30 December 2021
With Rotterdam 2021 being one of the best Eurovision Song Contests ever, particularly the grand final, this could be the year Kyiv 2017 is finally beaten. It’s actually held the title since the first ever battle, when it beat Stockholm 2016. That was the closest battle too, with 2016 losing by just 2 points. Lisbon 2018 lost by 8 points and Tel Aviv 2019 lost by 6 points. In the cancelled Eurovision year of 2020, an unofficial battle took place, simply comparing songs, which Kyiv won by a whopping 16 points.
If you know boxing rules, you’ll know the rules here. Each round is country vs country with 10 points going to the winner, and 9 or less to the loser. If there’s no opponent for a particular round, then I award or subtract one point based on whether I like or dislike the song. There must be a winner for each round, so a 10-9 score means a close decision. The more easier the decision, the lower the score. In that sense, Kyiv 2017 starts each year badly handicapped due to several appalling songs, notably Australia, Lithuania, San Marino and Spain, and those four typically suffer bad losses. Even the likes of Albania, Armenia, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Ireland and Portugal (which won the event) are weak entries for me and struggle to win their round. Where Kyiv succeeds is consistency everywhere else, and it has some personal favourites like Czechia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Malta and Netherlands that add to popular favourites like Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Italy and Romania as reliable round winners or suffering only narrow losses.
No surprise, Kyiv lose four of the first 3 rounds by scores of 10-8. The only exception was Armenia, which got a +1 due to no opponent in 2021. The same situation repeats for Belarus. On either side of Belarus, Rotterdam 2021 also gains with Azerbaijan (10-9) and Belgium (10-7). Rotterdam wins the next 3 rounds (Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus) before Kyiv bounces back with a whopping 10-6 win from Czechia. After 11 rounds it’s Kyiv on 81 points, Rotterdam on 82 points.
2017 Anja – Where I Am
2021 Fyr & Flamme – Øve os på hinanden
For many, this is an easy win to Australia’s superlative Anja Nissen. For me, it was much closer and Anja just wins the round.
Score: Kyiv 91 – Rotterdam 91
Now we get into Kyiv’s strengths with not only some consistent countries with Estonia, France, North Macedonia, Georgia and Germany, their opponents are weak too. Germany wins by 2, Georgia wins by 3, France by 4 and North Macedonia by 4. Some salvation for Rotterdam is Estonia only lose by 1 point while Finland win, 10-7.
Score: Kyiv 148 – Rotterdam 137
Greece is a pick-up for Rotterdam thanks to the glorious Stefania, as are all the “I” countries: Iceland, Ireland, Israel and Italy. Latvia win 10-8 for Kyiv; Lithuania win 10-6 for Rotterdam. It’s 207 to Kyiv, 205 to Rotterdam. After Kyiv just takes Malta, Rotterdam wins 7 of the next 10 rounds, which includes predictable big wins with San Marino and Spain.
Score: Kyiv 305 – Rotterdam 310
The final rounds are:
2017 Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
2021 Tusse – Voices
2017 Timebelle – Apollo
2021 Gjon’s Tears – Tout l’univers
2017 Lucie Jones – Never Give Up On You
2021 James Newman – Embers
2017 O.Torvald – Time
2021 Go_A – Shum
To most observers, Sweden and Ukraine at least win the round to extend Rotterdam’s margin to 7 points. Of course, most observers would have different results for many of the previous rounds too. For example, Poland and Portugal won by 2 points for Rotterdam while Estonia only won by 1 point for Kyiv. If you go 10-9 to Kyiv for Poland and Portugal, and 10-8 for Estonia, that’s a 7 point swing to Kyiv. So let’s forget that hypothetical.
Even if all four won for Kyiv, one or two would need to be dominant winners to win the battle because four scores of 10-9 would see Kyiv fall one point short. The reason I added videos for Switzerland and the UK is because they did win easily. Switzerland by 2 points and the UK by 3 points.
Final Score: Kyiv 345 – Rotterdam 343
So it’s cheers to Kyiv 2017 for another victory, and cheers to a new Eurovision year.