May 15 2011
Last night was Eurovision again. Was fun tweeting last year and fun last night too. This is an edited transcript of the tweets just before and during the voting to give you a flavour of what a few ELT tweeters were getting up to last night. Good to see people in a non ELT environment tweeting about non-ELT things. Hope I’ve managed to capture some of the flavour of it in my eurovision roving role…….Greetings from a rainy Budapest!
@annabooklover Bless you Anna,you’ve made my evening with your tweets : ))))))
long black boots, black gloves and a blank song..nice purple nebula #eurovision
i can, i will, i know eurovision for beginners #eurovision
@SimonGreenall Lol I saw your Lena tweet and can only second it. Nobody in Germany likes Lena any more. Wish I could watch TV with U guys!
@theteacherjames who you rooting for? hear Belgium entry just funny !
@thornburyscott Well spotted
Son won’t let me watch #eurovision, but I’m enjoying following PLN tweets. You guys are hilarious! So who are the favourites so far?
Serbia. now this is my kind of music. 70s #eurovison
so this is my tip, uplifting, celebratory, hairspray inspired or not who cares?#eurovision
Oo hang moldova maybe your vote isn’t secure, this Serbian number is quite boppy #Eurovision
What’s that Serbia? I expect Balkan countries to have a touch of ethnicity in their music. This is not Serbia! #eurovision
@vickyloras Don’t fret about Greece We all know that the rest of the Greek population can sing.
Full marks to Serbia #eurovision
Since when has English been all triphthongs? #eurovision
Went to Tblisi once. As I remember it was just like this. #eurovison
I’m voting for moldova, the cones edge the 60s #Eurovision
Well, if it’s about looks, then it’s Sweden closely followed by Greece #eurovision
On the other hand, if it’s about modal verbs then it’s UK #eurovision
So I missed #eurovision; that’s 2 or whatever hours of my life I had that you lot will never get back! (Mind you, eurovision vs ironing…)
1 Serbia 2 Moldova 3 Italy…….not that that will be the result though. #eurovision
Slovenia still has my vote. #eurovision. Iceland was like watching the British version of “The Office” sing musical theater.
Don’t want bang on about it but only France, Spain and Serbia sang in their own language #eurovision
Yes, and Ireland too I guess. #eurovision
@SimonGreenall Hungarian sang in both Hungarian and English
Moldovia gets my vote, definitely!! Like the Pogues with a bit extra on top from what I can tell from clips #eurovision
‘twould appear my PLN agrees that Moldovia is the way to go. Wonder what that says about Moldovia, me, or my PLN… #eurovision
#eurovision will we be political this evening then
I can’t even be bothered to find out who won #eurovision
Lots of boring strategic voting now #eurovision
No way Cyprus gave Greece 12 points, well that’s a surprise #Eurovision
Cannot believe Greece is in the lead #eurovision
Our interpretation of Greece leading: they are voting us out of mercy…#eurovision
@ozsolmaz Definitely!I meant whyyyy are they actually giving us points,it was a terrible song : ))))
I think they should use First Past The Post for #Eurovision, right?
So pleased Graham is giving us his views on presenters’ hairstyles. That means a lot coming from him. #eurovision
#eurovision is she a bridesmaid
Hm…Kate Middleton’s plan B.
I can’t believe France has 25 points. #eurovision
Is Greece actually fourth? Unglaublich! With that song?!? #eurovision
It was great watching with all of you! Good night everyone! #eurovision
Jak mogłes mi to zrobić? Poland didn’t vote for France. #eurovision
#eurovision thats it. Lost the will to live. The best rubbish isnt winning
Dude, that guy from Sweden has a fabulous American accent. #eurovision
Predictable and boring. Goodnight all
@harrisonmike Was the UK entry Blue? I thought it was Jedward, judging by the comments on Twitter…
@chiasuan Jedward were for Ireland.
@harrisonmike Oh I see. Who’s winning now? Is Blue or Jedward any way near the top? Is Blue doing better than Jedward?
Hey, one of them is called Eric! He gets my vote. Don’t know what country he’s from though #eurovision
Someone once told me that the Italians are the French in a good mood. #eurovision
Hey wait a sec…she looks a heck of a lot like the Duchess of Cambridge. #eurovision
Two “pity points” from Portugal to France. #eurovision
# Be still my beating heart. Oh no, it’s OK, it’s Dusseldorf.
#eurovision why cant the uk win. I want to go.
