As you may have heard Austria won Eurovision. A bit like Basim winning DMGP this was kinda inevitable from the start, with the audience miked up in the final to give Conchita 11K backing singers and emphasise the change in the lyrics which had already mobilised ‘the community’ to vote vote vote. We have clearly not yet reached peak beard.
Conchita gave a flawless performance in an X Factor final style TV moment. The other side of this mass euphoria (akin to the furore around Diana’s death) is the booing of a song because you don’t like the politics of its leaders. The arena was a colosseum with a gladiatorial atmosphere, bread and circuses. Rather more tolerance was shown by the televoters of the east, although their juries, with their votes on public display, were more cautious.
To win Eurovision you need a many faceted product and to go out for the win – Austria did this in 2014 just as much as Denmark did in 2013. And in some ways the package was just as unthreatening – compare and contrast with, say, Israel’s entry, which crashed out second last in its semi.
The old fashioned torch song style did zilch for me – it’s not compulsory to like it, even to show how liberal you are – I prefer something a bit more edgy or at least original, in terms of music, but perhaps expecting a quiet moment to capture hearts in the same way was a bit hopeful.
But who – and how many – vote? Will they buy the song, or even remember it a week later? Six songs got over 100 points, with a large cluster behind, and there were huge disparities between the jury votes, who rank 1-26, and the audience, who vote for a favourite/s. There is much analysis to be done, and I have posts to write on the specifically Danish side of the experience – the show, the branding, the use of #some, the legacy…
Once you get out of the bubble though you do start to wonder how big a deal this really is. A little classic from Austria, winner of most claps in the Eurovision Book of Records, to ponder: