When it comes to the bookies’ odds at Eurovision, the higher you climb, the harder you fall. Who among us doesn’t remember the bookies’ one-time favourites—think Stella Mwangi, Kate Ryan, DJ Bobo, Safura—who came crashing down when the results were read out at ESC?
This year’s contest added more corpses to the bookies’ graveyard. Armenia’s Aram Mp3, the favourite to win for months, burned bright early but ultimately finished in fourth. Denmark’s Basim climbed almost continuously, rising as high as fourth, only to finish a disappointing ninth. But in the end our readers felt that the United Kingdom’s Molly was the biggest letdown after all of the hype. After counting a total of 2,574 votes, we can now reveal that y’all have awarded Molly Smitten-Downes The 2014 Amaury Vassili Award for Biggest Disappointment.
From the very moment Miss Molly revealed her song, Eurovision fan sites and the British media billed her as Britain’s saviour. Minutes after hearing her song we asked whether she could “win Eurovision for the UK”. Twitter fans wet themselves with excitement. Later on, we couldn’t get enough of her boho-chic music video. At Eurovision itself, the press room erupted after each of her rehearsals, giving the impression that she was poised for victory. (Most of us forgot to consider that the press room was filled with Brits). On the eve of the contest, the bookies had Molly listed as their fifth favourite to win.
As you all know, she ultimately finished 17th. In the arena we thought she looked and sounded amazing. But in review critics have said that her vocals were off, that her staging wasn’t big enough to fill the stage, and that she looked like she had skinned Simba from The Lion King. Ouch. Regardless of the reason, the result was the same. Molly couldn’t live up to the hype.
The biggest disappointments of Eurovision 2014
1. Molly Smitten-Downes: 1,332 votes, 48.02%
2. Can-linn ft. Kasey Smith: 419 votes, 15.1%
3. Dilara Kazimova: 379 votes, 13.66%
4. Aram MP3: 297 votes, 10.71%
5. TWIN TWIN: 245 votes, 8.83%
6. Basim: 102 votes, 3.68%
Molly may take comfort in the fact she follows in the footsteps of our 2013 winner Cascada. The electro-dance group tanked at Eurovision, but remain global superstars nonetheless.
The Amaury Vassilli Award honours France’s 2011 contestant who went from hero to zero when the Eurovision results came in. The opera star was a favourite of bookies and fans alike in the run up to the grand final, and rumour had it that the French delegation had already booked venues to host ESC 2012. Given all the hype, Team Wiwi harassed Amaury to give us this interview on April 7. And we stalked him in the press centre until we got this photo. We were so convinced he would do well we took to wearing red, white and blue leis to mark France’s imminent victory. Oops. Amaury finished 15th.
This award is just one of a dozen awards we have launched as part of the second annual Valentina Monetta Awards. Our 12 categories—from best dressed to most most wronged at ESC—identify the contestants who left the biggest impression on Eurovision fans, regardless of whether they won the contest or not.
Photos: Eurovision.tv (EBU)