Saturday, 12 May 2007

The Eurovision Song Contest

Serbia won this year's Eurovision Song Contest and their entrant was called Maria Serifovic. The choreography in the performance of her song was strange, but the song wasn't the worst I've heard in this competition.

Unfortunately, the usual (and obvious) voting strategy of the eastern bloc countries was present. This meant anything resembling a decent song was completely overshadowed and you can never determine whether the victory was on merit. That sort of thing absolutely sickens me. It's a song contest, not something that should involve political maneuvering.

You could tell that even ever-present Eurovision commentator Terry Wogan was getting tired of it. The thing is, many people in this country still like it, so it will still get put on our TV screens an mean better quality programmed is shifted somewhere else.

It's not just the eastern bloc voting that I don't like though. The entries that some countries have are so incredibly formulaic in terms of the tune. Also the lyrics of some of the songs are so simplistic and there can be too much of a focus on the performance. Yes, there is a huge audience so there should be a performance element, but let's remember that this is a song contest - so the quality of the song should be the thing that has more of a focus.

This is a classic example of what I'm talking about:

This - the Ukrainian entry - has repetitive lyrics, a formulaic dance tune and way too much emphasis on performance. It came second though! If this came second, it clearly means that many of the Eurovision fans don't care about serious music - they prefer it to be funny and/or silly. That sort of entry is why many people think the contest is a joke. As people think it's a joke, more recognised artists don't enter because if they lost, it would ruin their career.

I didn't see the whole of the programme because I was watching something that was recorded earlier in the week which was better quality. Of the entries that I did see, I thought Moldova was the best. It had a unique (for Eurovision) mix of classical and rock, there was an edge to the tune, the costumes weren't as silly as Ukraine and the lyrics weren't as repetitive. Here's the video that went with the song when it was originally released:

I also liked the Bulgarian entry (mostly for the impressive use of drums) and the German entry (because it was a big band style that no-one else did and I haven't seen when watching bits of the contest in previous years).

The UK has some good artists, could we submit something of a high standard? The answer to that would be a 'no'. Instead of something edgy, anthemic or original, we submit this:

If you liked clich├ęs, needless sexual innuendo, a tune which makes you think you've heard the song a million times before and a group where none of the artists have a particularly strong voice, then this is for you. However, I don't like it at all. I wonder how many of the people who voted for Scooch to be the UK entry were under the age of 13. Scooch finished second-bottom with 19 points (the same total as France). We only got points from Ireland (who came bottom with five points - Albania giving them those) and Malta (who, for some reason, gave us 12). If anyone is interested in the points totals and who gave points to who, you can look at the table here.

Having just looked at the other UK entrants on Youtube, I can safely say that my preference would have been Big Brovaz. The music wasn't trashy, formulaic pop and the lyrics had more than three words to them. If I had my way the order of the UK candidates would have been:
  1. Big Brovaz
  2. Cyndi
  3. Brian Harvey
  4. Hawkins & Brown
  5. Liz Mclarnon
  6. Scooch
The lyrics of Liz Mclarnon's song were incredibly simplistic (I lost count of the amount of times she said "yeah" and "happy"), but the tune was fairly catchy and she had a better voice than any of the Scooch singers, which is why she finished above them. Justin Hawkins has the most unique voice out of any of the singers and he was the only one to use an instrument, but the song was unoriginal and the lyrics were poor, which is why that entry isn't my favourite. Cyndi had a powerful voice and the tune was good, but I didn't think her song was quite as good as Big Brovaz. If she had been the UK entry, she would have got many more points than Scooch.

Last year's winner was Lordi. Their song was so different from the other entries, the music had a definite edge to it and it's something that people remembered for a long time after the contest. You'd think that people would learn cheesy music wasn't the way to go after they won - but obviously not.

So, what do you think?

Technorati tags: Eurovision, Voting, Entertainment