Eurovision 2020 may have been cancelled, but we still have a “winner”.
- Russia followed Iceland in second place, with Lithuania in third
- Moldova came in last place
- Australia did not place as voters were unable to vote for entrant Montaigne, per Eurovision rules
Australia has voted to crown Iceland’s Daði & Gagnamagnið this year’s top Eurovision act following a nationwide vote and countdown as part of an SBS Eurovision replacement special, Eurovision 2020: Big Night In!
The group’s synth-pop track went viral before the song contest was called off due to the coronavirus in March.
Think About Things has since gone on to amass over seven million views on YouTube.
The tune even crossed actor Russell Crowe’s radar. Back in February he tweeted a link to it, writing simply: “Song.”
Iceland has never won the actual Eurovision Song Contest.
Frontman Daði Freyr Pétursson recorded an effects-heavy video of himself singing a message of thanks to those in Australia who had voted for his group.
Russia’s Little Big nabbed second place with their kitschy song Uno, while Lithuania’s The Roop, tipped to win by experts, came in third with their art-pop track On Fire.
Moldova’s Natalia Gordienko was given last place with her song Prison.
The countdown came at the end of a night of replacement Eurovision entertainment hosted by SBS’ Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey, with the 41 songs from 2020 honoured, postcards and all.
Several artists sent in video messages in which they shared a phrase unique to their nation with the Australian audience.
San Marino’s Senhit said the saying she had chosen summed up the state of things during the coronavirus pandemic.
It was, “e un casino”, which translates to, “it’s a mess”.
Latvia’s Samanta Tina had a Latvian moral to impart: “Labak zile roka, neka mednis koka.”
Tina said the phrase means, “better small bird in my hand than a big bird in a tree” or, in simpler terms, enjoy the things you have now rather than waiting for something bigger to come along.
And the Netherlands’ act Jeangu Macrooy shared the phrase, “hoop doet leven”, which he said means, “hope gives life”.
Per official Eurovision rules, Australia was ineligible to vote for Montaigne, who was set to represent the nation at this year’s event and has since been confirmed for 2021.
But audiences were treated to a studio performance of the 24-year-old singer’s 2020 track, Don’t Break Me, revealing the concept for the staging she had planned for the Rotterdam event.
Montaigne said in a statement: “To bring a song to life on the Eurovision stage takes a lot of hard-working creative people, and though we don’t get the real stage, I’m grateful that we get to show off our baby — in which we are very proud — to the public.
Artists from the song contest’s past iterations also took to the virtual stage over the course of the night.
Australia’s 2018 entrant Jessica Mauboy performed her Eurovision hit We Got Love, accompanied by Kate Miller-Heidke, Electric Fields, Courtney Act, Jack Vidgen, Isaiah and Ella Hooper separately by video link.
Jaguar Jonze was also there harmonising with the group, having only been discharged from hospital last month after contracting COVID-19.
And former Eurovision — Australia Decides contestant Alfie Arcuri was on hand to perform an acoustic version of his song Running, penned for Cyprus’ 2020 act Sandro.
The final performance of the evening was reserved for a new Eurovision act, Lars Erickssong (AKA actor Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (most commonly known as actress Rachel McAdams) with their music video for Volcano Man, from upcoming comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of the Fire Saga.
Some 180 million people around the world were expected to watch the annual campy contest, with 41 European nations — as well as Israel and Australia, of course — having entered.