Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Live Event Coverage

Eurovision Song Contest // Baku 2012

Published by Christine

It is that time again - the moment for countries from across Europe (and more) to present their weirdest and wackiest songs, with even more bizarre performers to try and gain votes and win the right to host next year's event. The UK has opted for veteran performer Engelbert Humperdinck, whilst Jedward may or may not scrape through the semi finals to get a second chance at the Eurovision crown. Settle in for a night of sequins, pyrotechnics, and warbling, as the 2012 Eurovision gets underway.

As it happened: Eurovision Song Contest 2012

  • 19:30

    Hello there, welcome to the Factbyte Factbox for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. It's here!

  • 19:31

    If you're a Eurovision fan, and even if you're not, you're in for a treat. 26 special songs, followed by lots of crazy voting, all in the company of the Sidepodcast comments: https://sidepodcast.com/dashboard

  • 19:32

    If you are missing information on the Eurovision this year, the official site can tell you more: http://eurovision.tv but part of the fun is to just boggle at the surprises in store.

  • 19:33

    This year, Azerbaijan host the spectacular, with things set to kick off live from Baku in about half an hour.

  • 19:34

    The UK have sent veteran crooner Engelbert Humperdinck to represent us, whilst Ireland have gone for Jedward for the second year in a row.

  • 19:37

    There'll be official updates on Twitter, via @Eurovision. And don't forget to follow our resident experts @rtg44 and @noelinho.

  • 19:38

    The BBC had a quick chat with Mr Humperdinck out in Baku, and he was relishing the opportunity: "Now I’m here, I realise how big it is, and the responsibility is pretty heavy duty. But I’m really, really thrilled to be representing my country in this contest. It’s my job, I’m a singer, I do have 45 years of experience, and I do hope it has some bearing on what the results will be at the end of the contest. I am nervous... I do get nervous about things I’m not accustomed to do."

  • 19:39

    He also talked of whether he can break the cycle of countries voting for their friends: "I personally think because of my work schedule, I’ve worked all over Europe, in every country that is entering into this contest, I’m sure that if I can grab a few of those people who have come to see my show and enjoyed it, they’ll be pleased to vote for us. I’m thinking along those directions. It’s a good thing this year because it’s half judge, half audience. I think there is a great deal of fairness involved there. I think people out there will judge the song, rather than the bias."

  • 19:39

    If you're planning to vote this year, and you really should allow yourself at least one vote, the rules have changed a little bit.

  • 19:40

    Voting will be in the 15 minute window, opening after all the performers have done their bit, rather than the phone lines being open all the way through.

  • 19:40

    It's going back to how it was in 2009. Also, worth remembering the votes are decided 50/50 between the public say and a national jury.

  • 19:44

    QuoteComment from Ryan: Oh, fbfb, you can only vote a maximum of 20 times now as well.

  • 19:45

    Would you like to know a bit more about the hosts? They're always fun. We have three this year - Nargiz, Eldar and Leyla.

  • 19:45

    Nargiz is a trained lawyer, who worked as a model to support her studies. She says: "I have been following the Eurovision Song Contest for many years. It's been especially exciting since Azerbaijan started to take part in it."

  • 19:46

    Eldar is an actor and singer, who also has a Master of Arts in International Relations. He'll be the one talking to all the country representatives at the end then!

  • 19:48

    And Leyla, she's a TV presenter who trained as a musician and has been involved in the Eurovision broadcasts in Azerbaijan since they signed up.

  • 19:50

    Along with Jedward, there are three other returning artists - Jónsi (not that one), Kaliopi and Željko Joksimovi?. Glad this is text and not audio!

  • 19:55

    Just about five minutes to go now. The good/bad news depending on how you see it is that the UK are up first.

  • 20:00

    BBC's Eurovision warning: "Lots of sparkle and flashing images."

  • 20:01

    Green flagFireworks are breaking out over Baku as the show begins!

  • 20:01

    There's a four hour time difference to Baku, meaning they're starting at midnight. It'll be a late one for those present!

  • 20:01

    A man is warbling from a cross-legged position on carpet and cushions.

  • 20:02

    Cut to some white suited people dancing around the stage. They have hats on and everything.

  • 20:02

    Forget hats, they have waistcoats that light up.

  • 20:03

    Moving on to some more traditional dancing, ladies in long blue dresses circling the floor.

  • 20:04

    Glowing startA glowing start!

  • 20:05

    A brief drum interlude sees the ladies swapped for men, who are doing what can only be described as spinning on their knees. It's like a traditional form of breakdancing.

  • 20:06

    Last year's winners Ell and Nikki take to the stage to perform Running Scared.

  • 20:07

    "Welcome to Azerbaijan" crosses the big screens at the back as Layla and Nargiz appear in white dresses.

  • 20:08

    26 participants in today's Grand Final, equalling the record number from 2003. A bumper evening ahead.

