“The whole world is mine,” sang Norway’s Margaret Berger at the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest Saturday night, but when the voting was over, it really wasn’t. Berger, one of the favourites to win the contest, ended up in fourth place while Denmark won by a healthy margin.
That means next year’s extravaganza will be held in Denmark, with officials at Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) likely breathing a sigh of relief. Even though Sweden delivered a less costly version of the show this year, in keeping with budget restraints all over Europe, Eurovision has evolved into a massive and expensive production, with around 40 countries competing. NRK officials had held some preliminary planning sessions in case Berger won, but now won’t have to set aside more than NOK 100 million in its own budget for 2014.
Norwegian commentators immediately started claiming that Berger’s fourth place with 191 points was still a good showing, with NRK’s own commentator calling it a “fantastic fine fourth.” Berger herself was also satisfied and blew kisses at the cameras when she got 12 points, the highest score any country can give to another country, from Finland. Norway also received 12 points from Sweden and Denmark, while Norway gave its own 12-point score to Sweden.
That seems to indicate that the Nordic countries like each other’s music as much as the former Soviet republics and eastern European countries tend to like their own neighbours’ music as well. They also were generous in sharing points with each other, which helped propel Azerbaijan and Ukraine into second and third place respectively.
Denmark won with 281 points, comfortably ahead of Azerbaijan’s 234 and Ukraine’s 214 points, even though the race was close throughout the tallying of voting results. Danish singer Emmelie de Forest had also been heavily favoured to win with the catchy, folk-like song “Only teardrops.” Reviewers praised its percussion and charm along with de Forest’s performance of it.
Ireland came in last at this year’s Eurovision, behind Finland and Spain.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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