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How Eurovision became a carnival of nationalism What happens when you mix chauvinism with continental camp?

'Ukraine’s 2022 victory — with its on-stage shout-out to the defenders of Azovstal — hardly derived from its musical quality alone' (Patricia J. Garcinuno/Getty Images)

'Ukraine’s 2022 victory — with its on-stage shout-out to the defenders of Azovstal — hardly derived from its musical quality alone' (Patricia J. Garcinuno/Getty Images)


May 11, 2024   8 mins

As the protests in Malmo over Israel’s inclusion in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, like the anguished defences of taking part by British and Irish contestants show, the kitschy spectacle is an inherently geopolitical format. In the interests of fairness then, should Palestine, like its neighbour Israel, enter Eurovision?

It is difficult to imagine a coherent argument against it on cultural grounds: after all, one of the arguments Israel’s supporters currently find most objectionable is that Israelis (most of whom are now descended from Middle Eastern Jewish refugees) “really” belong in Europe. In fact, the question is not technically a cultural one: as Palestine is not a member of the European Broadcasting Union, it is not eligible to join. Yet all the other Arab states neighbouring Europe are EBU members, and free to take part if they wish to: Morocco’s 1980 entry was — so far — the only Eurovision entry to be performed in Arabic, while Lebanon only withdrew its planned 2005 entry once the state broadcaster realised it would not be permitted to censor Israel’s performance. But that the question immediately asserts itself as a cultural one — a drawing of borders between our European home, and outsiders — reaches to the very heart of the contest’s meaning.

The Eurovision Song Contest, after all, was first performed in neutral Switzerland just 11 years after its contestants had finished ripping the continent apart in a war from which it has never recovered. Indeed, the first Eurovision took place a year before the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Community. Explicitly intended as a means to unite a shattered Europe in a continent-spanning shared cultural event, it is directly analogous to Nasser’s contemporaneous use of the new transistor radio and popular music to inculcate a shared sense of national identity across the Arab world. The Eurovision Song Contest, in its construction and reification of a shared European cultural space, is, like the growth of print media in the New World which underlay Benedict Anderson’s influential (and widely misunderstood) thesis on the origins of nationalism, a European “imagined community”. That it is tasteless kitsch is not an argument against this interpretation: all nationalism is kitsch to various degrees, more apparent to the external observer than to the dewy-eyed devotee.

It is a commonly held truism that Eurovision’s point-awarding mechanism owes as much to ethnic and political rivalries and solidarities as it does the quality of the songs themselves: Britain’s infamous 2003 nul points was widely, and perhaps correctly, interpreted as a reaction to the Iraq War, while Ukraine’s 2022 victory — with its on-stage shout-out to the defenders of Azovstal — hardly derived from its musical quality alone. When Britain hosted the 2023 contest on Ukraine’s behalf, it was a diplomatic message from the top about our nation’s commitment to the Ukraine War.

Equally, when Spain chose to enter an Argentine tango for the 1982 contest, held in Britain at the height of the Falklands War, it was a campy diplomatic snub. Eurovision and Europe’s volatile politics are deeply intertwined: Portugal’s 1974 performance was the signal for the military coup sparking the Carnation Revolution against its Catholic-authoritarian Estado Novo government, while the ageing Franco is alleged to have bribed the judges of the 1968 contest to win Spain glory and lessen the isolation of his regime. Israel’s 2000 entry — which came at a time when Israeli liberals hoped Bashar al-Assad’s assumption of power in Syria might lead to peace between the two countries — featured the performers wearing Arab keffiyehs and singing about their lover in Damascus, and waving Syrian flags on stage. The Israeli government withdrew all support for the entry, which flopped: when they flew back to Israel, the singer was spat on at Ben-Gurion airport.

That Britain, on the whole, does not take the contest seriously may tell us more about Britain’s attitude to Europe than it does the contest. Academics of nationalism and cultural identity have increasingly begun to focus on Eurovision as an object of detailed study, while it is in Europe’s east and south-east — the New Europe that has shifted the Union’s centre of political gravity eastward and, unintentionally, towards confrontation with Russia — that themes of culture and identity have come to predominate.

