Eurovision: Back to basics?

by Benny Royston 106 views

A highly entertaining article appeared in the Irish Independent yesterday talking about the fall of Ireland in recent international competitions, highlighting of course, the Eurovision Song Contest as a case in point. It raises the question 'Does the Eurovision Song Contest need to go back to basics?'. Today we ask our readers to think about some of the questions that the Eurovision Song Contest needs to answer and have your say in the reactions section below.

Excert from Independent.ie:

"We've won the thing seven times but this year, for the first time ever, we finished last, receiving only five points from Albania. It's the equivalent of the Brazilian soccer team getting beaten by Lichtenstein in the World Cup finals. If that happened the Brazilian nation would give their team the chop, but in Ireland our Eurovision shame has been met with complete indifference by those responsible, despite the massive popularity of the competition here. We can't blame Eastern European voting blocs when our singer looks like an escapee from a Bunratty banquet and the band look like they're straight from the All Priests Show.

Nobody cares about Eurovision success anymore. The winning Irish song is now picked by grannies still mastering the art of texting, who are stuck at home watching the Late Late Show some wintry Friday night. This year's National Song Contest entries seemed so weak that two of the four finalists were from outside the country. Swede Stigg Lindell wrote one entry, while Finnish musician Matti Kallio wrote another.

In the end, the texting grannies voted for They Can't Stop The Spring, written by John Waters. He may be a good columnist but what chance did his song have when he attempted to rhyme the word "archipelago". It's a miracle Cathy Jordan didn't need first aid after delivering the following line: "And Europe's all one stage and the Archipelagic icicles have melted like the cage."

There were lots of grumbles from Western countries after the Eurovision because the top-ten-scoring countries were from east of the Danube while Western countries came in last.

But Serbia, who won it this year, had never entered before and seem to have clinched the title on merit, because of their sheer passion. After all, their entry was just a power ballad sung by an unglamorous bespectacled 23-year-old, Marija Serifovic.

The Central and Eastern European countries that participate in the Eurovision are sexy and energetic and make Ireland stick out like SBB at a teenage disco.

The Eurovision winner was an androgynous Serb, the runner-up was a Ukrainian transvestite in a suit made of mirrors. While Dervish sang about blackbirds, third place was secured by three scantily clad Russian babes singing lines like these: "Gotta tease you nasty guy/So take it don't be shy/Put your cherry on my cake/And taste my cherry pie."

Ireland gave 12 points to Lithuania this year, 10 points to Latvia and eight points to Ukraine. This means the only ones motivated enough to send an SMS to vote for a Eurovision act were surely our immigrants, while the rest of us were happy to watch the Irish entry commit Eurovision hara-kari.

Since we lost our Mojo we've opted to ape the UK's defeatist approach. The Brits have been convinced for years that nobody is going to vote for them, so they just send the crappiest, most tongue-in-cheek outfit they can find performing on the Welsh pub circuit, and use Eurovision night as a vehicle for Terry Wogan's deadpan humour.

The only country that voted for us was the Albanians, which was a reminder of the good old days. They're the only country who still have a national jury and don't text vote because their telephone network isn't up to staging a televote. We won all our Eurovisions in the era of national jury voting.

A small nation on the up like Albania must look at Ireland with a mixture of terror and envy. They'd love to be as wealthy as us but they must worry that if they ever have a few bob they'll start writing songs about archipelagos".

You can read the full article here.

HAVE YOUR SAY

The article raises several good points and with the Eurovision Song Contest reference group set to meet in two weeks to discuss the future of the competition and the format that it will take, now seems a good time for readers to highlight their views constructively.

Should countries be committed to entering songs written by their own nationals and performed by members of their own population? Should juries be brought back either in place of – or along side of – televoting? Have the old school Eurovision Song Contest participants been overtaken because of a lack of passion for the competition compared to the new participating nations? What can be done to ensure that the Eurovision Song Contest continues to grow in popularity in the new countries whilst at the same time, recover lost ground in the older participating countries?

Have your say in the reactions below.

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