Eurovision | Cliffhanger finale as Ukraine pips Australia with popular vote

So that's it: Ira Losco leaves the Eurovision with a stunning performance but 2016 was not Malta's to win... still: brava Ira! Ukraine wins, Australia and Russia are runners-up, while Malta ends in 12th place

Wayne Flask
14 May 2016, 1:23pm
Last updated on 15 May 2016, 12:46am
Ukraine's performer Jamala has won the Eurovison Song Contest 2016
Ukraine's performer Jamala has won the Eurovison Song Contest 2016
Ira Losco... well done!
Ira Losco... well done!
We are back tonight with our live-blog for the Eurovision Song Contest final... CLICK HERE TO REFRESH

00:45: This is all from me, I'm off to join some hapless Ukrainians for a carcade close to Bugibba. Thanks to all of you for your time and attention, thanks to Matthew, Teo, Miriam and the other Matthew for their assistance throughout, over and out.
00:45: Explosion. Bats. Curtain falls. The end.
00:43: And a couple of heads on a spike too.
00:43: Of course, we look forward to a witchhunt in the coming weeks.
00:42: As for Malta, we're a disappointing twelfth, which is kind of waaaay below what all of us were hoping for.
00:41: Needless to say Putin is running his fingers along a map somewhere close to Kiev, with Lavrov looking on excitedly.
00:41: Well done Ukraine and your duduk!
00:37: Russia da or niet?
00:37: Ukraine pounces in top spot with a feline sprint.
00:35: To say this is disappointing is an understatement. We deserved a better placing. I expected a top five at least.
00:34: Prince McHammett from Poland could end up having more points than us.
00:33: Russia, Ukraine and Australia to fight it out.
00:32: The last few minutes make for painful viewing. We're down to eighth.
00:28: Sixteen points. That's all folks.
00:28: Gnawed my hand clean off. Tense
00:27: We're tense.
00:27: Televotes - will it or will it not overturn the jury's votes?
00:25: Yeah the Australian singer is going to have a lemonade with her crew. Somebody offer her a bottle of Krest see what happens to that.
00:24: We're actually ahead of favourites Russia, but a distant fourth from the top spot owned by Euraustralia.
00:23: Howard Keith apparently doesn't know where Montenegro is, as we get 7 points from Sweden.
00:23: Pop the champer - we get 12 from Montenegro.
00:22: Nice of you Hungary, 10 points.
00:21: Totally ignored by everybody.
00:20: Zero from Poland too. We haven't seen twelve points at all tonight. Anton didn't smile enough I guess.
00:20: Five points from Italy and a frozen Alberto Margherita.
00:19: The Ukrainians have overdone it with the spirits I guess.
00:19: The vodka is strong in Ukraine
00:18: Same from Estonia. Thanks for the thought lads.
00:18: Albania give us two points. Yay, much wow.
00:17: Macedonia sap all the enthusiasm away yet again.
00:16: Ten points from Serbia, Teo's next of kin have voted wisely.
00:16: Vilnius calling with yet another zero.
00:15: Our table is now sagging like a pair of bison testicles thanks to a streak of zeroes.
00:14: Oh dear, UK. Oh dear.
00:14: The UK ignore us completely too.
00:13: Belgium, zero.
00:13: Disappointing news from Morocco Mole
00:13: Australia give us zero as payback for Waltzing Matilda.
00:12: Norway give us... zero.
00:11: The Ruskies boost our table with 8 points.
00:10: Ze Germans give twelve points to Israel, and zero to us. This is disheartening.
00:09: Five points from the Belarus.
00:09: Zilch from Israel too.
00:09: Nuts.
00:08: Australia to win the EV, Brazil to win Euro 2016.
00:06: Something strange has happened and we end up watching adverts for stuff we can't buy.
00:06: Last minute passport deal with Israel?
00:05: Fingernails chewed down to the knuckles
00:04: Putin must be livid. You can't annex Australia so easily.
00:04: Seventh overall. Winning is out of the question it seems, but we can get into top five maybe.
00:03: Eight points from Armenia, who for some reason have Lawrence Gray reading out their votes.
00:02: Reservoir Doggar from Moldova, they are very nice to give us 3 points.
00:02: Le ta.
00:02: 4 points from France, we're ninth overall.
