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Eurovision Song Contest: Is It Time For Western European Countries To Pull Out?

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  • Eurovision Song Contest: Is It Time For Western European Countries To Pull Out?

    Ok I watched the Eurovision song contest last night, and I was really disappointed with how the UK done. I am from the UK just before I start, and I know that people have said for a long time now that the Eurovision song contest is no longer about singing, and I have to say that last night confirmed that for me.

    I am not been a sore loser here because I know we didn't have the best song there, although I think that is he best song we have had in a while and Andy Abraham did give it his all, however I didn't think that Russia had the best song either.

    Last night I was sitting there and I couldn't believe the difference in the scores, I think Russia had something like 272 and we had 14 along with Germany and Poland, that's a score difference of 258, and that got me thinking was our song really that bad compared to Russia's?

    I am almost certain that this contest is no longer and has not been for a while about the music, and this does raise questions as to weather western European countries should enter in future Eurovision song contests. Even Terry Wogan last night while commentating asked the same question and there was rumours this morning that he even considered leaving the show as it is no longer a fair contest.

    I don't know whether we should pull out, maybe it's a good way of joining all Europeans together? But after watching last night I just don't think that it is a fair song contest any more. So should we really enter next year if we know we stand no chance of winning no matter how good our act is. I don't know.

    Did any one else see it last night? Any one else want to comment?
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  • #2
    I'm from the Netherlands, and we didn't made it to the actual finale in years ... and if I'm honest; most of the time, our songs are better than the songs of the most countries in the finale. Of course there is taste, but I doubt that taste is the reason that we never make it to the actual song contest. Every year there has to be a search to find a Dutch singer who wants to go to the contest.

    Yesterday when the votes of all the countries were told, our commentator knew almost every time for who the points were, it became that predictable. It doesn't matter who we send, it's never good enough.In one of our newspapers, somebody suggested to send a smurf, every year another one.

    I think that the Irish turkey was a good example of how serious we should take the Eurovision songcontest ... I think that we should follow the Irish people ... don't waste the time of good artists. It doesn't matter anymore.

    But I think that we will go on, and we will send every year a good singer with a nice song to the contest. Maybe, we get into the finale .... one day.
    Last edited by Nina; 26-05-08, 01:12 AM.

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    • #3
      Okay, I didn't watch it, but Leloo and I were talking about it a little which reminded me it was on, so I googled the winner to spoil myself...

      Anyways, I remember when Ukraine won, it was around the time that I wanted to go to Ukraine, and they did a major overhaul of their visa requirements for all EU countries, in order to be able to host it. Now, at the time, they said the changes were only in place for May (or May/June, whatever), but I wonder if they kept them after that, and maybe now any EU member can go to Ukraine problem free? I'm not sure.

      So, if Russia won, will this change their visa requirements in any way? It is notoriously time consuming and difficult to travel to Russia as a tourist, so maybe this will help?

      As a side note, I'm not an EU national. I never did get to Ukraine, because the consulate staff just made it too difficult for me (an Australian) to get there. I hope to go in the future, but... it was a pain in the ass at the time to be treated so badly.

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      • #4
        Interesting topic!
        You're right Nina, there's the classic tactical votes: Cyprus giving 12 points for Greece and Greece giving 12 points for Cyprus, the same for Estonia and Lithuania and some others. It's also true that western Europe don't have friends anymore apparently (France and UK never get friendly votes from close countries). But it's also true to say that none of this matter when the song is good. Cause if Cyprus gives its 12 points to Greece everytime, it also gives its 10 points to its favorite song after all. That's why so many different countries have won lately: Serbia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Russia...And after all, Irlande won in 1996 and UK in 1997. And for example, France finished 4th in 2001 and 5th in 2002, if we're in the bottom almost every year is because our songs are bad, like the UK's (sorry...).
        So no matter the friendships and Europe history and all, with the good song, every country can win.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pandora's_Box View Post
          Interesting topic!
          You're right Nina, there's the classic tactical votes: Cyprus giving 12 points for Greece and Greece giving 12 points for Cyprus, the same for Estonia and Lithuania and some others. It's also true that western Europe don't have friends anymore apparently (France and UK never get friendly votes from close countries). But it's also true to say that none of this matter when the song is good. Cause if Cyprus gives its 12 points to Greece everytime, it also gives its 10 points to its favorite song after all. That's why so many different countries have won lately: Serbia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Russia...And after all, Irlande won in 1996 and UK in 1997. And for example, France finished 4th in 2001 and 5th in 2002, if we're in the bottom almost every year is because our songs are bad, like the UK's (sorry...).
          So no matter the friendships and Europe history and all, with the good song, every country can win.
          I have got to agree! Some countries will always give eachother the high votes (I mean, I knew we'd get 12 from Norway and Iceland and we gave them 12 too, I knew already before the votes were read out). As it happens, I thought both Iceland and Norway's entries were really great so I think it's only fair, to support your neighbouring country if their entry is good.
          Europe has a lot more countries now and I think it is obvious that these countries, who once were one country, will vote for eachother. Because even though they are seperate countries now, mostly due to fighting, the Eurovision does something weird to you, it brings you together - it's solidarity. But if a song is really exceptionally good, it will win. I am positive about this fact.

          So yeah, perhaps it's not fair that neightboring countries only vote for eachother, but that's how it is. If Denmark doesn't have a good song/don't make it to the final/don't do well at all, I would weant to see Sweden, Norway, Iceland or Finland win. I admit it. UNLESS another country has an exceptionally superior song (Pirates, anyone? Seriously they were totally robbed )
          Out of the top 3 last night, I am glad Russia won. I didn't like Greece's entry much and even though I was laughing so hard at the guy on iceskates (I mean, come on!!!) it wasn't a bad entry. It wasn't my favorite, but I can live with it.

          I was quite pleased with how Denmark did this year, I really liked our entry and the performer. I knew we wouldn't win but I'm glad we placed around the middle I awas also pleased how well Norway did (I thought our entry was better, but as long as one nordic country does well, I am happy )

          Ps. Nina, I really liked The Netherland's entry this year, I watched the semi finals and I was amazed it didn't make it through, it was better than a lot of the ones that did make it.
          >> and we want s p e c t a c u l a r v i e w s if we're to stay for the w e e k e n d <<

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          • #6
            I didn't like Greece's entry much and even though I was laughing so hard at the guy on iceskates (I mean, come on!!!)
            Did you know this guy was the Ice Skate World Champion 2007?!
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            • #7
              Well, Italian tv hasn't aired the Eurovision since 1992, and Italy's last partecipation was in 1997. After that, they decided not to partecipate anymore. What is seen as a big event everywhere, is totally neglected/not considered here. Which irritates me, because a few people who are in charge of the public national network have made the decision for the whole country; we are denied the chance to even see it (Rai executives have said that the Italians have no interest for the Eurovision... but they never asked us! ) , and feel part of the whole continental event. I know the actual show is quite cheesy and lame, but it's being denied the option to see it that bugs me.

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              • #8
                We get probably the same, the channel who is airing the Eurovision wants to stop because the Dutch people don't watch it anymore like they used to. We can always watch it at the BBC if we want to see it anyway, but yes ... the dutch television wants to stop with it as well.

                About the tactical voting; we don't have neighbours who are voting for us. Belgium and the Netherlands tend to give their favourite song the most votes and Germany, if they are aloud to vote in our semi-final doesn't give us the 12 points either, so we don't get the big votes from our neighbours. Since the semi-finals, we never made it to the final and we've send the last years a couple of our best singers with pretty good songs (I wasn't a fan of this years song, but Hind is one of our best singers) ... maybe it's taste as well ...

                I knew that Russia would win, I don't know why ... I was glad that they won and not Greece, I didn't like their song. But to be honest, I've only see the fist semi-finale and the voting of the actual finale. Our national soccer team had to play so we watched the game ...
                Last edited by Nina; 26-05-08, 01:36 PM.

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                • #9
                  Personally i would just can the whole shooting match.

                  The music is terrible the voting is politically motivated and completely predictable and the only thing that makes the whole thing even slightly watchable is Terry Wogan's fantastically ironic commentary (and even that has become cliched).

                  I skipped anything to do with it for the last few years (Actually I watched it last year but only because it was on in the pub I was in) and feel no poorer as a result. If it isn't cancelled then I think it should at least be relegated to a less mainstream channel and the way left open for some higher quality telly *koff-Who-koff*.
                  JUST ENOUGH KILL

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                  • #10
                    A pox on this foul abomination, which is forcing me to wait - as Mark pointed out - a whole week extra for a new episode of Doctor Who. I wouldn't mind so much if it featured good songs - if they picked the best bands/artists from each country. But...rejects from reality tv shows? Lowest of the low.

                    And that's before I even get to the voting.


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                    • #11
                      I mean i think the Eurovision WAS a good thing back in the day when it gave the European countries a chance to show case there talent, I mean look at all of the people who found fame because of this contest, people like ABBA, Cliff Richards, Lulu, etc. But the contest just isn’t about singing any more, it's about politics and I just don't think it's worth any more, I mean what’s the point even if we had some one like Madonna representing us (which i strongly doubt would ever happen but for arguments sake) we still would end up bottom and i just don't think that’s fair and i don't know why we put our self’s through it each year, i am not saying that this year our song (UK's) was the best cause in my opinion it wasn't, but i really didn't think it was the worst either.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pandora's_Box View Post
                        if we're in the bottom almost every year is because our songs are bad, like the UK's (sorry...)
                        No, that's fair, our songs are generally rubbish! I didn't catch it, did we end up having Bill Bailey this year or was that just a rumour?

                        Of course, political voting just makes it annoying to watch now, but the thing I find most annoying is when every single country sings in English! It used to be so much more fun, watching Eurovision and trying to guess what they were saying, freetranslation.com at the ready. We used to invite people over to our Eurovision party specifically because they were fluent in more than one language!

                        I know they want more votes, but it is the song that matters - is it catchy enough for people to sing along even when they don't know the language?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Retrograde View Post

                          Of course, political voting just makes it annoying to watch now, but the thing I find most annoying is when every single country sings in English!
                          I know what you mean, even though I am English i think it would be good if the songs were sung in every ones own language. It would make it more interesting, and even if they just had subtitles so people could understand what was been sung. But to me it doesn't really matter what is been sung, it's the actual persons singing that matters to me any way.
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                          • #14
                            I agree that there is some bias with the Western european countries. They always vote in each other and it?s not fair to the other countries. And Russia wasn?t that good. I?d rather have Greece win it.
                            But I was glad because my country(Portugal) always had bad or even no points at all, and this year we stayed in the number 13th position.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pandora's_Box View Post
                              Interesting topic!
                              You're right Nina, there's the classic tactical votes: Cyprus giving 12 points for Greece and Greece giving 12 points for Cyprus, the same for Estonia and Lithuania and some others. It's also true that western Europe don't have friends anymore apparently (France and UK never get friendly votes from close countries). But it's also true to say that none of this matter when the song is good. Cause if Cyprus gives its 12 points to Greece everytime, it also gives its 10 points to its favorite song after all. That's why so many different countries have won lately: Serbia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Russia...And after all, Irlande won in 1996 and UK in 1997. And for example, France finished 4th in 2001 and 5th in 2002, if we're in the bottom almost every year is because our songs are bad, like the UK's (sorry...).
                              So no matter the friendships and Europe history and all, with the good song, every country can win.
                              I do agree.
                              First of all, while it's clear that Eurovision has not been about the good music (even good popmusic) already in years, I do like the contest because it's so tacky and fun and crazy and careless. And I really like the part where they are counting the votes, it's like sports! And it's interesting, suspense and all.

                              Plus yeah, of course Turkey gives Germany 12 points and vice versa. And Finland gives usually 12 to Sweden. And so on. But as Pandora's Box said, it still means they'll give 10 points to the song they actually like. Really, look how different countries have won in last years. Before it, in the beginning of the 1990s I think it was Ireland winning all the time. That was kinda boring too

                              And as for the "guy on iceskates" - that was Evgeni Plushenko. Who Is The Best. And I would have voted for him (sry, I mean for Russia ) even if the singer had only stood there with his mouth closed. Go Zhenja
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                              • #16
                                I live in South America, was born here but I'm italian. Here the show was transmited a couple of weeks ago, I enjoy the show very much. But...

                                Originally posted by Retrograde
                                The thing I find most annoying is when every single country sings in English!
                                I know they want more votes, but it is the song that matters - is it catchy enough for people to sing along even when they don't know the language?
                                I agree with you 100%. We all know that english is the universal language nowadays, but it is true that when a song is good, it doesn't matter the language.

                                Honestly, one of my favorites this year was Turkey, I loved the song! and I don't speak the language, I have no idea what it said but the melody was good enough for me!

                                About the winner this year, I like Russia better than Greece, Greece for me was just bla. Nothing I haven't seen before, for me was like a greek copy of Shakira.
                                avatar credit: me!!

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                                • #17
                                  That this competition has become farce should surprise no-one, it has for many years been a joke. What is worrying is that the vast majority of old eastern-block countries fail to notice this and in fact consider it some kind of major victory to scoop the Eurovision win.

                                  Political voting has always existed but it has now got to the point that a decent song cannot win unless it comes from one of the Eastern countries. There are always exceptions of course and we saw that in 2006 when Lordi won. They came from so far out of left-field no-one knew what to do or say or think, and so, they won. But if the only way to win (other than being from eastern europe) is to do something that the vast majority will just think is a novelty act, then what is the point of the competition?

                                  To see who can make the biggest mockery of themselves? Well on one level that might be good for the whole of Europe, and certainly the newer entrants into the European (and Eurovision) family for a short while, but for how long? That's of course not even mentioning how long it would be possible to up the comedy factor each year before it actually became impossible to do anything more foolish, and as a Brit, I know just how foolish a country can look.

                                  One of the great appeals of Eurovision in the past has been the over-the-top, fabulous crapness of it all. It was originally devised as a tool of peace. Following the second world war it was designed as a way for the people's of Europe to compete on a friendly basis, to allow them to come together and get to know one another a little better. These days all it seems to do is to drive a deeper wedge between us all, and specifically between the older western european countries and the newer eastern european ones. So maybe it's just had it's time.

                                  Saying that, if it does go I for one shall miss it. Where else in the world would I encounter such unbridled hilarity as the Latvian Pirates, LT United (from 2006) or the French guy from this year, arriving on a golf-buggy and then inhaling a globe full of helium?

                                  The United Kingdom is apparently threatening to withdraw and Terry Wogan (who frankly makes the night with his sarcasm) has indicated that he doesn't know if he wants to present anymore. Guess we'll just have to wait and see how it pans out.

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                                  • #18
                                    I don't know about this year but last year the majority of the songs were in their own language.

                                    I gave up watching Eurovision. As someone said, it is just all politics, countries vote, not for the best act, but to make nice with other countries and then give other ones bad scores. I don't know what the UK's song was like but even if we did have someone amazing on the show, representing the UK, we would still do extremely bad.
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by lara View Post
                                      Honestly, one of my favorites this year was Turkey, I loved the song! and I don't speak the language, I have no idea what it said but the melody was good enough for me!
                                      Thanks, I take it as a compliment so thanks. The song was performed by Mor ve ?tesi who is a well-known rock band in Turkey and the title "deli" means "crazy"- (It was just a little info)
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