It’s all over! We have a winner, and what an anti climax it was.
Denmark won the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 with their song “Only Teardrops” performed by Emmelie de Forest. During the course of this year’s blog series on Eurovision, I have made no secret that I thought that there were far better songs in the competition and last night was no exception so I’m going to say little else about it in all honesty.
The rest of the show was great, and even some of the weaker acts did a really good job last night. The first half of the show was certainly the weaker half and things picked up just after the halfway mark, although a couple of earlier countries stood out like Malta, who were really good. Their young singing doctor Gianluca Bezzini looked like he was having the best time and that is what I like to see at Eurovision.
OK, I’m going to talk a little about Bonnie Tyler. The UK’s representative performed 15th which was a decent draw. I have read lots of comments on Facebook regarding her performance. Some say that she was really good – I couldn’t disagree more. I think her performance was awful. The song was wrong for her and she just isn’t suited to Eurovision in my opinion. I can see why she was picked, her popularity across Europe is well-known and the idea was good, but I’m afraid it was never going to work with a song like that.
Then I read comments which I read every year saying things like “we should pull out now” or “it’s all a fix” blah blah blah. Let me address that first comment. The UK will never pull out because the BBC gets a lot of exposure from broadcasting the show. There is also the financial aspect. Do you really all think that the BBC makes no money out of broadcasting the show? If they didn’t they just wouldn’t think it was worth it and we would have pulled out long ago. As for the second comment saying that it’s a fix – I don’t think that there is too much truth in this. It is hard to tell. Denmark were a clear favourite from the outset. They were one of the first songs picked for the contest (January in fact) and therefore have had a lot more exposure around Europe. The UK could take a lesson from there.
Now onto the political voting. Perhaps there is still an element in some corners of Europe, but on the whole, I think that this is an urban myth. Personally I believe that countries generally vote for songs that they hear quite a lot, or that they can understand, or in actual fact are just good songs. Eastern Europe always comes into criticism for the block voting thing, but bear in mind that most of these countries speak similar languages and those songs will be released in those countries. Do you hear for example the Azerbaijan songs on the UK chart? No… I rest my case.
My other gripe regarding Eurovision are those people who claim that they don’t watch it. Last night in the UK, the viewing figures at one stage topped 9 million viewers. You’re not telling me that some of those people aren’t the ones that say “I hate Eurovision, it’s all a load of crap”. Well here’s one interesting fact for someone who said just that to me last night, one of the entries was written by Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath. The person that made that statement to me is a massive Black Sabbath fan, proving that ignorance is a big problem in this country regarding Eurovision.
If people actually sat down and gave the show a chance and tried to forget the days of old when yes, admittedly the contest did contain a lot of cheese, then they might find that there is much more out there that they might enjoy. The UK’s approach to entering the contest has had a lot to do with people’s attitudes towards Eurovision having chosen some very dubious acts in recent years, but we are slowly starting to learn from our mistakes. However, if the country wants to ever succeed again, they have to pick a good song, a current popular act and really promote the hell out of it.
Anyway, after all that ranting and raving, I will leave you with what I thought was a great halftime segment with host Petra Mede performing a song to tell us all about Sweden and what it has to offer the rest of Europe. It’s funny and they are much like the UK in a lot of ways. I hope you enjoy it and come back and visit my blog again next year where I shall endeavour to actually pick a winner in 2014.