Finally, the Ukraine has selected! (Part Two)
After a controversy-filled week and a half, the Ukraine has finally submitted their entry to this year’s Contest, Sweet People by Alyosha. As with any major controversy, there are several points of interest, let’s take a look at them now.
_The self-disqualification of Vasyl Lazarovych and the song I Love You on the grounds that an internal selection process is “unfair.” Many countries use internal selections, surely the Ukraine realized that by saying the internal selection process is unfair, it risked angering other countries (such as France, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel, and this year, Belgium). So, what are some other reasons the new management at NTU might have for wanting to send another entry?
–I Love You is not that great of a song. There’s not doubt in my mind that this was a last ditch attempt to find a better song.
-The new management probably wanted to show itself as being different from the previous regime, and such, wanted a clean slate and a new start in every way, including with Eurovision.
-*This is wild speculation* Perhaps, the goal was to get Alyosha to the Contest in the first place, and this was a covert attempt of making the ploy seem legitimate. Speaking of which…
_The scandal around the top two songs being previously released. Surely the NTU had to expect this, given the short time frame, which is probably why they decided to find a whole new song for Alyosha, as opposed to kept moving the down the list of finalists until a song was finally found that meant the requirements. There was one more, much more pertinent issue regarding To Be Free, that would have disqualified it regardless, but was pushed to the wayside due to the early releasing of the song. The music for To Be Free was blatantly plagiarized from the Linda Perry/Grace Slick song Knock Me Out. Okay, maybe not blatantly, but the music is nearly identical. This is definitely the most legitimate charge of plagiarism in recent Eurovision histroy. Knowing that it was written and released two years ago and that its music was eerily similar to another song, it makes one wonder why Alyosha entered To Be Free in the first place…
_Speaking about disqualifications, there was a bit of an uproar when it was announced that NTU would be granted an extension with fines, as opposed to being out-and-out disqualified. Especially since the running order would be decided prior to the submission of its entry. Here, I will offer several reasons why I think that the EBU made this decision.
-It seems to be standard measure that songs aren’t really fully scrutinized until after they are selected to compete. Since NTU, technically, had picked its new entry prior to the deadline, it was not fully at fault for the late entry.
-Let’s recall two previous entries that pulled out after the December deadline. First, let’s look at Lebanon, who “withdrew” from the ESC2005. Not only was the broadcaster fined, but was banned from competing for four years. Second, let’s look at Georgia, who was “disqualified” from competition in 2009. They had to sit out in Moscow (but were not fined) and are back in the game for Oslo. Ukraine seemed pretty dead set on not withdrawing and suffering the four year ban, so the EBU probably wanted to get as much money as possible from NTU before formally disqualifying them.
-The Contest shrunk from 2008 to 2009, and shrunk by even more from 2009 to 2010. The EBU probably didn’t want to see anymore countries leave the Contest, even if it meant overlooking an egregious breaking of the rules.
_So, now that the three main points of the biggest Eurovision 2010 scandal thus far, I want to give my opinion on how I think the Ukraine will do in Norway this year. That opinion: bad! I am sticking by my first appraisal for several reasons. First and foremost, Alyosha’s type of music, pseudo-folk-electronic-rock (which doesn’t make much sense, but the term I want to use: “indie,” is not well understood outside the US), is not typically well-received at the Contest. Secondly, many fans are fed up with the Ukraine, and will not vote for them out of spite. Third, I’m sure Vasyl Lazarovych will be sending a lot of bad voodoo towards Alyosha for taking his spot, and negative feelings tend to be a bad things.