Sunday, October 23, 2005

No, I am not a big fan of the Eurovision Songcontest, but that does not mean that I did not watch the contest's 50th anniversary celebration yesterday evening, live from Copenhagen. Since televoting was introduced the voting seems to have become even more political than before, but still, it was fun to see ( fragments of ) some of the few really good songs that once participated, as well as some of the more ridiculous acts and performances that were seen on the stages in the various European ( and Asian ) cities where the contest was held since 1956. I have no real clue why the Greek 2005 winner ended up so high ( although I could think of a reason or two ), but the winner ( Abba's Waterloo ) certainly deserved to win. The show was a bit amateurish, but I nevertheless saw almost all of it. Most of my personal all-time favorite Eurovision songs are in fact Mediterranean, i.e. Spanish, French ( often representing Luxembourg: France Gall, Anne-Marie David ), Italian or Israeli. None of my choices are from the 1990s or later:

The broadcast by Israel's Channel 1 proved once again that this channel should be closed down a.s.a.p. If you own a television set in Israel you are forced to pay a very stiff yearly fee to the Israel Broadcasting Authority, but still you are forced to watch some of the worst commercials ( plus messages by sponsors ) that can be seen on Israeli television. During some of the most entertaining parts of the show we were suddenly treated to those idiotic and irritating interruptions. I have nothing against commercials on a commercial channel - I know programs somehow have to be paid for - but when I pay hundreds of shekels each year to something that has become utterly superfluous and outdated, the least I can expect is that when once or twice a year I watch one of its programs, such a program is not interrupted, especially not during the moments that I find the most interesting. The same always happens during the national anthems at international sporting events, particularly soccer matches. I love to hear those anthems ( especially when Holland, France, or Poland are playing - nobody would have the hutzpah to put a sponsor's message during the Hatikvah, which I also love of course ), but hardly ever am I able to enjoy what I consider to be the most beautiful part of a soccer match.

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