  • 20:09

    We're watching a time lapse of the venue being built. Plenty of denials that it was put up specifically for the Eurovision but no one believes it.

  • 20:10

    Now Eldar has joined the two presenters. The on screen graphics suggest it is spelt Leila and not Leyla. Oops.

  • 20:12

    It begins! Engelbert blows a kiss to the camera as he prepares to take the stage.

  • 20:12

    United Kingdom flagEngelbert Humperdinck

    Love Will Set You Free

  • 20:13

    A silhouetted guitar player begins the song, as Engelbert stands alone in the spotlight, dressed simply in black.

  • 20:13

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: someone should've told engley that wearing black with no lights on is a silly idea

  • 20:14

    A couple appear behind Engel, winding their way round the floor in a sort of ballroom/ballet mix.

  • 20:15

    As we reach the crescendo of quite a dull start to the show, some pyrotechnics appear and the black lighting changes to orange. The crowd cheer at the high notes, but they haven't really got behind this at all.

  • 20:15

    Big catherine wheel fireworks right at the end brighten the mood a little, but still, it's a tough start.

  • 20:16

    Hungary flagCompact Disco

    Sound of Our Hearts

  • 20:17

    Six figures in shadow on stage as the song begins, then the lead singer begins. He's wearing some kind of PVC jacket with orange lining.

  • 20:17

    They also have flames, and they come earlier in the song, as the tempo picks up. Our singer is also clenching his fists to show he really means it.

  • 20:18

    Already this is much better than poor old Engelbert. The singer heads out onto the little runway, joined by one of the two guitarists.

  • 20:18

    QuoteComment from Pat W: Compact Disco is a good name. In 1995.

  • 20:19

    Trying a bit of audience participation with some "oh oh"s. They don't really catch on, but they get bigger cheers as they finish.

  • 20:20

    Albania flagRona Nishliu

    Suus

  • 20:20

    This is sung in Albanian, although the title is apparently Latin, and means "Personal".

  • 20:21

    Rona appears on stage with a strange dress - flowing purple bits hang down, a high stiff collar surrounds her neck, and where to begin with the hair?

  • 20:21

    I'm not sure if this has a melody or not, it's hard to make out.

  • 20:22

    An impressive run of notes, but they are loud and getting progressively higher, and still missing a tune, I think. We were warned she liked jazz.

  • 20:22

    At this point only dogs can hear.

  • 20:23

    The hair. A big bun and a bit that drapes down onto her chest and appears to be glued on. Very odd.

  • 20:24

    Lithuania flagDonny Montell

    Love is Blind

  • 20:24

    Donny changed his name to be easier for commentators to say, so he's already Graham Norton's favourite.

  • 20:25

    As per the song title, Donny appears on stage in a rather dapper suit with a sparkly blindfold on.

  • 20:25

    These are boy band lyrics if ever I heard them: "It's tearing me apart, I want you back."

  • 20:26

    A beat kicks in from nowhere, Donny tears off the blindfold and starts, erm, I guess it's called dancing.

  • 20:27

    He finishes off in a bow, a good song, suggestions that he was a bit nervous and did better in the rehearsal.

  • 20:28

    Bosnia & Herzegovina flagMayaSar

    Korake ti znam

  • 20:28

    The spotlight makes its return as we head into another ballad. MayaSar is sitting at a shiny, black grand piano.

  • 20:29

    She's in a sparkly black dress with some rather sharp looking shoulder pads.

  • 20:30

    QuoteComment from Ryan: As a further point to returning artists, MayaSar was the keyboardist from last years Bosnian entry.

  • 20:31

    She's now stood up from the piano for the end of the song, and the wind machine kicks in, blowing her long blond hair out.

  • 20:32

    Russia flagBuranovskiye Babushki

    Party for Everybody

  • 20:32

    Everyone has been talking about these Russian grannies. Now we will see why.

  • 20:33

    It is a set of Russian grannies, in traditional red dress, arms around each other and swaying to the music.

  • 20:33

    However, a moment later, the beat kicks in and they are "boom, boom"ing.

  • 20:34

    They are stood in a line, chanting out the words, "come on and dance, come on and party for everybody."

  • 20:34

    They're not moving too much, just bouncing a little bit here and there.

  • 20:35

    Russian granniesThe Russian grannies in action.

  • 20:35

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: there are no words.

  • 20:36

    Iceland flagGréta Salóme & Jónsi (not that one)

    Never Forget

  • 20:37

    A strong drum roll style opening with Jónsi straight in on the mic, snazzy in his suit. Gréta comes from behind a group of dancers playing a violin, until her part.

  • 20:38

    She's back on the violin now, after a rather stern chorus or two. Both of them look very intense.

  • 20:38

    This Never Forget business seems more like a threat than anything else.

  • 20:38

    QuoteComment from Janna: this would be better if they were both singing in the same key

  • 20:39

    Awkwardly, he looks at her and she doesn't look back at him, preferring to gesture to the crowd. Spurned!

