Why in hell are you excited that we will be actively participating in the schlocky shitfest that is Eurovision?
Has everyone forgotten why we love watching Eurovision in the first place?
Australia is the biggest Eurovision watching country outside of Europe.
As co-host of SBS’s Eurovision broadcast Sam Pang told RN Drive last year:
“I used to trod out that line that Australia is a multicultural country and a lot of immigrants came in the 50s and 60s and they grew up with Eurovision here and now they realise it’s on in Australia, but now I think it’s just grown the last six years and the interest from back home I think people, whether you grew up with or not they’ve come to Eurovision and have realised it’s a pretty fun weekend, it’s an entertaining viewing spectacular where you just sit back and you just enjoy what Europe offers up and it’s, like I said, it ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous you know, it’s just a lot of fun I think that’s the attraction of Eurovision.”
Yeah, ridiculous. THAT’S why we love Eurovision.
It’s because we love laughing at a spectacular cultural debacle that has confused the world since 1956.
Read, laughing at them, not with them. Like Taylor Swift in the Hottest 100, this is not a scene we need actively participate in, but snigger and watch as sequins and unicycles clash with nuanced Eurozone politics.
Ukraine and Russia can be at loggerheads IRL, but in Eurovision they can get on the same stage as equals, and fellow European nations can choose sides with contest votes, not sanctions. Do we belong in that hotbed of dubstep robots, epic sax guys and giant hamster wheels when our country’s favourite track of last year came from a slow burn electrocrooner whose defining point of theatricality is his beard?
The only country more excited about us being in Eurovision than we are is the UK, a long-suffering misfit in Eurovision, as yet again, European politics plays against it.
It seems we’ll now be taking that spot as the awkward, overzealous English-speaking outsider.
Don’t we remember what an embarrassing and ill-fitting joke it was to have a special performance last year? How we didn’t belong at all, and probably shouldn’t have?
Eurovision is like peeping over the fence into a French nudist beach. Sure it looks like fun at first, but pretty soon our pasty, flabby body will raise plenty of awkward for all parties involved.
We don’t get to be snarky onlookers now. Now we’re up for slaughter. Wouldn’t you prefer the safety of smug curiosity than national humiliation?
I will concede that Australia loves its own bit of camp novelty, and we have plenty of acts ripe for the Eurovision stage. Sia’s performance of Elastic Heart on Ellen (tweens in boxes) would be Eurovision gold if Sia didn’t already have an air of cool and musical cred to her name. Iggy Azalea could bust out some tacky camp act as she does on the daily. I’m personally a big fan of the campaign to get TISM to Vienna.
And maybe regionalism is dead and we should embrace a global world.
But in competing in Eurovision, we shatter a cultural barrier, and sacrifice the joy of distant fascination for upfront humiliation.
We get bucked off our high horse into a pit of sweat, and auto-tune and hilariously mistranslated English lyrics that are so wonderfully European, and feel like loud backpackers vomiting on centuries-old cobblestone streets. We, the obnoxious foreigners, don’t belong, and the locals don’t really want us there, but will grin and bear it for the extra ratings.
But hey, I’ll still be watching.