Azerbaijan Wins Eurovision 2011


The win as seen on the big screen in Düsseldorf.

Azerbaijan last night became the 11th winner in a row to win Eurovision after performing in the last 8 songs. Despite the re-introduction of the juries and opening the voting lines at the beginning of the show it still seems a song can’t win if it’s performed in the first two thirds of the show. Whatever the influence of their place in the running order Azerbaijan were deserving winners, pulling off a confident performance with simple, quite beautiful staging and choreography. El and Nikki’s on-stage chemistry was a million times better than last year’s 4th-placed Chanee and N’Evergreen of Denmark.
The bookies’ favourite France bombed out in 15th place whilst the UK finished 11th, one place behind hosts Germany and also behind Ireland’s Jedward. OGAE fan poll winner Hungary finished in 22nd place while one-time favourite Estonia finished second to last.
Italy made an amazing comeback to the contest finishing in 2nd place. Where Europe obviously didn’t ‘get’ France’s Corsican opera they lapped up this piece of Italian jazz. We laughed when Italy ‘won’ the fake test vote in the Jury Final, thinking it one of the most unlikely results, but on the night they weren’t far off!
Sweden proved extremely popular, finishing in 3rd place after a smashing performance by Eric Saade, whilst Ukraine completed the top 4, helped no doubt by the ‘sand lady’. Greece finished a strong 7th with what many regarded as their weakest entry for years. Even if the song itself wasn’t great it was a good performance with some great choreography.
Azerbaijan’s 221 points was the lowest winning score since the semi finals were introduced in 2004. Votes were spread out across the scoreboard meaning even last place Switzerland avoided the dreaded nil points (10 of their 19 points came from the UK).
Düsseldorf put on an amazing show. The only thing I felt it was lacking was a proper interval act. It felt like they had offered the spot to the highest-bidding record company.

FINAL RESULTS

1. Azerbaijan 221 points
2. Italy 189
3. Sweden 185
4. Ukraine 159
5. Denmark 134
6. Bosnia & Herzegovina 125
7. Greece 120
8. Ireland 119
9. Georgia 110
10. Germany 107
11. United Kingdom 100
12. Moldova 97
13. Slovenia 96
14. Serbia 85
15. France 82
16. Russia 77
17. Romania 77
18. Austria 64
19. Lithuania 63
20. Iceland 61
21. Finland 57
22. Hungary 53
23. Spain 50
24. Estonia 44
25. Switzerland 19

SEMI FINAL SCORES REVEALED
In a surprise result Greece won the first semi final, ahead of Azerbaijan. Sweden won the second semi with Denmark coming second.

Poor Stella Mwangi of Norway finished in 17th place behind San Marino. To think she was once 4/1 favourite. Belgium and Malta were also surprise 11th place finishers in their respective semi finals.

I think I have learnt my lesson this year about waiting until the day before the final to place my bets. I made a nice return on Azerbaijan but my profit was dented from losses on France and UK and earlier lost bets on Norway and Turkey.

I don’t think anyone knows what to expect from an Azeri final next year in Baku. Suffice to say I think they’ll manage to pull it off and won’t be afraid to try to win again.

If I had to tip a winner for next year already I’d suggest a re-invigorated Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey (who now have something to prove), Russia, one better for Italy or a second win for Azerbaijan.

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