Itâs a never ending cycle when it comes to Eurovision.
The endless speculation of what act weâre going to send. Which leads to the announcement of the actual act representing us. Which then leads us to endless online debate about how good or bad the act is and whether or weâre better off giving up now.
All whilst the BBC kids themselves that âthis is our yearâ? and congratulate themselves about what a great job theyâve done. Meanwhile the song debuts to the crushing disappointment of Eurovision fans, goes to [insert country] and Scott Mills follows them like an obsessive stalker with a sinister plan.
When the live performance finally arrives Graham Norton says it’s “marvellous” and “fantastic” and pleads with the UK to vote for it (despite the fact they canât), before wrapping up the grand finale of a disappointing result with the usual platitudes. This then begins the debate about whether to pull out of the competition, before the BBC announces that they will compete again this year, thus beginning the entire process all over again.
Tiresome isnât it? Well thatâs been the case with our entries in Eurovision for the past few years now, and I for one have found the process predictable and dull. Our efforts to compete for Eurovision glory have been indolent and incompetent
Throwing Bonnie Tyler into the mix with what was an average song at best, was not going to change things. What itâs done is continue to make public heads realise that the BBC isnât trying anymore. The performance felt more like a Bonnie Tyler tribute act than Bonnie herself. Her voice was croaky throughout the song, the staging felt overblown with a finale consisting of the stage accelerating up in the air. Ultimately it left me with the feeling that this was going to be yet another disappointing night for us Brits.
Negatives aside, this yearâs Eurovision was one of the more positive contests than previous years. Sweden didnât decide to throw gallons of money at the contest, and opted for a smaller subtle contest this year, in contrast of last yearâs event, which was more colossal in staging, yet empty in song quality. This yearâs contest in Malmo had a balance of strong songs, as well as a good atmosphere of passion and admiration for the talent competing in an age old tradition, beloved across Europe.
Hosting this year was popular Swedish comedian Petra Mede, which goes against the tradition of a one male one female pairing. She was a solid host, mixing the importance and pressure of hosting a 100 million audience event, with amusing humour and a punchy personality that resonated well with audiences across the continent. Also gathering up some laughs was Lynda Woodruff, the character of famous Swedish singer Sarah Dawn Finer, who presented various short comedic videos focusing on showcasing the best Sweden has to offer.
Having spoken earlier about the improvement of the songs this year, this was one of the closest Eurovisions in recent memory. With strong showings by countries such as Belarus, Netherlands, and even Greece with a rather catchy knees up whopper of a song. But ultimately, Denmark triumphed with Emmelie de Forestâs ‘Only Teardrops’.
While it wasnât my favourite, it was a strong song, with Emmelieâs striking vocals mixing with a light Celtic melody supporting her. Part of me however thinks that her win was encouraged by the juries of the contest, which were inserted to shrink bloc voting in the contest. But with stronger showings this year, one must wonder whether the juryâs role in the contest is doing it any good.
This year saw the departure of Turkey for two reasons. While one was the controversary of Finlandâs entry containing a lesbian kiss, the other less known reason was the unfair introduction of jury voting as well as the big five getting the automatic bye into the final. The problem with juries is the fact that it limits the publicâs power in deciding the winner.
Graham Norton was another nagging negative in the show. His rudeness and snide comments throughout the show didnât just match the wit of Terry Wogan, but made me physically angry, to the point of actually considering muting the TV. Just to stop hearing his Christ awful voice, mocking the rest of the acts, and constantly making an embarrassment of himself. Iâm predicting an angry Points Of View letter in the future.
Criticism doesnât just come at the UK end. The one flaw in Swedenâs show was the constant visible voting glitches parading on screen, one screw up at a time. The most notable was former winner Lena Meyer Landrut, who messed up the points in her country, and afterwards looked like she wanted to crawl up into a ball and die. Somehow making her adorably cute in the process. Not to mention when they stopped the vote 4/5ths of the way through to tell their obvious winner Emmelie that she won the contest, without the courtesy of showing the last four places.
Despite those nit picks, the contest on a whole was a solid one. Sweden were passionate hosts, who showed enthusiasm and creativity to a 58 year old contest with its die hard fans, and stone cold critics.
Despite the UKâs disappointing result, Denmark were deserving winners and look set to bring their own memories when they host the show next year.
What did you think of Bonnie Tyler? Should the UK enter next year?