This year the broadcast for the Eurovision Song Contest happened when we were at Aquadome, a thermal spa in the Tyrol region of Austria, the host country. It seemed only appropriate we crash out in our hotel suite after a long day of hanging out in thermal pools and see what talent Europe could produce. Also, BBC1 was one of the few English speaking channels on the television.
Eurovision 2015: Building Bridges
In Eurovision 2015, 27 countries sent entrants that competed against each other to win a brief moment of glory and then slide back into obscurity. In the nearly 60 years of this song contest, only some of the winners have gone on to fame, most notably ABBA and Celine Dion. Winning Eurovision provides a useful if expensive way of spotlighting countries who need a publicity boost.
The biggest complaint about Eurovision is the block voting. Each country is allocated from 1 to 12 points to give to other countries because you can not vote for your own country. Nonetheless, many countries have a buddy system where they give their biggest votes to each other. For example, the Scandinavians all vote for each other as do the former Soviet republics. The UK has no friends and usually winds up at the bottom of the pile with a pity vote thrown at them by maybe Ireland.
Austria, last year’s winner and this year’s host country, chose the theme for Eurovision 2015 – building bridges. We’re not sure where (or by whom) these bridges were being built but it seems a nice idea in this day and age.
For example, Putin would probably like a “bridge” back to the former Soviet colonies reinforced with tanks. The British public are voting in a couple of years on whether they want to burn their bridges and leave Europe. Greece are protesting their austerity bridge. Australia, making a guest appearance, would need a really long bridge over the continents of Eurasia.
Conchita Wurst, the Eurovision 2014 winner, is building a bridge between genders.
Eurovision on Twitter
Eurovision is hysterically funny if you watch it along with a twitter feed. They are so many British wits who bring out their best punchlines for this show. It’s a foregone conclusion the British aren’t going to win so their natural reaction is dark humour.
Here are some of my favourite use of Twitter’s famous 140 characters for Eurovision 2015.
Russia had a good song and an attractive, if somewhat emotional, singer.
They came perilously close to winning. I can’t imagine a show noted for its campness being any fun hosted by a country as restrictive as Russia. Notably, a few countries completely refused to give any points to Russia in protest over their foreign policy and their stance on homosexuality.
— The Daily Thompson (@EmmyThomps) May 23, 2015
“This is as close to democracy as some of you will get.” #Eurovision2015
— Ken Plume (@KenPlume) May 23, 2015
— Dave Meddows (@davemeddows) May 24, 2015
— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) May 23, 2015
The Russian who announced his country’s points was also quite funny when he announced in his best Count Dracula voice the twelve points would go to themselves. The funniest point was the split second when no one knew if he was serious because it is something Russia would completely do.
Hungary had a nice if somewhat earnest song and the singer had a gorgeous outfit. Overall though it was a snoozefest.
Bringing out the big guns for Spain was Edurne a hot blonde who ripped off her clothes on stage. She’s dating the Manchester United goalie and, as noted by many, clearly a good catch by him.
Fake hair wind AND Velcro cape AND topless dancer. Finish the bottle #Eurovision2015
— jonny hopper (@jonnyhopper) May 23, 2015
Greece can’t afford to put on a Eurovision contest so they probably did not send their strongest candidate. I thought their staging was notably lacking in special effects (probably couldn’t afford that either).
Australia, with its huge Eurovision fan base, were invited to be guests in this year’s contest.
Even the host country was not spared some ribbing, especially when the piano caught fire during the set and the singer blithely continued with the song.
The song was dire. Enough said.
This has got about as much chance of winning as a Liberal Democrat. #Eurovision2015
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) May 23, 2015
— Daniel J. Layton (@DanielJLayton) May 23, 2015
#Eurovision2015 is lasting longer than an Oscar Pistorius trial…
— AngryBritain.com (@AngryBritain) May 23, 2015
It’s All About Sweden
In a Eurovision show with the Building Bridges theme, it seemed only appropriate that Sweden win.
- Everyone likes Sweden.
- They haven’t invaded anyone in a long time and have no plans to do so in the immediate future.
- The Swedish royal family is remarkably modern. The next two sovereigns in line for the throne are both female since they abolished male primogeniture. Prince Carl Philip made headlines last week by announcing his engagement to a soft porn model.
- The country itself is modern, progressive, educated and a great place to live – the qualities so many other European countries want to emulate.
Oh yeah, the Swedish song was pretty good and the singer, Mans Zeimerlow, easy on the eye.
If I were Sweden though, I would definitely keep an eye on Russia.
— Chris Banks (@ChrisBanksMusic) May 23, 2015