There’s a lot to be said in the wake of the Eurovision 2011 final held on the weekend. By what definition is Azerbaijan (the winners, video above) European? Why don’t more of us own white pants? Why didn’t Moldova win? And Is there no end of the gratuitous in-voting of the Scandi bloc?
When it comes to the actual songs, it always makes me sad how much English has become the Lingua Franca of Bad Pop. Most entries were in English. Greek and Russia both gave a head nod to their national languages before falling back into English. Serbia and Spain both got my 12 points for having their songs in their national languages - and as far as I’m concerned they still conveyed the message of their song without the words being understood by everyone. If I could give more than 12 points it would probably go to France for having their song in the minority language Corsican (and a singer who look like he wandered off the set of Les Mis).
The voting is really where the language politics heats up. It’s apparent that although the two official languages of Eurovision are English and French, it’s the later that’s really losing out during the broadcast. Of the 43 countries that voted only France gave their whole voting report in French. Other countries used mainly English. There were some (eg. UK, Netherlands) who used some German in their greeting, others who used some of their own national language - mainly in greeting - and a few who threw in a smattering of French.
But while it was a win for Ell/Nikki from Azerbaijan it was also a win on the night for English. We’ll all have to work on our Azerbaijani so in 2012 we can say “axşamın xeyir Eurovision!” (good evening Eurovision!).