00:00: A desperate housewivfjour from Denmark, we get zero from them.
00:00: Australia is running away with the Eurovision.
23:59: 5 points from the happy Finn.
23:59: Spain give us six points, their twelve go to Armenia.
23:58: Have we just given the Queen 12 points? Oh, a CHOGM back payment.
23:58: Ben Camille kisses some arse. Another ad for the Junior EV which leaves the Swedish compere looking tremendously uninterested.
23:57: Another zero from Bosnia.
23:56: Ah, we're falling back now with two consecutive zeroes.
23:56: Ireland, thanks ta. Zero points.
23:55: The Czechs give Sweden 12 points. We're second overall.
23:54: San Marino, not very nice of you. 3 points?
23:54: Azerbaijan's presenter gives 12 to Russia, before bursting into flame
23:54: They give Mother Russia twelve points. A coloumn of armored tanks switches its engines off.
23:53: The guy from the Peugeot ads appears for Azerbaijan.
23:53: Iceland give us 4 points.
23:53: Every man and his dog watches Eurovision in Iceland
23:52: Austrians voted for Australia thinking it was their own country.
23:52: Ok here we go with the Austrians giving us their votes. We get zehn punkte.
23:50: Great. Let's draw out the agony even longer.
23:49: Exhaustion is taking its toll in the newsroom. Way too many of us dancing rather idiotically.
23:47: Out come the hoverboards to cries of "Gimmicky gimmickiness"
23:46: Remember, I'll be giving a one star on tripadvisor to anybody not voting for Malta. Because I'm patriotic that way. Now, hand me a pork sandwhich Teodor.
23:45: Oh no there's another useless filler, and possibly another one right after that.
23:45: Voting's over at last, and now prepare your defibrillators: let's count 'em votes.
23:44: Launch sequence start
23:43: Eurodontyoufunnies
23:42: Funny jokey joke time from the Swedishians.
23:39: A quick look at the comment boards and some people have actually taken time out to check if Australia is really the birthplace of European civilisation. I'll give you another one: the earth is triangular.
23:34: The people in the Lager advert look that good only after you've had ten pints.
23:32: She's off faster than I could type her name and the bloody ads are on again.
23:31: Destiny Chuckunyere takes to the stage for some bit of discreet advertising. Please, visit Malta u ħallu lira.
23:30: Quick look at the bookies just to kill time, and we're primed for a top ten placing at best.
23:28: Nothing is really happening right now. The MT censorship goon has fallen asleep next to me, whilst still firmly clutching the taser.
23:26: The Tennessee kids - up to a week ago they were deep frying "chicken" in a grotty diner off the highway.
23:25: hot diggity dayum Tenesse Kids!
23:23: Whoops. 'Crazy is the new black' joke goes down as well as you'd expect...
23:20: There's a drumkit onstage. Most of those involved in the EV gaped at it in wonder for hours during the past week.
23:20: I'm voting for Justin
23:17: Like Juventus in football, Sweden remained continentally relevant in music until the 90's. Then it all went in the shape of the pear.
23:16: I take that back: Paula Abdul and Roxette.
23:16: Another Swedish mockumentary telling us what they've done best for 42 years: kitsch music with a very bad choice of clothes.
23:14: Sit down, Sinead traffic cone thief
23:13: Singers from all over Europe falling all over each other to swoon at a very short man. The last time that happened, France invaded Russia and lost.
23:12: He's actually seen the last two years. Somewhere a lie detector has just gone off.
23:12: Oh well if it isn't Justin Timberlake, in what is the most useless TV appearance of all time.
23:10: Last I checked Russia is at war with at least two other entrants. Our resident commie sympathisers don’t expect things to boil over into violence, however.
23:10: Anton Attard's body language carries the eloquence of the party starter.
23:09: While the votes are being cast, just going to throw this out there: Australia. Just why? Don’t they have enough problems with dingoes and Kylie Minogue?
23:07: If the Aussies win the Eurovision it will mean we'll be blogging Jetlagvision next year.
23:06: A quick statistic indicates we've insulted approximately 247 individuals, with a potential to kick off at least three continental wars and a civil commotion in Siberia.
23:04: You heard them- get voting! Or not. It's fine.
23:02: Voting is really easy. If you all want Malta to win, don't vote for anybody.
