Saturday, May 10, 2014
ESC 2014: How prejudiced are we?
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.