Eurovision's corruption doesn't matter

Remember when America stumbled across the concept of a "cheeky Nando's", and they wanted the English to explain it? I saw my friend tweet that it was an "abstract concept". He was jesting, but in a sense it is, and in a sense the fact that people in the UK understand the concept of a "cheeky Nando's" but people in America didn't - well, to me, that say more about British culture than any amount of fish and chips, the monarchy, and tea: the things that allegedly sum up "British culture".

To me, the same applies for Eurovision.

Theoretically, Eurovision should be a singing contest, but anyone from Europe will tell you it isn't. The best song probably doesn't win. The best song charts around Europe the following Sunday (well, Friday, now), but all sorts of different factors affect who wins Eurovision.

I've previously said that I don't feel an overwhelming sense of pride in Britain, whilst I do in Europe, but this year's Eurovision showed me to have faith in the people of both - albeit not with the judges. The UK brought my favourite - Lithuania - in first, and we managed to collectively stop Europe losing their own competition. Sorry, Australia, you're lovely, but you can't flounce in and win.

Ukraine won on politics, yes, obviously, but who cares? The public made that win, the same public who brought Poland from the bottom to the top half on the left hand side of the board. I really like the new layout, with the jury's results going in first so you can see how things would turn out if anyone played Eurovision by the theoretical rules - best song wins.

It's when you get to the public's vote that my pride in Europe really shines through. They might have given us the least votes overall (which I totally empathise with - my friend said yesterday that even if we came out with a banging tune, we'd end up last, because Europe doesn't like us. I respect that) but the good ol' genderless person on the street took an act that was deemed by the professionals to be bottom-half-of-the-right-hand-side worthy, made it top-half-of-the-left-hand-side worthy. Why? Because it had that "eurotastic" factor.

So, yes, it was wrong, I suppose, that Ukraine won with a song that had a political stance, because apparently that's against the rules (I didn't even know Eurovision had rules), but it's not about that.

Eurovision is about all of Europe coming together for one night (or day - seriously, Australia, why are you here?) with an drunken love of violins and Klingons and strobe lighting, and voting for the most "eurotastic" song.

And with such a poor turnout this year - criticise Germany's entry all you like but at least it was fun - Ukraine's entry was the most "eurotastic". Even if that means "political", not, "wacky".

Americans, be confused. It's Europe, after all.


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