Robert Hampton

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14th May 2011

Posted by at 3.59pm | Music, Television | No responses

Blue promo shot for EurovisionI will be watching the Eurovision Song Contest tonight at the Mersey Tart‘s house, in the company of his partner Dave and our friends Jamie and Roy. This gathering is sure to be gayer than the cast of Glee singing Kylie Minogue’s greatest hits in a Soho leather bar on a stage made out of condoms.

There are two lazy received opinions about Eurovision which get aired endlessly around this time of year. One is that it is a dated, cheesy waste of money which is irrelevant to modern life and should be scrapped forthwith. You could say the same thing about the Royal Family, and look how popular they are at the moment.

The other complaint is that the contest is ruined by political voting, where countries vote for their nearest neighbours, especially in recent years as a horde of Eastern European countries have rushed to join in the fun. One person expressing these opinions is James Ball in the Guardian who writes, “an examination of Eurovision voting data has confirmed a persistent voting gripe – the eastern European voting bloc indeed exists, and is now all but unbeatable.”

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27th May 2008

Posted by at 5.51pm | Music, Television | No responses

Say it ain’t so! Terry Wogan is thinking of quitting as Eurovision commentator after claims that the regional bias in the voting has become excessive.

Cyprus voting for Greece has been a running joke for years. However, the new claim is that the former Soviet and Balkan states, who have joined the contest relatively recently, are unfairly advantaged by the voting system. Both Italy and Austria have pulled out of the contest in recent years in protest at this state of affairs.

But is it true? I took the Results table at Wikipedia, pasted it into Excel (and you would not believe how problematic that simple task was) and did some playing around.

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