23:01: "This seems like the longest night of my life." I kinda agree.
23:00: Ohohoh Swedish jokey TV again.
22:58: The Armenian entry is a favourite, no guesses as to why.
22:56: Because Liverpool, you know, the Beatles, the La's, and Jakie Joes.
22:55: Fisticuffs in the newsroom
22:54: The UK’s Joe and Jake genuinely seem to be a couple of sound blokes. They don’t take themselves too seriously and can hold a note. Plus they’ve even got their “12 point faces” sussed.
22:53: It's like watching Jedward but with an even greater urge to throw a brick at your TV set.
22:52: Joe and Jake, two tyre thieves from Liverpool, are up next.
22:52: Ok off you go and back into Disneyland Osterreich.
22:51: Whose sister is she insulting?
22:50: Our happy Austrian singing in French, a gentle throwback of the wars that ravaged Europe in the 1870's or something.
22:48: (but the song, I quite liked)
22:48: The European pederast demographic will not be impressed with "Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz."
22:47: Sassuolo 3-1 Inter, Milan 1-3 Roma. That's Milan out of Europe faster than Britain.
22:45: The Georgian Pete Doherty is out of rehab just in time.
22:45: Georgia are up next but we kind of don't really care anymore. It's all downhill.
22:44: Brava.
22:43: Please kick that dancer in the nuts.
22:42: Go Ira!
22:42: This may well be the best song of the night IMHO.
22:42: That irritating dancer pops out again.
22:41: Personal Pension Plans. They are trying to tell her something?
22:40: Some rather discreet advertising from that icecream brand.
22:40: Go Ira, we're all behind you.
22:39: Ira is backstage getting ready. Anton Attard is in front of a mirror smiling, saying, "d'you think this is too much?"
22:38: My duduk brings out the boys in the yard.
22:37: There's a region somewhere in Ukraine being annexed as we speak.
22:37: Ukraine’s Jamala takes herself seriously, folks, very seriously. ”1944 is dedicated to my great grandmother. In this song I use complicated vocal technics, for instance, mugham. I also use a duduk which is a beautiful instrument. I can sing in any musical style. I’ve graduated from the Musical Academy as an opera singer, I was headliner of many international jazz festivals, and I sing a lot of folk songs of various nations.” All it needs is a “but my greatest virtue is my humility.”
22:37: The Ukrainian song is really two thumbs up to the Ruskies.
22:36: Ukraine up next, then it's our turn.
22:35: Matthew, is it IMODIUM! they scream together?
22:34: Here's a man fighting nasty stomach cramps.
22:33: According to bio, Justs' pre-gig rituals involve “this hand thing with musicians I perform with: we stand in a circle and put our hands together and scream something in the end.” Help?
22:33: A Latvian high achiever with a degree in Maths fights joblessness by singing.
22:32: Latvia gives us Justs. Nothing more, nothing less. Just Justs.
22:32: Arthur Caruana is excited again.
22:32: That straightjacket, we can definitely do with
22:32: Eurovision goes Ryanair now. Special offers. Buy this buy that, but we really need the straightjacket.
22:31: Just seven entries to go, it's looking less like an ordeal at the dentist's now.
22:31: u Barei bid-daqq.
22:30: She crashes to the floor, just like the Spanish economy.
22:29: I'mma do a lil crazy dance now
22:29: One question: did she go for a siesta instead of rehearsing?
22:28: The Spanish entry, according to Arthur, is a mix of influences with names from half the All Music Database featuring in one point or another.
22:28: Spain send a woman called Barei, thus raising two fingers at the anti-bullfighting crowd.
22:27: Cool background bro
22:26: If he doesn't win, his sojourn in a two star in Omsk (Siberia) awaits him.
22:25: Winger Lazarev and the five thunderbirds of the apocalypse are reminiscent of armoured tanks parading in front the Kremlin. Putin likes this.
22:25: Eurovision. It gives you wings
22:24: A lot has been said this week about LGBTIQ lobbying in the festival, with cynics accusing Malta of using this issue as a Unicorn of Troy.
22:23: Gagarin Lazarev from Russia. It's time for the favourites.
22:23: Russia has bucked the Eastern Bloc trend of sending attractive females to win over Europe. Sergey Lazarev is in touch with his sensitive side, though - we’re told that after rescuing a dog from a shelter, he started a business called The Confectionery for Pets, which may or may not have something to do with vodka. I fully expect him to rip his face off and reveal himself to be Vladimir Putin in disguise. But only if he wins.
