Oh my, I shouldn’t be wasting brain cells on this, but it is kind of a cultural/political issue. There’s all this whining in the Swedish and British media about the Eurovision result, accusing Eastern Europe of shadowy voting procedures (i.e. multiple voting by SMS) and eastern bloc pacts and stuff. Some people are even proposing a musical iron curtain with an East-Eurovision and a West-Eurovision. I have a few points to make.
1. Voting is done by country, not by total number of votes cast, so an individual voting by SMS more than once skews their country’s result, not the overall result. One could argue that since all countries get to cast the same number of votes then individual votes in countries with small populations count more (Kind of like the Electoral College in the U.S. being skewed toward the Red(neck) states). Since there are lots of little countries in Eastern Europe, perhaps the voting is slightly skewed in that direction (but then, this is the case for Scandinavia too). On the other hand, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain are automatically entered into the final no matter how bad their songs are, I assume because, as the biggest countries in Europe, they provide the bulk of the viewing audience. So, you know, who really has the advantage here?
2. The Swedish entry was mediocre and the British entry was total crap, so they have nothing to whine about. The only entries from Western Europe that I liked were France and Germany. But I never expect the masses to like what I like, so I wasn’t really surprised that they didn’t win.
3. So Eastern Europe did well this year. But hello? This is ONE YEAR. Finland won last year and Greece the year before. Western Europe can’t handle those second-class citizens in the East winning just once? Racist jerks.
4. Eastern Europe voting by bloc? Who did Sweden get almost all of its points from? Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway. Everybody votes for their neighbors. It’s lame, but not surprising. So maybe they need to change the rules so that countries can’t vote for their neighbors either. And finally…
5. It’s Eurovision. It’s silly. It’s fun to get drunk and watch it and see what kind of insanity is going on in the pop music world. It doesn’t really matter who wins.