Now you may think that the 2 has nothing in common but you would be wrong. I have followed Eurovision for most of my life and I like to think that I know what it takes to win the contest. However there are always spanners thrown into the works. In contrast I know very little about politics despite my best efforts. Yet politics is as old as time. Therefore you may think, how can I know more about a paneuropean song contest than the runnings of the countries in which they are situated?
I will say that when there is a spectacular upset in Eurovision it is usually down to politics. All the countries that are a-joining tend to vote for each other. This even holds true if they just have shared heritage, language etc. Also landslides happen when a particular issue is prevalent like anti soviet feeling because of the gay rights issue.
A lot of people think that reality contests are fixed and that the outcome is already decided long before they air. Having just watched You Decide, the show where Britain decides who to send to Eurovision this year, I’m inclined to believe them. As soon as you heard the songs and the artists you knew they were not suitable. Yes they were good, popular and have many credits to their name already; but if it’s not right then you know immediately. They saved the best till last rendering the whole show pretty redundant. It was nice to have a choice but it was obvious to me who we should pick and the judges agreed with me. I liked the fact that Rylan was telling Michael Rice our chosen contestant exactly what he needed to do to be successful based on his experience that he gained last year presenting the UK coverage.
For those that have never watched Eurovision from the start of the season till the finale; I will elaborate on the selection process. You are essentially choosing an artist initially. The staging will be completely different, as will the costumes, props, lighting not to mention it may be a different song or just slightly different lyrics or a backing track. It can even be in a different language!
This changes annoyed me when I first found out but if you relate it back to politics you find out that all your really voting for is a persona. Your not even voting for a person; just their personality and charisma. If you compare what a politician says before they get into power and the frequent u-turns that they perform later on in their careers; this duplicity becomes even more apparent. So you can start to see how these 2 ideas are similar. It’s just that politics is not as showy as the classic Eurovision move introduced by our winning singers Bucks Fizz – ripping the skirts off to reveal a different skirt beneath. Our politicians are frequently wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Also the people that enter talent shows like Eurovision are generally part of the club as in spent there lives dedicated to music. They have been in the business as long as they can remember. This is like being part of the old boys club for English politicians. By this I mean they went to Eton so have known each other since they were children. This camaraderie is what really gets things done. The social bonds that glue people together are far more powerful than anything else. If your not part of the inner circle then your opinions are not going to matter. This is why the same countries tend to win in Eurovision just like the same parties win at elections and it oscillates. The illusion of choice here is what makes this so depressing as the judges already know who is the best and who will win before the contests are even held.