  • 20:40

    Cyprus flagIvi Adamou

    La La Love

  • 20:40

    Ah, we're back to upbeat tempos and Europop. Ivi stands atop what appears to be a table made from books with a skimpy nude colour dress on.

  • 20:41

    She has four dancers to help her get down from the table, and they start a bouncy little dance routine.

  • 20:41

    There's not much catchy about this one, but already it is more joyous than half the ones we have seen.

  • 20:42

    As you might imagine from the title, there's a lot of la la la in this song. Disappointing when people don't finish their lyrics properly.

  • 20:43

    The wind machine has kicked in again, and I am slightly concerned about the wispy dresses now.

  • 20:44

    France flagAnggun

    Echo (You and I)

  • 20:44

    The world's most played French language singer, according to Mr Norton.

  • 20:44

    The song begins with some muscled chaps backflipping their way up the runways towards Anggun.

  • 20:45

    She stands centre stage in a gold corset with see through skirt. The muscled chaps (far more interesting) are cavorting around the stage with the trails of her skirt.

  • 20:45

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: it's all secret Olympic practise

  • 20:46

    She's singing this really well, but again it's not a totally catchy song. The men might get her some points. Oh and her fame, I suppose.

  • 20:47

    One of them just somersaulted over her head. What's not to like?

  • 20:47

    She calls out a loud "merci" as the song ends, and there's one final flip from the boys before they vacate the stage.

  • 20:48

    Italy flagNina Zilli

    L’amore è femmina (Out of Love)

  • 20:48

    All that needs to be said about this act is she has stolen it all from Amy Winehouse.

  • 20:49

    Shiny silver dress, long hair not quite a beehive but backcombing ahoy, and three singers providing the backing.

  • 20:50

    This is more like it, quite catchy, but an odd mix of languages.

  • 20:50

    Italy's singerThe Italian entry.

  • 20:51

    She finished off with a bit of la la laing but otherwise I think that was one of the better ones.

  • 20:52

    Estonia flagOtt Lepland

    Kuula

  • 20:53

    Ott stands behind a microphone, a simple white t-shirt underneath a grey waistcoat, with just a tiny gold chain to glitz it up.

  • 20:53

    He looks like he's concentrating quite hard.

  • 20:53

    QuoteComment from Janna: I am putting money on a key change in this song.

  • 20:54

    He belts out Kuula, which means Listen, by the way. Kinda hard not to when he's all that's on stage.

  • 20:55

    Oh wait, there's a lady behind him now. She's quite far back. I assume she's meant to be there.

  • 20:56

    Norway flagTooji

    Stay

  • 20:56

    More backflipping as the singer walks slowly forward. He's wearing a hoodie, and I think he thinks he's a heartthrob.

  • 20:57

    The hood is pushed back and he's joined by his dancers. It's upbeat, but trying to be far too cool, I think.

  • 20:58

    QuoteComment from Ryan: Tooji's birthday today, apparently.

  • 20:59

    The song comes to an abrupt smokey end, but they are fooling us, and it's back for a final chorus.

  • 20:59

    The dancers are getting a good workout.

  • 20:59

    12 performances complete and it seems it's time for a break as they go to the green room... which is actually red.

  • 21:01

    Azerbaijan flagSabina Babayeva

    When the Music Dies

  • 21:02

    The host country get their chance to sing, now. The tune is written by the same team that did last year's winning entry. Pressure's on.

  • 21:02

    Sabina stands in a long, feathery, white dress, whilst the stage fills with dry ice.

  • 21:03

    It's a bit warbling, and to be quite honest, a song about music dying doesn't seem appropriate for this contest.

  • 21:04

    Weird things are happening to her dress, as colour is spreading around it like ink. Hard to describe.

  • 21:05

    Forgettable song, sadly, but the home crowd like it, they're waving the flags madly.

  • 21:06

    Romania flagMandinga

    Zaleilah

  • 21:06

    The song kicks off with drums, and some kind of bagpipe instruments. The singer appears in a bright orange and very short dress. She looks very enthusiastic.

  • 21:07

    She has attempted to do the heart sign people do with their hands, but is constrained by also having to hold a make. Sort of just a cupped hand really.

  • 21:08

    Big hearts are beating on the screens at the back though, that should make up for it.

  • 21:08

    There are five people in white suits behind her with their instruments - the bagpipes and drums, etc. They are not really playing though, I am not fooled.

  • 21:09

    Apparently there should be another one, but the rules are you're only allowed six people on stage at the same time.

  • 21:10

    Denmark flagSoluna Samay

    Should’ve Known Better

  • 21:11

    The lead singer appears wearing a marching band top with some kind of sailors hat, playing the guitar.

  • 21:11

    In the background, we have a female drummer and female double bass player. There's also a male cellist who has just pulled on the first jumper he found.

  • 21:11

    One of the backing singers also appears to have brought their living room chair with them.

