In a sign of our biased times, Russia’s 2015 Eurovision entry, Polina Gagarina, was “protected” by “anti-booing technology” during the recent song contest in Vienna. Rather than basing their reactions on the quality of the singing, and avoiding conflating one performer with her government, many in the crowd instead chose to voice their displeasure with the Kremlin.
The hosts had to request, without naming the country, that those present in the Wiener Stadthalle refrain from such rude demonstrations. Even last year’s winner, Conchita Wurst, received a sub-lukewarm reaction after asking onstage for people to cheer for Russia.
At the conclusion, despite leading halfway through the count, Russia came second, placing second and third in the viewers’ and jury voting respectively. To argue that there was a backlash against Russia only in the Wiener Stadthalle is beyond moronic. Gagarina’s performance may have placed well in popular voting across Europe, but the indication is clear that many held Russia’s anti-gay legislation and alleged sponsorship of separatists in Eastern Ukraine against her.
Whatever your position on these issues, it is undoubtedly unfair that a song contest devolves into retribution for which country did what when and how they did it.
I am reluctant to believe as well that many amongst the much more selective jury members, whose votes counted for half of the combined voting method, were not internally and externally swayed to also vote Russia lower, if at all. Just as The Guardian reflects the views and stereotypes of its readers, so too do Eurovision and its organizers and employees represent a certain branch of the “diversity at all costs” mentality.
It is a political and social association on par with many European political parties. If this is out in the open, fine, but the public overly trusts such bodies to be impartial. Eurovision performances with LGBT themes routinely place highly in the annual contest. The focus should be on the singing.
Eurovision is only encouraging such behavior
The Eurovision hosts and organizers may genuinely have wanted every country’s participants to be respected, but even the chosen hosts constituted an attempt to shove diversity down viewers’ throats. Despite the paucity of African and biracial people in Austria, whose biggest immigrant groups tend to be former Yugoslavians and Turks, two of the three hosts had a black parent and are noticeably “ethnic.”
All three of the hosts, to boot, were female, for the first time in Eurovision history. Because their bearded drag queen Conchita had won last year’s contest in Copenhagen, the new organizers in Austria apparently wanted to go above and beyond in hiring hosts based on diversity first and merit last.
When Conchita Wurst “triumphed” in 2014, I had to admit that his/her (I’m so confused right now) voice was good. Yet the “camp-ness” invariably associated with Eurovision left me in no doubt that many were supporting Conchita not based on singing ability, however decent he/she was, but the image of a bearded drag queen defying her “many critics.”
I do not pretend that a singer’s attractiveness (Gagarina, albeit with heavy make-up), political position (LGBT advocate or not etc) or pure novelty (e.g. Conchita) don’t factor into viewers choices for both Eurovision and wider Western music. For example, if Taylor Swift weighed 200 pounds and didn’t use cosmetics to eliminate inevitable bags under her eyes, would her net worth be $1 or 10 million+, let alone $100 million+?
The shortsighted people who booed Gagarina failed to anticipate the criticism she herself faced at home. Vitaly Milonov, a key designer of the Kremlin’s anti-gay laws, lambasted her for embracing Conchita Wurst backstage. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Cyrill, added that he hoped Russia would lose because of what he said were sodomy-inspired themes within its performance.
Once again, condensing Gagarina’s appearance and Moscow itself is fraught with hypocrisy. This is mirth-worthy, though, as SJWs incessantly bash their enemies for making stereotypes and generalized statements about feminism, leftist politics and other issues. Supposedly these SJWs have the supreme wisdom to treat a singer and an administration governing 150 million people as one and the same.
Rename it “The Eurovision Leftist Popularity Contest”
It’s nigh on impossible to have a song contest based on rewarding voice performances alone. But Eurovision no longer approaches, if it ever did, the notion of a legitimate contest. All entrants can clearly sing, but almost every winner over the last decade has umped the ante in jostling to demonstrate their non-singing idiosyncrasies.
Most people live in the dark times, thinking that there is a positive correlation between demonstrated, objective ability and pecuniary rewards, accolades and other “achievements.” Like Hollywood, where you would struggle to find more than several self-declared (moderate) conservatives who have won some of the last 100 acting awards (which span 25 years), Eurovision has become the domain of those either espousing acceptable SJW views or distinctly failing to challenge those same views.
My rendering of Eurovision can be taken on even by those who support gay marriage and other causes. The measurement of a winner should not be which political stances they take for or against, but rather (largely) what they do on-stage. This is nonetheless very difficult for leftists to admit, as the more attention such political performers get, the more weight it adds to the causes leftists themselves support. It is self-interest at its most potent, reducible to “I support those who support what I support.”
Next time Eurovision comes round, I suggest you either wait for an ROK article about it, or just sleep. Any nightmares you have will be far less grim than what you see in Sweden next year.