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Monday, May 14, 2007

Saving Eurovision 

These are my last thoughts on the Eurovision Song Contest until Making Your Mind Up 2008, if there is such a thing. The Netherlands are threatening to drop out. I can easily see the UK doing the same.

This is not a gripe about the winners. Serbia were clearly popular with all concerned although it was also clear that something is not right with the system. There were songs that were popular with the press and with the audiences of both the final and the semi-final that didn't figure very well at the final count. Surely, they all couldn't have been wrong?

Firstly, we should scrap the Big Four concept. The Big Four are, I believe, the UK, France, Germany and Spain. They cough up a substantial part of the funding for the contest in exchange for guaranteed places in the final. This is wrong, either everyone should pay an equal share or the winner should foot the entire bill. There is also no reason why the Four should get into the final unfairly.

Secondly, there should definitely only be one vote per person. It can be done. Allowing multiple votes per voter is greed on the part of the EBU or whoever it is who gets the money from the premium rate phone calls and texts. Imagine what a mess we'd be in if our governments were elected in such a haphazard manner. Oh, hang on...

Thirdly, we also need to scrap the points system. Yes, it is lovely and quaint to hear the words "United Kingdom, twelve points", but, in a televoting system, it is outmoded and we really need to see countries voted for by absolute numbers. It is not right that 300 votes from one tiny county carries the same clout as 3,000,000 from somewhere bigger.

Various concepts have been bandied around since the semi-finals last Thursday and all have revolved around there being more semi-finals or even separate contests for the original Eurovision countries and the more recent entrants. I thought these were good ideas at first but now I don't think they would work. They would cause even more conflict between the participants and that is not what Eurovision is all about.

We need one contest that is fair. That's all.

That is it, no more comments on the E-word, for another ten months although I may respond to comments.

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