Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Music

Day 135

In the end, Ukraine won Eurovision by a wide margin. After the jury votes, it seemed touch and go, but in the end the result was the one we had all hoped for. The only bitter taste came when we saw that the UK jury gave not a single point to Ukraine’s song, which really begged the question of under which rock the jury has been living, not just in terms of political awareness but also in terms of an awareness and understanding of music – perhaps something which reflects the dreadful standards of mainstream national radio in the UK right now. For those who didn’t watch, Ukraine’s song was a fusion of folk and rap/hip-hop, which is a mesmerising combination. That vote was about as tone-deaf as the opening of Parliament in a golden chamber with a crown worth hundreds of millions of pounds on a throne at a time of austerity and starvation.

All that said, M thinks Eurovision isn’t half as much fun as it used to be, and she has a point. Presenters trying to be spontaneous with tired scripts, scenery changes which are so complex they need the tired scripts and pointless highlights reels from the semi-finals to make time for the changes and thus extend the whole event almost beyond the bearable. And the voting system now where the drama actually comes from the astronomic points totals generated by viewer phone calls which condenses the real tension into the last five minutes of an already overly-long show. And the tours round the countries for jury votes cast the day before is a bit unnecessary – in the early days of the contest it gave it a taste of the exotic, of locations viewers would only ever be able to see, and of accents they would ever only be able to hear, if they were very lucky. The days before we started killing the planet with extensive aeroplane travel. But it’s still fun, just not as much, because it’s not as simple as it was. Perhaps that reflects on us as viewers rather than on the event.

The right-wing media is jumping all over this result, of course, and condemning it as a sympathy vote rather than anything else. As usual, complete tosh, complete ignorance, and the continued expression of the ridiculous desire to keep the UK as a jingoistic island that, in its desperation, loneliness, and intolerance, somehow still believes it rules the world. Don’t make me laugh. The UK public gave Ukraine 12 points. Perhaps the tide is turning. I hope so.




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