Consider the case of Yugoslavia, whose Eurovision history prefigured its collapse and reconfiguration into a cluster of stable ethnostates and unstable multiethnic protectorates. An early Eurovision participant — a means to symbolise Tito’s distance from the Eastern Bloc and openness towards the West — the former Yugoslavia came to rely on Croatian songwriters for its winning entries: the music of the former Habsburg lands was seen as more acceptably European than the exotic-sounding Balkan melodies of formerly Ottoman-ruled Serbia. When Yugoslavia hosted the contest in 1990 in Croatia’s Zagreb, the TV host announced to the world that, like an orchestra, the country was made up of many different parts which came together in a harmonious whole. Yet Yugoslavia’s diversity was not, in the end, its strength: neither Croatia nor Slovenia, Bosnia nor the Kosovars would send forward a contestant to the Belgrade heats the following year, as Yugoslavia collapsed into bloody civil war.

Indeed, Serbia’s triumphantly folkish 2010 entry “This is the Balkans” can be seen as a marker of cultural self-confidence following its decade-long ejection from the contest over the course of the Yugoslav Wars: expelled from Eurovision, Serbia had been cast out of the European family. Meanwhile, Bosnia’s almost inaudibly faint 1993 voting panel, dialling in from besieged Sarajevo, was given a round of applause: Bosnia’s struggle to appear at Eurovision was seen to presage its eventual journey towards the EU, of which it is now a poor and unstable protectorate. When Estonia, whose nationalist independence movement against the USSR was, after all, The Singing Revolution, won the contest in 2001, its Prime Minister Matt Laar declared that “now we are not knocking on the door of Europe but will simply walk in singing”.

Is it fanciful, then, to imagine we can trace countries’ cultural shifts through their Eurovision entries? The year before it joined the EU, Poland’s 2003 representative sang in German and Russian that he desired no borders, a remarkable cosmopolitan aspiration given the country’s history. Does this mean Poland’s 2014 entry “We are Slavic”, in which buxom peasants in folk dress danced a polka while praising their “hot Slavic blood”, a reflection of the country’s subsequent drift towards traditionalist national conservatism?

The question is not as fanciful as it sounds. The eastward expansion of the contest, like that of the European Union, has brought on stage folkish and politically charged cultural undercurrents absent from the days of interchangeable Western European pop, in a process the Swedish academic Alf Björnberg has dubbed Eurovision’s “return to ethnicity”. Just as Turkey learned that the sinuously exotic Orientalism of its winning 2003 entry — the lyrics of which more or less openly express frustration with its tortuous EU accession negotiations — presented an attractive synthesis of its Eastern heritage and then-presumed European future, so have other tenuously Western countries adopted völkisch stylings in presenting themselves to European audiences.

Greece’s winning 2005 Eurovision entry fused the country’s deeply Oriental pop music tradition with an interlude of high-camp Cretan lyre playing, a nod to the highland peasant culture underlying modern Greek national identity. With its national inferiority-cum-superiority complex towards Western Europe uneasily balanced with its Balkan peasant traditions, Greece, more than most countries, plays with these themes at Eurovision. This year’s Greek entry makes the implicit explicit, as the Sudanese-Greek singer Marina Satti presents herself as a tour guide taking a Westerner around kitsch-laden Athenian tourist traps, while also dancing in folk style to the shrill Balkan melodies of the northern Greek klarina. European and not, Western and not, this year’s entry performs in high camp the national identity crisis Patrick Leigh-Fermor expertly outlined as the “Helleno-Romaic Dilemma”.

An early adopter of the contest’s shift towards ethnicity, Ukraine’s more tragic division between East and West is dramatically displayed in its Eurovision entries. 2004’s winning “Wild Dances” purported to represent the folk traditions of the Hutzul highlanders of Ukraine’s far western Carpathian Mountains, a symbolic repository of ür-Ukrainianness from which wartime popular-nationalist motifs are still drawn, just as its 2021 and winning 2022 entries consciously utilised folk motifs, reflective of an ongoing  process of nationalist state formation.

But the country’s tormented relationship with Russia, the Other against which Ukraine is defined, has also been overtly referenced at Eurovision: its entry for the 2005 contest, held in Kyiv, was an adaptation of a protest song from the just-concluded Orange Revolution, the original nationalist and anti-Russian lyrics of which were bowdlerised to fit Eurovision rules. Eurovision tries to maintain an apolitical stance — after the 2014 audience booed Russia’s panel, the following year organisers covered the noise with taped applause — yet it is impossible to disentangle the show from the bloodier contest now reshaping Europe. Ukraine’s winning 2016 entry, following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, a ballad purportedly about Stalin’s 1944 expulsion of the Crimean Tatars, was as charged a political comment as the contest permits, to Russian dissatisfaction.

