Rotterdam 2021 – Mr Eurovision Awards & Australian TV Ratings

7 November 2021

A bit later than usual due to the extra long period of decompression and that I wanted to watch the grand final again due to a surprisingly low initial score, my Mr Eurovision Awards for Rotterdam 2021 are now ready. If you’re unfamiliar with the naming of each award, these are the title holders for the best ever winner of that award. With Cool Vibes by Vanilla Ninja still my favourite Eurovision song ever, so the award is named after it.

Stefania performing Last Dance for Greece at Eurovision 2021 Rotterdam - Mr Eurovision Awards
Stefania performing Last Dance for Greece at Rotterdam 2021 – Image: EBU/Thomas Hanses

Mr Eurovision Awards

The Cool Vibes Awards for Best Song

The winner is…

Greece – Stefania – Last Dance

Greece was always my favourite song from the start, so it was just a matter of bringing a great performance, and that Stefania did. Bulgaria was my second pick and Victoria didn’t disappoint with her evocative rendition of Growing Up Is Getting Old. In third I’ll place Albina from Croatia, who brought a great song in Tick-Tock and delivered on stage. Natalia Gordienko for Moldova was sugary sweet with Sugar, Finland (Blind Channel with Dark Side) somehow seemed to raise the intensity with every performance, and The Roop for Lithuania were great with Discoteque.

The Goodbye To Yesterday Award for Best Presentation

The winner is…

Greece – Stefania – Last Dance

The most innovative presentation of the year so an easy selection, especially since it is my favourite song too. In second is Dadi from Iceland with 10 Years who really nailed the vibe of the song and made me a big fan. Portugal’s Black Mamba in third with Love Is On My Side. Similar to Iceland, they nailed the use of the big drop down horizontal screen in their performance. Iceland had all geeky cartoon character audience bopping away while Portugal replicated an evocative promenade walk. Props to both!

The Tornero Award for Best Artistry

This is simply about being the best artist on stage with less consideration about the song or presentation. Otherwise France (Barbara Pravi with Voila) would have won it this year.

The winner is…

Italy – Måneskin – Zitti e buoni

This was a tough decision that included Bulgaria (Growing Up Is Getting Old), Albania (Anxhela Peristeri with Karma) and Portugal. While Albania and Portugal had me mesmerised initially, on repeat views you just can’t ignore Italy, especially that they did win. They delivered without much fuss – the essence of a true artist.

The Open Your Heart Award for Best Pure Song

This is purely about the song and nothing else! If it isn’t obvious already…

The winner is…

Greece – Stefania – Last Dance

As I commented in my Fab Five post, Last Dance has that epic music, raw power and glorious vocals that I like in a song. I won’t deviate from my Fab Five for second or third either, with Bulgaria (Growing Up Is Getting Old) in second and Poland (Rafal – The Ride) in third.

The Lenna Kuurmaa Award for Best Voice

This is simply about the tone and sound of the voice.

The winner is…

Greece – Stefania – Last Dance

While Stefania still has some development to go with her vocals, one of big instant attractions to Last Dance was her natural lower tone. It’s so sexy and I still get goosebumps listening to her. Albania in second and Uku Suviste from Estonia in third.

The Polina Gagarina Award for Best Vocals

The winner is…

Albania – Anxhela Peristeri – Karma

Not a stellar year for supreme vocal performances, so I return to Anxhela as my choice. In second is Portugal, who really elevated their song with some great vocals, and Israel in third. Eden Alene had some crazy range and variety, notably that high pitched squeal at the end.

The Igranka Award for Biggest Surprise

The winner is…

Portugal – The Black Mamba – Love Is On My Side

They were my 37th ranked song before Eurovision and finished just outside my top 10 overall. Serbia (Hurricane with Loco Loco) jumped from 27th to 8th overall with their high octane performance. Azerbaijan (Efendi with Mata Hari), who blew up the stage with an epic finale to their performance, rose from 32nd to being an obvious grand finalist. I’ll also mention Italy rising from 19th to10th.

The Lost And Found Award for Biggest Disappointment

The winner is…

Ireland – Lesley Roy – Maps

It looks like Lesley went with something that could translate as an alternate performance in case COVID-19 prevented her from performing, and ultimately it was a mess. A shame, because I loved her song so much. Similarly with Blas Canto from Spain with Voy A Quedarme: a superb song; disappointing on the big stage. For one of my main favourite songs, I’d have to say Poland missed the marked. There should have been some zooming lights to symbolise fast cars and “the ride”, and Rafal removing his sunglasses for part of the song was a clear fail.

