Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Time for a change over Eurovision?

Well there is at least one good thing about the Eurovision Song contest. It is a useful reminder of exactly how low the esteem in which much of Europe holds the UK actually is - and curiously places outside Europe like Russia and Israel hold the UK. There seems to be some following for the Contest in Australia, maybe they should participate, they are surely just as 'qualified' as Israel or Russia.

Still, covering 40% of the costs together with only France, Germany and Spain is a steep price for this knowledge. Italy sensibly decided Enough was enough. It could be the automatic qualification for the final when better songs do not make it this massive expenditure buys us probably does not help.

Of course Russia does not like us at the moment, due to the diplomatic row over some mysterious unidentified party killing off Russian dissidents on British soil. The Balkan states know what side their bread is buttered, but it does have to be said the UK entry this year was not, by objective standards, by any means the best, or most likely to do well on it’s ’Euro’ merit.

By the new Eurovision standards the Russian entry was good, but despite the voting probably not the best.

It would be interesting to see how well the UK would perform if the psychology of the Euro sound were to be analysed and a group and song were to be crafted, specifically designed to succeed, rather than relying on the proven inability of the British public to judge current, heavily East European influenced, ‘Euro’ taste.

It would also be interesting to see a complete change in the voting system where all the votes were pooled. It is simply ludicrous that a country with the population of Andorra has the same voting clout as one with a population the size of Germany.

Maybe it would be much better if an arrangement were found where all participating countries paid their fair percentage share, based on their population and no one automatically made the final too.

If these changes can not be made in time for next year’s contest then surely it would be better if the UK followed the Italian example, withdrew from the contest and took it’s cash with it.


RobW said...

Some might say it reveals some of the cultural problems with the whole 'European project'.

By the way I didn't think our song was all that bad. And according to my score sheet I had Ukraine to win and Greece second.

Beaman said...

I think we should pull out unless professional judges make the decision. Maybe neutral judges from Asia, Africa and the Americas

CFD Ed said...

TR, I agree that as far as it went the Ukraine and Greek entries were both better than the Russian entry. For sheer zip and novelty I liked the pirate’s ‘Wolves of the sea’. A-Harrrr me haaarrties.

I do take your point re cultural issues.

Beaman. I think we should pull out if the system is not massively overhauled by next year. I don’t think your African judges will help any. Some of what we see in this contest may well be cultural differences in what actually constitutes good music. I don’t really have a problem with that the UK should adjust to it.

There is certainly a western ‘euro’ sound heard in the clubs and bars of the Med and the songs that constitute it creeps back into the UK charts every year as holiday makers return, having heard them and an exposure to a given hit is built up over the summer.

I would submit that there is also a ‘heavier’ slightly different Eastern European sound. I believe different nations and national groupings may actually prefer different stuff, though I have no idea why.

Having as an example African judges would simply compound the problem. I still prefer all the individual votes going into a combined pool. Maybe make each vote consist of a ranked a top 3 choice.

I think our entry was handicapped because it was not ’European’ sounding enough. I thought it was a mistake to have picked it as soon as I heard it. Nothing intrinsically wrong with it, just not the right tool for the job.

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