May 25th, 2008

Old Friend

Eurovision: Goodbye Terry...?

Reports this mornign are that terry Wogan may quit as the BBC's Eurovision Commenator. Terry has been doing it for as long as I can remember (he got the gig back in the 70's sometime) and whilst he is an institution and I generally really enjoy him he is certainly not the person for the job as the last few years have shown.

He has become increasingly bitter and xenophobic about the various entries into the contest and the way votes are distributed between countries. Sure, there is a certain amount of voting for your neighbours or close political ties - but there always HAS been. It's just that know many of the Western Countries that benefited from this (Scandinavian block especially) are being outshone by the amount of Eastern European countries that are involved in the competition. But even this voting brings some of the better songs to the fore.

Ok, Russia won this year. Terry claims this was political voting but the bookies had it down as the firm favourite to win way before the show and American Superproducer Timbaland (who's worked with Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtdao, 50 Cent and most recently Madonna) has worked with the singer who is a major star in Eastern Europe and also came 1nd in Eurovision back in 2006 when Lordi (Finland) stole the show. Plus Russia was getting plenty of votes from non-Eastern European countries so it was hardly one-sided voting!

As for the UKs entry coming last - well frankly that wasn't a surprise. Whilst Terry was claiming it was the UK's "best song in years" the bookmakers had it down at 66-1 to win and it came 33rd out of 43 in a BBC survery earlier in the week which included all the countries songs before the two semi-finals weeded out a lot of the dross. The UK were only IN the Eurovision Song Contest Finals at all this year (and for the last few) because we get an automatic buy-in along with Germany, Spain and France because of the financial backing we give it. Maybe we do need to go through the semi-final stage as that might make us start putting forward half-decent songs as opposed to the complete w**k of recent years (Scooch, Daz Sampson - arg!).

Our song was so bad that even Malta (who traditionally give points to any UK song - hey Terry, isn't THAT political voting?) gave it ZERO POINTS (Hey Terry, that must mean our song was extremely bad if even Malta couldn't bring themselves to vote for it!!!). Only Ireland (hmm- block voting Terry?) and San Marino gave it any points (8 and 6 respectively) so once again political voting (well on Irelands part anyway) saved the UK from getting a big round ZERO in total (last years contest we only got votes from Ireland (7pts) and Malta (12pts???) which was blatant blok voting and nothing to do with the quality of the song - I guess Malta learnt there lesson this year).

Anyway, I really do hope that this is Terry's last year as Commentator. He was great for years but he just isn't clued in enough with the state of modern music or Eurovision and personally I'm finding his xenophobic and racist comments too much to pallet. He needs to resign/reture (as he's indicating) or the BBC needs to just remove him in favour of a new younger, more 21st Century clued-in, non-racist commentator.

Well done to Russia who won and to Ukriane and Greece (wo came 2nd and 3rd).

Wogan 'May Quit Eurovision Role' (BBC News; Sunday 25th May 2008)