...wherein the betabug watches Eurovision
I've always been ignorant to the Eurovision phenomenon. I mean, we surely must have watched Eurovision once or twice when we were kids, but I can't remember any details, and then I didn't as much as think a single second about the Eurovision Song Contest... until I came back to Greece two years ago. Suddenly people around me started to get all heated up about what, please? A f* european song contest? I couldn't believe it either. Despite my surroundings I have tried to continue to avoid everything about it. I say "tried", because with those surroundings the thing keeps coming after you. Yesterday I went with friends to watch Eurovision in a cafe...
To my defense I would like to state that I was there clearly for the company only. But I had spent enough time trying to find out if the city of Athens or ET (the greek state television) had set up large projections of the event in public places for the unwashed masses to see (you know, the washed masses paid 150 Euro for tickets and had the luck to get a ticket in the first 25 minutes after they started to sell and before they were sold out). I learned that there were no such public showings, but never mind, it's Greece and lots of cafe owners had projections and large TVs around.
Hanging out with the homies
Sitting in a cafe with friends is much more the greek way anyhow. So after having searched the web thing and asked around for some time, I thought it to be prudent to pay at least a bit of attention to the screen. Some thoughts about that business up there came to my mind, thoughts which probably are cold coffee for the folks who are really viewing that "show" every year.
So, they're pimping the votes, *how*?
First off, it's so hilarious how voting is really an affair of two systems, none of which has anything to do with the quality of the music or the performance on stage. First there is geography, neighboring countries voting for each other, Ukraine for Russia, Finland for Russia, the scandinavians amongst each other. The second is more economic, it follows the geography of migrant workers... Germany votes for Turkey, because all the turkish people in Germany vote for their home country.
Sometimes it goes the other way around too: Albania votes for Greece, because there are so many Albanians in Greece. Usually they give Greece their full 12 points, but this year there will likely be questions, since Greece go only 8 points from them, likely not a question that is taken easy. Heard someone say on TV this morning (about Cyprus and Bulgaria giving Greece 12 points when others didn't): "This shows who your friends really are." I hope those fools lighten it up a bit.
Lame, but thanks for trying anyway...
The organizers in Switzerland tried to bank on a third, lesser phenomenon: Sometimes artists are from other countries than the ones they represent. So the kluge people put together six singers from different Eurovision countries. It worked to a degree, as they got points from Malta and Bosnia who were represented in the swiss team that way. It made me wonder just how cheap and flat such a rouse can be to fall short.
"Fun"? That must be a mistake!
In the end sometimes it helps to have a new and unique concept. Hard rock at the Eurovision? Well, the finnish organizers tried and it worked out for once. It crashed the cement built voting systems for a moment. To me that song was a welcome break. There is only so much shallow pop muzak I can endure in one evening. Other than that, it was a really nice evening out with friends. We even went to eat sweets at 1:30 in the morning in Psiri.