22:23: "Thanks for following PBS..." says Arthur Caruana. Like we have a choice.
22:22: Nina's not doing very well. At her worst she reminds me of Dolores from Cranberries.
22:22: wait. What?
22:21: Oh Nina Kraljic, Miss I'm-Sorry-I'm-Late-I-Got-Entangled-in-Some-Barbed-Wire
22:20: Yet another outtake from Jodorowsky's Dune
22:20: actually, they've just sent a battle mech instead
22:20: Croatia’s entry is called “Lighthouse.” Their singer wouldn’t look entirely out of place atop one. Wait guys, Nina Kraljic is actually pretty sound-she likes video games, writing and doesn’t like partying. High five!
22:18: A 360 degree sonic wave from Mortal Kombat and a mid-air strip is what they're paying me to comment about tonight.
22:18: "I've been waiting for this night" to end
22:17: Great stuff from the Lithuanian chappie who looks like pretty much everything that is wrong with the music industry right now.
22:16: The Lithuanian entry: "I've been waiting for this night." Let's say I share the same enthusiasm.
22:15: All the way from Lithuania, via the Sopranos, comes Donny Montell, whose sculpted torso is covered in tats, automatically making him fooking nails.
22:15: The Serbian entry is mostly ex-paramilitary pet vultures.
22:14: No pocket knife here, but I'm glad my native country sent a Nightwish knock-off rather than a something-else knock-off...
22:13: Serbia is onstage now, so we all quieten down in case Teo decides to produce his famous "pocket knife".
22:12: The Cypriots have dashed off as their electronic bracelet has gone off: they are wanted for quadruple murder.
22:12: Goodbye Shelter - all clear sounded
22:11: Did I just see wolves?
22:10: A. They already have a garage.
22:10: Q. Why is Willie Mangion not in this band?
22:08: Cyprus have sent a band, Minus One - possibly referring to their country’s current bank balance.
22:08: Cypriot serial killers rock.
22:07: Cyprus throw a TV out of the window in their promo video, something I'd love to do right now.
22:07: Strong performance from the Australia, the irritating joker in a pack of cards.
22:05: Plays around with a touchpad and she gets to be one of the favourites. Oqgħod agħmel l-kowtijiet teknoloġiċi.
22:04: Beats me how an Australian could be silent.
22:03: Australia, the birthplace of European civilisation, is now on stage with the "Sound of Silence."
22:02: Oh look a Maltese family needing GPS to find some fried chicken.
22:00: What colour is your life? Yours has taken a brownish tinge.
22:00: Thanks Weird Al
21:58: I think it's Kenny G, with a goatie he swapped for his alto saxophone...
21:58: Durer crossed with Kenny G. What a time to be alive.
21:58: Kirk Hammett has had a traffic accident. Crashed into Freddie Mercury. Now looks like Prince.
21:57: The Poles are up next, with their version of Kirk Hammett feeding a squirrel.
21:56: Unfortunately my inner Far-Rightist tells me to beware the multicultural invader : J’ai cherché sounds like it could mean “I am Xerxes”. Clear agenda there, null point.
21:56: Judging from the deluge of photos you're tweeting in, it appears most of you are either i) drunk ii) wearing hideous nightgowns iii) wearing hideous makeup.
21:56: Amir is emanating so much roguish charm, even I’m liking the guy.
21:54: Dear readers, kindly appreciate that around 85% of the jokes being told tonight have never made it past the firewall. I have a lawyer sitting next to me with - is that a taser you got there?
21:53: France’s Amir was born in France to a Tunisian father and a Moroccan-Spanish mother. He also lived in Israel. So there.
21:53: And of course behind every Germany there's a France.
21:51: Jamie Lee? I thought her name was Gretel, who just made her way out of a grim basement without managing to get rid of the candyfloss that got stuck to her during the ordeal.
21:50: The Brothers Grimm would be proud...
21:50: If Donnie Darko was about Eurovision
21:49: Ze Germans are on. They won't be leaving empty handed: their very ethically and thoughtful Troika has ensured the Greek backing vocalists will be on the flight to Germany as a severance payment.
