2015 saw Australia’s first ever appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest. At the time, keen geographers objected, correctly observing that Australia is not in Europe.
But should the Eurovision Song Contest, a celebration of unity and belonging through the power of music, really be limited by borders?
Of course it should. What I don't understand is why everyone has focused only on Australia. Those of us who love and care about the integrity of Eurovision should really be asking:
Do any of this year’s 43 participants belong in the Eurovision Song Contest?
Obviously, since most of the word “Europe” is in the contest name, participants should be located in Europe. So Israel and Cyprus can stay at home (in Asia). Even allowing transcontinental countries (like Armenia, Russia, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan) is a slippery slope that would dilute Eurovision’s Europurity. And let’s not forget Iceland, which despite a centuries-long Eurocharade, straddles the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
That narrows our field to a more manageable 35.
But geography isn’t enough. Eurovision is about unity. As in a Union of European Nations. As in the European Union. So why are Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland and the Ukraine at Eurovision if they haven’t joined the EU? Maybe they think joining the EU and singing at Eurovision are different things, but that’s just like saying that joining the Schengen Area and singing at Eurovision are different things. So let’s leave the UK, Ireland and Montenegro out as well.
And have you noticed that literally two-fifths of the word “Eurovision” is “Euro”? As in the currency you can’t use in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Poland or Sweden. I also read somewhere that Greece, Italy and Spain might be leaving the Eurozone. Is there any truth to that? I don’t know, but the Eurovision Song Contest isn’t the place to take chances.
This leaves us with 9 countries, but there is still some Eurofat to trim. Take France - the unhappiest, most pessimistic nation on Earth. That’s not the Eurovision spirit. And while I don’t know any Dutch people, I haven’t heard anything good about them either, so let’s assume they’re also anti-Eurovision. If the French and Dutch are out, Belgium disappears by default.
But why fixate on the first four letters of “Eurovision Song Contest” when we can also fixate on the other letters? For example, how is it a “Contest” with entrants like Lithuania and Slovenia, who have never even tried to win (either that or they are just awful at making songs)? And how is it a “song” contest when you have winning performances from Estonia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wri72BfnGh4) and Latvia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBRWcn9mFrU) that bear such faint resemblance to music?
That leaves Germany and Malta as the only acceptable entrants. But in this Eurotopia, German voters will only be able to vote for Malta, and Maltese voters will only be able to vote for Germany. That’s just not workable.
And so, as much as it pains me to admit it, Eurovision should not exist.