  • 21:12

    QuoteComment from Amy: I like this song but I can't get over her hat.

  • 21:13

    I agree that it's a good song, but I wonder if it's actually a good song as opposed to a Eurovision song.

  • 21:14

    Greece flagEleftheria Eleftheriou

    Aphrodisiac

  • 21:15

    This is an energetic start with Elef jigging about the stage. She's got an exceptionally short dress on.

  • 21:15

    She manages to rhyme aphrodisiac with maniac.

  • 21:16

    She has a cute little shoulder shimmy that I think plenty of voters will like. It's a catchy song, and has an "oh oh oh" chorus that means you don't have to remember the words to sing along.

  • 21:17

    She is clearly enjoying herself very much too, which rubs off a little bit.

  • 21:18

    Sweden flagLoreen

    Euphoria

  • 21:18

    This is the favourite, widely predicted to win the contest this year.

  • 21:19

    Strobe lighting flashes out across the audience as it begins. The wind has been switched back on, as Loreen sings in the dark. Someone forgot the lights.

  • 21:19

    She seems to be actively avoiding the one spotlight that was shining down. A minute in, I still don't properly know what she looks like.

  • 21:20

    She does have bare feet though.

  • 21:21

    Petals are falling from the sky now. The song is okay, but this performance is very odd - not engaging at all.

  • 21:22

    Eldar takes to the stage to introduce the first ever Eurovision winner from Switzerland. A very brief interlude before the next song.

  • 21:23

    Turkey flagCan Bonomo

    Love Me Back

  • 21:24

    For F1 fans, this chap looks very much like Sébastian Buemi. He's got a strange flat cap on and a long coat.

  • 21:24

    Meanwhile, his dancers behind him have capes, and they are determined to use them.

  • 21:24

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: Englebert is older than 22 of the countries competing.

  • 21:25

    Turkey's Can BonomoCan Bonomo. Not so Buemi-like there, you'll have to trust me on this.

  • 21:26

    One of the dancers was just breakdancing in a cape, if that isn't asking for trouble, I don't know what is.

  • 21:26

    The song, is quite fun, a bit of a march to it, but I don't think it will do that well.

  • 21:27

    Spain flagPastora Soler

    Quédate conmigo

  • 21:27

    Graham Norton confirms that Pastora has actually been advised not to win, because they can't afford to host it. Not sure she'll have much choice in the matter though.

  • 21:28

    It's a plaintive piano ballad, with Pastora in a draping white dress, singing alone at the front of the stage.

  • 21:30

    QuoteComment from RubberGoat: I really dislike the ballads. Much prefer the fun songs!

  • 21:30

    We've reached the crescendo of the song though, and backing singers invade the stage to help her belt out the final bars.

  • 21:31

    Germany flagRoman Lob

    Standing Still

  • 21:32

    A very smiley Roman gets underway, singing his simple song to the piano - although there's a full band loitering behind him.

  • 21:32

    He's wearing a beanie hat.

  • 21:33

    I quite like the song, it's got a nice rhythm, but as Mr Norton suggested, the staging could do with work.

  • 21:33

    He's singing and meandering about the stage, and whilst he is quite cute and not camera shy, he doesn't have the stage presence you might hope for.

  • 21:35

    QuoteComment from peteS2K: i miss Lordi

  • 21:35

    Malta flagKurt Calleja

    This is the Night

  • 21:36

    Kurt begins with synth introduction, a guitar making very little noise, and a female drummer having a great time with the sticks.

  • 21:36

    This seems like a feel good song, but the chorus is: "Singing yea, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh..." you get the idea.

  • 21:37

    There's actually a chap with DJ headphones on in front of a desk and his, erm, decks?

  • 21:38

    This is both awful and incredibly catchy. I hate the eh eh eh stuff, but they have a jiggy little foot movement to go with it.

  • 21:39

    FYR Macedonia flagKaliopi

    Crno i belo

  • 21:40

    This means Black and White, I think. Our singer is in a black suit, alone in the spotlight, with a band poised behind her.

  • 21:41

    Ah, when the band kicked in, it wasn't with as much oomph as you might hope for, but at least we know have a beat to go with the warbling.

  • 21:42

    There's some epic strobe lighting going on, but I think it is just trying to distract from the song, which is not captivating at all.

  • 21:42

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: I keep counting people on stage to see if they are due a penalty

  • 21:43

    It's Jedward next!

  • 21:43

    Ireland flagJedward

    Waterline

  • 21:44

    The troublesome duo are wearing tin man outfits and have their synchronised moves going on. They're so awfully cute. Or just awful. Either way.

  • 21:44

    This has an epic Euro beat to it, and they are bouncing with every moment.

  • 21:45

    The boysJedward boys.

  • 21:45

    They have a fountain!

  • 21:45

    This is actually very good for Eurovision style stuff, and we have the pair of them singing in the middle of the fountain. I am sold.