21:48: Next up: Teutonic Terror Jamie-Lee says she is obsessed with Japanese street culture, which is refreshing, if also a tad confusing. “There is nothing vulgar nor provocative about me and my art, as people might expect. I am rather reserved. I enjoy what I do very much. I love to practice; many think that kids my age aren't hardworking enough or have very little ambition. I also find myself quite funny! (laughs).” OK everyone, Jamie’s here - remember, laugh at her jokes and whatever you do, don’t mention the war.
21:48: His makeup team did quite a job of the acne treatment, has to be said.
21:47: If I were a salt, I'd be a bath salt #justsayin
21:47: "If I were assault..."
21:45: Sweden show us Hanson is still alive somewhere out there.
21:45: Like Alt-J crossed with Barney the Dinosaur
21:45: The home side are on with an employee of the now shuttered SAAB doing the honours.
21:45: Frans. Not il-hamallu, unfortunately. He’s 17 and says his dad was crowned prince of Ogboh. Today, Frans, you are King of M’Ogbohkx.
21:44: Not bad for a traffic cone
21:43: Her coat has gone nuclear. Probably they found it in the recycling bin behind the venue, something the Maltese ditched in the "plastic" bin.
21:43: A shout goes to all the Bulgarian brothers watching us from Bugibba. Top meats you got there. In the restaurant I mean.
21:42: Bulgaria's Poli Genova has many talents, according to her bio. Outfit selection, sadly, not one of them
21:41: Bulgarian entry is copying Miriam Christine Borg's elegant footwork from a few years back.
21:38: Mr. Star apparently “also wrote and composed songs for other singers and was asked to join the dubbing ensemble for the Hebrew versions of Disney and Pixar box office hits including Frozen, Lego, Cinderella, Inside Out and others.” Times must be hard for a man of this calibre to resort to Eurovision to put bread on the table. But that is no ordinary bread - it’s Hovis Soft White.
21:37: Millenials rejoice! My Chemical Romance are back.
21:37: Israel. Ken Livingston has just turned over to Match of the Day on the Beeb.
21:36: Israel's Hovi Star. That is no ordinary star- it’s the Death Star.
21:35: Organic apples, buy, you want to buy?
21:35: There's a very clear risk of her hitting somebody in the eye if she keeps waiving her arms like David Seaman rushing out to pick up an oncoming cross.
21:34: Nessun grado di separazione, a song written just outside the Ecclesiastical Tribunal.
21:33: Flower display onstage proudly taken care of by Jason Micallef himself.
21:33: If her English is as good as Renzi's we're in for a fun ride...
21:32: The Italians are up next. Italian delegation complained of the lack of pizzerias in Stockholm.
21:31: Sounds slightly off key, our Baywatch Buchannon of the Buda.
21:30: He reportedly told the media "Aqta' kif se nifqa' party illejla. Għada għal Baia Beach?"
21:29: His name is Freddie. Some people call him the Space Cowboy. Some call him the gangster of Pest.
21:29: The girls are ready for Freddie...
21:28: A Hungarian chef, the goulash expert, is up singing about some undercooked recipe.
21:27: Fun fact: I was about to make this my fave to win, but then I realised that the promo vid’s background music wasn’t the actual entry. No word of a lie.
21:26: Red light goes on again - upstairs have warned us not to say anything about Samra in case they close the gas pipeline.
21:25: I'm going to need a cigarette after this performance
21:24: Azerbaijan’s artist is called Samra. U ha nghidlek sammritni b’dar-ritratt. From that photo, she looks like she has a trick or two up her sleeve. Her left, in particular (I’m sure it’s only talc).
21:24: Samra from Azerbaijan, a jogger who frequently does the Sliema-Baku waterfront trail.
21:23: Because today we actually DID get the pizza.
21:23: Dopey Bob does his little crowdsurfing thing and I almost choke in my pizza.
21:23: Slow down, a stroke is on the way.
21:22: Dutch bluegrass could be a cool thing but right now, it's not. That clock set looks like a steampunk photoshoot gone wrong...
21:22: "Isimgħu, Rooij Van Orbiijsen"
21:21: Heavens above! A guitar! Beer#2
21:21: Dopey Bob! I missed you. It's munchies o' clock.
