Azerbaijan’s 2016 Eurovision Entry
Before social media, when I still hated Eurovision, I used to pray that Azerbaijan would win every year. I prayed for Azerbaijan, because that meant sending the competition far far away – to a Caspian oil hub east of Baghdad.
It seemed to me that if Eurovision could be sent to Baku, then much of Western Europe would lose interest and stop showing it.
Then came the great change. Eurovision itself decided to corrupt itself to retain a foothold in Western Europe. The four biggest Western European economies were given direct access to the final without having to compete in heats. “Dear Money, please don’t leave us. Just because the spread of new polities to the east following the end of the Cold War has created a different competitive dynamic – please don’t leave us – we’ll do anything you like… etc. etc. etc.”
The other thing that happened to Eurovision was social media. In particular Twitter. This was when the real competition started. Ever since Twitter, Eurovision has not been about music at all, not really. It hasn’t been a competition between nations at all, not really. It has been a vast, international on-line game, a struggle to secure the most retweets. I don’t play computer games as such, but there’s something so satisfying about watching comment become a meme, tracing the progress of tweet. This is what I do instead of Minecraft.
The last time Eurovision was sent to Baku I thought it might be the end of Eurovision. I was a stranger to social media then. It can go back to Baku any time it likes now. Or not. This is an effective big ballad that’s hard to say anything much about. Here’s a video…
There’s a slight mismatch of words and music that’s interesting. It’s about a miserable relationship that it would take a “miracle” to recover from, apparently, but the chorus which reiterates this fact is so loud and upbeat that the overriding sense is of a sense of the miraculous rather than the desperation implied by the logic of the sentence. The music makes the miracle actual rather than hypothetical.
Perhaps this is part of the formal necessity of having a big chorus – that depressive songs cannot really be sung competitively without subverting any depressive logic.
More chillingly, here is Estonia
But here, by way of some (but not much) relief is Cyprus
On a lighter note, see the Czech Republic’s offering…
San Marino – folks…
Meanwhile, here’s the Netherlands…
Here’s Austria by the way…