Eurovision & Performing the ‘New’ Europe

As far as the UK’s participation in Eurovision is concerned, it seems to me as though we have become as sceptical about the song competition as we have about staying in the EU (at least as far as the Tories are concerned). Bonnie Tyler’s ‘sterling’ effort this year was applauded by Graham Norton as the votes came in on the grounds that it was better than Engelbert Humperdinck’s ballad last year: 23 points to Bonnie who came in at 19 out of 26 entries; Engelbert on 12 points coming second to last. And so it is that I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that the UK is seeking to play a rather different Eurovision game, looking for acts who compete not for the coveted douze points, but for a triumphant score of nul points. We have had Blue, Engelbert and Bonnie – who next I wonder to trail blaze us to the bottom of the voting table? Or maybe if Cameron & co. press ahead with the in-out of Europe referendum and further down the political timeline we pull out of the EU altogether that might really do the Eurovision trick – no to Europe, no votes, RESULT!

But for those of us who ‘believe in’ Eurovision not just as entertainment but for how it also entertains ideas about European identities and politics amidst the glamour, glitz and cheese of the contest, then the newly launched publication Performing the ‘New’ Europe: Identities, Feelings and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest edited by Karen Fricker and Milija Gluhovic is a must:

Recommended reading by the drama queens as the UK takes stock of its ‘performance’ in Eurovision and its position (in or out) of a ‘new’ Europe.

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