Some Thoughts About the Eurovision Song Contest

Udo Jürgens vs. Conchita Wurst

Wow, if the Eurovision Song Contest is an attempt to create a European popular music culture separate from an American one, we really failed big time. It is, perhaps, not simply just a copy of the American one, but even worse and dumber in all its facets. Usually, I don’t care much about this nonsense and if yes, then mostly for social anthropological research. The last years I didn’t trouble myself to watch it, sometimes I looked up on YouTube, which song won, just to push the stop-button after a few seconds. I even wouldn’t have know that this year’s contest took place last week, if there wasn’t a headline on BBC News Europe that Austria won the whole thing – the first headline on this page for the last few months, which was not dealing with the Ukrainian Crisis. So this must be really shocking news then.

I went to YouTube and searched for the song that won. I was close to crying. Not because I am so proud of my country, though (not that I am caught by such sentiments very often any way). Stereotypes about Austria: Mozart, Vienna, Schwarzenegger, yodeling and… Conchita Wurst? So shall it be then. What disturbs me is not that Conchita Wurst is a drag queen with a beard, but I really don’t consider his/her song a fresh and felicitous alternative to that of the other curious creatures (okay, it could have been also a James Bond song, but a Pierce Brosnan one). Therefore, I think it is random, which country wins, they just don’t want to organize the contest twice at the same place.

Did you know that Austria was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest before already? It was in 1966, the winner was Udo Jürgens with the charming song ‘Merci Cherie”. He has the perfect-est pronunciation of all German-speaking people and a great voice. This song might be nowadays a bit out-dated and schlagerish, but back in 1966 Udo Jürgens hit the zeitgeist – justly.

Compare for yourself: Austria’s hit wonder 1966 and 2014. No more comments from my side.

  

About André Savetier

Since 2011 André Savetier is actively working as a music journalist with an expertise on contemporary new wave music phenomena. His scientific specialization is anthropology of music and anthropology of popular culture. Savetier remains intrigued by the interplay between the aforementioned social phenomena, the told (and untold) legends of music and its roots.

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