Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eurovision: The Retrospective

I hope you, Dear Constant Reader, enjoyed the show last night! Before we put Eurovision to bed for another year, and return to business as usual, it's time for us to look back and see exactly what we thought of the whole affair. Let's begin.

Graham Norton As Commentator

Last year I was pretty happy when Terry Wogan implied he was leaving. His commentary had gone from charming sending up of the contest to deeply cynical and unwarranted attacks upon it.

When Graham Norton was announced as his replacement, I was not totally happy. I imagined his commentary would be little different to the cynical Wogan's. I was wrong. His commentary was decent stuff, funny but not too jaded. Certainly a welcome return to treating the contest as something to smile about rather than cry about.

Well done Mr Norton.

Jade Ewan And Our Entry

So I very reluctantly gave my support to Jade to start off with. I've always said Jade could sing, but the song itself gave me moments for concern. Well, I was wrong. It did us proud yesterday. Jade took us into the top 5 for the first time in 7 years. She has proven that we can score big, as long as we choose the right singer.

Sadly many fans on Twitter last night and even the BBC news report afterwards were rather morose and downbeat about this turn of events. This is absolutely unacceptable. We cannot expect to always win! There's over 40 other Eurovision countries! All we should hope is that we do well and come in to the top tier. Which we did. Aiming to win is not a bad thing but being a poor loser is a very bad thing indeed. Especially when Jade did so well, it's quite unfair to her to dismiss what is in fact a victory as "a creditable performance".

The Winner Is... Norway

Norway are famous for their nil points, but last night their entry took the top spot in a massive landslide. The highest points total ever shows that my opinion was completely not in line with Europe as a whole!

What I thought was a bit of an annoying song, sung by someone I can think of better things to do with than watch on telly, turned out to be the winner of the competition. And who am I to argue with the whole of Europe? :D

The Eastern Question

Feeling somewhat like a lone voice in the wilderness I have been decrying the nonsensical attack upon our Eastern neighbours voting patterns for some time. Thankfully this contest proved (even before the new voting system) that any such concerns were unwarranted (see voting analysis ad nauseum for further evidence!).

The semi final knocked out only a few Western countries whilst those east of the Iron Curtain suffered a decimation. Even last night, with the new voting system, the top two entries were Western and 3 of the top five were. That's despite the fact Western countries are totally outnumbered by former Communist block states. So in your face Terry Wogan and the entire British media establishment.

I'm not saying neighbouring countries don't vote for each other. Ireland and the UK are notorious for it. But that's because of cultural reasons, not political ones, and the only way around it is to do what we did this year: send our entry around Europe, get them on television, and ensure they know we are around. It has paid off handsomely. (If only the BBC had read this blog they'd know I'd been suggesting that for donkey's years! Sending Andy Abraham around UK television studios last year to promote his song was, to be blunt, serving only his future career not the interests of our Eurovision entry)

The Slavic Pride Controversy

I'd be interested to know if any other nations commentators made a mention of the heavy handed tactics of the Moscow police in breaking up a legitimate, if technically illegal, gay pride demonstration. For our part, Graham used a particularly topical comical interval act (just for those of us without adverts!) of singing policeman to mention the one dark mark against the Russian hosting of the contest. It was very little, and I would have preferred more, but at least he got it out there.

The British Response

Does anyone actually like Eurovision in this country anymore? Listening to the semi final commentary from Paddy, the emails he received and our response to Jade's awesome achievement suggest not. All have been lacking any decency, respect or even amusement. Dark and cynical is the best way to describe it. Paddy obviously HATES the competition and the people whose communications were read out seemed to hate it too (why they bothered to watch or write in I don't know!!). Does anyone in this country ever smile? Perhaps we deserve to be broken up, cut off from Europe and made an international pariah. We certainly seem to lack any sense of joy, hope or any positive emotions as a people.

Well I resolutely shall not succumb to this idiocy nor negativity. Jade did it! She might not have won but she brought Eurovision glory back into sight. And the quality of the other entries was at an all time high. 2009 was, possibly, the best Eurovision contest of the decade!

See you here, this time next year. But if you can't wait that long... Asiavision starts selecting in July followed by the first ever Asia-Pacific Song Contest in November! COME ON THAILAND!!!!

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

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