The Piret Järvis Award for Hottest Girl

The winner is…

Albania – Anxhela Peristeri

Anxhela was a bit of dreamboat, being a shapely older woman. While Stefania from Greece was obviously spectacular in that body-hugging purple outfit, she’s too young. Albina from Croatia in third.

The Victor Crone Award for Hunkiest Guy

The winner is…

Estonia – Uku Suviste

He won Estonia’s sexist man at one point, and was a natural and obvious winner from Eurovision 2021. Jeangu Macrooy from Netherlands next, then Blas Canto from Spain.

The Nina Sublatti Award for Best Outfit

The winner is…

Greece – Stefania

That tight purple outfit was impossible to ignore, and was custom made for her, right down to the millimetre. Russia’s Manizha impressed with her giant babushka outfit that she rolled out in at the start, while I liked the black and white outfit on Israel’s Eden Alene. Not to forget the all yellow of The Roop from Lithuania.

The Marija from Eye Cue Award for Worst Outfit

The winner is…

Sweden – Tusse

Not a fan of the red velvet suit and the silly arm warmers, and while Switzerland was a bit of an eclectic mess in general, Gjon’s Tear’s dreadful shirt and high pants were something I could never look past. Manizha from Russia is next as while she started great, she ended up in boring, red overalls. So she gets a mention in best and worst outfit. That’s an accolade!

The Natalia Gordienko Award for Best Personality

The winner is…

Moldova – Natalia Gordienko

A new title holder, with Natalia displacing Zena from Belarus, who only acquired the title in 2019. Despite occasionally struggling with her English skills, Natalia was always bubbly and funny in interviews. In fact, her limited English made her all the more endearing, and you could see her personality in her performance too. It’s hard to ignore Tix from Norway due to his story, and also his ability to tell it. He always held your attention. Fyr & Flamme from Denmark were always fun, as you’d expect.

The Tick-Tock Award for Biggest Semi Final Injustice

This is a new category that I should have had all along.

The winner is…

Croatia – Albina – Tick-Tock

Probably not since Kate Ryan for Belgium in 2006 has there been the loudest cries of a semi final injustice as there were for Croatia in 2021. It’s made worse in that Kate Ryan had to contend with a single semi final of 23 songs then, whereas Albina couldn’t be top 10 of just 16 songs. She finished 11th – 5 points adrift from Norway. While a couple of songs did excel (like Israel and Azerbaijan) on the night, Croatia should have easily been top 5 simply on the song alone. That her performance was great should have been the guarantee. In the tougher second semi final, Denmark’s Fyr & Flamme were the obvious injustice as they were popular with the public in 7th place, only for the jury to knock them down to 11th overall.

The Estonian Stacked Shipping Container Award for Best Postcard

The winner is…

Greece – Stefania

The postcards were limited this year due to COVID-19, and Greece appealed most because it related to a key interest of mine: astronomy. Stefania was a star looking at the stars.

Detailed award references on the About page

Australian TV Ratings

The trend down in recent years continues with the shocking reality not one Eurovision show (including the prime time replays) could make the top Australian 20 shows on the day. The live grand final averaged 123,000 viewers with 170,000 when the winner was announced. The Sunday night replay was 165,000 compared to 246,000 in 2019 and 208,000 in 2018. The highest rating remains 595,000 for the 2013 grand final on Sunday night. That was the era of no live shows. In the live era, 2015 attracted 263,00 live and 592,000 for the replay.

No information could be found for the semi final live shows, probably because the ratings were so bad. For the evening replays, SF1 attracted 157,000 (107,000 when winners announced) and SF2 attracted 155,000 (107,000). As a reference, SF2 (on a Saturday night) in 2015 attracted 640,000 and in 2016 it was 599,000. The TV Tonight website is the source of these figures.

It’s now indisputable that Australia’s participation in Eurovision has coincided with a sharp decline in interest. That was no doubt made worst this year due to the polarising response to Montaigne’s Technicolour and her failure to make the grand final. In that sense, Eurovision has become like sport in that the perception and fortune of the home side affects the overall interest of the event. Instead of watching Eurovision with a broader interest and wider focus, Australians are now too obsessed about their own chances. If those chances are perceived as bad, they switch off.

Rotterdam 2021 Eurovision Grand Final Review – Måneskin does it for Italy

Rotterdam 2021 – My Top 39 & Fab Five

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