It does not take a great deal of symbolic imagination to read Georgia’s 2009 submission, “We Don’t Wanna Put In” as a response to Putin’s invasion of the country the previous year: as the lyrics protested, his “negative mood” was “killing the groove” for the country’s Western aspirations (Eurovision eventually banned the entry). Yet Putin’s Russia is far from averse to making political statements in its own Eurovision entries — as a number of analysts have observed, the Kremlin has long used Eurovision as a showcase of its geopolitical messaging, with Putin declaring Russia’s 2008 win as “not only a personal success for Dima Bilan, but one more triumph for all of Russia”.

Indeed, it is not difficult to trace Russia’s changing attitude to the West in its contest submissions. It is fascinating to reflect, when considering the Kremlin’s current attitude to questions of gender and sexuality, that in 2003 a West-leaning Russia entered the faux-lesbian band t.A.T.u as its entry, with Russian commentators laughing off the fact that its sexualised performances were banned on Top of the Pops and CD:UK as po-faced Western puritanism.

Today, we can say the poles have been reversed: it is the West that leans into displays of homoerotic sexuality, while t.A.T.u’s singer Yulia Volkova stood as a candidate for Putin’s United Russia party. Indeed, analysts have taken Russian state media’s highly negative reaction to the Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst’s 2015 victory — the year following Russia’s criminalisation of “homosexual propaganda” — as a significant turning point in the Kremlin’s conservative turn. As the serious EU analysis paper Strategic Communications from the East observes: “Moscow, supported by state media outlets such as Ria Novosti and RT, used the triumph of the transgender candidate as an opportunity to emphasise Russia’s moral superiority over the West,” accentuating a cultural and geopolitical pivot leading us to the war in Ukraine.

Similarly, Russia’s use of non-ethnic-Russian singers like the Ukrainian singer Anastasiia Prikhoďko, who performed in a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian, has been theorised as Moscow’s display of a nostalgic pan-Soviet solidarity encompassing countries which may themselves prefer to evade Moscow’s bearhug. Similarly, choices like its 2012 entry of ethnic Udmurt babushkas from the depths of the Urals baking bread and dancing in traditional folk dress express not only an increasingly-inward-looking cultural conservatism, but also an outward-facing performance of Russia as a harmoniously multi-ethnic empire, which as the academic Emily D. Johnson notes, “like classic Soviet internationalist propaganda, cast Russia as potentially more committed to diversity, tolerance, cooperation, and peace than key geopolitical opponents”.

“Europe was not, as we have learned, ready for the change that Moscow was planning.”

Yet “perhaps, given the potential alternatives,” Johnson remarks, “we should feel grateful when Russia chooses to employ the nostalgic vocabulary of Soviet-style multiculturalism in staging itself for Eurovision. There are certainly scarier alternatives.” What are we to make, after all, of the fact that Russia’s last entry before the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, “Russian Woman”, though outwardly an expression of formulaic feminist messaging, featured a stirringly anthemic bridge where the screen displayed a mournful Mother Russia watching over clashing armies as the stage erupted into jets of flame? At the song’s conclusion, the Tajik singer Manizha exhorted the audience, “Are you ready for change? Because we are — we are the change!” Europe was not, as we have learned, ready for the change that Moscow was planning.

Just as Russia’s enforced absence from the contest since the invasion — an exclusion not imposed after the 2014 conflict — dramatically symbolises the revisionist giant’s expulsion from the European family, so does the ongoing conflict over Israel’s inclusion this year symbolise dramatically shifting European attitudes to the country’s moral values. As the introduction to the 2007 collection of essays on Eurovision, A Song for Europe, observes, “Modernity characterises the ideal of post-war Europe to which the Eurovision Song Contest provides literal and figurative access: a society that is democratic, capitalist, peace-loving, multicultural, sexually liberated and technologically advanced.”

As we have seen, however, it also highlights the precise opposite, as the contest, like the continent’s politics, has been drawn eastward, embedding the stagey kitsch in a world of geopolitical rivalry, a disengagement from cosmopolitan internationalism and a return to traditional values, in which expansively imperial and ethnic particularist understandings of national selfhood have battled to assert themselves, consciously or otherwise, to the flag-waving crowds. The battle over Israel’s participation is then, less a breach of Eurovision’s stated values than the crystallisation of its actual ones. Like Saladin’s assessment of the meaning of Jerusalem at the end of Kingdom of Heaven, when we ask ourselves what Eurovision means, the answer is surely “Nothing… and everything”.


