding” look alike hair. 4/10

18. Russia – Loved the Stage Illusion Effects, A Very good Catchy Song. 8/10

19. Spain – The Hair looked great, Light Great, a Strong EuroPop Song, she looked like a young “Madonna” a very good Crowd Pleaser. 8.5/10

20. Latvia – Very Scary, Talented, but it seemed to be pushed too far, Shame. 7/10

21. Ukraine – Calming Effects, Medium Song, It Portrayed a Message of some sort? 5/10

22. Malta – Nice Dress, Her Dancers were very good. 9/10

23. Georgia – No Words – 6/10

24. Austria – Why singing in French ? She looked like a Suger Plub Fairy. 5/10

25. UK – The stage looked like a Top Of The Pops Set, A Very Euro Pop Song, Very Proud. 8/10

26. Armania – How much Smoke on Stage ??? Very good Hologram Effects on Stage, But it was like “Mariah Carey” Screams and Shrieks. And what was with the Hoover Boards? Too Lazy to Dance ??? 5/10

I just would like to add that Graham Norton's "Toast" to Sir Terry Wogan bought a tear to my eye.

Heres to next year, Umm but what if we are not in the EU ???

AdrienneB's picture

For me, this years contest was actually very exciting. Admittedly there was no real novelty act, but I didn't miss that. The hosts, last years winner Mans Zelmerlow and comedian Petra Mede changed from being irritating during the semi finals to being hilarious, and helped the 3 and a
half hours run as smoothly as possible. Sweden could host the contest every year whoever wins, such is their professionalism and enthusiasm.

The show got under way with the Belgian entry, which did nothing for me. Although to give young Laura Tesoro her due, she danced well and had energetic backing dancers instead of a gimmicky shadow show behind her. I enjoyed The Netherlands entry, Douwe Bob a young good looking guy with a golden voice. His country style song following on from when Calm After the Storm did so well in 2014 for The Common Linnets.

The next 24 acts all drifted by in a haze of wind machines, shadow backdrops and mesmerising light shows. I should have liked Cyprus perhaps but sadly they looked like an aged rock band and sounded like a boy band. I couldn't watch Georgia due to the serious amount of flashing lights, so I don't really get the Noel Gallagher references I saw on Twitter. Austria was a sweet song, but I guess that was the problem, being sweet doesn't fare well. The only "wacky" act this year was Jamie Lee who sang a fairly decent song called Ghost for Germany. Her stage outfit was a mash up of Bjork and Lene Lovitch, therefore she didn't stand a "Ghost" of a chance (see what I did there?).

The worst singer of the night for me was a clearly nervous Croatia who insisted on wearing that daft coat only to have it removed again. My personal favourites Azerbaijan, Israel, Russia, Poland and Australia all shone brightly and eventually fared well in the voting. Compared to the UK anyway, which wasn't hard. I thought Ukraine would have no chance, despite my son assuring me for weeks that they were certain winners.

The interval was long and drawn out, Justin Timberlake's performance as bland as expected. I could also have lived without the "Elizabeth Woodruffe" character sketch, which was neither funny nor necessary. However, Petra and Mans saved the night by performing a brilliant mock up Eurovision song called Love Love Peace Peace. I'm going to watch that again later, it was so good! 2006 winners Lordi made a guest appearance as did 2009 winner Alexander Rybak. If there were more past winners, I didn't notice them.

Anyway, onto the split voting which was brutal and confusing. The UK were looking in a relatively good (for us) position after the jury votes, but the placing all went crazy once the televotes were declared.
It was devastating to watch as we slid further and further down the table after only scoring 8 from the public. How did lovely Poland only get 7 points from the jury votes but 222 from the public televote? Barmy! Australia, who had a great song and amazing singer scored 191 from televoting but 320 from the jury giving them second place. It's a pity because I think we would have got to host next years contest had Australia triumphed.

