A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

ESC 2014: How prejudiced are we?

Usually you'd think that Eurovision was a competition between songs, but this year it seems to be bigger than that. It is more like a complex fairy-tale where good stands against bad. Tolerance against bigotry.

I think (and hope) we will have the closest voting in many years, hopefully we will still have at least two countries in the running up until the very end. And I believe we are all getting stuck in prejudiced ideas.

If we assume automatically that the former Soviet countries wouldn't vote for Austria because Conchita Wurst is a controversial figure, especially in the light of the Russian anti-gay legislation, then we are really under-estimating these countries.

Somehow the prejudiced people are always the loudest. Also in various eurovision discussions throughout spring, there have been loads of intolerant voices criticising Austria's choice, belittling the judgement of ORF, belittling the performing qualities of Conchita Wurst. Also among LGBTQ-people, there has been a lot of judgement and negative comments. They are still there, but in the end it seems that those loud, negative voices were fewer than they seemed to start with.

Just because there is a lot of prejudice, racism and intolerance floating about right now does not mean that the haters will sit at home tonight and vote or that they will have an important influence on how the juries vote.

Why wouldn't a Russian juror be able to appreciate the Austrian performance? And why wouldn't the televoters in Ukraine - who selected Verka Serduchka to represent them already seven years ago - vote for Austria?

Another thing that could make everything possible tonight: if the voting is all over the place, you will need fewer points to actually win.

In 2011, Azerbaijan won with a modest 221 points with 43 countries participating. This year, with six countries less voting, you could theoretically win with less than 200 points and afford scoring zero from a number of countries.

Everything is up for grabs and I just hope we will have a close, tense and exciting evening and may Slovenia as the last country have the decisive vote - just like they had in 1988 and 2003.


  1. I think UK's ESC result is very sad because they belong to the favourites.
    It's the same like it happened with Cascasda and Germany in 2013.
    What about the Big 5 countries? Only Spain is in TOP 10. That's not fair at all.

    1. This is a competition, there is no fairness. Finland has made top ten once in twenty-five years. Where's the fair in that?

  2. I believe it has nothing to do with a competition. I'm afraid that these countries are no longer interested attending ESC in the future. What do you think is the reason that the Big 5 countries had these very bad results? Do you think it was because of the bad quality of their entries?
    I'm very curious to hear your opinion.

    1. Most of the Big 5 countries get really great ratings for the Eurovision final and are therefore highly unlikely to withdraw.

      This year, with the exception of Spain, they failed to deliver what the audience wanted. Their entries were not strong enough to stand out and be the favourite people voted for. Simple as that.

  3. The final voting statistics show that only four countries (out of which three were from the so called "east") did not award points to Austria. To me that means that the prejudices did not really show in the points awarded.

    And even the fact that four countries give Austria points does not mean that those countries are more prejudiced than the others (in their voting). Maybe they just did not like the song enough to include it to their top 10. They are allowed to not like the song without making them prejudiced.