"I think Sweden is going to win, I hope it's Italy, as long as it's not Russia."
Well, I knew the top three and while I didn't personally like Russia's song, there were quite a few reasons, why I didn't want Russia to win, the most important being that they would get to host the ESC and it's just not a suitable place for that kind of event. (And personally, considering the fact that a country had to withdraw from the contest BECAUSE OF RUSSIA, I think they should have been banned from entering.) In Sweden's case, I did like the song, but since they had won only a few years ago (and because they were so bloody arrogant), I'd have preferred another country to win. I was okay with Sweden's win, but that changed, when I found out that Italy had won the televoting by a wide margin. I get the point of the juries. Rather than prevent neighbour voting (it really doesn't help), they DO prevent diaspora voting, although why people care so much that their country of origin wins some song contest is beyond me. However, I don't like the idea that a group of people have so much more influence than the rest of the country's population that actually spends money voting for their favourite - only for nothing when it turns out that the music taste of a few individuals differs from the majority.
It hasn't made me angry until now though, because at least it hasn't made a difference concerning the winner. The jury's point was to prevent neighbour and diaspora voting, yet it turns out that the jury was more likely to vote for their neighbours than their people were.. who awarded Italy more points. Take the Nordic countries for example: Overall, their people awarded more points to Italy than the juries and vice versa with Sweden. Yeah... Italy would have received the maximum 12 points from fourteen countries (including Nordic country Iceland whose jury placed fellow Nordic countries Sweden and Norway first and second respectively). Sweden's only 12 points would have been from Australia and neighbours Denmark and Norway. Finland's jury interestingly ranked Latvia first and then Sweden. The people's top 3 were Estonia, Sweden, Italy. Yes.. we've got some neighbours there, but it's not like that was the only factor. NOBODY is unbiased. Even when it's not exactly the "Armenia and Azerbaijan ALWAYS placing each other last no matter what" ridiculousness, there is no such thing as an impartial jury. In the end, just like the general public, they're going to vote for what they personally like. There are s no "objective" criteria. (Although, what do I know? maybe a few do have some critiera. Still hasn't stopped block voting.
Italy doesn't benefit from diaspora votes. It hasn't got a ton of neighbours, yet the jury system meant to give a better chance to countries like these screwed them out of their win. Fucking ironic, but also unjust.
Another fun thing is that the Lithuania's jury placed Russia at the bottom, while the people would have ranked it third. The supposedly impartial jury was the one making a political vote. Yeah...
The fact is that a good song has a wide appeal and putting the juries in the mix distorts that and goes against democracy. Sweden was going to get high points from fellow Nordic countries, because it was good enough. Italy was going to get high points from neighbours, because it was good enough. They also both got points from countries across Europe (and Asia and Australia). Same goes for Russia. However, the most widely liked song ends up third, because a small portion of people happen to not like it. OF COURSE not everyone is going to like Italy or Sweden or Russia, but it's such bullshit that THEIR opinion cancels that of many.
Even if a song I fucking HATE wins the ESC it's still better than my favourite winning thanks to a jury. I can complain about people's shitty taste, I can wonder how my own opinion differs from the majority, but at least I don't have to deal with this autocratic bullshit.
Also.. Finland would have made it to the final, if it weren't for the juries. I think the song is shit and I absolutely understand why it wouldn't appeal to a jury, but they shouldn't be the ones to determine that. I also thought Hungary was shit and that went through thanks to the juries.
I think the really sad thing is that a country, who sang in their own language, got robbed. It really sucks to give a message that you do better singing in English. In 2013 San Marino had a (IMO) great song sung in Italian that failed to make the final. A clearly (IMO) inferior song the following year sung in English made it. (This year nothing was going to help though :D ) It makes me even angrier.
Hopefully, the guys from Italy won't feel bad (they're pretty darn successful anyway) and take some comfort in the fact that the people wanted them to win. :P
Anyway... my favourites were: Estonia, Italy, Sweden, Montenegro (Finland's jury ranked them almost dead last, while the people would have given them points), Israel, Spain, Romania, Belgium, Germany, Australia. Most of them did pretty well. I didn't expect Germany to do well, but 0 points was harsh. I expected Spain to do better as well. (Hmm.. my top 2 got screwed by the jury... Estonia would have also been 5th instead of 7th. Not that bad, because it's not like it was first place, but Finland would have given their 12 points to Estonia, probably easily too. GAH.)