After a long day at work, it was a wonderful revelation to remember that Eurovision was about to start on TV just as I got home. I have to admit I have never missed a year of it since I can remember and I absolutely love every element of it, particularly the late great Terry Wogan’s commentary, and Graham Norton’s equally hilarious commentary in recent years.
Of course we all know Eurovision is only partially about the songs. What it really is, is a chance for all the countries to express their political standings and alliances for their surrounding (and usually neighbouring) countries. I can just imagine David Cameron taking note of every vote, whilst tucking into a Chinese in his pj’s (that’s what we all do when Eurovision is on, right?) planning which country to show his allegiance to in order to get some brownie points from its acquaintances, it’s all very revealing.
But, my issue with this years Eurovision in particular was the lack of culture represented with each song.
Only one country’s entry sang in a foreign language, Austria, and they sang in French! Now, I understand that some entries sang partly in their language and partly in English, but I simply don’t get why they aren’t singing in their native tongue. This competition should celebrate all things European, with Israel and Australia subtly falling under that bracket too as it appears. Even the French, whom in previous years have sung in their language with pride, chose to sing in English this year!
Not only did I feel robbed of the cultural experience that is Eurovision, I also felt that vocally those singers would have benefited from singing in their own language. What with the difference in vowel placement and shaping of the voice depending on where you are from in the world, I really believe that the songs would have been much more beautiful sung in the singers’ natural language. This is a song competition, and regardless of it’s other motives, I really think this year Eurovision failed to celebrate it’s thriving difference of culture and exciting musical variety. Be proud of your language and be proud of where you come from!