There was a moment about half way through the voting when it looked like Russia was going to win. For what it’s worth, I’d taken a break from watching the contest to take the garbage out and had missed their entry, so I had no idea what the fuss was all about. In the Green Room, Conchita Wurst kept telling the woman from Russia she deserved to win. I’m not entirely sure the Russian viewers would have seen this, as there was a lot of talk on social media, Russian television had censored Conchita. Shortly afterwards, thankfully, Måns Zelmerlöw began to take a lead, and there was a clear moment when it became obvious he would win.
Måns wasn’t actually my preferred candidate. At Melodifestivalen (the Swedish finals leading to Eurovision) I was actually supporting Jon Henrik Fjällgren, the Colombian-born, Sami-raised reindeer herder. However, my philsophy around Eurovision is that, like footy, you should always support your team, and so when Måns was announced as the Swedish winner I threw my support behind him.
He’s not without controversy, though. Even though I first saw him perform at Stockholm Pride in 2008, and he made a spectacular nude performance at last year’s Gay Gala in Stockholm, he’s been getting a reputation on a number of websites as being homophobic. He made some comments on a Swedish TV show last year along the lines of it being “more natural” for men and women to be together because of their capacity to have children. Before the program went to air, he sought to have the comments removed from the program. Soon afterwards he issued a strong apology. The “word on the street” is that he isn’t homophobic.
That aside, Heroes is a pretty good song (memorable in lots of ways) and the concept and performance of the presentation was excellent.
I thought it was terrific that Sweden and Australia both exchanged twelve points. I’ve written before there’s an odd connection between our two countries in lots of ways: almost exactly opposite geographically; a sparse population, though most people seem to live in a small area; and of course, people in both countries drink too much. BTW, Måns visited Australia a few months ago and seemed to enjoy himself.
Throughout the day I’ve received quite a few emails, social media interactions and text messages all with basically the same message: “Have you booked for Sweden yet?” Am I really that obvious? Yeah, I guess so. Tickets don’t go on sale until much closer to the event. I will, however, start looking around for accommodation for next year.