After two successful semi-finals, the grand final took off at a God-awful hour in Baku given that it’s a couple hours ahead of the majority of Europe. If you don’t know where Azerbaijan is, then take a look and carry your map farther East than Turkey on the Caspian Sea. With the lovely hosts entertaining, the final was a grand spectacle and featured a lot of spokespersons during the voting to show off their skills in Azerbaijani, some with resounding success!

United Kingdom – Engelbert Humperdinck
❗ Presonal Favourite
FN.01.United Kingdom - Engelbert Humperdinck

Despite coming in second last place and by and large being the most successful or most well known legend singer ever in the history of Eurovision, Mr. Humperdinck came to the show with a very well written song, but executed it less than favourably. I found that his vocals were a bit off, but the song itself has wonderful lyrics and wonderful melody. The sad part about it is that there are so many ballads in the show, that it likely just got lost in the shuffle, and given that it’s part of the apathetic UK area, which recently has been very anti-Europe, I’m not surprised in the slightest at it’s failure. Despite the flop, Engelbert Humperdinck is still a star and a legend. On a personal note, my grandmother is a huge fan and was super surprised to hear that he was competing in Eurovision!

Hungary – Compact Disco
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.02.Hungary - Compact Disco

This song is a bit of everything; a good melody, a good backing, decent lyrics, and a modern pop/rock feel to it. Despite the stage show being much better in the final than the qualification rounds I don’t think the song made a huge impact on many people. The English pronunciation is absolutely horrible, and it’s difficult to figure out what’s going on, but it’s super funky and should have done a little bit better in comparison to some other entries this year. Too bad Hungary, but thanks for coming!

Albania – Rona Nishliu
=> 5th Place
FN.03.Albania - Rona Nishliu

The reputation of Albania is to send funky simple songs, and this one is no different than the others. Displaying very good vocals it was a favourite of many people simply for the vocal ability but the song was very out there and didn’t reverberate in my soul. I found that it was a very angry ballad that left me thinking that she was just screaming into the microphone the entire time; which essentially she was. Regardless of all that, it was a decent over-all performance, but looking at it makes it very awkward. What’s with the hair, the dress, and the vocals? Freaky delicious. It takes a lot of guts to get on a stage and sing your heart out (quite literally), but in the end it left me feeling empty, and I wan to feel filled up.

Lithuania – Donny Montell
FN.04.Lithuania - Donny Montell

Funky disco mishmash blind man takes the stage and busts a few sexy moves for the crowd. At first I didn’t like the song, but it grew on me, but then it ends so suddenly it just makes me feeling like there was something missing. The more that I watch it, the more attractive Donny gets (where I thought he was quite hideous at the beginning), but as it turns out he’s not blind, and he can shake his hips so much that I can come to no other conclusion than him being a bomb in bed. I wouldn’t know, but hips don’t lie bitches!

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maya Sar
FN.05.Bosnia & Hezergovina - Maya Sar

Of all the ballads in the competition this year, this one is one of the weakest overall in my opinion. It’s simple, and it leaves a lot to be desired, but what bothers me the most is the unnecessary usage of wind generators for this performance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the wind in Eurovision but this one just didn’t fit at all and it left the singer looking frazzled and her hair going all over the place. Good effort, but I won’t be humming along anytime soon.

Russia – Buranovskiey Babushki
=> 2nd Place
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.06.Russia - Buranovskiey Babushki

I find it absolutely amazing how successful this song is in Europe, especially given how poor the vocals are. I guess it proves that you don’t have to be a great singer to almost win, but then again what was going on stage wasn’t anything to write home about. It’s very charming to have a bunch of Udmurt women from God-knows-where in Russia (the mountains no doubt) that come with a super-hip written by someone modern with a million key changes. It’s Eurovision pie, no kidding, but what was the most charming about the whole situation was the fact that for the last few years these women were trying to go to Eurovision and win singing competitions in order to get funding to build a church in their town. I’m sure after this whirlwind tour they will be breaking ground on construction any time. Heartwarming, fun dancing, all around goodness; yay Eurovision!

Iceland – Gréta Salóme & Jónsi
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.07.Iceland - Gréta Salóme & Jónsi

Originally this song was a personal favourite of mine but the more I see and hear it the more it gets a little more annoying to me. This does not take away from the uniqueness and very “Icelandic” yet in English flavour that it offers, it’s a very dark and stormy song almost something that I would expect to come out of the dark cold winters of Finland, but there was something that just clashed in my viewing and listening. I think that it’s mostly because Jónsi has been in Eurovision before and his looks have somehow deteriorated and look much more fake and tired. His face has become all mushed up and time has not been very kind to him; regardless of that it may be some sort of sickness, and his voice is still good, but I tend to skip over the song because I don’t want my love for Iceland to be diminished!

Cyprus – Ivi Adamou
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.08.Cyprus - Ivi Adamou

Quite honestly I don’t know why this placed in 16th and not somewhere in the top 10. I know that you can only have Sweden win (with actual entries and written entries which are all over the place this evening) but this one is just a great song, dance, performance, and entertainment. If you wanted the triple-thread of Eurovision this one is it; it’s a sexy dance number with dramatic dancing that isn’t cheesy, and is uber sexy. Absolutely gorgeous choreography and a song that not only will be the summer hit for summers to come, but it’s a super 5 star favourite on my iPod playlist! Let’s go Cyprus!