  • 21:46

    Cartwheels, and a heart with one hand from each twin. This is perfect Eurovision fodder. I love it.

  • 21:46

    QuoteComment from Rubbergoat: So awesomely bad. This has to win!

  • 21:47

    Jedward JumpJedward jumping!

  • 21:47

    They ended the song soaking wet. That fountain was a bit mischievous!

  • 21:47

    Serbia flagŽeljko Joksimović Nije ljubav stvar

  • 21:47

    Title translated to: Love is not a thing

  • 21:49

    This appears to be a middle aged chap in a suit singing to the backing of a grand piano and a violin. I am waiting for the tune.

  • 21:49

    Oh, they have brought a clarinetist as well. He has long hair. Intriguing.

  • 21:49

    It's hard to follow Jedward, I would think, but this is polar opposite. Completely dead pan and the man takes himself very seriously.

  • 21:51

    The clarinet man has switched to some kind of flute, and the song ends with everyone thrusting their hands into the air. I still couldn't find the tune.

  • 21:51

    Ukraine flagGaitana

    Be my Guest

  • 21:51

    Graham Norton describes this as: "a whole can of crazy."

  • 21:52

    Gaitana has four screens on stage with her, they have animated people in them. Could she not find any actual dancers?

  • 21:52

    The lady herself has a fringed dress on and some kind of flowery headpiece.

  • 21:53

    Ah, actual dancers have joined the fun. Although they are men in skirts. A can of crazy indeed.

  • 21:53

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: Looks like she is wearing a shower cap

  • 21:53

    QuoteComment from Ryan: It gets around the six person per stage rule.

  • 21:54

    The screens are actually doing the same dance as the real dancers. It's all very confusing.

  • 21:55

    The screens have moved together and now show loads of people doing the dance. I think this might be cheating!

  • 21:55

    Moldova flagPasha Parfeny Lăutar

  • 21:55

    This is the last one. Will we go out with a bang?

  • 21:56

    Another one that is hard to describe. The man is dressed like some kind of cobbler or something in a yellow shirt.

  • 21:57

    The dancers have skirts that do now move no matter what they do. They are also a bit bronzed.

  • 21:57

    The singer looks a bit like Colin Farrell. It's quite a bouncy, catchy tune, and being last will help them, but it is definitely odd.

  • 21:58

    The dancers are providing most of the entertainment rather than the song.

  • 21:59

    He leads them down the runway a little bit, much to the crowd's delight.

  • 21:59

    QuoteComment from lou: they are doing the conga!

  • 21:59

    Chequered flagThat's all the songs complete. Time to ponder the voting. Phone lines open momentarily.

  • 22:00

    Our hosts return to the stage. The ladies have changed dresses.

  • 22:00
    Vote Now
    UK number to call: 09015 22 22 ??
    (calls cost 15p from a UK landline, mobile costs may be higher)
    United Kingdom01
    Hungary02
    Albania03
    Lithuania04
    Bosnia & Herzegovina05
    Russia06
    Iceland07
    Cyprus08
    France09
    Italy10
    Estonia11
    Norway12
    Azerbaijan13
    Romania14
    Denmark15
    Greece16
    Sweden17
    Turkey18
    Spain19
    Germany
    20
    Malta21
    FYR Macedonia22
    Ireland23
    Serbia24
    Ukraine25
    Moldova26
  • 22:00

    VOTES OPEN NOW.

  • 22:01

    We're looking at a replay of the songs now to remind us who we want to vote for. I know who I'm going for. How about you?

  • 22:07

    Weirdly, the recap feels longer than the show itself!

  • 22:09

    Our esteemed hosts just plugged the CD that is available. I'd go mp3, myself, but all the songs from the semi-finals as well, are available now.

  • 22:11

    Yet another reminder of the 26 entries. As Graham says: "The producers this year think you are morons."

  • 22:16

    Our hosts countdown to the STOP VOTING moment. That's it. The winner is decided... when it is all counted up.

  • 22:17

    The entertainment then. Green lasers shoot up from the audience to the ceiling, as people with fire walk around the stage.

  • 22:18

    A man with a stringed instrument plays, and a drum beats out. It's quite menacing.

  • 22:19

    More violinists and drummers join the fun, and the flames get a bit bigger. Azerbaijan sure do like fire.

  • 22:19

    Now a chap with a tiny little moustache plays a squeaky little pipe thing.

  • 22:21

    Dancers have now joined the fun, as someone is lowered from the ceiling to the centre of the stage.

  • 22:21

    He looks very relaxed about it, as though that is something that happens every day.

  • 22:22

    He is singing now.

  • 22:23

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: The build up and the song don't seem to be connected apart from they happened in the same place

  • 22:23

    This could very well be a Eurovision entry in itself. How do I vote for this guy?

  • 22:27

    We're in the green room now. The entertainment is over and the countries are all waving their flags. Everyone is just waiting for the voting, really.

