A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

What if East had joined in earlier?

In 1989, the Berlin wall came down and took the Cold War with it. A few years later, in 1993, the former Socialist East was let inside the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.

But the Cold War wasn't all that cold all the time, and some of the east bloc countries had quite good relations with the west.

I can't help wondering what Eurovision would have been like had a few of the Socialist brothers found their way into the contest already in the late 70's or the early 80's. There were plenty of acts who could have made a splash internationally: Neoton Familia from Hungary, Anne Veski from Soviet Estonia, Veronika Fischer from the German Democratic Republic...

Had these countries been in the running longer, then maybe the reaction would have been less negative and less violent when they started doing really well some ten years ago? Maybe we wouldn't have had the heated (and headless) debate where people from "the west" accuses "the east" of only voting for each other. Thus cheating.

Neoton Familia - Monte Carlo

Take the example from above - the Hungarian band Neoton Familia (with just a tiny hint of inspiration from Abba, perhaps) would probably have done rather well in the 80's with a song like this one.

Or maybe not. For many years, the more exotic participants (Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and, the only Socialist country in the running, Yugoslavia) could be as good as they wanted without ever being seen as anything more than a colourful interval or a zestful decoration on the Eurovision cake.

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