In defence of 'Maps'
Now it’s not often that people come out writing articles defending that song that finished last in a Eurovision semi-final.
However, when it’s not only your winner for the year but your all-time favourite in question you have no choice but to explain why it didn't deserve that position.
‘Maps’ by Lesley Roy finished with 20 points, 16 from the jury and just 4 points from the televote.
Now as much as I want to get upset with Europeans and Australians who didn't vote for it, I will focus on the low jury score and where they went wrong.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the song-writing.
It was a well constructed pop song put together by Lesley Roy and a team of Swedish writers, which is what juries usually go for and what they did reward in other entries like Malta and Bulgaria (even San Marino finished 7th in the juries in the semi-final.)
Then look at the lyrics themselves:
“My soul is a map
My heart is a compass
I am the road”.
If they are not pure poetry, I’m not sure what is.
Secondly, that staging was incredible.
It has come up for some criticism but that baffles and confuses me. It was a staging that stood out, particularly in semi-final one where a lot of acts had the same colour palate for their staging – blue, purple, pink.
Ireland had a different colour scheme and they had an inventive staging that they were able to reveal during the performance.
Some say the reveal was too early, but I disagree, it gave enough time to bring a level of admiration and respect to see how it was pulled together by Fredrik “Benke” Rydman who was behind the Eurovision 2015 winner's staging 'Heroes'.
Considering the juries are to judge the originally and overall impression of a song, 'Maps' I would argue delivered this more than many other acts in Eurovision semi-final one. The juries could have taken these aspects into account more.
Looking through the full results, you can’t help but notice that despite the lack of points that went Ireland’s way this year, more than half of the countries had Ireland in the 11th to 13th range across both the televote and/or the jury including Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Russia, Sweden, The Netherlands and Ukraine.
This is not as disastrous as I first expected when I read Ireland came last. Unfortunately one of the downfalls of this voting system is that coming 11th in a country’s vote is the exact same as coming dead last, you still earn absolutely zero points.
Maybe if Ireland was in the other semi with more traditional voting buddies like the UK, would it have done better?
We will never know, but regardless, for me it will always be one of the best, most unique performances of the entire contest, even if the results don’t reflect that.
I will always love and treasure this song and I’m not the only one that will. #LoveforLesley always and forever