Hi, I'm Ben Hazell. I used to blog here about the media, but now I work there I don't write here anymore.
I'm the Web Publishing Editor at - I find better ways to tell stories, developing tools, training and practice for journalists.

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The Blog

Rarely updated now, used during Journalism MA at the University of Sheffield.


Sunday, 25 May 2008
Ahh Eurovision; the beautiful and the damned, a glittering comet of frozen mediocrity streaking across the calendar.

This year Russia won by a comfortable margin thanks to Stalin's clever policy of planting enclaves of voters across half of Europe in the 50's.

Unemployed Slavic sleeper-cells rose from crumbling concrete apartment blocks across Europe tonight, crowding payphones to call in their support for a nation that left them behind, perhaps begging to be remembered.

Take Estonia as an example. A country that forced the Red Army out with a singing revolution returns maximum marks to the oppressor's dreadful ballard.

Estonia didn't qualify for the final so you can be sure viewing figures were low - except among the minority Russian community who came out in force for the Motherland with the full 12 points. That's full marks to Russia from a nation that recently endured weeks of rioting over anti-Russian sentiment.

I have to admit I don't understand some of the block voting that goes on. The Balkan countries all vote for each other. That's great, but weren’t they shelling the shit out of each other's cities not so long ago? What is it about Eurovision that brings out the forgiveness and fierce geographical pride?

Sweden were tipped to win at one stage, but the real winner tonight was the young chap who read out their results. Swedish sources have confirmed him as a complete unknown who seemed to loose the ability to speak English at the vital moment. Assuming that he must have rehearsed, I have to think he was taking the piss.

Maybe nations that can no longer take the competition seriously should form a voting block. I know Ireland's with us, and by the looks of tonight, so are Spain, Bosnia and Sweden. It might even encourage Italy back to the contest.

France and Turkey were reasonably well rewarded for entering reputable musicians, so perhaps it's time for the UK to try the same. Rumour has it both Morrissey and Radiohead have been considered in the past. Why don't we make it part of Winehouse or Docherty's community service?

Better, now Wiley and Skepta have gone pop with the Rolex Sweep, we should throw down some Grime for Eurovision. Lethal Bizzle; I choose you, blud!

And obviously Australia should finally be allowed to enter. Would Pendulum go down well? Would Kylie get the first maximum score in Eurovision history? Savage Garden anyone?


Michael Szollosy said...

Brilliant commentary! Thank you. I like your ideas, too -- well, most of them. (What's the rationale for letting Australia enter? How are they European? Ok, a Canadian won it one year, but she had to pretend at least to be Swiss. Are you suggesting that Australians can enter if they pretend to be something else, too? Besides, then the UK would give 12 points to Australia every year, and vice versa -- are trying to create our own voting block?)

I love your point about Estonia. Your question about Balkan countries shelling each other one year and bestowing dooz pwan the next is fair, too, though I think it has something to do with the fact that you don't really have the discreet groups in these places that they like to pretend that there is. Hence the love and the hatred, all rolled into one!

Ben said...

Isn't Australia just as European as Georgia or Israel?

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