Did you see that programme about the Eurovision Song Contest last night? Quite funny I thought.
It’s interesting to see how the competition has evolved. In the 1950s it was more like an experiment than anything else. “Look at us, we can broadcast all round Europe!” Back then the acts mostly seemed to be singers sitting on a stool in a tuxedo. Terry Wogan didn’t start taking the piss until the 70s or 80s.
And here we sit today in 2006, not exactly sure what the Eurovision Song Contest is for any more, apart from a massive irony-diarrhoea-fest and Terry Wogan’s snide remarks. Although there is a lingering suspicion that some nations, particularly in the East, still take the ESC quite seriously (although we shouldn’t blame them given the huge publicity opportunity their country gets as a result), it is clear that British people at least don’t take it seriously.
You only need to look at the song that the British public chose as our entry to see that, yes indeed, we are thoroughly taking the piss (are we a nation of paedophiles or what?). I think you can lay this at the door of Terry Wogan. It is sad, but when Terry Wogan retires we will find out that he is the only true reason for the ESC in the 21st century, and nobody will watch it at all.
Still, I know I’m going to be watching it this year, and I’ll probably watch the semi-final on BBC Three with Paddy O’Connell as well, if I can remember to catch it.
I am shocked to discover, though, that this year the scoring procedure has been completely ruined. Firstly, Britain’s Ambassador to Eurovision is somebody who surely doesn’t deserve any more television exposure, Fearne Cotton. Secondly, the announcers will only announce their country’s top three songs, and 4th–10th will just appear on the screen! Ridiculous!
No doubt this is supposed to be about shortening the scoring procedure, but don’t they realise that the immense length of the scoring procedure is one of the ESC’s plus-points? I don’t know how the viewers are supposed to digest the seven other scores in that short space of time. Pah.