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On Eurovision Song Contest rage,
with Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH

? ' Dear Alice,

I hate to sound so annoying, but I am absolutely spitting with rage!

I'm not saying that the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest should have won (I had it fifth) but the insult of putting it joint last makes me back up Sir Terry Wogan in suggesting (though I don't think he's come right out and said it) that the countries of western Europe might as well not compete.

Not that they won't -- I mean, all publicity is good publicity, right? -- but the European voting is a joke.
M Jurney, Manchester

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Alice Dear M,

I actually have to agree with you.

Two things happened last night:

  1. the pop songs were slightly less crappy/hilarious than usual (which may have contributed to Sir Terry's crankiness, because he loves to make jokes at the duff ones.)
  2. the voting was more slanted than ever towards buddies/neighbours/(dare I say it? I do) frighteners (see Russia).

In other words, the last thing that the Eurovision song contest is, is a vote about the worth of the song.

Here is the 'correct' version of how Europe voted, in the order named:

  1. for the states they feel they need to appease, for some reason (see Russia)
  2. for states with whom they shared a border
  3. for states with whom they share (at least a smidgeon of) a language or language group
  4. for states with whom they normally vote in the European Union
  5. for states whose soloists were exceptionally sexy (see Greece) even though their song was lousy
  6. for states whose fireworks were marginally more imaginative than most
  7. for states who had a good singer (see Portugal and Serbia)
  8. for states who had a good song (see Israel)

In other words -- and I write fearlessly as a professional musician here -- nationality and image rule, skill comes second and imagination way way last.

So. Why carry on? I advocate that we take up Sir Terry the hairpiece's advice from now on and refuse to compete. Were the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, etc all to boycott the decrepit Eurovision Song Contest, at least the idiots in charge would have to take the trouble to make up some other name. (Unluckily, they'd still have the shrill-voiced woman with a different outfit every ten minutes, her tacky would-be 'funnyman', and the different announcers either losing their memory, their dress sense or their sense of shame while announcing the way 'their' country voted, but you can't have everything!!!!)

They don't need us, and we certainly don't need them.
Let them -- en masse -- p*** off.


Copyright © 30 May 2008 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

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