  • 22:28

    We're back at the podium, and there are two presenters. I think this is looking good for the vote results to come in.

  • 22:28

    Jon Ola Sand, aka Mr Eurovision, says all the voting is good and right.

  • 22:29

    The points giving is about to start. 1 of 42 - Albania. A man wearing a jacket and a rock t-shirt. He's also bald.

  • 22:30

    8 to FYR Macedonia, 10 to Turkey, 12 to Greece.

  • 22:30

    2 of 42 - Montenegro. Very pretty lady in a very pretty dress with an up do.

  • 22:31

    8 to FYR Macedonia. 10 to Albania. 12 to Serbia.

  • 22:31

    Terrible green screening on that woman. Looking forward to more of that.

  • 22:31

    3 of 42 - Romania. Little black dress.

  • 22:32

    8 to Greece. 10 to Sweden. 12 to Moldova.

  • 22:32

    Moldova was the Colin Farrell lookalike.

  • 22:32

    4 of 42 - Austria. Red dress, lady speaking two languages almost simultaneously!

  • 22:33

    8 to Albania. 10 to Serbia. 12 to Sweden.

  • 22:33

    Sweden are leading at the moment.

  • 22:33

    5 of 42 - Ukraine. Curly headed chap, very smiley.

  • 22:34

    8 to Moldova, 10 to Russia and 12 to Azerbaijan. That's a popular call!

  • 22:34

    6 of 42 - Belarus. This is a man with quite a lot of chest showing. He likes himself. One point to Jedward too! UK still on zero.

  • 22:35

    8 to Lithuania. 10 to Ukraine. 12 to Russia. The grannies. They are now sitting second, behind Sweden.

  • 22:35

    7 of 42 - Belgium. "Hello cutiepies." Snappy suit on that chap, AND a point for the UK.

  • 22:35

    8 points for Russia, 10 points for Albania and 12 points to Sweden.

  • 22:36

    8 of 42 - Hosts Azerbaijan get to give their votes. Sparkly dress ahoy, and she's building up her part quite a lot. Shhhh now, points please.

  • 22:37

    8 to Malta. 10 points to Russia. She's putting in big gaps. Come on, love. 12 points to Turkey.

  • 22:37

    9 of 42 - Malta. Grey suit, not very snazzy.

  • 22:38

    8 points to Turkey, 10 to Italy and 12 points to Azerbaijan. The third year in a row they've given Azerbaijan top points, according to Norton.

  • 22:38

    Voting in progressVoting in progress.

  • 22:38

    10 of 42 - San Marino. A lady in a red dress has an entire monologue prepared.

  • 22:39

    8 points to Moldova, 10 points to Russia and 12 points to Albania.

  • 22:39

    Sweden, Russia, Turkey at the top now. UK still on just the single point. At least it's not nul!

  • 22:39

    11 of 42 - France. Aww, he's a cute little chap with a relatively open shirt and the Eiffel Tower behind him.

  • 22:40

    8 points to Serbia, 10 points to Estonia and 12 points to Sweden. Even France don't give us any points and they are just over the water!

  • 22:41

    12 of 42 - UK. Mr Scott Mills plus the olympics, randomly. Grey or brown suit for him too.

  • 22:41

    We have given 8 points to Spain, 10 points to Ireland (we love Jedward, apparently), and 12 points to Sweden.

  • 22:42

    13 of 42 - Turkey. This is an older chap in an entirely black suit - black tie and everything.

  • 22:42

    8 points go to FYR Macedonia, 10 to Bosnia & Herzegovina and 12 points go to Azerbaijan. Big cheers, but I think they know a repeat win is unlikely.

  • 22:43

    14 of 42 - Greece. A very pretty lady in a pale pink dress. She thanks the hosts for a fantastic night before introducing the votes. She is not blinking.

  • 22:44

    8 points go to Serbia, 10 points to Albania, and 12 points to Cyprus. Not a big surprise there.

  • 22:44

    Iceland, Norway and Denmark remain on zero points at the moment. UK still just has one point.

  • 22:44

    15 of 42 - Bosnia & Herzegovina. A man with a scarf, a beret, long hair, the most exciting chap we've seen so far!

  • 22:45

    He's also reading off a piece of paper. Quite shamelessly.

  • 22:45

    8 points to Sweden. 10 to Serbia and 12 to FYR Macedonia.

  • 22:45

    16 of 42 - Moldova. That's a blonde lady in a rather low cut dress. Even Graham Norton comments on it.

  • 22:46

    8 points to Ukraine, 10 to Azerbaijan (cheers!) and 12 from Moldova to Romania.

  • 22:46

    Sweden, Russia and Azerbaijan lead the table at the moment. Sweden pulling out a bit of a lead.

  • 22:46

    The Moldova voteThe Moldova voting.

  • 22:47

    17 of 42 - Bulgaria. A chirpy little lady in a red dress.

