“…you have to say that this is no longer a music contest” – Sir Terry Wogan

Did you know, we’ve won the Eurovision Song Contest five times? That’s an honour we share with France and Luxembourg, but we’re still two wins behind our Irish friends.

However, I doubt if we’ll ever win it again, and I doubt if Ireland, France, Luxembourg or any Western European countries will either. It’s not gone unnoticed that the contest has been more about the political vote in the past few years, and this year that voting pattern seemed to crank up several notches. The Scandinavian countries voted for each other, but even more noticeable was the ex-Russian countries voting for Russia and the Baltic countries voting for their neighbours (which I find bizarre considering that fifteen years ago they split up Yugoslavia as they all seemed intent on murdering each other).

EurovisionAs we watched the voting, it became all too easy to predict where the 8, 10 and 12 points would go where the ex-Russian and Baltic countries were concerned. I’d have put my house on Montenegro’s top marks going to Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia, and it was one of many occasions I got it spot on. The break up of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia has forever changed the face of the competition.

Back over to Sir Terry – he always provides a cheery and enthusiastic tongue-in-cheek commentary that suits the cheesy nature of the content, but after the voting tonight he sounded totally deflated and questioned whether the UK should drop out of future competitions. Interestingly for a short time tonight, the Wikipedia page for Eurovision stated that the ‘big four’ (UK, France, Germany and Spain) who provide most of the funding had indeed pulled out, although that statement has now disappeared. The highest placing this year for any of the big four was 16th (Spain), and the UK and Germany came joint-last. There was a time when we could have at least counted on Malta for a few points, but this time it was just Ireland and San Marino.

It would be a shame if we did pull out – perhaps we can form a Western Europe pact and start getting our own back. But then it would further remove the ideal on which the contest was based… a song for Europe, and not who wants to suck up to their neighbours.

Written by Darren

Darren Adams works for Microsoft as a Global Account Technology Strategist. In a former life he worked for the Lotus brand within IBM for many years. Married with one daughter and two dogs, and lives in Camberley (Surrey, England). That's it really.

This article has 12 comments

  1. john wylie Reply

    Well – if Dustin the Turkey had won it for Ireland that would have been a huge boost for the West !

  2. Steve Reply

    I used to watch the Eurovision song contest before we moved here. Terry Wogan was always good for a laugh and every now and again, the UK would have an OK song with an OK band singing it and be in with a chance. Now I somehow doubt that a joint UK and Ireland entry of a long lost song by the Beatles and performed by U2 would get a look in. Very sad.

    But what can you do? These fledgling nations have obviously got together and are taking it in turns to win. So I think you are right. Boycott the thing. Take the money away and next years contest can be held in a cowshed on the outskirts of Sarajevo and nobody will care who wins.

    Come back Bucks Fizz…. all is forgiven.

  3. Enric Reply

    Eurovision Song Festival is now a nighmare. This is the reason why we’re sending from Spain “Rodolfo Chikilecuatre” singing the “perrea, perrea” chiki song. It’s just a joke. This historic song contest is now a joke, and this is the way to understand it.

    Perrea, perrea,…

    Regards from Spain

  4. Karl-Henry Martinsson Reply

    When you write “Baltic states”, dyou mean “Balcan” states? Yogoslavia, Macedonua, etc are Balcan states (in the Balcan peninsula), while Estonia, Lithuantia and Latvia are Baltic states (at the Baltic Sea).
    I read that the Nordic countries (Scandinavia is normally considered just Sweden, Norway and Denmark) decided to counter the east-european countries voting for each other by doing the same way this year…

  5. Lewis Reply

    Darren, surely the question here is what on earth were you doing watching Eurovision in the first place?!?!?!?!

  6. Tony C Reply

    I agree with all of Daz’s sentiments. I’ve also done my annual Eurovision review…and if the Sir Terry of Wogan gives up on it then the rest of us should too. This year the block voting was as predicatable as ever…maybe more so.

  7. Scott Reply

    Yes, that could be the start of the end of the UK enthusiasm(?!) for Euro vision if Sir Tel pulls out. Its been the only reason worth watching for a few years now .. (not that I watch it – honest).

  8. Darren Reply

    I can actually reveal that Scott is the president of the Scottish Eurovision Fan Club, and I can also reveal that the big fella will kick my backside next time he sees me.

  9. Simon Scullion Reply

    @Enric, It might be lighthearted, and a good bit of fun, but 12 million people here in Spain stopping to watch shows his popularity!! ;-)

  10. Paul Smith Reply

    I have two very good friends who are Eurovision-o-philes (if that is even remotely a word), to the extent that they usually get press access to Eurovision via the BBC. Last year they are convinced they got the whole of Malta to give 12 points to Scooch (which included them appearing on Maltese prime-time TV) but their powers of persuassion clearly didn’t work for the UK this year – well actually they probably did work as they were backing Sweeden – whom Malta gave 12 points.

    http://schlagerblog.blogspot.com/

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