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

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Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
19 days ago

If Eurovision has indeed become a carnival of nationalism – I’ve never seen it and have no expectation I ever will – it’s only following the well worn path of the Olympics, both summer & winter, and assorted other sporting competitions. All it needs to hit the biggest nationalist notes is endemic and flagrant cheating. Has it ever had a singer fail a drug test?

Duane M
Duane M
18 days ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

My thoughts exactly. I don’t follow the Eurovision contest as I live in the US. But I have watched the Olympics over the years as US television coverage has devolved into a triumphalist celebration of US athletic performance to the exclusion of all else. It is rare now to see any attention given to non-US athletes, and if the event has few US contestants or is not likely to result in a US medal, you can pretty much forget about seeing any coverage. It’s become just a massive flag-waving event for the US self-image and that makes it very boring if you are actually interested in the athletics.
Maybe, once upon a time, the modern Olympic games included a celebration of international friendship. But those days are gone, sadly. Now, from the US side of it, the Olympics are all about winning medals, who has more medals, and who has more gold. I just can’t watch it any more.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
15 days ago
Reply to  Duane M

A friend of mine who moved to the USA from the UK in the 1980’s couldn’t believe the coverage of the Olympics which pretty much is how you describe it, very nationalistic. I saw it for myself in 2000 when a trip to see friends coincided with the 2000 Sydney Olympics. I was watching one medal ceremony in which the USA had taken Gold , silver and bronze. The flags flew as the athletes received their medals. My friend, who is one of the least nationalistic Americans I know, turned to me beaming and asked ‘If you could live in any country in the world apart from the UK, where would you live?’ France, I replied.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
18 days ago

“Britain’s infamous 2003 nul points was widely, and perhaps correctly, interpreted as a reaction to the Iraq War…”

This was always a self-important bs excuse. It was obviously due to the first verse and chorus being sung painfully off-key in the Grand Final. Go watch it for yourselves.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
18 days ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

True, that was an awful performance, but in general it is still political. The only time the UK has done well in recent years (to my recall anyway, I don’t usually watch it) was following the support of Ukraine.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
18 days ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

The worst British entry was when we tried rap. The song was called Love City Groove and it was cringeworthy.

Peter B
Peter B
18 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Our singers may not be up to much, but I reckon we’ve got the best TV presenters for the show.
It’s all so wrong – an article in danger of taking Eurovision seriously …
I was never too sure quite why Israel were in Eurovision anyway (the clue’s in the title). But then they let Australia in …

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter B

Are you struggling with the concept that anyone country which is a member of the EBU can field an entrant?

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
18 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I’m going for Daz Sampson as an exceptional low point.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
17 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Our entries are different to most of the other countries in that our musical alphabet is at heart American. The European entries lean more heavily into their own musical traditions and have no pathological fear of a minor key.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
17 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I think Ollie’s dismal effort was worse.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
18 days ago

“as Palestine is not a member of the European Broadcasting Union, it is not eligible to join”

Yet, Australia participates.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
18 days ago

And Lebanon chooses not to. Ignorant Western fools think Palestinians are a poor downtrodden people desperate to take their place in the nations of the world, but my guess is that if you admitted Palestine to the EBU they would boycott Eurovision rather than appear beside the Zionist Entity.

Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
18 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

You need two to tango. Arabs always looked down on Jews. All this nonsense about a two-state solution, when all the so-called Palestinians want is to drive Jews into the sea.

Ryan K
Ryan K
15 days ago

yes absolutely correct.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
17 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Can’t really imagine Hamas approving of the type of entrant fielded by most countries this year. I can’t see downtown Gaza ever being bedecked in the trans and rainbow flags.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
17 days ago

That’s because Australia is a member of the EBU. It’s not that difficult to understand.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
16 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Sort of, Australia is not a member of the EBU, it’s an associate member (we’re quite a long way away from Europe) like China or the U.S. but you don’t find them participating in Eurovision.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
18 days ago

Yes this Eurovision is only about politics. A vote for Israel will cost 15p.

Andy White
Andy White
18 days ago

This year I am particularly enjoying seeing all the pro-Israel virtue-signallers pledging to throw their money away… more, please! Go on, dig deep!!

Anyone with any sense can see that this year’s ESC is a car-crash. There is some interest in following the progress of that I suppose but it is not a normal year for the Contest and this year’s results will mean nothing.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy White

15p well spent and hardly likely to leave me in penury. Decidedly proud of UK awarding Golan top marks in the public vote. Second highest public vote overall too. Looks like popular sentiment may not be with Thunberg and the screaming mobs after all. And the Dutch entrant looked like a gay Paul Calf (for those old enough to remember that).