Russia scored 361, the highest of the night from televoting but came third as they only scored 130 from the jury votes. Ukraine with their rather intense politically overtoned offering scored 323 from televotes and 211 from the jury votes. Hence Ukraine was the winner. Hmmm. Not political you say? Ok, nobody said that. It is political. Despite all the camp sensationalism, the voting still remains political. The UK really needs a few more allies: Ireland and Malta are not enough to help us fare better than our annual 24th position.

Roll on next year!

mansellmum's picture

Thought I would have a look after BGT finished, wish I hadn't now. I thought our song was pretty good (1st time I had heard it) so was a little bit hopeful for a reasonable outcome this year. It was not to be, watched our poor act Joe and Jake slip slowly to the bottom of the scoreboard, whilst I swore relentlessly at all the countries who didn't give us any points, kids were in hysterics, "Mum they can't hear you" I didn't care at that point, I shouted anyway. Am convinced even if The Beatles, reformed and did a medley of all their songs, we would still come bottom, we are obviously hated that much. Last night was the best reason I can think of now for voting out in June, bring it on!

suzt99's picture

Joan Rivers RIP would have had enough material (see what I did there?) in this one show to make a 7-series TV extravaganza. Every single person on the show (and probably in the audience) wore the most visually-violent ensembles I have ever seen in my entire life. I can't wait for next year!

jen the american's picture

Our household had an engaging evening watching the best in cheesy performances take part.
The new voting system was perhaps a bit confusing and certainly proved to work against Australia.
Sweet that the Italians kept to their own language, is this because they don't speak English?
Cant wait for next year.
Although if Australia can take part why can't we??
Let's get Trumped and make it a brand new world!
Jen The American.

Kevin O'Sullivan's picture

Saturday's show was screened live for the first time in America and China. So, trust me, America and China will be taking part sooner rather than later. I can hardly wait. Eurovision makes up the rules as it goes along. Thanks for the review.

Hazeleyes's picture

On watching the Eurovision Saturday night, very dissapointed in voting system, too complicated, and I'm sure most of the numbers were made up.

They need to stick to the old system, to make it fairer . Graham Norton was exceptional especially the tribute to sir terry wogan very touching. . The hosts were hilarious love peace love was a great send up of Eurovision and apart from the voting the whole show was well staged and a great night best one for a long time

Nige Smith's picture

After liberating, giving aid and generally doing our best to help Europe in the last 70 years or so, it is obvious that the pleasantry ended in about 1945. For some reason only known to themselves the voters and judging panel do have it in for us. Yes some of our songs have been shite, yes some of them more than that, but do we really deserve to be the whipping boys or Euro Pop?

The whole show is very lavish, Sweden did a great job, but why do all these countries take the contest so seriously. Most of the artists are only legends in their own Euro lunch hour and many of them would not even trouble the top 60 let alone top 40 here. The majority of the songs sound the same, like they have literally been churned by a European Radio Friendly version of Stock Aitken and Dennis Waterman. "I could be so good to you".

With so many songs the same the ones that do stand out become almost freakish in their appeal. A Kate Bush clone, a sort of poor mans Mumford & Sons, some sort of rock and of course the happy clappy Brit entry which was actually quite good mixed up the event.

Leotards, catsuits and some bizarre costumes and stage settings made for a visual Alice in Wonderland spectacle. All we needed was the March hare, a Mad Hatter and bingo, a tea party.

Slick hosts an American superstar pop idol miming it and a very unfunny Vicious sketch, followed by the Swedes making a good job of actually taking the piss out of the whole thing, lightened the tone. A compilation of famous Swedes in a musical montage only made the case for ABBA being absolutely brilliant even more ardent.

Eurovision, why do we really bother? Because we have too!

Nige Smith's picture

Great review Adrienne, Timberlake must have been offered some serious money to atrociously lipsync his way through that. At least the other artists sang, he should be ashamed of himself.