Search this blog

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Change Eurovision or walk out

I'm afraid I succumbed last night to the lure of velcro, the whirling of numerous dervishes and the howling of banshees.

Yes, I decided to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. The only reason was because Sweden were declared favourites, and I perked up thinking that if a Western European country was a favourite, maybe things wouldn't be so bad.

In the event, Sweden didn't do very well (and I wasn't that bothered because the Scandinavian countries role modelled the art of voting for each other, long before Eastern Europe joined the party).

I could see that some of us were trying very hard. France even sang in English, for the first time ever, and had someone who's apparently quite cool. I liked their song. Germany were Germany. Spain tried to go for novelty and cheese with something about "cheeky" which really should have been a nul points.

As for the rest, well, I lost the will to live at quite an early stage in the contest and started reading, so they all merged into one. So many turkeys! (And Ireland wasn't among them). I did notice some old geezer, some head bangers (Finland again) and of course the dire Latvian pirates. A few years ago they may have won it, but Eurovision voters tend now to go for overblown big production jobs, and this year's winner, Russia, fitted that bill perfectly with some muscle hewn singer called Bilan and a male ice skater pirouetting in the background.

Terry Wogan sounded crushed and at the end said it was no longer a song contest and western Europe should think carefully about what we do next. He hinted he may not be there next year. I won't be either, unless there's a radical change. Seeing as we, Germany, France and Spain fund it, I believe we should now put our mouths where our money is. I'd like to see the senior bigwig from the BBC who runs this event defending it.

It used to be a bit of fun but now it's painful. It's not about songs but about allies and close countries. Sadly for us, only two countries deigned to vote for us (San Marino and Ireland) so it's a giant snub from western Europe. Yesterday's Times showed a table of all the winners over the years, and a few years ago we were always in the top 10. In fact, coming seventh was considered a flop. Now we are always at the bottom. It's not that the songs are dreadful. Scooch last year was pretty dire, but there are always worse. This year our song was like a Lennon McCartney compared to some of them.

So how to change?

First idea: get rid of the public vote. Go back to the voting panels. And don't allow a country to vote for those on its borders.

Second idea: create two Eurovisions, funded by the countries taking part. One for western Europe, the other for eastern Europe.

No comments:


This content isn't available over encrypted connections yet.