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May 22, 2005


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Syd Webb

Because Australia is 8 hour ahead of the Ukraine we get the contest a day late. It was shown this evening on SBS, the second of the two government funded media networks.

I was listening to the news at noon on ABC Radio National. The ABC is the first of the government funded media networks. They announced first, second, third and last places without so much as a :If you don't want to know the results, turn away from your radio now." It almost seemed like a spoiling tactic for this evenings viewing.

Nevertheless I sat down with my family (who had been shielded from the results) and watched. My 6 year old Liz was just the right age and really fell into the Eurovision spirit. She was cheering for Greece because she likes their myths and legends and was absolutely wrapped when Helena won.

Me, I thought Moldovia best captured the post-modern spirit of what Eurovision should be. Much more OTT than glam-rock Norway. Rather like the Baltic entry BrainStorm of a few years ago but with far more references to pop of the '70s and '80s. I particularly enjoyed the Iggy Pop like lead singer.

Jussi Jalonen

As I've already noted elsewhere, I was personally impressed by the performance of the Hungarian NOX in the semi-finals. Apparently they came third in the finals, or so I've heard.

A hefty doze of good national music traditions, an impressive dance-show with the choreography and the music working in perfect unison, a good-looking and expressive young female solist, and they were all dressed in _black_, and the subject of the song was _suicide_! Cool!

Really, what's not to like? Go ahead, accuse me of Fenno-Ugrian bias, but I loved it.

Other than that, the representatives don't seem to be native artists all that often anymore. The hapless fellow who sang the (unsuccesful) Finnish tune was actually a Norwegian; the girl-band that represented Switzerland was an Estonian group; and Natalia Podolskaya's "Russian" band was composed entirely of young Finnish musicians. And so on.

The depressing national mish-mash was perhaps an additional reason why I found the unashamedly ethnic show of the Hungarians so appealing.



London News Review

Eurovision travesty: Moldova triumph denied


In the history of the English language, have those three words ever been put into a row before?

As a non-European, I have three criteria I use to evaluate Eurovision entries [1]: authentic ethnic tradition, modern production values, and sexually suggestive content. Pole-dancing to a mazurka, yeah! [4]


[1] After only seeing it once. [2]

[2] And there was much wine involved. [3]

[3] But not as much as the announcers from former Yugoslavia had been partaking.

[4] Ow, that hurt. Not the shins!

Francis Burdett

Good Afternoon Mrs Muir,

We have actually never been introduced. My name is … or well is fact not Frank.

Your husband and frere Yu’s experience withstanding, we Americans have a Constitutional Right to ignore the Eurovision Song Contest. I think it is somewhere in Article II. But I was intrigued enough to read about this year’s contest in last week’s Economist.

The title of the Charlemagne essay was “Where the Eurovision song contest goes, Europe tends to follow”

The EU has 25 members the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest had 39 contestants.
“Eurovision has expanded faster because it is easier to compose a mindless ditty and don a lam costume than to pass the 80,000 pages of law needed to join the EU. But the new Eurovision entrants hope- and many old Europeans fear_ that where Eurovision goes, the EU will one day follow”

The central metaphor of the essay was that the center of gravity in Europe in moving east as evidenced by the countries of recent Eurovision winners. [Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey]

The Contest appears to be having an effect (however temporary) in the real world


“The fact that Glennis Grace did not qualify for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest is a new and strong reason for many Dutch people to vote against the European constition [sic], poll research shows. The referendum, in which the Dutch people can vote pro or against the constitution, takes place on 1st June.”

Oh and here is a Guardian piece on the ESC and its affect on the Ukraine.


In 49 years only _two_ memorable songs? “Volare” and “Waterloo”?

I have generally dismissive views on Continental popular music but does the Contest really suck _that_ much?

Sir Francis “The Ghost and” Burdett

Andreas Morlok

>I have generally dismissive views on Continental >popular music but does the Contest really suck >_that_ much?

Yes, it does. That's why we all watch it each year. Regarding the political connection of the
contest: Is there also a strange influence of the
whole thing on German politics ? First
Germany ends up last with 4 points. Followed by complete turmoil in Germany the following day after some important state elections went wrong for the ruling coalition. Hm.


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