It’s Eurovision (Song For Europe) right now as I write this, and it’s hard to explain this tradition to non-Europeans but what started out as a high minded song contest between European countries is now just an object lesson in ritual humiliation not just for all the contestants but for the UK as well.
Quote from Wikipedia “Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. Each country participates via one of their national EBU-member television stations, whose task it is to select a singer and a song to represent their country in the international competition. The Contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most-watched non-sporting events in the world with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally.”
That’s the official line but it’s really just an excuse to play politics and backstab your neighbouring countries and score points with others – literally. I think during the 60’s and 70′s it probably did keep to it’s high minded ideals of trying to give everyone a sense of being part of Europe and during those days the UK did occasionally win but these days are long behind us now and now it’s a competition to see who can wear the most kitsch outfit and perform the worse song and make 600 million Europeans collectively groan in agony.. well, if you are going to completely die on stage you may as well do it in front of 600 million..
For some reason which I am at a loss to explain, Europe now seems to include countries that couldn’t possibly be counted as being in Europe, this includes Israel which is about as European as beef jerky and lamb samosa and the many Arab (!) broadcasters screening the 1978 contest had stuck in an ad break while Israel’s entry was performed; when it became clear that Alphabeta were set to win, they simply pulled the plug. Jordan prematurely ended its transmission with a lingering still shot of a vase of daffodils.
However, as is traditional in this country, the boys and I will sit through all three or four hours tonight like everyone else in this country and squirm at the songs and shout outrage as everyone gives the UK ‘nul point’s (pronounced as if French, as [nyl pwɛ̃]) and smile as Ireland beats UK yet again and all across the country there will be Eurovision parties, normal sensible folk will dress up in trashy glittery outfits and get drunk and shout at the tv and argue about which song was the worse.. Did I mention UK came 25th out of 25 last year, I think if the other countries could have awarded UK 26th place out of 25 then they would have. However, the UK will take some consolation in the fact that despite it being a contest between 25 countries with different languages, English is the main language used throughout the contest including the songs. So not only is America trying it’s best to set English as the universal language but so too is Eurovision, mustn’t gloat (but will!)
Some of the best moments from Eurovision are here but I guarantee you will watch this one clip below at least twice!
Ireland’s entry was excruciating bad (Jedward pictured above somewhere) but then that’s the plan because Ireland is broke and can’t afford to host the contest next year.. or for the next ten years..
Blue, the UK entry has just been on, terrible terrible song, so bound to win! If not then we send in Susan Boyle next year, you have been warned.
OMG the The Moldovan entry (below) is like a live action Far Side cartoon of the Eurovision, it’s like Leprechauns on acid…unbelievable.. my ears are bleeding and so are my eyes..
The general opinion of the boys is that Azerbaijan (below) ought to win but WTF do we know..
I can’t wait to buy the CD :)
Excellent, Azerbaijan won! There is a god after all :)))