Opinion |: Ukraine wins the “Eurovision” voting. As it should be.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine approached the three-month mark, almost all of Europe stopped on Saturday to honor one of the continent’s most famous traditions, the Eurovision Song Contest. Conceived as a quiet way European countries will compete The song contest against each other boasts that it has helped keep peace in Europe. The event, organized by the European Broadcasting Union, is presented as a place where countries put aside their cultural differences, overcome language barriers through the power of music.

This is a surefire solution to international politics, which is foaming at the bottom of its glossy European surface, which is needed at home more than ever.

But Russia? banned this yearքը Ukraine’s entry was one of them It is advantageous to win The Grand Final of 2022 with both sympathy and merit. As expected, with professional juries largely supporting other countries, Ukraine won by an overwhelming majority, giving it a victory. It may seem that it contradicts the spirit of broadcasting, but the intrigue is what actually makes “Eurovision” celebrate. This is a trusted solution of international politics, which is foaming under its bright European surface, which is needed at home more than ever.

It is this involved political feeling that brings people to watch it year after year. (The: The 2021 show boasted 183 million viewersmaking it The most watched non-sporting live event in the world 🙂 The singing contest is a cultural navy that has largely bypassed American understanding and attention, except, probably, as the machine that was launched. ABBA: և: Celine Dion. From decades as a positive homosexual influence (which is still a source of pride) to voting for a country “worthy of victory”, “Eurovision” has always been more than just music, այժմ the war raging in Ukraine. Eurovision now feels more relevant than ever!

The opening Saturday was a bit unexpected with the performance “Give Peace A Chance”. After that, the policy was more subtle, with many performers quietly wearing yellow-blue ribbons or small flags on their wrists. But some, like Iceland, had the nerve to break the protocol and call for peace in Ukraine. The presenters had an awkward job trying to ignore all that, or worse, refusing to provide a platform. At one extremely awkward moment, host Mika snatched the microphone, not risking a Ukrainian act while saying something political in an interview. .

The whole continental music competition started in 1956 with only a few participants այի the mantra of inclusion. Over the next six decades, Eurovision grew to include up to 52 possible participating countries, or at most competed 43. (Any country that has a television broadcaster that pays a member of the Broadcasting Union is eligible to submit an original song that must be performed. .)

The organizers have: he insisted again and again that competition is apolitical in nature. It is considered an escape, all peace, love և music with annual themes such as “Combined“or”We are One»: (This year it’s the “Voice of Beauty”).

From the time Israel became a member in 1973 until the early 1990s, a wave of Eastern European countries that suddenly gained legitimacy in the early 1990s made Eurovision a show of all time. Performances of songs during the period of American imperial ուժեղ stronger Britain since 1973 English was largely the default when the competition first eased the rules for national language requirements, ից again In 1999, when they were completely removed. But as American influence waned, the tendency to sing in the mother tongue was pushed back.

Political favoritism has always been visible in jury voting, when countries perceived it as a tool for the use of soft power on their neighbors or as a way to seduce those with whom they have political differences. But since: Jury և introduction of TV voting side by side, the political substitution of the show was harder to hide, especially since one of the rules is that the audience can not vote for the singers of their country. In 2021, after the final withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU, it ended zero points were awarded. And since Russia has passed its “gay propaganda“The law of 2013 his actions were whistled regularly by the audience.

Russian-Ukrainian tensions have become particularly pronounced since the Kremlin invaded Crimea in 2014. In 2016, Ukrainian singer Jamala sang.1944“, A song inspired by the experience of his grandmother, who was expelled from the Soviet Union as part of the cleansing of the Crimean Tatars by Joseph Stalin. Russia complained that his song was technically a historical event (he later deviated from the rules of the show that the songs did not refer to current political events), drawing attention to the themes of the song. pushing him to win by popular vote. (Since 2016The voting was 50-50 distributed, with traditional juries, which first award the distribution of their points, and then the total number of popular votes revealed country by country.

The following year, the event was hosted by Ukraine and ban the Russian representative Entering the country to support the annexation of Crimea to Moscow. Russia retreated. Two years later, Ukraine clashed over its own refusal to sign a treaty to represent the country, rather than take a political position. That was the time It is Ukraine’s turn to leave.

This year’s competition only widened the gap. Although at first the European Broadcasting Union refused to take a position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, The complaints of members և viewers have reached a point that they could not ignore, it disqualified Russia from the competition. In response, Putin withdrew From the broadcasters’ union in general, it is not clear when Russia will return.

At the same time, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra performed “StefaniaSung entirely in Ukrainian, a choir rooted in the country’s folk music with intermittent rap lyrics, breakdance, and a pair of traditional wooden brass instruments. sopilkan և: telenka. When it comes to returning home with broken paths and appreciating mothers caring for their children, it’s not hard to see why it was so popular.

Despite the decree against the policy, the action in Ukraine, of course, ended with a message begging for an end to the war. The group (all males) is expected to return home shortly after the show to rejoin the army to fight for their country. It seemed that many of the juries did not appreciate it, making many non-political songs their main ones. Spain:, Sweden and Great Britain. (Although Ukraine received the best votes from Poland, Moldova, Latvia, Romania and Lithuania). insurmountable 631 points (the second highest in history) և victory.

Regardless of who ends up as this year ‘s most famous artists, the politicization of Eurovision will remain. It may not be the proxy of an entire war, but music is indeed a universal language, including politics. It will always be the most interesting way for Europe to see how its people treat the world, its neighbors.

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