Tag Archives: Eurovision

Conchita during her performance - Image Credit Albin Olsson/Wikimedia Commons
May. 14.

Waffle Wednesday: Conchita, Eurovision and Attitudes

conchita-thFor those of you who have been living under a rock, let me explain. The Eurovision was held in Copenhagen last week, and was won, in the end quite convincingly, by Austria. Austria sent Conchita Wurst to represent them. Conchita is a drag act. She has a gorgeous figure, a great voice and a beard. Yes, a beard. That bit in itself is not entirely interesting, but the attitudes displayed as a result are.

The final scoreboard - Image Credit BBC

The final scoreboard – Image Credit BBC

Fortunately, most of the attitude has been unbelievably positive, and that is brilliant, but it did lead to me wanting to shout at the television during the votes on Saturday to tell him to shut up, after each time he said he “didn’t expect a country to give points to Conchita.” Graham, times have moved on. Just because a country has in the past been so conservative that Conchita wouldn’t have expected anything from them, doesn’t mean that things are that way now. The public have moved on, and it showed in the results of the public voting (which are available on the Eurovision website, for those who are interested). He even said it of Israel, who sent Dana International, a transsexual person in 1998 and 2010. How could he consider it a surprise when they were that supportive?

Conchita during her performance - Image Credit Albin Olsson/Wikimedia Commons

Conchita during her performance – Image Credit Albin Olsson/Wikimedia Commons

One of the most vocal critics of Conchita was Russia (quelle surprise!) In a country that has so publicly made their stance on homosexuality clear, they couldn’t help but pass comment. Comments such as:

Russian hip hop star Timati saying that the win was the result of a “mental illness of contemporary society” and “I wouldn’t like one fine day to have to explain to my child why two guys are kissing or a woman is walking round with a dyed beard and that’s supposed to be normal,”

Meanwhile Russian politicians Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Dimitry Rogozhin commented “It has turned wild. There are no more men or women in Europe, just it ” and the result “showed supporters of European integration their European future – a bearded girl”

Fortunately though the Russian public proved themselves to be much more receptive to individuality, having voted Conchita 3rd in their public vote, and putting her to the top of the iTunes download chart. Kudos to you Russian public!

Side note: I actually think it would have been interesting to see Russia win the Eurovision, especially with their ban on Homosexual propaganda. How would they be able to host the campest event of the year next year without homosexual propaganda?

Conchita with the winners trophy - Image Credit Albin Olsson/Wikimedia Commons

Conchita with the winners trophy – Image Credit Albin Olsson/Wikimedia Commons

I’ve also seen comments on a trans forum, saying that Conchita’s beard is setting back the cause of trans people, and allowing them to be branded as freaks for having a female body and a beard. Firstly, Conchita is not trans, she is a drag performer. At the end of the day, the dress goes back in the wardrobe, the makeup comes off and regular Tom is there. He has no compulsion to be female. It is an act. And secondly, as a trans person myself, I think it is utter bullshit that Conchita could be seen as putting back the trans cause. She can only help it. This was a victory for individuality. A victory for those who don’t fit the norms of life.

As she said in her speech as she collected the trophy on Saturday night: “This is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom… We are unity and we are unstoppable!”

I can honestly say and be thankful to most of Europe, who did show that they believe in that future, that they are united, and that they are unstoppable. I can say to the naysayers, the past called. They want their ideas back.

And finally, I have to say, Thank You Conchita!

Robyn

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As un-Eurovision as they come, and yet he won!
May. 07.

Waffle Wednesday: It’s Eurovision Season

ww-eurovision-thI’ll be completely honest. I’m one of those weird, totally insane people that adores the Eurovision. It is not often you get the whole of Europe coming together to make a prat of themselves. The pagentry, the off the wall songs (anyone want to bake a cake with Latvia?) and the super cheesy presenters make it such a unique experience. I’m not sure if anything like it exists anywhere else in the world.

Okay, there are some  things I dislike about it. Political voting for example. I find it funny that we went from a jury of “experts” deciding which was the best song, to a jury of experts voting politically, to a televote, where the public voting for the best song inevitably ended up with political voting, that we now have a combined jury/public vote. Things do seem to be changing in that the past handful of years one of the best songs has won, but sometimes it does feel like a bit of a setup, where we don’t have a runaway winner. This could just be cynical me talking here though.

A Couple of Turkeys representing Ireland

A Couple of Turkeys representing Ireland

It also wouldn’t be Eurovision without mentioning the country that I’m proud to call myself a part of (sometimes), Ireland. For a country that used to be so expert at sending Eurovision acts that the EBU nearly had permanent offices here, we have gone seriously downhill. Recently we’ve sent some okay acts, not spectacular, including a pair of twins (twice – so we sent 4 of them) who were chosen for their popularity, and for some inconceivable reason, a turkey. I’ll never understand that. I thought we had learned our lesson with Linda Martin. I do kind of miss the heyday of Irish Eurovision, knowing my parents were in the second row in the Point back when a quaint little Irish Dancing number first appeared, and Rock and Roll Kids romped home. They were close enough to the stage to see that Charlie McGettigan still had a price sticker on his shoe.

As un-Eurovision as they come, and yet he won!

As un-Eurovision as they come, and yet he won!

Finally, I do think that the whole thing is getting just too big. I know that Europe is one big inclusive family, but a line needs to be drawn. Even Morocco entered in 1980. Last time I checked, Morocco was in Africa. Next year in fact, I believe the Vatican is entering Pope Francis and the Irish Singing Priest (My Lovely Horse) while I plan on taking over a plot of land, declaring independence and then entering myself. Sure, what’s the worst that could happen?

But for all its faults, I’ll still be watching Eurovision all week, listening to older songs, and generally getting in the spirit. I’ll also be livetweeting on Thursday and Saturday, like I did on Tuesday, and some of the comments that people come up with are pure gold. If it’s not your thing though, please do let me know in a comment that you’re muting me on Twitter, and I’ll see you next week.

Robyn

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

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