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
18 days ago

Surprised the author doesn’t mention Riverdance, which was an absolute sensation when Ireland hosted in 1994 – at a time when unemployment in Ireland was nearly 10%. It revolutionised how Irish dancing was seen. More subtly, it was really an American form of Irish dancing and marked the beginning of how the Irish began to see themselves an Irish-Americans, looking to Clinton, Obama and Biden for validation and adopting the attitudes and behaviours of the Democratic Party.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
18 days ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

I don’t think I shall ever forget Michael Flatley flying onto the stage, it was an absolute tour de force. Ireland had a lovely song in 1996 by Eimear Quinn, I think it was called The Voice. I had the cassette single!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
18 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yes, the Michel Flatley Riverdance was breathtaking for sure. Since then all the dance and singing stuff coming out of Ireland has been embarrassingly commercial. I can’t bear to watch it.

peter lucey
peter lucey
17 days ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

You might enjoy Michael Flatley’s gloriously awful film “Blackbird”

El Uro
El Uro
18 days ago

“Modernity characterises the ideal of post-war Europe to which the Eurovision Song Contest provides literal and figurative access: a society that is democratic, capitalist, peace-loving, multicultural, sexually liberated and technologically advanced.”
.
Here’s what it really means:
.
https://twitter.com/RadioGenoa/status/1788880226207822295
.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago

Aris agapi mou.. everything is nationalist Greek Easter football Olympics religion etc.but is better to play music instead eating each other like they did for 2000 in Europe.

David B
David B
18 days ago

“The UK, supported by state media outlets such as the BBC, used the triumph of the transgender candidate as an opportunity to emphasise the West’s moral superiority over Russia.”

Bored Writer
Bored Writer
18 days ago

“Unfortunately the original Palestinian entrant has fallen off a tall building. One/They will be replaced by “Heresmorephotosofcryingkids” formerly known as “”Burn the Zionist Dogs” We apologise for any confusion this may cause.”

Ryan K
Ryan K
15 days ago
Reply to  Bored Writer

Best response ever

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
18 days ago

Phew! The 67 word sentence in the last paragraph beat me! My view of the Eurovision Song Contest can be stated much more succinctly.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
18 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

You should probably stay away from George Eliot. In fact, stay away from the nineteenth century in general. 😉

Bruce Bishkin
Bruce Bishkin
18 days ago

Nice research!

Bored Writer
Bored Writer
18 days ago

This essay is classic example of the pseudo-intellectual capacity to say “There is a cow in the next field” in 60,000 words of which 40,000 require the use of a dictionary.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
18 days ago
Reply to  Bored Writer

A mathematician, physicist and engineer are riding through the countryside on a train. The engineer points out the window: “Oh look – there’s a brown cow in the field.” The physicist laughs and says, “You only know that half that cow is brown.”. The mathematician says: “You only know that there is half of a brown cow”.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
16 days ago
Reply to  Bored Writer

Yes. Climaxing with a quote from that fountain of profundity Ridley Scott does kind of set the seal on it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy as much as anyone. But Kingdom of Heaven is entertainment FFS. It’s not meant to be taken seriously.

ChilblainEdwardOlmos
ChilblainEdwardOlmos
18 days ago

What did I just read? ‍Ugh.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
18 days ago

“…all nationalism is kitsch to various degrees…”
 
(?) Categorical claims like this are generally all the better for proof; but if Eurovision songs are without exception kitsch, it must be for aesthetic reasons having nothing to do with nationalism. Nationalism and kitsch each have their limitations; but those limitations are different and arise from different sources, just like the limitations of critics unable to disentangle their aesthetic sensibilities from their politics.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
18 days ago

A really fascinating piece. However perhaps … “ That Britain, on the whole, does not take the contest seriously may tell us more about Britain’s attitude to Europe than it does the contest.”… just signifies that the Brits have less tolerance for this form of “entertainment”, if I can call it that.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
18 days ago

I was in Belgrade in 2005 when they were trying to select which song would go forward as the entry for Serbia and Montenegro, who were still stuck together in some kind of rump federation.
I happened to be walking by the venue where the competition was taking place: there was a massive brawl which spilled out onto the street. I think the Montenegran entry was victorious and the Serbs couldn’t hack it.
Montenegro became independent the next year.

Coincidence?

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
18 days ago

ESC is like the monarchy or the Catholic Church. Its fans are either elderly ladies or homosexual men. Never forget to have impeccable blue hair!

