Ian's winner: Soluna Samay of Denmark (she came 23rd). Photograph: Soluna Samay

Ian ColeIan J Cole discovers that Eurovision isn’t really about music at all. But he ends up picking the winner – just a shame the judges didn’t

In the last couple of weeks running up to this years Eurovision song contest, I had avoided anything to do with this vacuous spectacle with the exception of the news features about the human rights issues in Azerbaijan.

Lucy Popescu from the Independent has written an excellent blog on the subject so here is just one example from Lucy’s piece:

“Human Rights Watch reported that on 17 March 2012, two young musicians were detained during a protest in Baku. Members of the popular band Bulistan, they were playing at a peaceful demonstration. Unidentified men attacked the performers causing a brawl. Uniformed police quickly detained the band’s lead singer Jamal Ali and bassist Natig Kamilov. Ali and Kamilov allege that they were badly beaten by police during their detention. Bulistan is known for its political protest songs and had previously participated in opposition demonstrations. They were later sentenced in closed trials to administrative detention on charges of petty hooliganism”.

So with all this media coverage was going on in Azerbaijan it was with horror that I watched our representative Engelbert Humperdinck ‘The Hump’ on the Six O’Clock News state that he didn’t know anything about Azerbaijan’s politics on human rights.

This is in stark contrast to the winner Sweden’s Loreen who commented prior to the competition: “Human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things.” Maybe this is why Loreen won but I doubt it.

When it came to watching the Eurovision show I only decided to tune-in at the last minute and I decided to turn it into a game with my wife and I scoring each country’s effort out of ten along with the choice of picking up to five possible winners.

As I am an avid Twitterer at such things, I also decided to try and Tweet a live comment while each song was being performed (this caused my wife to role her eyes in disgust). See below for the full lowdown.

I clearly can’t pick a winning song for Europe as my five choices as possible winners were:

1 Denmark (23rd)
2 Ireland (19th)
3 Norway (26th Last)
4 Italy (9th)
5 Cyprus (16th)

Although in my defence I did Tweet that I thought Sweden would win – and while I was being ironic it seems I was correct. My assessment of the winning song ‘Euphoria’ is that it’s three minutes of Europop nonsense with ridiculously contrived dancing. But of course I was thinking that Eurovision was about music – silly me…

I would have liked to see Denmark win as I though their entry was a quite well crafted pop song (unlike so many of the other entries including the UK). Even if it was a little Crowded House they had a great female drummer so what’s not to like.

If Denmark wasn’t to win then it should have been Jedward Ireland’s entry as they epitomise the cartoon pop element of Eurovison that some other countries take so seriously.

They were funny, silly and a joke that the UK voting people got (we gave them 10 points) but not it seems the rest of Europe who seem to take Eurovision as a serious music competition with block voting for a country’s neighbours, no matter how ridiculous the song or act is – take the Russian baking grannies for example.

And as for ‘The Hump’ I thought he sang well for a 76-year-old chap except for the weird warble on the final note. But the song was 30 years out of date and didn’t stand a chance unless we time warped back to 1967 when he had “Release Me” at the top of the charts.

The three hours I spent watching Eurovision I can never get back and the experience left me feeling depressed about pop music and slightly soiled, but I’m sure not as depressed as Norway must feel at coming last – an accolade they do not deserve.

Right that me done I’m off to iTunes to download Soluna Samay’s Should’ve Known Better so that I can play it on my phone. I plan to avoid next years Eurovision unless I’m invited to a Eurovision Party, hint hint!

My scores and tweets were as follows:

1 UK 4/10

2 Hungary 5/10 3 Albania 3/10


4 Lithuania 2/10

5 Bosnia & Herzegovina 5/10

6 Russia 3/10

7 Iceland 5/10


8 Cyprus 6/10

9 France 4/10


10 Italy 7/10

11 Estonia 3/10


12 Norway 5/10

13 Azaerbijan 5/10


14 Denmark 7/10

15 Romania 4/10


16 Greece 5/10

17 Sweden 4/10


18 Turkey 2/10


19 Spain 4/10

20 Germany 5/10 21 Malta 5/10


22 F.Y.R. Macedonia 4/10

23 Ireland 6/10


24 Serbia 3/10

25 Ukraine 4/10


26 Moldavia 2/10

Post performance Tweets:



Ian J Cole is a composer, sound designer and producer who splits his time between writing experimental music and being the creative force behind the pop group Katie And The Questions