Being from North American, where the European Broadcast Union has little or no influence, I only came to know about the contest after doing an interview with Ruslana back in 2002 or 2003.
Together with friends I watched the Song Contest from Istanbul at a friends apartment, in fact this was only Ukraine’s second time participating in the Contest and needless to say we were all overjoyed when Ruslana came out on top, and bringing the contest to Kyiv.
There was a great deal of debate on whether Ukraine would be capable of hosting the 50th Eurovision Song Contest, but it turned out that they did a very good job of it. I was fortunate to see much of the workings of the inside of this Contest having been hired by UT1,to work on the editorial staff of the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest’s website.
Actually this year Eurovision was one of the farthest things from my mind, and rather than a planned viewing, I together with some friends joined Rotaract Kyiv on a boat cruise on the Dnipro. After the cruise we decided to hit the Golden Gate Pub for a night cap, it was packed so we headed down Prorizna to the Drum.
When the three of us walked in, it was only then that it dawned on me that last night was the 52nd Annual Eurovision Song Contest.
We ordered our beverages and watched the remaining competitors and made our own evaluations of who should win. We collectively selected… We felt that the group from Germany wasn’t bad, that the French group was silly bubble gum glam pop, and that the Brit’s had a British Airways commercial as their participant.
When the Serbian group came out I knew within the first couple of bars of Marija ŠERIFOVIĆ powerful vocals that these people stood a pretty good chance. When someone asked me if I was rooting for Verka Serduchka I laughed. Why, she, he it, is an embarrassment to the the talent that we actually have in this country. I think I will suggest he read my blog, to better understand where I come from on these types of matters.
While the competition has become a good venue for Eastern Europe countries to break on to the scene, most countries with developed music industries often scoff at the idea that a musician would compete in such a made-for-TV contest.
It was an extremely tight vote in the end, and yes, for the first time ever I voted in Eurovision, and I voted for Serbia.
My friends were tired and left before the voting was over but I held out to the end. A good Slovak-Hungarian friend seemed to also be rooting for countries in what was once known as Yugoslavia.
After he and other friends had left and the results were final I text messaged a number of friends with him being amongst them. His response was:
Yeah. Volim Srbia!
I was glad to see that winning song was Molitva sang by Marija ŠERIFOVIĆ and that power and quality won out over the kitschy bad taste of Andriy Danylko’s performance.