Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

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StevieFan13
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Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby StevieFan13 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:04 am

Lately, I've taken an interest in looking back at the history of Eurovision, which is why "Save Your Kisses for Me" hasn't left my head for a good long while. There are some gems, and, of course, there is plenty of crap. But I've been thinking a bit about Eurovision, and one thing that confuses me a great deal is why some countries don't take advantage of having bigger bands to represent them. I suppose you could argue quality(?) of the song over star value of the band, save for exceptions like then-lesser-known groups or artists like ABBA or Celine Dion, but say you're the United Kingdom in the '80s. My mind would not have immediately gone to a group like Bucks Fizz or Bardo. I'd have gone to a goldmine like Wham! or the Human League or Duran Duran. Yeah, they couldn't do a song like "Freedom" if it had already been released, but they could come up with a new one. This is how my mind works at 2 am.
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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby DaveC » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:49 am

For a successful artist, Eurovision is a hiding to nothing. If you win, then you put a huge amount of time and effort into promoting just one song. If you lose, then..... no upside at all. If you lose at the national selection level, even worse.

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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby Depeche Mode » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:49 am

Eurovision is a shitshow, no music industry or fanbase takes it seriously. If I hear a band/artist is in the contest I probably never want to hear them.

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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby StevieFan13 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:05 am

Oh, I dunno. Sometimes they're kind of fun. I liked this one:

Though, for your sanity, don't look up "Save Your Kisses for Me" or "Start Making Your Mind Up" - you will be humming them forever and ever and ever. Also, you can't hate Eurovision completely if they're responsible for ABBA's first major breakthrough (although I don't know if "Waterloo" would even make my top 10 for ABBA songs).
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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby Depeche Mode » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:15 am

Mmm of course there might be something decent here or there, though I'm not sure that song is :D My favorite Polish submission(must have been really out of place):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piD3PP1QDBQ

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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby StevieFan13 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:06 am

Depeche Mode wrote:Mmm of course there might be something decent here or there, though I'm not sure that song is :D My favorite Polish submission(must have been really out of place):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piD3PP1QDBQ

Even at their best, they're still pretty stupid for the most part (though I will give Love City Groove credit for being a hip-hop (quote-unquote) group that used a live drummer when the Roots had only gotten started the previous year). And while I get the whole idea of "why would an established artist spend so much time and effort on one song that might not even win," it's fun to imagine how it'd be if certain European artists participated. Imagine the Gallagher brothers suffering through it.
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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby StevieFan13 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:35 pm

OK, I think I've found the worst one. And what a dagger to the heart it is that it came from Israel.

I can't even get mad at it, it's just kind of adorable. It's even kind of noble - they're trying to spread peace and love, and are taking stands for peace between Syria and Israel and in favor of LGBT rights (note the quick kiss between the Right Said Fred and Julian Casablancas lookalikes). But lordy lordy lord, this isn't a good representative of Israeli music. Wonder what Gidi Gov must've thought. At least Israel's done better at other Eurovisions (they've got Dana International and Ofra Haza to their credit, and a lot of the songwriters that have contributed to past entries are very respected Israeli songwriters).
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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby StevieFan13 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:48 pm

Also, big question: the UK never asked the Beatles? Nothing lost, potentially something to be gained. They'd blow the competition out of the water no matter what they did.
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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby Nassim » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:34 pm

DaveC wrote:For a successful artist, Eurovision is a hiding to nothing. If you win, then you put a huge amount of time and effort into promoting just one song. If you lose, then..... no upside at all. If you lose at the national selection level, even worse.


I don't know though. I mean yeah, for a very big international band it would make no sense (and not really be in the spirit of the show), so for the UK it's probably a no win situation, but I never got why in France we never send someone that is popular nationally and would possibly gain international success from Eurovision ; we usually send unknown persons* (except for that year we sent Patricia Kaas... which is another surprising thing, why don't we send former stars who are in a career drought and could try to resurrect it ? ).
We usually have songs that are not very catchy, sung in French (or there would be a scandal to follow) and that don't even allow a nice scenic performance. The 2016 song by Amir is the first one that was a hit in France since 1991, so how can we expect those songs to perform on an internation scene ?
It's not even about artistic merit, we could send hugely successful singers like Maître Gim's, Black M, Shaka Ponk, Skip the Use or Magic System that make terrible music but would gain European fame (and I think most of them would agree) and could come up with a song that would be enjoyed by many.
Heck, I could even imagine La Femme or Julien Doré accepting to go there.

*Les Fatals Picards already had a significative fanbase, Sébastien Tellier was a critic darling and Natasha St-Pier had a few big success around her belt

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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby Harold » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:36 pm

StevieFan13 wrote:Also, big question: the UK never asked the Beatles? Nothing lost, potentially something to be gained. They'd blow the competition out of the water no matter what they did.


I'd imagine if the Beatles ever had been asked to compete in Eurovision they would have reacted the way George does when he's asked to be on the "teen trend-setting" show in A Hard Day's Night. "Eurovision? It's a drag, a well-known drag! It's dead grotty!"

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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby bonnielaurel » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:13 pm

Artists with a successful career have nothing to gain from it. The UK did send Blue and Engelbert Humperdinck, and they didn't win (and didn't deserve to either). The Netherlands have sent Anouk; Israel has sent Noa; none of them has won. The result is extremely unpredictable. Maybe the UK could win with Marina and the Diamonds, Lily Allen or Jessie Ware, but they might also go flat on their stomach.

I did like some of the more recent winning songs, like Ruslana (Ukraine) and Emmelie de Forest (Denmark), but they haven't released much interesting since. They seem doomed to be one hit wonders. It's still the only day in the year that music from many different countries reaches a wide audience. Unfortunately the selections are often questionable. They often select a "typical Eurovison" song rather than just a good song.
They give awards for that music? I thought just ear plugs. (Woody Allen in Annie Hall)

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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby StevieFan13 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:03 pm

bonnielaurel wrote:Artists with a successful career have nothing to gain from it. The UK did send Blue and Engelbert Humperdinck, and they didn't win (and didn't deserve to either). The Netherlands have sent Anouk; Israel has sent Noa; none of them has won. The result is extremely unpredictable. Maybe the UK could win with Marina and the Diamonds, Lily Allen or Jessie Ware, but they might also go flat on their stomach.

I did like some of the more recent winning songs, like Ruslana (Ukraine) and Emmelie de Forest (Denmark), but they haven't released much interesting since. They seem doomed to be one hit wonders. It's still the only day in the year that music from many different countries reaches a wide audience. Unfortunately the selections are often questionable. They often select a "typical Eurovison" song rather than just a good song.

Katrina and the Waves won it for the UK, even though they were long past their heyday (and was Katrina the only American to ever represent another country?). And I also like the Emmelie de Forest song! Lena's Satellite was also a fun tune, and I loved the "Love Love Peace Peace" spoof song.
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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby StevieFan13 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:00 am

BTW, it's funny how people are immediately dismissive of Eurovision, but their opinions are always pretty passionate and knowledgable about it.
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Re: Stuff that confuses me about Eurovision

Postby Jeff » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:14 pm

Hey Stevie,

Here's a video you might enjoy from the guy that runs FreakyTrigger. Do not worry too much about the title. The presentation is really more about the UK's history of failure in Eurovision and how resentment of this fact parallels current events in the UK than an argument that a TV show triggered Brexit. It's pretty good, and I'm saying this as an American who has never followed Eurovision.



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