It’s the cultural high point of the year

Above is Daz Sampson’s Teenage Life, the UK entry for Eurovision 2006. It could be a clas­sic this year. Finland have sent Lordi, Germany have sent their best entry since Stefan Raab (inventor of wok racing) with Texas Lightning. Iceland’s entry Congratulations by Silvia Night included a line which may, or may not be, “The vote is in, I’ll f*****g win”. Sadly it didn’t get past the semi-final being as it was beaten by Armenia and 22 other coun­tries. It didn’t work for Cliff Richard either — he came second when he sang Congratulations.

I’m wary of mak­ing pre­dic­tions because vot­ing in the Eurovision is so vari­able. I’ll stick my neck out and say that Cyprus might give Greece 12 points this year. There’s some­thing about the Greek entry with year that might go down well with the Cypriote public.

It’s usual when the British entry does badly to blame block vot­ing by small coun­tries. There’s also broader polit­ical influ­ence as well. Jemini lost out in 2003, scor­ing zero in the after­math of the Iraq inva­sion, which I thought was unfair. When you listen to the per­form­ance impar­tially then really you can only come to the con­clu­sion that it’s a shame you can’t give out neg­at­ive points. They said the per­form­ance was off-key due to tech­nical glitches. Yet on some notes they weren’t merely off-key but off-crowbar too whilst try­ing to break into the Mansion of Melody.

There’s an inter­view with Daz Sampson on YouTube. I saw him on News24 as well yes­ter­day. I agree with him, one reason for some poor UK res­ults is that we’ve sent some ter­rible stuff. Recently the UK and some other coun­tries have sent aural wall­pa­per. If the fun entries do well this year then hope­fully there’ll be more to watch at Eurovision than the voting.


When he's not tired, fixing his car or caught in train delays, Alun Salt works part-time for the Annals of Botany weblog. His PhD was in ancient science at the University of Leicester, but he doesn't know Richard III.

5 Responses

  1. John Hardy says:

    I watched it as I have every year for the past dec­ade or so on 12 hour delay here in Australia. It’s true that the UK has sent some crappy acts over the years but the main reason why it doesn’t ever win is the same reason why Germany and France never do.

    Former European Great Powers have no con­tin­ental allies and there­fore don’t have enough solid­ar­ity to vote in blocs. While the Greek / Cyprus thing is pre­dict­able, they’ve got noth­ing on the Balts and the F.Y.R. of x’s. Just con­sider the fact that Montenegro is headed for inde­pend­ence! (groan). I did notice a new alli­ance form­ing between the Greeks and Armenians. Presumably their recent his­tor­ies give them plenty to bitch about. I doubt Turkey will be stu­pid enough to give Greece 12 points again like they did last year (which of course went unreciprocated).

    Personally I’d like to see a Classical World bloc to counter to the threat of yet another Scandinavian or Balkan win but obvuiously there’s no present day basis for such an alli­ance. Portugal and Spain con­tinue to act as though they inhabit com­pletely dif­fer­ent universes.

    Anyway the only way Britain could have a chance of win­ning Eurovision these days is if it did a Yugoslavia and ran sep­ar­ate con­test­ants for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and every frig­gin island in the Channel. At least Ireland and the UK have finally worked out that at least they should be vot­ing for one another.

  2. John Hardy says:

    I nearly for­got my main point:

    Romania was robbed. The alli­ance with Moldova wasn’t enough to even register.

  3. alun says:

    When Germany came on I thought it was an inter­lude and they’d brought some pro­fes­sional musi­cians in. I thought they had the best of the even­ing. Malta can feel hard done by. It wasn’t a bril­liant song, but it wasn’t that bad.

    I did have a post on block vot­ing, but I think a power cut may have eaten it.

  4. John Hardy says:

    Yes but I’m inter­ested in what Germany come up with (just don’t men­tion the war).

    I’ll have to respect­fully dis­agree about Malta. I wasn’t so much the song as the singer who was a little off-pitch. I didn’t watch the semis so it may have just been a glitch on the night. The same thing happened to that Macedonian girl who I had high, er, hopes for.

  5. John Hardy says:

    I mean that Germany comes up with some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent every year but they will never win.