#Did you?

Since my arrival on Saturday there has been a lot of activity to ready the arena for the arrival 0f 10,000 people at the B&W arena. You know how I mentioned that I was yet to approach it via the main entrance – it turns out that I had, I just didn’t realise it! The venue has now been transformed into a welcoming, if still rather shabby-chic location…

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I hope that the arena looked great on your television screens. We had fantastic seats, as you can see from the images below. A clear view of the stage, and of the green room where the contestants awaited their fate…

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I thought that the opening sequence was really well conceived. It showed the family of Eurovision as much as the family of Europe and beyond coming together to – and I am borrowing the host theme from Olso 2010 now – “Share the moment”. Despite how some people may perceive the event and the fans of Eurovision, there is more than sexual diversity here. Yes, the gay community is very well represented as always, but this is a very popular event amongst male and females, teens and older, as much as it is by families with young children. That’s what made the opening sequence special. It showed the Eurovision audience to itself, and accommodated all kinds of difference (all kinds of everything, you might say!).

Throughout the show there was a subtle but knowingly political subtext about inclusion and difference. As a Eurovision fan I loved that, and as a music fan I loved it even more. There will always be a certain amount of fromage amongst the songs each year, but each year we are introduced to something different, which broadens our understanding of other countries musical tastes and influences, which in turn influences ours.

I thought the show was excellent overall, and on my personal napkin of death I selected nine of the ten songs – how did you do? The ‘expert jury’ of academics got 8 out of 10, so that was a relief! It was fun to see the reactions of the countries in the green room as their songs were recapped during the voting and the results. You can see that I had a great view…

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It was, as I had expected, a bit awkward to see the disappointment from the six countries that didn’t make it. What was nice to see was a sense of camaraderie between winners and losers last night. Some hugs for the Latvian’s and consoling of Axl from Belgium, with the Portuguese singer cheering on all the winners, and dancing about to all the songs. We forget that it is an achievement to get to represent your country on the Eurovision stage, so all things considered everyone did well last night.

The perhaps inevitable, and I am guessing for you guys at home, very audible booing came with the announcement of Russia progressing to the final. We know that that booing is about the political situation between Russia and Ukraine at the moment, as much as it is about attitudes to equal rights and sexuality in Russia. I can’t disagree with the voicing of those sentiments, but I do feel sorry for the young Russian twins who must surely  have felt that it was aimed at them. The moment was short lived, as the successful finalists took to the stage…

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Ah well, onwards we go. Brian and I are off to the arena to meet Karen and Paul for the dress rehearsal of the second semi-final.

More later…

2 replies on “#Did you?”

Well done on predicting 9 of the finalists. I managed 7, which is a vast improvement for me! I’ll be hoping to improve (or at least match this score tonight). Enjoy the second semi-final!!

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