France – Anggun
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.09.France - Anggun

France really has difficulty with their songs; one year they have a huge hit with a controversial artist, the next they have a throw away song, and then they bring in a huge star to try to change the tides and it doesn’t work. As devoted to trying as France is, this one was a good one in my book and it just plain flopped with the viewers. Anggun is a Franco-Indonesian superstar and sings well, has fucking gorgeous gymnasts to entertain us, and yet nobody really looks at it and thinks “wow that’s great” even though damn, wow it’s great! I’m sure, like most things in French culture they will be bitter over it for ever, and rip it to pieces, but I think that it was a good entry that just sadly flopped.

Italy – Nina Zilli
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.10.Italy - Nina Zilli

I think that part of France’s failure is the fact that it was followed by the ever popular Italy. They always send traditional with a twist songs and this year was no exception. Dubbed as Italy’s Amy Winehouse (God rest her soul) she didn’t disappoint with her jazzy-upbeat song that really speaks to the feminist in all of us. She has a freaking fabulous voice that is clear yet raspy enough to be seductive, and is absolutely gorgeous. It came top-10 which is less than favourable for entries that were tipped to win, but I think that it was a fantastic effort for the Italians for the third year running.

Estonia – Ott Lepland
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.11.Estonia - Ott Lepland

I can not repeat it enough, this song hit me like a big fucking yellow school bus. It hit me so hard that I fell off the sofa when watching, and every time that I listen to the song and crank up the volume it brings tears to my eyes. I’m pulled in with Ott’s adorable aura, and then further pulled with his beautiful voice, and the warm vowel sounds of Estonian, and then I’m slapped in the face making me feel like he’s breaking my heart because he’s being ripped up inside. He’s fucking hot, the song is fucking sexy as all fuck, and I listen to it on repeat and sing it walking down the street all the time. I’m sure I look and sound like a freak, but my God it’s a great song. As Estonia climbed the ranks in the scoreboards (thanks to a late Estonian gold rush) it came up to 6th place (d’oh!) but really we all know that the only thing left to happen is for him to marry me.

Norway – Tooji
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.12.Norway - Tooji

Dead last, and it kind of made me laugh a little. The running joke was the the lyrics don’t do the song justice, I mean “I don’t know what I’m doing” clearly sums up that this song was just destined for failure. It made it through the semi-finals but the overall fun aspect of it was lost in me. It’s funky and modern, and super-gay like you wouldn’t believe. I feel like every time the women were singing “na-na-na-na” it was meant to turn on the gay population as some sort of sexual innuendo. Did any of you pick up on that? Keeping on that note, despite Norway’s failure, I don’t doubt for a second that he didn’t get laid that night. Just saying.

Azerbaijan – Sabina Babayeva
=> 4th Place
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.13.Azerbaijan - Sabina Babayeva

Wow diva Azerbaijani singer with the funkiest dress and most awesome lighting in combination with the dress just took my breath away. Her voice isn’t what I like most, but it’s an amazingly beautiful one regardless. I’m just shocked that it did so well, and that she could have easily been placed higher if some of the other songs flopped a little bit. However, I don’t think that she or anyone could have overcome the freight-train that was Loreen.

Romania – Mandinga
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.14.Romania - Mandinga

The song is fun and fantastically awesome but live it really leaves much to be desired. It’s creative in the way that it’s sung in Spanish by a Romanian, which wins it points culturally, and the fact that it has accordions and is a fantastic euro summer hit will gain it polarity beyond Eurovision, but frankly speaking the whole act just left too much on the table where there was a lot of potential. It will be a favourite of mine on my iPod for a long time to come!

Denmark – Soluna Samay
FN.15.Denmark - Soluna Samay

Truth be told I’m happy that Denmark crashed and burned in the Final, and the fact that the song qualified is a mystery to me. The outfit of Soluna is so ridiculous and dirty looking that it’s difficult to look at, so I averted my eyes and focused on the background where, get this, there was a cellist that is hot as fuck and dressed like a thug. I don’t normally like the thug style, but with a cello it’s freaking hot. Twelve points to the cellist, and null points to Soluna.

Greece – Eleftheria Eleftheriou
FN.16.Greece - Eleftheria Eleftheriou

A typical Greek entry during a time when I’m surprised Greece can afford to even broadcast the show after paying the EBU. Financially battered Greece elected to send a simple smiley girl that dances all over the place and gets sexually assaulted by her dancers on several occasions during the piece. Yes this can appeal to people in the Balkan basin, but it wasn’t my cup of tea at all and felt like a Eurovision washed up hit that’s been done before. Just because you’re Greek, doesn’t make you an aphrodisiac!

