Eurovision 2016

Always a good bit of fun on Twitter and quite entertaining between costumes and banter.

I loved Petra the host dealing with the jury vote announcers and sorting out the rubbish banter from the presenters from other countries trying to edge in their bit of chat.

The jury voting was a bit less contrived than usual and it looked like a decent strong song for Australia was going to do it, but this year the European public got to text vote. 

The Russian song again was strong with a good performance and staging but the people watching didn’t want to see Russia get the honour of hosting; 

So an impassioned and slightly political song about her grand mothers deportation in 1944 won for the Ukraine and Jamala who certainly didn’t expect the win and which was slightly against the grain of euro pop jolification.

A correct result morally.

Against the spirit of the competition? Possibly. It should be fun and light and slightly camp in the sense of it being a lgbt community favourite.

But. Europe knows Putin’s Russia and for an ordinary European to get the chance to stick their fingers up by voting in a song contest, shows that Europe certainly is a thing politically and that public opinion is different to the light steps taken diplomatically by the European Countries. Interesting.

Well done to the Swedish hosts, their only mistake was a poor taste joke on Eurovision clothing using a straight jacket and was certainly an attempt to be funny but given the issues across Europe with mental health, not a good one to try.

The BBC as ever treat the contest lightly and it is entertaining and easily fills an evening. Graham Norton recognising the Irish presenter of the scores was quite funny as he became Irish again for a brief few seconds.

Many political commentators try to give a brexit spin, but Eurovision is Eurovision. Many dislike it as a matter of course, but for me, it’s a highlight of the TV year. 

I know the voting by the national juries is historically dodgy and the French will never give their scores in English and some countries automatically give their 12 to their nearest neighbour but it is what it is.

Europe hates itself, Centuries of wars and conflicts, a myriad of languages and cultures and a contest that grew almost unmanageable after the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

A branch of culture is thrown to Israel but Europeans know what’s going on there as we do in the Ukraine. So there’s tensions and stresses across all the voting.

Is it really a song contest? Who knows. Nearly ever nation sings in English in whole or in part now and I suppose it’s became more accessible for non Europeans as a result. It’s a brief reflection of all the societies, through song and the little video skit each singer gets.

But congratulations for Ukraine and Jamala and we lose our Eurovision sparkle until next year and hope the contest is well staged and interesting.


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