My Approach to the ESC
I take the ESC very seriously and in its entirety; its history, its flaws, and its awesomeness! I will try to breakdown my views of each aspect.
- ESC…History – There are certain winners that I hate (GRE2005, EST2001, SWE1984, and NET1959). And certain other victors that I don’t quite care for (FIN2006, LAT2002, ITL1990, UK1969, etc…). And certain ones that I like, but don’t think should have won (RUS2008, UKR2004, etc…). Regardless of how I feel about the victors, I accept them because there is nothing that I can really do about it. That means I try not to let myself get drawn into the online bickering of whether a song “deserved” to win or not, I take the view that if a song is able to woo the televoters/jury into awarding that country points, then it is deserving of the victory. Though, I do like discussing whether other songs should have won, I prefer lifting up songs as opposed to knocking other ones down.
- ESC…Flaws – If there was one aspect to the Contest that has irked the fans the most, and caused the most heated of discussions, is the voting system. From the “undemocratic” juries to the “uninformed and biased” televoters to the seemingly unsatisfactory compromise that is the current voting system. Personally, I like the current voting system; I think it strikes a healthy balance between the jury and the televoters. But the biggest issue seems to be diaspora voting (obviously, not political (except for Malta’s votes in 2007; Armenia and Azerbaijan’s non voting for one another) since most of the Balkan nations hate one another – as do most of the former Soviet states and Russia). This is when countries with similar cultures vote for one another (UK/Ireland; Nordic/Baltic Bloc, former-Yugoslav Bloc, former-USSR Bloc) and large immigrant populations voting for their home nation (Turkey’s votes from France, Belgium, Germany, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, for example). This obviously happens, whether we are using juries or televoting. The only way around this fact is to have participants participate without revealing the country from which they are from and all singing in the same language. This will never happen. While under the current system, most of the same countries get big points from traditional friends, a lot of the smaller and medium point values seem to be adjusted. All of a sudden, Spain is giving points to Norway, Norway is giving points to Croatia, and Croatia is giving points to Estonia, all of which are rare occurrences. I say the ESC sticks with what it has. A second voting flaw, the adoption of JESC voting practices in the real Contest, that is, voting lines are open for the duration of the Contest. This is a bad idea! BAD BAD BAD!!! But, I must except this rule change, as I do not currently have the power to change it (nor will I likely gain that power between now and May of next year), and hope that it will be rescinded come the next running of the Contest.
- ESC…Awesomeness – In order to truly bask in the glory of the Contest, I believe that it must be approached as it once was, without the listening to any of the entries other than one’s own home country. This way, one can more accurately judge the performance on the night and not the one that has the best studio version; part of a victorious song must be the performance on the night, and this is lost when everyone can listen to the song ahead of the night. This is something I learned on the Friday between the Semi-Final and Grand Final back in 2007. I went in wishing that certain songs that I liked live on Thursday had failed because I didn’t like the studio version (for example: Moldova, Macedonia) and that certain other songs with good studio versions and bad performances had moved through (for example: Belgium, Malta). Additionally, I went in liking (and disliking) certain songs already. This meant that the live performances had to do a lot to change my opinion about them. This should not be, my slate should be as blank as possible prior to the running of the Contest (this now puts the Big Four and host country at a disadvantage, which I will discuss in a later entry).
As I said, I am a Eurovision purist and probably (I think) one of the biggest fans in the world. Is it perfect, no, but I can move past this because its flaws and history cannot mar its awesomeness.