Sweden – Loreen
=> Winner
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.17.Sweden - Loreen

The masterpiece won, and all the bookies that thought it would were dead on. Winning with ridiculous points over the 2nd place singers from Russia, Loreen rocked the show with her shy and reserved attitude. Darkened in the most artistic rendition of a performance I’ve seen in a long time, with fantastic vocals and relatable music, she took art, song, dance, and culture to a whole new level. She made Sweden proud and enabled Eurovision Song Contest to return to Sweden. Sadly it likely won’t happen in Stockholm as there are some scheduling conflicts, but I’m sure Göteborg or Malmö will jump at the chance to welcome the world to their doorstep. See you in Sweden 2013!

Turkey – Can Bonomo
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.18.Turkey - Con Bonomo

My first review was very negative, but I came around. I looked at the whole act as being cheesy (which it frankly is) but I noticed that it was more culturally appropriate and funny yet serious in the grand scheme of things. Can, is well, hot, and he’s being danced around by a bunch of men with capes that end up making a boat for him to sail away because he’s not being loved back, but it’s hot because they are manly Turkish men that are all wearing makeup and eyeliner. It’s got to be some sort of crime back in Turkey, but the cheeky grin and seductive looks of the singer make it worth it, even if his English is atrocious and can barely be intelligible at all. They would have been better to sing it in Turkey, but the act, was entertaining!

Spain – Pastora Soler
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.19.Spain - Pastora Soler

Spain barely ever gets it right, but this year they brought a monster ballad with a singer with a fantastically powerful voice. It starts out slow and gentle but ends with a massive bang and is very empathetic. It’s fantastic piece of music, and a beautiful display of colours, beauty, and simplicity. Kudos to Spain for getting it right, and despite a top-10 finish, I think they should be very proud of themselves for a job well done!

Germany – Roman Lob
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.20.Germany - Roman Lob

Soft on the eyes, soft on the ears, and a heart-throb, there is no way that Germany was going to flop this year! I bet that 80% of the televotes were cast because Roman is hot, and the antithesis of what Eurovision is about, and the remaining 20% because it was a good song. Regardless of those voting results and finishing within the top-10, he’s so boy-next-door that it makes me sick, and truth be told it was never a winner in the long run. A good song, with a good vocals, and something nice to look at for three minutes.

Malta – Kurt Calleja
FN.21.Malta - Kurt Calleja

I originally favourites this, but the song just irritates me now. It’s okay vocals, but is a total shamble on the stage. Guitarists with skinny jeans and emo glasses only further the hipster style that this act is trying to go, and hipster, as try hard as it is, doesn’t work for me and doesn’t work for this type of music. Nice try, but my initial love for this faded and I saw the light!

F.Y.R. Macedonia – Kaliopi
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.22.F.Y.R. Macedonia - Kaliopi

Simple, powerful, amazing vocals, and a good representative to the competition, this one was a dark horse in my book. I sing along with it, and I think the dramatic diva attitude and theatrics of Kaliopi only make her even more fabulous! She’s gorgeous and has a simple song, and executes it to absolute perfection. I don’t like rock, but I freaking love this song!

Ireland – Jedward
FN.23.Ireland - Jedward

Go back to Ireland and stay there. I never want to see you in Eurovision again, despite the song being marginally better than last year. Spastic twins that look like rats don’t amuse me and their singing and bouncing around the stage only makes me want to give them all some sort of ADHD medicine to shut them up. As a side note, when they got all sexy in the preview I groaned, and then when they got wet at the end, I groaned even more because they looked like albino rats that got wet. Yuck! Go home!

Serbia – Željko Joksimović
=> 3rd Place
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.24.Serbia - Željko Joksimović

Welcome back to the competition, and as always a great star is born. Though he had no chance against Loreen and the Russian grannies, he gave it a good go with his Balkan ballad that is both cultural and empathetic. He’s aged quite a bit since the last competition, as the wrinkles are visible but he’s got a sexy voice and a simple yet effective song. Serbia just gets better with age, and I don’t doubt that we will meet again in Belgrade in the next decade.

Ukraine – Gaitana
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.25.Ukraine - Gaitana

I compared Gaitana with Tina Turner the last time, but I really think that she’s more like a late Whitney Huston with her diva-esque prowess. Though she doesn’t look Ukrainian in the slightest, she seems to be culturally connected. Malta still wants their coco-dance outfits back, and after further analysis of the song, I noticed that it’s a bunch of hot men with paint on their chests in skirts. Kinda hot to be honest, despite the intense voice that overwhelms all. I’m not really sure about the act as a whole, but it was good enough to deserve a silver star from me!

Moldova – Pasha Parfeny
❗ Personal Favourite
FN.26.Moldova - Pasha Parfeny

Quirky, attractive, well sung, traditional, good message, all around good act. Moldova got it right this year, even if the English was horrible, but it didn’t matter because the entire time I was watching I was begin convinced that it was a show and that they were having fun. That’s what really matters, because I think deep down they knew they wouldn’t be winners, but still represented their country well and proudly! Good job Moldova!

So in conclusion it was a wonderful year for Eurovision, despite needing to travel to a place that isn’t really in Europe, and that is about the same distance from Iceland to the rest of Europe, but in the direction of Asia. See you next year in Sweden and I hope you enjoyed my review; I welcome all comments, even if you don’t agree!