Eurovision is the largest non-sport TV Show on the planet and every year the host broadcaster tries to be a little bit better than last year. This year the contest was held in Azerbaijan and they also wanted it to be both amazing and glamorous. Let me tell you they did not achieve that.
Why that dull?
I shouldn’t really compare this contest with last ones because I’m German and therefore may be a bit biased but I still will. The Hosts for this evening, Eldar, Nargiz and Leyla, seemed to be under a lot of pressure to make everything right to not make a mistake. This resulted in dull questions in the green room and a most predictable presentation doing nothing special at all. Like it was over-rehearsed. In comparison to that in 2011 the hosts Stefan, Anke and Judith were much better. Of course this was rehearsed many times and it felt like that, too. In Germany, however, we saw the hosts playing music themselves performing the winning song, ‘Satellite’, from the year before. Also, they at least tried to make some jokes.
This year nothing like that was happening. In the Intervals where some countries had a commercial break we had to watch questions like “How do you feel? – Excited” or “Do you feel nervous? – Yes”. I know this happens every year but this year it was especially terrible. I wished for commercials instead.
Don’t understand me wrong, I’m a big Eurovision fan and still enjoyed the contest but this had to be said. That’s why we will now look at the important bits: The Songs.
I did not understand that ranking.
Now, everyone can say that music taste is something personal. This opinion, however, doesn’t just come from me but from all people in my garden who watched it with me. Only three of my Top 10 were in the actual Top 10: Russia, Sweden and Germany.
I personally really liked the French entry (finished 22nd) and enjoyed the entry from Hungary (maybe because it was right after the terrible performance of “The Hump”) coming 24th. And now that I’ve listened back to it I still enjoy it. It wasn’t that bad.
So because I’m not satisfied with the ranking here is my Top-10 Ranking.
- Russia: The Grannies were so sweet and innocent you wanted to tell them that Eurovision is just a show. It is not real. But they may already know. Also the Song was not too bad. Watch
- Germany: I know this is my own country but I really did like the song. Roman Lob – ‘Standing Still’ could easily be on BBC Radio 1 or SurgeRadio. Watch
- France: Maybe it was the girl or that France was singing partly in English. But I really enjoyed it. Watch
- Hungary: I like dance songs. And this one is good. Could work in a Club. Watch
- Denmark: I still don’t understand why this was bad in any way. A sweet song from a sweet girl. Maybe it was the hat? Watch
- Austria: You might wonder: They were not in the final? Whatever! The Trackshittaz with ‘Woki mit dem Popo (I shake my booty)’ deserved to crash the final. Trash in an Austrian accent. Watch
- Ireland: Is this really in my Top-10? The reason is I had this stuck in my head since the first time I heard it. As hard as I tried, it did not leave. And the Waterfall on stage was impressive. Watch
- Iceland: I liked this Song. It is predictable Eurovision stuff but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Watch
- Sweden: The actual Winner. But for me not that special. Not a bad song but a winner? Watch
- Greece: Just the hottest girl in the Contest…. What? I’m a boy! Watch
You disagree? There is a comment section. Use it for your Top-10.
United Kingdom. Why?
I have watched the Eurovision Song Contest for the past 12 years. The UK Entry has been bad 11 times. This year included. Only Jade’s –’It’s My Time’ written by Andrew Lloyd Webber was any good. No, it was amazing. And 3rd Place. That’s good. Norway won it that year and they were still better but hey that’s the way to do it. Engelbert Humperdinck, however, was just terrible. He deserved to be even closer to the bottom. Norway was not good but better than the UK by miles.
I’ll tell you guys a secret. Before Germany won in 2010 we did not give a f**k who we send to Eurovision, because we thought we could not win anyway. (Reason: Everyone hates us for something we did about 70 years ago. But, let’s not talk about it). But then we tried again seriously and we won! How great is that. It is possible. So Britain: If you care about Eurovision send someone serious. Be ambitious. It does not have to be a great name. It has to be a great song. And by the way it was not his age it was the song and the performance. Russia also sent old people and they came second.
Azerbaijan and Eurovision – Human rights?
I guess you know that the regime in Baku wanted to have an great show and a three hour long commercial break to showcase their country. That is what they got. During the show there was no comment that people’s houses were teared down to build the Crystal Hall. Or that the opposition is imprisoned and the press is unable to operate freely, so the President can rule as he wants. There are no free elections in this country. With the West participating I would have expected at least one song to talk about that but no-one did.
There was, however, one political statement during the live points giving link up to Germany. Anke Engelke, who gave the German result, said this right before the points: “Today nobody could vote for their own country but it is good to be able to vote and it is good to have a choice. Good luck on your journey Azerbaijan. Europe is watching you.”
See the statement as shown on German TV. (NDR- Das Erste)
In the end she was the only one to stand up for democracy in Azerbaijan. And for that she has to be given credit. For everyone else this just was a show like very year.
Of course Graham Norton also joked about the interval act being related to the president but he was just on BBC One. Anke Engelke and her statement were broadcasted to the whole of Europe including state TV in Azerbaijan.
Let us all hope together that Europe really will continue to watch human rights in Azerbaijan. Only when people know about the violation of rights will something change.
Watch the BBC Panorama Report about Human Rights in Azerbaijan (BBC One)
Luckily Sweden is not a country where we can expect a violation of human rights so the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 can just be a great show again with Belarus giving 12 points to Russia, Cyprus giving 12 points to Greece and maybe Portugal giving 12 points to Spain. I promise.