Saturday, 29 May 2010

The truth about Eurovision- whether you like it or not.


I have a feeling Safura might actually win. Azeries all over the world will be celebrating. This project seems to have been the focus of the whole nation and the object of considerable investment. As the BBC Breakfast show presenter commented this morning, a lot of talent was bought in by Azerbaijan, including the song composer and Beyonce’s choreographer.
I hope all this attention is good for the country. I hope all those poor pensioners in Azerbaijan appreciate that it was more important to invest in the arguably most talentless music show in the world, than increase their minimum pension.  Everyone is talking about Azerbaijan being the hottest favourite in this year’s Eurovision. How much of that talk is generated by the funds behind it, we will never know. One thing is for sure, the world is fascinated just how seriously Azeries  took their entry this year.
One  positive thing I can say about Safura is that she does seem to have a strong, powerful voice. Considering she is only 17, I wonder if she has an amazing future ahead of her.  Of course, she needs to drop those cheap seductive poses, the sultry gazes and the parted rain-catching sensual lips ... but that is not entirely the poor girl’s fault, is it.
The song itself is appalling, especially the drip drop part, but catchy in a very annoying, can't-get- rid- of- it, way. And very Eurovision. Because-and many of you might disagree, either because you have no taste  or just believe you have to like it to support your country- I just have to say...
Eurovision is crap
It is the cheesiest show that currently exists in this world.
The BBC presenters this morning were discussing why the UK seems to have this somewhat snobbish attitude towards the Eurovision; whilst a lot of other countries seem to be taking it so seriously. 
To me, the answer is obvious. The countries that take Eurovision seriously simply have no good pop music. They are hopelessly behind, and will never catch up, unless they stop investing national funds into crap.
When I was a little girl, we were incredibly hungry for anything cool and western; and the only time we got to listen to something cool and western was on the New  Year’s eve. We would stay up all night, waiting through the boring Soviet New Year programs until the early hours in the morning, when the Sanremo festival would glue us to the screens.  The inspiration behind the Eurovision, it was a glimpse into the western life and music.  I would sit the whole New Year’s eve at home with my old- fashioned tape recorder ready to be taping every song.  I wonder if, in a way, despite all the best music now easily available back home, Eurovision has the similar allure. Perhaps, it goes all the way back to Sanremo times, when we thought it was cool to watch it? Or is it because, for countries like Azerbaijan, Eurovision is the only chance to feel like a part of the world’s pop culture?
Of course, I wish Safura all the success tonight. Compared to some other entries she does seem to have it all. (Well, almost all. Except for the moves. The poor girl can’t move even with the help of the Beyonce’s choreographer.)  
I am all for Azerbaijan getting more known in the world. It will help me personally- I won't have to explain where and what it is every time I meet someone new.
I just wish it was known for something else but the lack of style or taste, which Eurovision represents.  
It makes me cringe when I watch the official Drip Drop video.


I feel embarrassed for the country. And frustrated, too. Because, Azerbaijan does actually have good music. Hiding behind the curtain of corruption and cheesy facade, struggling to survive in the country that invests a fortune into the trashiest song contest in the world, there are some truly unique young talents. Never to be discovered, never to be known to the world. So... yes. Great job, Azerbaijan! Let’s get famous for our lack of style and taste! Bravo. Or Bravissimo as they would say in Sanremo.

27 comments:

  1. more more more!

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  2. Bravissimo! I know you were tweeting about the competition. Let's see what happens tonight.
    Saludos.

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  3. It isn't so bad; yes, a bit cheezy perhaps, but more engaging than 99% of what I hear on the radio in California. Of course, my own collectipn of music is mostly death metal and hard rock, so I don't have a finely tuned appreciation for her style of music. In fact, I don't really even know what style of music that was, beyond the a dim awareness that it depleted my testosterone levels just listening to it.


    --Mark

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  4. Sorry, that special break in the voice stuff - so tedious, so insincere. This isn't a criticism of Azeris, it's a lament that someone with a good voice like hers doesn't use it naturally and avoid the temptation to try to sound like all the other beautiful clones.

    BUT

    Eurovision did give us ABBA - but you're all too young to remember them :)

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  5. Bill:
    I remember ABBA very well. Does that make me too old?
    :S LOL!
    Saludos.

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  6. Come on, give Safura a break. This is a pop competition. She's cute and the refrain is very catchy. That's what Eurovision is all about. Anyway no worries as Germany won.

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  7. Alas, Safura didn't win, she got the 5th place. Which is still better than UK's epic fail at #25 ;-)

    I completely agree that government has no business sponsoring singers, even for international contests - it should spend taxpayers money on something important. But I guess that's the american way, not european...

    BTW, I love the new font on this blog - sanserif is much more readable on screen.

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  8. "sitting at home with my old- fashioned tape recorder ready to be taping every song" sounds so familiar! I didn't grow up in Azerbaijan (I'm from Canada) but I do remember the dedication to old-fashioned tape recorders... before iTunes and torrents and so on and so forth, I would tape songs from the radio and listen to them till the ribbon on the tape unwound (and even then I would try to put it back in and tape any torn pieces)... the commitment with which we clung to our music, even when they started to sound scratchy... thank you, Scary Azeri, for this brief trip back down memory lane :)

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  9. ABBA were great! Not so sure about Celine Dion. :) But appreciate she is talanted, it is just not my music. However, you must realize-that was a long time ago. Now, it is all about politics and voting for your neighbours. A chance to show who you support politically these days. Last year, Azeri media was right pissed off with Georgians for giving more points to Armenia! The anger, the upset it caused! This is, unfortunately, what Eurovision is about these days. Not talent.
    Safura did not win not because she was worse than the kinky German girl, but simply because AZerbaijan has fewer friendly countries around it. :) Same goes for Armenia and Georgia, alas. we are just not popular enough in central europe. But Denmark...what was that all about? :)
    Anyway, shame so much money got spent on this (I hear around 3mln, one of the most expensive entries in history of eurovision) and we did not even come 2nd like last year. But maybe now, that azerbaijan does not have to host next year, they can focus on increasing those pensions? Yeah, right.

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  10. @ Riyad: I did not even realize the font has changed. :)

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  11. ive heard someone saying 10 mln in fact :) its crazy but i wouldnt be suprised.

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  12. @Adrineh: I love trips down memory lanes. :)
    It is amazing how much we all have in common, no matter where we were born, etc.

    @Anonymous: I have just had a tweet sent to me by someone who claimed it was close to 20mln. I heard 3 from BBC news on TV, but what do they know? :)

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  13. I thought the Azerbaijan entry was good. It stood out more than many of the others (e.g. Britain0. But I really did like the German entry and was glad they won.

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  14. No worries, these weren't the taxpayer's money (more like shiny oil $$), nor were any pensioners going to see any of it anyway. It would have been spent on some other tasteless, pompous crap, which authoritarian regimes with bad tastes like so much. They think that it will make them look good, instead they end up looking like an old dude driving a hot expensive sports car, - pathetic & desperate for attention.

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  15. I was disappointed to miss it this year (I had a concert), since I love the cheesieness of it all! I think the Brits should just give in and accept we'll never win, we're only invited because we pay a good proportion of the costs (it's just our money they want, not our music) and just take it as a good night's comedy TV!

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  16. @Nata:Yes,u are right 100 %,they are pathetic with paving Baku streets by granite,golden fontains,scraping facades of buildings,leaving backgrounds in old states and crap....Splosnaya POkazuha,Look,how life in Azerbaijan is excellent,we almost reached rich Western Countries,may be only in high prices and bills ?

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  17. northernrich31 May 2010 02:42

    eurovision has always been political, right from the start. But my favourite Eurovision story comes from Azerbaijan - I once spent a considerable amount of time trying to explain to an Azerbaijani colleague that the UK doesn't pay more money into the Eurovision organisation in order to get a free pass to the final every year, but because the BBC is one of the biggest broadcasters in Europe. I didn't know what to say when she suggested that the BBC must therefore have got so big in order to get the UK to the final every year. I suppose it makes sense in a country where people are used to paying to get whatever they want....

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  18. hahaha...i dont have to say anything more, you said it all!! great post and i love the picture!!
    12 points from Akbar :)

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  19. @ Mike: I thought there was something kinky about that German girl. I am not quite sure what it is, but there definitely is something. So I can see why a lot of men thought she was lovely. :)

    @Nata: You are so right! :)

    @Working Mum: Don't you think the UK have given up on eurovision a long time ago? this year proves it. I am proud of this country. :)

    @Northernrich: at least, a long time ago, there were some good singers there. These days, it is a big flashy charade.

    @Akbar: Hope you read this post after the burka one! :)

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  20. Eurovision did have good times and some legendary singers came out of it. It might be having a cheesy phase (and I totally agree with you, it is cheesiness supreme) but at the same time it is one of the most watched shows in Europe, if not the most watched show, which is probably why Azerbaijan is trying so hard.
    On the other hand I want to mention that Azerbaijan already has a performer who is world-known - Alim Qasimov. His music is incredible and his CDs are in almost all music megastores worldwide under the Azerbaijani / Eastern European / Middle Eastern sections (depending on how far the store's geographic knowledge goes..). He wasn't funded by the government - his talent is what took him far. A great thing happened to me a few months ago. I was picking up a CD by Jeff Buckley, who I adore, and realized that he has a song with Alim Qasimov - such an amazing surpise. So it is not so bad for us out there...

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  21. Great, Ulya, I will have to check him out.
    Thanks for letting me know.

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  22. Chushka mentality.........the idiots that miss-appropriated so much of the country's money for this ridiculous spectacle seem to think that if Azerbaijan won Euro-vision it would somehow make Azerbaijan a part of Europe and lend some respectability to the bandits that run this tinpot fiefdom. And after last years fiasco with the sms votes for Armenia which nearly got Azerbaijan thrown out of the contest, did they really think they would win????????

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  23. Jana, the price tag for that rubish is $20 milyon :( I cannot believe they spend that much money on rubbish :(

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  24. i read it before :)) but still its good :)
    akbar

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  25. @Anonymous: I saw a twitter link somewhere the other day, to some az.news...dont remember which ones, otherwise I would have put a link here. they claimed that it is all rumour and the official budget was 1 million manat only. :))) and the rest were sponsors, who did not wish to be known. LOL LOL LOL I say.

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  26. @ Scary: Now that I've watched most of Eurovision's entries on YouTube, I think you are wrong: Eurovision is not crap - just most of its entries. Germany's submission was very mysterious in that it's hard to figure out why she won or even why my wife and I enjoy her song. But Slovakia's entry was wonderful, and Greece was pretty strong too. In fact the Greek song was my little son's favorite one; he liked the men dancing and saying "HOO."
    (I also personally felt that the entry by your hereditary enemies, the insidious Armenians, was best, but my wife didn't like it.)

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