Eurovision War Song Contest

Ah, yes… That day of the year that equals the madness surrounding the Super Bowl was again yesterday and I actually managed to sit through The Eurovision Song Contest without too much struggling to stay awake (and zapping to and fro Monsters vs. Aliens and The Adjustment Bureau on other channels).

Like in recent years, the growing level of professionalism is welcome, though indeed as our German commentator noted, a bit of camp and more originality wouldn’t hurt. Too many songs are too obviously “trophy bait” with their melodies, rhythms and even the presentations sounding and looking too much like certain songs on the radio and TV. In the end I think that’s one of the reasons that broke our one and only Jamie-Lee‘s back. She was the colorful canary and everyone loved her, but come time for making some serious commitment, most went the tried and tested familiar. Not saying that her song would have been that outstanding and in the past I’ve often been critical of our German contributions for being rather rubbish, but this time she clearly had deserved better than to come in last (even if at least with some points, not zero). There were several songs that were a lot more awful.

Inevitably, politics were heavy at play this time with the race between Ukraine and Russia having made news and caused a lot of speculation beforehand. Now alliances and allegiances based on former political association and good standing relations have always been part of the Eurovision game, but this time it was a tad too obvious that everyone was pushing one faction to spite the other more than anything else. As a result, clearly not the best song was declared the winner, as much as I sympathize with the good intentions. Of course my Ukrainian maternal grandmother would have to say a thing or two about this as well, were she still with us. One can only hope that next year’s show won’t be overloaded with political meaning. Crosses for the dead, coffins, blood and combat footage would just be so obviously cheap and distasteful…

The good thing about this intra-European victory is that it minimizes the issues associated with different time zones and getting things organized. Imagine the hoops they would have had to jump, had Australia won! You know, since they are technically not even a member of the EBU they might even have to relinquish their rights to someone else to hold the show in their name. Complication, complication! One mustn’t even think about what were to happen, if the Chinese or US people ever took a liking to this and the contest got popular in their countries. Those votes at the end would drag on even longer. Anyway, in my view the Australian entry was the best and would have been more than deserving, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

Overall this was enjoyable evening. Say what you will, the Swedish know how to deliver a good show. Even Justin Timberlake‘s appearance turned out to be fun, though at first it seemed unnecessary, given how many popular contemporary artists from their own country they could have resorted to. I bet we will be hearing this song a lot this summer…

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