  • 22:47

    8 points to Sweden, 10 points to Azerbaijan, and 12 points to Serbia.

  • 22:47

    18 of 42 - Switzerland feature another red dress. It's very red, actually.

  • 22:48

    8 points go to Spain, 10 points to Serbia and the top votes go to Albania, moving them up to fifth place.

  • 22:49

    19 of 42 - Loretta from Slovenia. She's a little bit scary looking but has a bow on the front of her dress. Massive earrings.

  • 22:49

    8 points to Russia. Sweden get the 10 points and the 12 go straight to Serbia.

  • 22:49

    Iceland picked up four points in that round, moving them ahead of the UK.

  • 22:49

    Sweden leading by a full 40 points.

  • 22:50

    20 of 42 - Cyprus. A very dapper man, with a lovely smart suit on, and a great consumer friendly smile.

  • 22:50

    8 points to Azerbaijan, 10 points to Sweden, and 12 points to Greece.

  • 22:51

    21 of 42 - Croatia. Silver, one shouldered dress.

  • 22:51

    8 points to FYR Macedonia. 10 to Bosnia & Herzegovina. The full 12 go to Serbia.

  • 22:51

    Ireland picked up a few more points now, Jedward currently sitting on 19 points.

  • 22:52

    Halfway through the voting.

  • 22:53
    Eurovision Standings
    PosCountryPts
    1Sweden179
    2Serbia135
    3Russia124
  • 22:54

    22 of 42 - Slovakia. Yet another red dress. Are there no other colours than black or red?

  • 22:54

    8 points to Hungary, who move up to 17 points. 10 goes to Estonia, and 12 to Sweden. A good lead for Sweden now.

  • 22:55

    Happy SerbiaNot so many points for Serbia this time, but they have had 12 already.

  • 22:55

    23 of 42 - FYR Macedonia. Aha! A polka dot dress with a massive white flower. I approve, even if it doesn't look so great.

  • 22:55

    8 points go to Turkey, 10 points to Serbia and the 12 go to Albania.

  • 22:56

    Just Norway and Denmark remain on zero points, but the UK still just has one. Will we remain on one till the end?

  • 22:56

    24 of 42 - The Netherlands. A silver dress on a smiley short haired lady.

  • 22:56

    8 points to Turkey, 10 points to Serbia and 12 to Sweden.

  • 22:57

    After that round, it is just Denmark that remain on zero points. Ireland picked up a bit of a haul there too.

  • 22:57

    25 of 42 - Joanna from Portugal calling in, in some kind of shimmery dress and dangling earrings.

  • 22:57

    8 points go to Russia, who now sit in third, 10 points to Germany who are still on the wrong column of the table, and 12 points to Spain who manage to jump Italy.

  • 22:58

    The UK is now penultimate to last.

  • 22:58

    26 of 42 - Iceland present us with a chubby Gary Barlow in a shiny white and black suit.

  • 22:58

    8 points to Cyprus, 10 points to Estonia and 12 points Sweden.

  • 22:58

    The UK is now last. Oh well.

  • 22:59

    27 of 42 - Sweden have an overexcited lady, who must surely be from Essex. She has a scarf on and glasses, and claps herself. Interesting.

  • 22:59

    8 points go to Estonia, 10 points to Serbia, and the full 12 go direct to Cyprus.

  • 23:00

    28 of 42 - A former host from Oslo calls in to hand over the points from Norway.

  • 23:01

    8 points to Russia, 10 points to Serbia and 12 points to Sweden. It must be an unassailable lead now.

  • 23:01

    29 of 42 - Lithuania's blue suited chap is just a little bit monotone. He might be nervous.

  • 23:01

    8 points go to Estonia, 10 points to Sweden and the 12 go to... wait for it... Azerbaijan. He does a bow to the cheering crowd.

  • 23:02

    30 of 42 - Estonia call in and it is another red dress. It's FIVE points to the UK from Estonia. Amazing. We are still bottom though.

  • 23:02

    8 points go to Russia, currently sitting third. 10 points to Germany, and it's 12 to Sweden.

  • 23:03

    31 of 42 - Denmark. This lady has a very old looking blouse on, it doesn't do her any favour, and she builds up her part a bit - claiming one of the hosts as Danish.

  • 23:03

    8 points go to the Russian grannies, 10 go to Germany, and the 12 points go to... dun, dun, dun, Sweden. Surprise, surprise!

  • 23:04

    Azerbaijan cheersThe Azerbaijan crew love getting good points.

  • 23:04

    32 of 42 - Latvia, a goateed man with a relaxed suit on.

  • 23:04

    8 points to Estonia, 10 to Russia who move into second place, and 12 straight to Sweden at the top.

  • 23:05

    They gave us some points too so we are not last. Norway have dropped behind us.

  • 23:05

    33 of 42 - Spain. A pink dress! Well that makes a nice change!

