Eurovision Again has taken us deep into Eurovision past, re-broadcasting contests from as far back as 1968. This month, the penultimate episode of this Eurovision Again season took us back to Baku 2012 – May 26th, to be exact.
Eurovision 2012 famously saw Sweden secure its fifth win with the iconic “Euphoria” by Loreen. That entry is widely regarded as one of the best Eurovision entries of all time, topping the ESC250 every year it has been eligible.
About the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest
After Azerbaijan won Eurovision in 2011, Baku was selected as the host city and a brand-new venue, the Baku Crystal Hall, was constructed for the event. Completed in January 2012, this stands as the latest confirmation of a host venue for a contest in recent history. Our hosts for the evening were Leyla Aliyeva, Nargiz -Berk-Petersen, and Eldar Gazimov – who reprised his winning entry with Nigar Jamal to open the Grand Final.
There were a few notable production choices in 2012. First, the postcards consisted solely of footage of Azerbaijan and Baku without including the participating artists. This decision would drive the EBU to ensure that the postcards centered on the Eurovision entries in future contests. 2012 was also the first time that 26 countries participated in the Grand Final under the current two-semifinal system (and the second time overall following 2003).
In terms of voting, 2012 marked a change from the 2011 system. Instead of being open during the whole show, the televoting was restricted to a 15-minute window after all of the acts performed. These votes combined with the national juries in a 50:50 split to get the final result. Loreen received 12 points from 18 countries (a record under the pre-2016 voting system), winning with 372 points – 113 points clear of second-place finisher Russia.
Unfortunately, the 2012 contest was also mired in some controversy. Armenia, with whom Azerbaijan has been in conflict due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, withdrew out of safety concerns for their delegation. The live audience proved to be more natioanlistic than in other years, especially during the voting, staying nearly silent for any entry other than the host.
Azerbaijan’s human rights record was also called into question on-air by German presenter Anke Engelke before she read her country’s points:
Notable Eurovision 2012 Entries
Aside from the iconic “Euphoria”, Eurovision 2012 included a fair few entries that are still remembered to this day:
- Albania 🇦🇱 – Rona Nishliu achieved her country’s best-ever placement with “Suus”, which finished in 5th place. It is most remembered for her powerful belting.
- Russia 🇷🇺 – Buranovskiye Babushki – aka the “Russian Grannies” – won the hearts of Europe with their song “Party for Everybody”. It ultimately placed 2nd with 259 points.
- Turkey 🇹🇷 – Can Bonomo’s “Love Me Back” ended up being Turkey’s final(?) Eurovision entry. Complete with sailing cosplay, it finished in 7th place.
- Spain 🇪🇸 – Pastora Soler commanded the stage and earned Spain’s best result of the 2010s with “Quedate conmigo”. She secured 10th place with 97 points.
- Ireland 🇮🇪 – Back by popular demand, Irish duo Jedward followed up 2011’s “Lipstick” with another banger, “Waterline”. Despite the water effects, the song failed to match their previous success, finishing in 19th place.
- Cyprus 🇨🇾 – Ivi Adamou walked so Eleni Foureira could run. Her fun, upbeat “La La Love” set a template the Cyprus is still following in 2021. This ahead-of-its-time entry finished in 16th place on the night.
- Iceland 🇮🇸 – Now for two Icelandic icons. Greta Salome and Jonsi (not of Sigur Ros fame) wowed with their song “Never Forget”, which finished 20th. While this marked Jonsi’s second Eurovision appearance after 2004, Greta Salome would return in 2016 with the fan-favorite “Hear Them Calling”.
The Eurovision Again 2012 Fan Vote
As with each edition of Eurovision Again, fans were invited to vote for their favorite Eurovision 2012 entries. While “Euphoria” still won as expected, some there were some interesting place changes in the rest on the rest of the scoreboard.
Spain moved up from 10th place to take silver while Cyprus rocketed from 16th place to take bronze. Meanwhile, original second-place finishers Russia fell to 9th place, while Serbia fell two spots to finish 5th. Norway, who finished last on the night, moved up six places to take 20th place. The UK, who sent Engelbert Humperdinck, finished last in the present-day fan-vote.
Iceland tied with Cyprus as the biggest grower of the night – they each moved up 13 spots from their original placement. Conversely, the biggest drop in the result was Lithuania’s Donny Montell, who fell 10 places from 14th to 24th.
What was your favorite Eurovision 2012 entry? What did you think of the show nine years later? Let us know in the comments or on social media. Be sure to follow THAT Eurovision Site on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
News Source: EBU / #EurovisionAgain on Twitter
Photo Source: NBC / Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili