You either love the Eurovision or you hate it. Either way it can make compulsive viewing.
This year I thought the standard of song had gone way up. The entries from The Netherlands, Sweden, Malta (surprisingly) and Slovenia were all strong and I’m sure they’ll sell well but none of them won.
Once upon a time, talent being locked out of the top spot would have been attributed to block voting by neighbouring countries, regardless of song or performance.
This year it seems to me that the talent was blocked by the freak factor. Most countries voted for Austria’s Conchita Würst, a bearded transvestite with a good voice and an exceptionally ordinary song. There seemed to be a mania to vote for the “bearded lady.”
I don’t know if this was a “see how liberal we are” or a “let’s take the piss and make sure he wins” or a “wasn’t she brave” vote but I’m fairly sure it wasn’t about picking the best song and the best performance.
This is disappointing in a year when we finally got away (with the possible exception of Poland’s bizarre entry) from the let’s do something zany so we’ll win mentality and produced some good music.
I’m sure there are people all over Europe now grinning at having swung the vote because they thought it was amusing to have the drag queen up front.
So why am I not laughing?
Because it spits in the face of better talent and because I believe this isn’t a ground swell of support for Würst as a singer but rather a cruel and cyncial “applaud the freak” response that holds no respect for him at all.