21:20: The Netherlands’ Douwe Bob looks like he fell from heaven and from his hair, I can tell that his re-entry into the atmosphere took place feet-first
21:20: Rousing performance from the Czechs. Rousing and Czechs could be an oxymoron.
21:19: Phonecall from upstairs (red light bulb goes on): please remember it's families and kids are watching this. I kinda feel sorry for them.
21:17: Gabriella something, a wall climber and plasterer from the Czech Republic, is up next.
21:16: I have a soft spot for Czech Republic’s Gabriela Gunčíková. Actually “soft” might not be the right adjective.
21:15: Belgian set looks like tetris gone wrong.
21:15: Milan are losing to Roma and Inter losing to Sassuolo. Like you'd all care.
21:15: I forgot my bell bottoms at home, Mephew.
21:14: We're in a hurry - Belgian are up first. Rumours about the Belgians corrupting the jury with a box of Guylian are slightly exaggerated.
21:14: Are you feeling Disco-mbobulated Wayne?
21:13: I apologise reservedly as I reach for another bottle of Beaujolais without putting my phone away.
21:13: Oh, tut mir leid Andrew, I thought this was a light hearted private conversation.
21:12: Malta’s Ira will be the 22nd onstage, meaning Andrew Borg Cardona will need to wait for a couple more hours before yelling “the bitch is onstage!”
21:12: A shout out goes to Eileen who almost destroyed her TV last time round.
21:10: Swedish jokey joke: none of the guys came onto me. Must be a problem with your Volvo.
21:10: Today's affair is going to be longer than Tuesday's. We have to sit through the voting and every time Malta's ignored or given less than 8 points we'll be scoffing and insulting a particular country.
21:08: The clothes on parade during this first erm, parade, of singers are worth Liberia's entire deficit.
21:05: How are you watching the Eurovision? Tweet us @maltatoday. The best photos might be featured.
21:04: The marshmallow man spring/summer collection 2016 on the catwalk right now
21:04: Same rules as Tuesday apply: MT’s censorship apparatchik is in full swing. In addition to Tuesday’s rules, in view of Ireland’s participation and their sensitivity to the letters Ira, I have been forbidden from making any jokes about plastic bombs and booby traps. Ohohoho Swedish humour has gotten to me haha me haha you.
21:03: I mean, why blog for the Times and take the trip to Stockholm when you can do it from this equally beautiful chicken pen?
21:03: The sun has set on the beautiful San Gwann-Sur-Mer leaving me in no doubt as to how depressed the Maltese press contingent in Stockholm must be.
21:03: There's a lot of waving in these first two minutes of the final and I suspect this will be the main thing happening tonight. Waving.
21:02: Things are slightly different from last Tuesday: MT newsroom is bustling with activity as the journalists rush to close off yet another Sunday issue of the paper that brings much joy and happiness to many Maltese.
21:01: Wookie is Matthew Agius, aka the wall, whose back obliterates my view of the fir trees in San Gwann and pretty much the rest of the newsroom.
21:01: Blondie being of course Teodor Reljic, cultural editor, who has foregone his night in front of a Polish version of Gone with the Wind to watch this.
21:00: So here we are again in the commentary box, Baldie, Blondie and Wookie, bringing you a blow by blow account of the Eurovision Final.
20:57: While we wait, watching slow-mo adverts of people in banks, I will regale you all with my thoughts about the contest as a whole. Eurovision is the Jerry Springer show of the music world. Everyone loves to be shocked by it, nobody takes it seriously. Nobody except 80 trillion euro, levitating, wi-fi enabled, portal-to-dimension -X-dress making Malta.
20:53: Beer #1
20:51: The usual interminably long advert break is making me rather nervous. Especially because the huge majority of these ads is voiced by Carlo Borg Bonaci.
20:40: Stay with us as we search frantically for the remote control.
20:38: Ladies and laddies welcome to our liveflog! The big day is finally here. After months of preparations, rumours, speculation, hard work, technological coats and ridiculously optimistic bets, welcome to our live commentary of the UEFA Champions Lea... no dammit, somebody changed the channel.
20:23: Beards are us... Matthew Agius is supporting act.

20:22: A face only a mother could love...
20:18: It's back. The live-blog that loves to bonk the Eurovision. Here's a photo from last Tuesday's energetic performance.


Wayne Flask - does occasional ranting on a freelance basis.