Love it or hate it, the Eurovision Song Contest threw up another feast of cheesy, car crash TV. One of the few non-surprises was Sweden claiming its fifth title.
Loreen was the bookies’ favourite with her punchy dance track Euphoria, which became a runaway success during the voting, although the Russian grannies gave her a run for her money before she pulled away from all contenders.
Jedward, competing for the second year in a row, were victims of the usual eastern block voting pattern, and had to make do with picking up a few votes here and there, with our closest neighbours, the UK giving us 10 points.
Other countries who voted for Ireland included the Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Latvia.
But UK entrant Engelbert Humperdinck fared even worse, only picking up 12 points in total — and four of them were given by Ireland.
And the twins, who performed energetically and with their hair down, were magnanimous in defeat.
“Congratulations to Loreen and to Sweden. She had a great song and if we couldn’t be the winners then we’re glad it was her.
“We want to thank our amazing fans all over Europe for voting for us. A big shout out to our backing singers Leanne, Clare, Shane and Julian for being such as great team. Also thanks to our mentor Linda Martin and our crew and family, who are always behind us.
“We had an amazing time in Baku, and we plan to be back again soon to perform for our fans in Azerbaijan. Right now we’re just looking forward to getting home.”
And the wacky duo came home to the good news that they have been hired to replace Olly Murs on The X Factor spin-off show, The Xtra Factor, which has done something to ease their pain over finishing in 19th place with just 46 points.
Manager Louis Walsh called them from London to tell them the good news and claimed their high-profile in Baku has already landed them up to€1m worth of work this year. “They are going from strength to strength, with everything from gigs and endorsements to personal appearances and merchandising. They are already winners.”
The Eurovision was watched by more than 100m viewers in 50 countries.