Exit Stage Left?
Posted by Caroline on May 25, 2008
Over the past few years on Eurovision Blog, we have made much of the fact that countries who don’t seem to do very well have a habit of flouncing off from the contest in a huff, blaming political voting and the like – and normally we tell them not to be so childish and get back here immediately.
However, after seeing what happened to the UK last night, we have completely changed our minds about this for once. Yet again, le Royaume-Uni – a country who you could once rely upon to be in the top ten year after year (if we came so much as 12th it was regarded as a disaster, yet now that appears to be a placing we can only dream of) finished bottom of the heap – and although we officially tied with Germany and Poland we technically came last since those two countries received higher scores from the countries who gave us points. Had it not been for Ireland and San Marino we wouldn’t have received any points at all. And had the unqualified semi-finalists not been allowed to vote we would also have gone home empty-handed.
Which would have been fine and dandy if our song had been a load of old rubbish like Scooch or Jemini, or even Daz Sampson’s shouty schoolgirl rap – but if truth be told, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the UK’s performance in Belgrade. OK, so Andy Abraham appeared to have borrowed his suit from the Thunderbirds costume department but apart from that what was the problem exactly? The song was decent, the performance was fine. The poor bloke looked a little tense but then wouldn’t you if the massed ranks of the media had spent the week saying you were rubbish and weren’t going to do very well?
There were plenty of worse songs than this in the contest. Germany’s No Angels for example were blimmin’ awful. Poland’s toothy lady (hey, perhaps Ukraine could write a song about her!) weren’t much better. Romania were flat and dull on the night, Finland looked oddly out of place and Georgia were just odd. Yet all of them did better. And we can’t even blame the UK’s failure on the Big Four being shunned by the rest of Europe this time since France and Spain, while not exactly setting the scoreboard alight, both scored their best results in years.
So this year we’re not going to tell the UK to stop complaining, to send a decent song or to do any of the things we normally tell them to do – because we did all those things, and yet it still didn’t work in our favour. In fact we’re going to do what all those other countries have been doing – throw our toys out of the pram, make a huge fuss and suggest that it’s high time the UK followed in the footsteps of Austria, Monaco, Italy, Luxembourg etc and pulled out of the contest. Seriously. Not for ever, you understand – but for long enough for us to rethink our strategy about what we should be presenting on the Eurovision stage. While we don’t think Andy deserved to come last we can see the flaw in sending somebody like him – Russia, for example, send Dima Bilan, who is a huge star across the whole of the region and who had audience members swooning in the aisles with the merest glimpse of his foxiness. The UK sends a binman made good. It’s hard not to notice the contrast (perhaps if we do return next year we should send a song by the man who sweeps up the leaves in Team Eurovision’s car park), and it is possibly an issue we should be addressing. But until we can come up with a way to regain our credibility on the Eurovision stage we don’t see a lot of point in us taking part.
The other reason we should take a break, as far as we’re concerned, is because to be honest we don’t think anybody would miss us. The UK’s absence certainly wouldn’t spoil Team Eurovision’s enjoyment of the contest (yes we love seeing the UK do well but there were many many other countries who entertained us throughout the semis and the final) because let’s face it, it’s the contest as a whole which is enjoyable – the songs, the costumes, the silly dance routines, the gimmicks, the voting – and while there’s a certain sense of national pride to be had from supporting one’s country it certainly isn’t the be all and end all.
So there we have it. As of today we are officially launching our Campaign To Get The UK Out Of Eurovision (And Take Our Money With Us – ha ha! That’ll teach all your East European and Scandinavian nations to ignore us when there’s no more contest because we’re not giving you a penny. Bet you’ll wish you’d been a bit nicer to us then when there’s a gaping void in the middle of May and you have to stay home that Saturday night and watch re-runs of the Danish version of Dancing On Ice instead. So there.)
But anyway…. who’s with us?
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