It's Eurovision Time

Well, it’s that time of the year again! Those of you with long memories may remember I posted a rant up about Eurovision last year.

So I was thinking about what I didn’t like about Eurovision last year, and after searching around on the internet a bit I found an interesting article on the BBC website about Block Voting.

There are apparently two camps with regards to “block voting” — one camp is that it’s purely a cultural thing, i.e. neighbouring countries vote for each other because the culture is similar, and they would like similar music. The other camp is that the countries are voting for each other for purely political reasons.

I’m not sure which is correct at the moment, although I do suspect that it is at least partially political. But I did see one interesting comment on another article though:

“I would understand this barrage of criticism if “the four greats (UK, France, Germany and Spain)”, who are great only for political and financial reasons irrespective of what sub-standard musical effort they send to Eurovision, had tried a bit harder and sent a good song sung by talented singers.
“Eastern countries” try much harder as they do not view this competition as a kitschfest … It is the Western countries that should try to shake off this ridiculous cliche and start treating Eurovision with a bit of creativity and open-mindedness …
The Serbian ballad [last year’s winner] is strong and does not depend on trollies and outdated gimmicks to conceal the performers lack of talent. Serbia has brought back music to this contest. [– Zeljko, London, UK, on this article]

I can’t speak for other countries, but perhaps if the UK did start to take the competition a bit more… well, seriously, and didn’t submit the same old utter crap which we do year on year, we might have more of a chance of getting a little bit higher than second from last place?

I for one would welcome a competition where people actually cared about the music, and we didn’t just watch it to get a few cheap laughs at some ridiculous lyrics. (It can’t just be me – when I watch Eurovision sometimes I feel like I’m laughing at a kid with a disability!)

Aaaaanyway. I think we should get together and form a Eurovision 2009 entry… that’ll show ’em!

Now excuse me while I don my pipe and slippers and reminisce about how much better everything was “in my day”.

Edit: I should probably mention that due to a wedding I won’t actually be watching this year. Lucky escape, huh?

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3 thoughts on “It's Eurovision Time

  1. You have a very good point, Phill. England hasn’t taken the competition seriously for years. Ireland used to and always used to get far higher than us. Of course people tend to like the Irish.

    The last time Britain bothered to send a proper entry, a talented singer who had stage presence and could sing, we won. Of course that was back in, what? 1997?

    I really like some of the songs from the Baltic countries, but they are good singers, with good songs, which are well written. Usually the best – or one of the best – song wins. Just look at that rock entry from a couple of years ago from Finland. It was superb. And they’re not a Baltic country.

    Just checking out Finland’s stats on wiki and the countries they’ve given the most number of points to over the years are: Sweden (no surprise), Italy, Israel, UK and Switzerland. What does that say about their ‘block’ voting?

    On the same note, guess who we’ve given the most points to over the years: Ireland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Israel. Isn’t that a form of block voting as well?

  2. Good point, A-M – “Block” voting goes on in a lot of places, including our own beloved motherland (so to speak…)

    Maybe Eurovision should go back to how it was in the first one – it was judged by a panel. (the panel would, of course, have to have John Barrowman on it).

    That would have the added benefit of cutting out the tedious “voting” section of the show, it’s probably the bit that annoys me most. Having one cheesy presenter is bad enough, but having one from each country nearly drives me mad! They’re so cheery they could give you diabetes.

    On a random note, does it scare anyone else that 1997 was 11 years ago? The students arriving at uni this year could have been born in 1990… there’s just something wrong about that!

  3. “Maybe Eurovision should go back to how it was in the first one – it was judged by a panel. (the panel would, of course, have to have John Barrowman on it).”

    Of course. What’s a panel without John Barrowman?

    The voting is a little aching teeth tedious, but it is fun to see the British entry getting more and more depressed as the votes come in.

    “On a random note, does it scare anyone else that 1997 was 11 years ago? The students arriving at uni this year could have been born in 1990… there’s just something wrong about that!”

    Ahhhhhh! That’s just wrong!

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