Let’s be truthful, Eurovision is essentially ridiculous, cheesy and just plain bad, but unlike the shows that we have to put up with for weeks longer than this one-night extravaganza, it’s not as arrogant or emotionally manipulative as those ‘talent’ shows.
It is, and I must stress this, just a bit of fun. For us in the UK anyway. We don’t take this seriously, we get annoyed by the political voting but in the end, just want to sit down with a drink and spend 3 hours in the company of an increasingly drunk Graham Norton and have a good laugh.
Those who don’t watch it don’t understand the appeal. They probably think it’s a lavish X-Factor or worse, they think it’s bad without seeing the irony, that its badness is exactly why we watch it. Yet those poor souls who sit on the outside looking in are the ones who don’t understand the joys of a multinational music competition in which the highlights include a group of old dancing Russian ladies and a Swedish hard rock band dressed as demons.
It’s not the music we watch it for, it’s the bizarre costumes, the oddball characters and the witty humour of Graham Norton and previously the late Terry Wogan. Of course, we hold a slight hope that we’ll win, though we haven’t had a decent song in years, and wait patiently for the points to roll in. Yet we’re not surprised when we end up with 4 points and we don’t mind because we’re usually too drunk to care.
Only those who watch Eurovision, get Eurovision, and though it’s broadcast all over the continent, I’d say it’s something only a sparse few of us watch, with winking irony and assured entertainment. It’s become a fandom of its own and like only the best cults it has a devoted following online.
In the end, though, despite the heavy amounts of cheese and the heavy amount of flag waving, there’s a genuine sense of community as we all watch with smirks and tell each other this is a good use of our time. Which it definitely is.