60 Years of Eurovision. Where Do We Go From Here?
Going classy seemed like a wise choice for the 60th anniversary show of the Eurovision Song Contest or simply inevitable after Conchita’s glorious victory in 2014. Instead of over the top Eurovision craziness, it was a modest show; nice motto, nice ballads, nice tailoring. It was a nice snoozefest with a nice snorgasmic winner.
Question Marks – ORF
Servus Wien. The ORF held Eurovision as a green event, Australia participated and it even aired live in China this year. Austria presented an inclusive, tolerant Europe that does not just consist of perfectly able-bodied white people. Opening with violin, remembering the recently deceased Udo Jürgens, was wonderful. The hostesses were chosen well even though they didn’t really sparkle. No one was really allowed to shine because this year it was all about the music…
Conchita Wurst was granted ‘just enough’ space in the show and did not perform her winning song Rise like a Phoenix on the night of the Grand Finale (she did get to fly though). If you watched the ESC you would’ve seen Conchita sing two of her new songs, except in her homeland Austria, where there were advertisements instead. Maybe it’s just me but this is not how you celebrate the lady that brought victory to your country. (I wonder what they did in Russia.) The public broadcasting station ORF presented a square fest and reduced Austria to a place where you go to fish and listen to wind instruments.
Question Marks – The Left Side of the Board
Here is an honest congratulation to Sweden. 365 points is really a lot. The people have voted, you cannot argue with that. Now wait, the people voted for Italy. Either way, the majority went for a non-demanding, retiree-friendly winner. Interestingly enough, Grand-Prix winner Mans Zelmerlöw attracted attention with anti-gay remarks leading up to the competition. It is time to admit the Swedish Song did absolutely nothing for me and I really would’ve liked to see Russia win. Imagine the possibilities! It would’ve been an Über-Eurovision again with the neighboring countries in high spirits. Maybe it is for the better this way. Poor Polina Gagarina looked as if she was close to a heart attack pretty much all week. If she had won, she may have suffered a nervous breakdown in front of a 180+ million audience. Rumors go, there was actually a lot of booing, we just didn’t get to hear it on television thanks to anti-booing technology.
If Russia really wants to win the Grand-Prix they need the gay vote. Remember 2008 when Dima Bilan took it home with an almost all white threesome consisting of Dima, violin and a figur skater?
My personal favorites were Elina Born & Stig Rästa with Goodbye To Yesterday for Estonia, Bojana Stamenov with Beauty Never Lies for Serbia and Mørland & Debrah Scarlett with A Monster Like Me for Norway and man, did they all deliver! This is European passion that I would like to see again next year.
Question Marks – The Right Side of the Board
The last countries on the score board make a lot of people puzzled. Austria and Germany bring home 0 points, as they didn’t even vote for each other. France scored a devastating 4 points with a classic chanson. England suffered from some pretty heavy criticism leading up to the ESC but it really wasn’t all that bad and their flashy light costumes got them at least 5 points.
Poland, Cyprus and Hungry had beautiful songs and performances and really should’ve scored higher. Hungry turned machine guns, into trees, into symbols of growth and stability and sang a song about ending pointless wars for Eurovision’s sake! That beats the Swedish stickman light show for me but this is Eurovision. Australians couldn’t tele vote properly, Montenegro and Macedonia’s results have been disqualified, and why is there a jury/people voting system anyways? If we didn’t complain about this, we would laugh about that and if you read 10 other posts on the Grand-Prix you will probably get 10 completely different opinions. At least Heroes is a dance song so let’s hope for traditional outfits and instruments, costume changes, lots of wind machines and Eastern European magic next year.
The Personal Bit
Seeing little hands clap away excitedly throughout Eurovision week has made my kitschy heart really proud. I am grateful for the amazing company that made the celebrations extra special and I would like to sincerely thank my amazing better half for keeping up with my Eurovision craze for yet another year. In Australia you have the choice to get up before dawn or to avoid spoilers and watch the rerun at night. The time change was driving me bonkers. I almost got up at 5 on Sunday morning but only ended up watching the voting, which really killed any excitement for Sunday night. In hindsight, this may not have been very clever… I conclude, from now on I would like to find a way to spend Eurovision week in Europe.