Sunday, May 22, 2005


So, the longest face in the final since Celine Dion rolled up as a ringer for another country triumphs in Eurovision; and Britain does rubbish again - eighteen points is not attributable solely to the rest of Europe hating Britain; even if we'd actually bombed France and sent Kilroy-Silk to Germany with a megaphone, a half-decent song delivered well might have expected to pull thirty or so marks. Personally, we reckon that Switzerland was robbed, and robbed blind.

The real question, though, isn't why was Britain so bad (the answer is obvious: the qualification round was a circus sideshow, and sending the best of a bad lot just won't do anymore) but why was Wogan so bad? It's become an axiom that "you can't imagine Eurovision without Terry Wogan" but maybe it's time to try. Certainly during the voting round, he added little but the same churning few not-quite-gags: quiet for a while, mention Granny, quiet for a while, moan about the Baltic states voting for each other, quiet for a while, moan about the former Yugoslavian states voting for each other. Of course, it's true that neighbouring countries do support each other, but frankly, thinking about what was happening on the edge of the Adriatic a decade ago, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Macedonia sharing fraternal support for each other in a sing-a-long contest is a cause for some joy rather a call to grind axes. Paddy O'Connell did a pretty good job on the semi-final show: maybe he should be given a crack at the big one next year in Athens?


Robin said...

Last night revealed two big problems with the theory that anti-UK voting is purely political (which I had previously subscribed to) - a) Israel is every bit as much the USA's loyal little aircraft carrier as the UK yet it did remarkably well, and b) France, which has most emphatically stood up against US political and cultural hegemony, did so badly that not even Monaco threw a point its way.

Still, there probably is something in the fact that all winners in the post-Soviet, pre-Bush period from 1992-2000 had strong cultural ties to the USA (four-timers Ireland, the UK and Israel all go without saying, while Denmark, Norway and Sweden are all largely defined by their very widespread use of the English language - and at the time of Sweden's 1999 win Swedish producers were shaping the dominant sound of US pop music) while Greece are the first winners of the Bush era to have never had either the American Right's old bete noire (Communism - Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine) nor its new one (Islam - Turkey).

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