Your Questions Answered

Kelly asks, re the Eurovision stuff, “and what the hell is up with Germany?!”

There are about six sets of backstory I could give you if I wanted to make this really long, but I could go on about Eurovision the way I could go on about Star Trek: either you are an initiate, and you already know, or you’re not interested and I’m boring you. It really is an amazing social phenomenon, though.

So, long story short, each country used to use a jury to choose the song that would represent it at ESC, but as technology and democracy have advanced, more and more have moved to televoting (vote by phone).

Germany sent um, songs of a certain, uh, type for a really long time. (Example? Okey-dokey). Then, in the late ’90s, Stefan Raab, Germany’s version of Leno/Letterman, decided to involve himself in Eurovision, and the voters liked his extremely irreverent approach – not just in Germany, but in Europe as well: his song “Wadde Hadde Dudde Da?” came in like third or something in the 2000 ESC. Okay, fifth. Still pretty good. However, there are people who take Eurovision very seriously indeed, and they were horrified, which for me just adds to the humor of the whole thing.

So this year, the Forces of Boring took a giant step backward for democracy, and a jury chose three (dreadful) songs, and let the People vote on those. Wikipedia says Raab’s bored of Eurovision, which is quite likely, but I suspect the FoB also set this up to keep him out. And his ilk, because the German competitions have featured a fair few very silly acts in recent years. Which is why Germans had to choose from three really, really bad songs this year. I don’t know why they chose the worst. I don’t know why they couldn’t be represented by Germans Being Schlocky, instead of by Germans Being Schlocky While Pretending To Be Texans. Maybe they hoped the rest of Europe would think these really were Texans, not Germans, and direct their scorn across the Atlantic.

Wikipedia on the Eurovision Song Contest

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