The Ukraine’s Jamala took home the title with a politically charged song about the deportation of the Tatars from Crimea under the Stalin regime. It seemed particularly deliberately timed with the ongoing annexation of the Crimea from Ukraine by the current Russian government.
Russia themselves did finish 3rd although watching the performance itself it certainly was one of the best on show and could arguably have won any other year.
Russia has been expectedly unimpressed with the outcome and national newspapers, such as Komsomolskaya Pravda, are calling for a review to be held after the Jamala song 1944 won the contest. Even Russian MPs got involved, Elena Drapeko, blamed Russia’s defeat on what she called an “information war” and “general demonisation” of her country.
It has been noted that former soviet countries which would normally vote for Russia voting for Ukraine instead was a notable show of political intent.
That all said the public votes from both Russia and the Ukraine voted quite highly for one another which made the jury decision not to award points to one another at all even more noticeable.
Germany and the UK both performed abysmally despite what would certainly not be considered the worst performances. Potentially a reflection of ongoing European issues.
It has often been said that the Eurovision voting is largely political and it would seem that the 2016 Eurovision results would definitely lend credence to that point.