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
17 days ago

I thought the original purpose of the ESC was to test and improve trans-national TV broadcasting capabilities. Once that had been achieved, the ESC should have been mothballed.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
17 days ago

It must take a lot of effort to ‘not notice stuff’ by all the LGBTQ+ folk at Eurovision to not notice that Hamas and co would wipe them out in a Palestinian state.
And that only in Israel could they have a Pride parade…

El Uro
El Uro
17 days ago
Reply to  Pete Marsh

After yesterday show I don’t want to see Pride parade anywhere, sorry.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
17 days ago

Anyone who watched this monstrosity of a music (?) show gave tactit support a murderous regime and thereby contributed to the genocide of innocent Palestinian children and they disgust me! It’s bad enough not to actively oppose the Satanic slaughter but to actually support it is, in my opinion, a crime against humanity.. not as heinous as supplying the murder weapons but tacit support nonetheless. The next time you see a distraught Gazan child screaming in anguish at the loss of a parent other own limbs you can take ‘pride’ in the fact that you contributed to it, albeit in a small way, …maybe just one child’s worth eh?

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
17 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Hamas, and it’s stated intention (indeed its raison d’etre) of wiping Israel and it’s Jewish inhabitants off the map is infinitely more disgusting than what you describe. If someone threatened to wipe you, your family and and your tribe off the face of the earth, i guess you’d just sit back and applaud their audacity?
When, and only when Hamas and it’s Iran-sponsored ilk stop threatened to exterminate Israel will Israel achieve it’s wish to live in peace with its neighbours. It has no other purpose in responding than it’s ultimate wish for peace, while Hamas uses its “Gazan screaming child” as a means of manipulating the narrative in the most cynical way. The narrative only succeeds, and the cycle of death and suffering only continues, because those who make the same case as in your comment allow it to.
But i do agree: the show is a monstrosity.

Ryan K
Ryan K
15 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

the response to which you reply is the standard Columbia U response….from the former encampment. It is the standard of virtue signaling artists in all fields. Now I see a video addressed to “Dr. Jill” our “first lady” from Annie Lennox et al PLEADING for an end to “genocide.” what a cow as you Brits say.

Red Reynard
Red Reynard
17 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Ah! How wonderful of you to perform your faux outrage from the safety of your comfortable western existence. We are all humbled into intellectual submission by your cogent balanced and rational argument.
Here’s my exemplar of a cogent rational argument; come into my house and fk with me and mine, and I will pursue you to the ends of the earth in order to ensure you cannot do so again!
Can you understand that response – or should your nearest-and-deaezt look askance in you direction?
If guilt by association is to be our moral measure; let me scratch at the surface of you life, and see what morally unacceptable crimes you may be guilty of.
All the best LO

McLovin
McLovin
16 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Are you seriously suggesting that simply watching a TV show means you are contributing to genocide? Please go and lie down in a darkened room or better still seek medical help.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
16 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It sounds like you were actually there.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
15 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Talking of Satanic slaughter…….that Irish entry, eh?

Margaret Donaldson
Margaret Donaldson
17 days ago

It’s easy to see now, having read this article, why the UK can never win! We are just too boring….

McLovin
McLovin
16 days ago

So boring that we produced the greatest rock bands – Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones etc etc

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
16 days ago

There was I thinking it was just another Saturday night freak show!

Robert Leigh
Robert Leigh
16 days ago

Watching the contest was made bearable when Sir Terry Wogan did the commentary. His lovely humour summed it all up.

McLovin
McLovin
16 days ago

Eurovision Song Contest – nul points.

Richard Russell
Richard Russell
16 days ago

The Eurovision “talent” show has been a showbiz joke since its inception more than sixty years ago. It has also always been as fiercely nationalistic as the World Cup. Why is this tired old high school musical suddenly become news? Because today’s baby journalists looked up from their phones long enough to notice it?

Karlo Tasler
Karlo Tasler
15 days ago

very knowledgable article!

Ryan K
Ryan K
15 days ago

Since I”m in the USA and never watched this affair, I can only look on from the outside. How did Greece, the lynchpin of Western Civilization get an “Oriental” music culture if not by hundreds of years of Islamic occupation? I say that as a fan. Who else is a fan…the next named country.
Israel’s original song was too “politiical” This hurricane song may have made a very oblique inference to what that nation is experiencing since Oct. 7. Somehow despite the Irish contestant’s constant shrying and OUTRAGE that ISrael was even allowed to be near them, Israel did better than expected.