  • 23:05

    8 points go to Russia, 10 points to Romania and 12 to Sweden.

  • 23:06

    34 of 42 - Finland. Argh! It is one of Lordi!! Terrifying.

  • 23:06

    Love the effort made, and he says the Russian grannies are the hottest babes of the competition. 8 points to them.

  • 23:07

    He's getting a lot of screen time, but he deserves it! 10 points to the hottest, cutiest guy... Estonia. And the 12 points go to... come on, man... Sweden.

  • 23:08

    Lordi are back!Lordi are back!

  • 23:08

    35 of 42 - Georgia, another "amazing show" tribute. Her dress is grey with a white stripe down the side.

  • 23:08

    8 points to Sweden, 10 points to Azerbaijan and 12 points go to Lithuania.

  • 23:08

    Sweden now lead Russia and then Serbia.

  • 23:09

    36 of 42 - Italy. Oh, this is a good looking chap. "I'm totally in love with the Eurovision Song Contest."

  • 23:09

    8 points to Germany, 10 points go to Russia and it is 12 full points to Albania.

  • 23:10

    At this point, Sweden cannot be caught, which is always disappointing, but we keep on keeping on.

  • 23:10

    37 of 42 - Serbia. More big earrings and a lacy white dress.

  • 23:10

    8 points to Cyprus, 10 points head straight to Sweden, and so the top honours go to FYR Macedonia.

  • 23:11

    QuoteComment from Mark: In protest, I've kicked a chair from IKEA. THAT WILL TEACH THEM.

  • 23:11

    38 of 42 - Germany. Now this is a lady in a simple black top and red tie-dye style trousers. Still red, but innovative!

  • 23:12

    8 points from Germany go towards Turkey. Their 10 points go to Serbia and it is 12 points to Sweden.

  • 23:12

    39 of 42 - Russia. Just a few more to go, and this is a shiny metallic dress. She's curled her hair quite fabulously too.

  • 23:13

    8 points to the Ukraine. 10 points go to Azerbaijan (big cheers), and 12 points go to Sweden.

  • 23:13

    40 of 42 - Hungary. A red dress! Bah.

  • 23:14

    8 points to Albania who move up into fourth place over Azerbaijan. 10 points go to Germany who are also creeping up the order. 12 points go to Sweden.

  • 23:15

    41 of 42 - Israel feature a man with a pink tie and just in his waistcoat and shirt. He gets a big cheer, whatever he said.

  • 23:15

    8 points go to Azerbaijan. 10 points to Spain. And those 12 points go to Sweden.

  • 23:15

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: Sweden leading by over a hundred points

  • 23:16

    42 of 42 - The final one comes from Ireland. Pink dress this time, and more points for the UK. We aren't last!

  • 23:16

    8 points go to Estonia. 10 points to Germany, and the very final 12 points to Sweden.

  • 23:17

    And so, Sweden win! Not a surprise now, but certainly a surprise to me. I did not think it was all that good. It was the predicted winner.

  • 23:18

    WinnersSweden. The winners.

  • 23:18

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: it's ok, we didn't want to win anyways.

  • 23:19

    Loreen has made her way to the stage where she gets white flowers, a glitzy glass microphone trophy, and I suspect she has to sing again.

  • 23:20

    The backstage assistants have swarmed the stage to get Loreen ready to sing again. Her microphone is hastily put back on by a chap whose hand is shaking significantly.

  • 23:20

    You wonder why they hadn't prepared for this a little bit. We knew she was going to win quite a long time ago.

  • 23:21

    And she's on. The lights are avoiding her once more, and the wind machine is switched on for the final time this evening.

  • 23:23

    The song is slightly better on a second hearing but I still dislike the act very much.

  • 23:24

    That's all there is. The confetti is streaming down from the ceiling as she belts out the second half of the song and the credits roll.

  • 23:24
    Eurovision Standings
    PosCountryPts
    1Sweden372
    2Russia259
    3Serbia214
    4Azerbaijan150
    5Albania146
    6Estonia120
    7Turkey112
    8Germany
    110
    9Italy
    101
    10Spain97
  • 23:24

    Another fab contest, although perhaps not quite as outlandish as we have seen previously. I certainly enjoyed it, I hope you did too.

  • 23:26

    GoodbyeGoodbye from Baku, and the Factbyte Factbox. We will see you again next year, where we'll be looking at somewhere in Sweden instead! See you then!




It is that time again - the moment for countries from across Europe (and more) to present their weirdest and wackiest songs, with even more bizarre performers to try and gain votes and win the right to host next year's event. The UK has opted for veteran performer Engelbert Humperdinck, whilst Jedward may or may not scrape through the semi finals to get a second chance at the Eurovision crown. Settle in for a night of sequins, pyrotechnics, and warbling, as the 2012 Eurovision gets underway.
Zeljkojoksimovic / Creative Commons

Event start

20:00GMT +01:00

26 May 2012