So the UK did their choosing thing last night, and there is much to mull over. But the biggest thing that we've learned is that if you put in the work you win the prize. As we know, SuRie knows this game very well, and pretty much had this thing won on Twitter over the last fortnight. She's been getting involved, retweeting all the most influential online opinion makers, and letting herself be interviewed by the top sites. All that work meant that by the time she walked out on that Brighton stage she already had the punters in the palm of her hand.
Job one done.
Having the experience of the big show as she does - albeit in a secondary role - she knows what works on stage. She might not have had the best song last night, but she gave the best performance by a mile. And so while the good stuff was under performed (Asanda for one seemingly struggling to breathe under the weight of expectation), and the rest upped their game with less winnable songs (the previously dull Jaz putting the whole of his life into his on stage efforts, delivering some of the most soaring vocals ever seen on a UK national final stage), our lass SuRie just smiled, looked straight down the telly pipe and charmed the hearts of a nation, like some kind of trendy supply teacher quelling an unruly mob of superannuated school kids by singing a popped up sea shanty with some charm and grace.
Task two achieved.
It was clear from about ten seconds in that she had that won, and while I was initially disappointed, I had that bloody song stuck in my head all night, despite going out for a practise with one of my horrible noisy bands directly after. Clearly it's way stickier than I ever imagined, so while it's not to my immediate taste it might just strike a chord with the voting public - if Denmark don't do the dirty on us and send one of many songs in their final with a similar vocal motif.
The actual TV production was a step in the right direction, too. Just the right blend of nostalgia and wit, playing to the home audience but still being inclusive to the folks at home, a panel who actually knew what they were talking about - Rylan a particular revelation, and in Måns a proven host with the right levels of professionalism and self-depricating humour to pull it off. Oh, and Mel cut the "Eurovisj" cringes down to an absolute minimum, too.
We're not quite there yet, but each year is a marked improvement on the last. We've unlocked another achievement and levelled up once more. Now all we need is that killer song to lure in a continent and we're laughing.