“I, I, I know you're living a lie!”

Oh, so this Eurovision was a proper thing.

What a week.

I mean, what two days.

During those, the Eurovision Song Contest was brought to a situation which is quite unprecedented. And note that I am not using the word “disrepute” as, from my point of view, we are still far away from that.

There was a big controversy about Israel being allowed; there were some protests but mostly civil and calm; the main issue came in the arena, when the Israeli singer Eden Golan was booed. It was not that apparent in the stream, since there was a technology which covered the booing, but you can hear it in the videos from the audience.

Curiously, I do not know whether Russia faced the same pushback when they annexed Crimea in 2014. But I remember that the booing was there also in the live shows. Nevertheless, the EBU cannot just disqualify all the countries that do badly with their neighbours. If that were so, then Azerbaijan and Armenia would never compete alongside each other, and so would Russia and Ukraine. Yes, there were dramas - not just Azerbaijan interrogating people who voted for Armenia - but you might remember that in 2017, Ukraine did not allow the Russian artist to enter Ukraine, allegedly because they entered Krym through Russia. But IMHO Ukraine just did not want her there, and Russia knew it and sent her anyway. AFAIK the EBU can only mediate, but if the divide is that big, then there’s nothing they can really do.

The second controversy was around the Netherlands being disqualified because of something Joost Klein reportedly threatened an employee of the SVT/EBU with, after an altercation took place between them. To DQ a favorite on the eve of the final, I would think that the allegations must have been serious, and, IMHO, if the state prosecutor decides to shelve the case, and the report will show that the conduct was not significant, then Avrotros and the Dutch delegation will want the head of the contest’s supervisor.

On the other hand, the EBU says that the version of Joost is different from the version of the camerawoman, but I understand there was also a witness, so the prosecutor will need to determine whether something criminally punishable could have actually happened.

And I think I understand the position of the EBU here. If someone threatens your employees, you need to show that you care about them and protect them. Once the police gets involved, that complicates things, because they will not want anyone to screw with the investigation, and the state prosecutor gets the final say, but they will certainly take their time. And considering that the preliminary investigation was not closed by the police, but passed onto the prosecutor to decide, then there is a good chance that something has really happened, giving the EBU a good reason for a DQ. But this must have been a very difficult call for the organizers.

Other notabilities

However, it did not really seem that crazy on the broadcast itself. Yes, there were tense moments, but they still somehow managed to make it a well-flowing show that ultimately made us smile a lot. So hopefully some tensions will alleviate before the next year in … I don’t know… Bern?