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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Eurovision 2015.

Eurovision 2015.

Hello! I don't usually post on Sundays, as a lot of people reading may well know, but Eurovision only happens once a year, and apart from being a lot of fun (and fitting, just narrowly, into my remit), is also an important geo-political event, that fosters both international cooperation and gives the ordinary people - the peasantry, effectively - a chance to express their dissatisfaction with other countries.

So, I'm going to take this chance to quickly run down some important things in this year's Eurovision.

Sweden won!

Sweden won this year, for the sixth time, making them the second most successful country at Eurovision, only beaten by Ireland, whose rampant successes caused them to begin an over-a-decade long streak of self-sabotage.

It's a good song, sung by a very good-looking dude, and with some truly astounding staging - I mean, seriously astounding. As someone who studied live art and drama, which both often involve pinpoint choreography and equally often embarrassing mistakes, I was stunned by how perfectly choreographed that the singer was with the impressive and adorable light show behind him.

Add to that a really catchy song with some great if utterly nonsensical lyrics, and you have an entry that I was basically hoping would win from the moment I heard it. Good thing it did win too, because otherwise Russia wouldn't have won, and we will talk about that in a moment.

I highly recommend watching it. And then listening to it over and over again. As I have been. 

Russia didn't win! And judging panels.

For a while there, due to the most hated foe of all Eurovision watchers, the Logorithm, a computer program designed to order which countries give their votes when in order to obscure the winner for the longest amount of time, it seemed very likely that Russia would win - they actually came second with a decent margin of votes between them and Sweden.

Polina, the Russian act, seemed like an absolutely lovely person and a very talented singer, and very brave besides - I mean, you have to be brave to perform for Russia, where doing poorly might result in your abrupt vanishing - and she was clearly prepared for people to boo her (which they did, although the Eurovision broadcasters muted out the audience). I think she deserves all the credit in the world for her performance, and Russians should be very proud of her.

But I am overwhelmingly glad that Russia didn't win. As I mentioned earlier, Eurovision is a geo-political event as much as it is an entertainment one, and if Russia had won, it would have been seen as widespread support for Russia's frankly horrific regime, and potentially for its excursions into Ukraine. It would have been a political disaster.

And most of that is because of the judging panels, a recent addition meant to steer Eurovision away from bloc voting - and absolutely failed in that regard. Judging panels remove some of the power from people to express political dissatisfaction with competing countries, and that's a power that before judging panels was used to great effect, such as in 2003 where the UK's decision to enter the Iraq War resulted in us receiving zero points. 

That is the right of the people who watch Eurovision, and I dislike the idea of judging panels eroding that.

My personal favourite act!

Actually, my favourite act was Sweden. My personal favourite act other than Sweden!

There were a few candidates here. Much as I hate to admit it, my own country's entry was pretty catchy, and very Postmodern Jukebox. Slovenia's entry was very catchy as well. But I have to go with Georgia.

Georgia's act was very well-sung, and apparently performed by a Garo villain or possibly a Dark-type gym leader from Pokemon.

My least favourite act!


I won't subject you to that dross. Look it up yourself if you feel like wasting three minutes of your life.



Australia joined Eurovision this year, on a one-year-only type deal, and Australia actually did remarkably well! They didn't come anywhere near the top, but they did well and a few countries even gave them the much prized twelve points.

Unfortunately, Australia forgot where their loyalties lie, and did not give twelve points to us, the UK. Really, Australia? We're on your flag. Ohana means Commonwealth, Australia! Commonwealth means you stick together! 

Australia's success has led to some people floating the idea of Australia joining Eurovision permanently, and I would love that to happen. Let's get everyone in - Australia, Canada, South Korea (they'd love it), Japan. Not America, though. Like a gaggle of twelve year old girls who have decided that Sharon can't be part of their group, it is vitally important that we exclude America in all things. 

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