Boom Bang A Bang: How Twitter Saved Eurovision (for me, anyway)

So, here we are again. The day after Eurovision. We’re all feeling a little grainy, a little dull around the edges, perhaps a trifle embarrassed at how much time we spent on Twitter last night.

Twitter has transformed Eurovision for me. It turns the show into a community pastime. I wouldn’t be caught dead at a Eurovision party, but I’m more than happy to sit at home, drink copiously and rant on the webs about the silly minutiae of Moldovan headwear or the relationship status of the Azerbaijani pair. And I know full well that there are hundreds, thousands of people out there all doing the same. I’ve bitched about the show in the past, but I simply couldn’t resist, despite fair warning from Twitterpal Selcaby:

(I missed out a couple. I was cooking dinner at the time.)

It can seem that the whole thing devolves into a scrum where everyone is shouting at the telly at once, and you do sometimes wonder whether the songs are getting the fair judgement that they deserve. But then there were some genuine clunkers and deranged decisions at the Dusseldorf Arena that needed commentary. And more and more celebs seemed to be joining in this year. Charlie Brooker, Chris Addison and Caitlin Moran all added a welcome dose of acid to the event.

Eurovision has become, despite (or perhaps because of) the obviously partisan voting a genuinely exciting and unpredictable contest. I was certain, to the point of nearly putting money down, that the Hungarian entry would romp away with the prize. She never got out of the bottom eight.

Ireland’s blatant attempt to make sure that they didn’t winning by fielding sugared-up quiffbots Jedward looked as if it could backfire, and at one point midway through voting they were looking dangerous. Well, as dangerous as a pair of ADHD-twitchy bubbleheads in red leather can look, anyway. Which just goes to show that Eurovision is as much about the performance as the song, and a dose of surrealism can actually catch you some mileage.

As for the UK, well, at least we’d moved away from the talent-show method of picking an act, and for that managed the best result we’ve had in years. Untouched by partisan voting (six points? THANKS, Ireland) we stayed resolutely mid-table, but with none of the embarrassment of the nul points years. The song was a bit of a clunker, but the back-to-business approach worked. It’s something to build on for Azerbaijan. A proper, honest-to-goodness pop band doing a proper, honest-to-goodness pop song, with none of the amateurism that’s marred our recent entries.

In short, this was the year when I learned to relax and enjoy Eurovision. Saturday night saw TLC and I both curled on the sofa, hammering away on laptops and cackling like loons. It was my FA Cup final, with an end result that had a certain poetry and ironic charm. Especially when the winners couldn’t stay in tune for their second performance.


Lack of (Euro)Vision

After last night’s debacle, I was going to post a long rant about what the UK is doing wrong with Eurovision, and how we can fix it. And then I dug back through my archives, and found a post I wrote back in 2008 which addresses the self same points.

Apart from the names, nothing has changed. We don’t bloody learn, do we?

Here’s the post in question.