Something heartwarming about this show of solidarity between neighbours, given usual mutual antipathy #eurovision
@SimonGreenall What did Azerbaijan sing? I saw it but don’t remember it. Was it the one about Ever Nasty Love?
#eurovision Time for Ireland to leave the Euro
@Amandalanguage i love eurovision
@lauraesol me too … Loving all the kitsch n weird votes
Ooooh Switzerland last…ouch #eurovision
Didn’t realise Azerbaijan was in Europe.
“@fionamau: So…… What’s the capital of Azerbaijan? …….” easy. Erm.
@fionamau Baku. Googled it.
Well done Azerbaijan!
If #Eurovision proves anything, it’s that the UK has no friendly neighbours. Even the Irish don’t like us that much.
Erm… They can’t sing #eurovision
Just saw a summary of Eurovision on the news!
#eurovision That’s it, all over for this year. Thank you to my PLN for your company. I really must get a life.
@vickyloras Yes, it was more enjoyable than most of the songs!
@theteacherjames Hi James!That was fun again this year…missed a couple of people but it was good : )
RT @fudgecrumpet: Wikipedia crashes as everyone tries to work out where the hell Azerbaijan is.
Right. I’m off. So night night. Can you imagine how shit Eurovision would be if it was good?
Terry Wogan and Political Voting
Finally, Graham Norton was the host of Eurovision last night in Britain, I was watching the Hungarian coverage so I didn’t get to see him but Terry Wogan used to do it in Britain and then gave it up because of what he saw as “political voting”.
In 2008 on his retirement from eurovision he said this.
“The elephant in the room was our singer Andy Abraham’s colour. East of the Danube, they won’t be voting for any black singer any day soon. Those who care about the contest will have had it up to here with the blatant political voting from the former satellites of the USSR that awarded this year’s event to Russia, and the even more scandalous lack of votes for the UK entry.”
Eastern European diplomats in London denied that racism had played any part. Irena Dimitrova, Bulgaria’s cultural attaché, accepted that there were very few black people in Bulgaria but insisted that race was not a factor. She said: “We are a very serious country when it comes to our music. We are very well educated musically and we like black music.” Eerik Marmei, the deputy head of the Estonian embassy in London, said: “I would say the accusation of racism is totally rubbish.”
I despair at much of the coverage of “Eastern Europe” in the British media, and have been teaching courses on “Eastern Europeanness in the Media” in my university in Budapest for a while now and one student wrote her MA thesis on it. Comments like this from Wogan, a senior and popular media figure, only serve to deepen prejudice. Wogen is actually Irish and should know better about stereotypical depictions, particularly in the light of the experience of his own country.
The Real Politics of Eurovision
In 1968 Franco bought votes to win the competition to bring it back to Spain, in 1970 after Dana’s victory in Amsterdam she was flown from Dublin to Derry in an Irish plane into “UK” airspace on the island of Ireland for the first time and Nicole won for Germany in Harrogate in 1982 with a song called “ein bischen Frieden” a little peace at a time of heightened tension in Europe with Cruise Missiles and the Falklands War. The whole thing was started in 1956 to unite broadcasters in Western Europe but also to strengthen Western Europe against Eastern Europe. In 1961, the year the Berlin wall went up Eastern Europe started its own song contest in Sopot Poland on the Baltic coast.
In 1998 in the town of my birth Birmingham, the Israeli transvestite Dana International won and the Birmingham promoter of the event gave the first rows to the Lesbian and Gay community, since then Eurovision has been a very important event in the LGBT calendar transcending both national and nationalisitc boundaries.
One of my friends wrote to me yesterday on facebook saying: “I’m a bit mystified regarding your current Eurovision obsession!”
Well, it is a big European cultural phenonemon and apart from being a lot of fun, it also reveals values, beliefs and prejudices which make it worth having a look at. I did a bit on it in class last week looking at who votes for who and why and this is a great tool to work with. Roll on next year, really enjoyed the craic last night and if the UK want to win with a boy band they’d better ask Take That.