Bum notes for Eurovision 2011

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
May 16, 2011, 11:14 PM GMT+0

As the Eurovision Song Contest is sung, won and lost for another year, in a flurry of the usual bright lights, hideously catchy songs and wild outfits, many of our panellists have been discussing the Pan-European popularity show via TellYouGov, our website which allows members to email, text or comment their opinions directly to us to create an overall perception score per topic.

From Friday night onwards, activity started to rise for ‘Eurovision’, and had increased more than threefold by the end of the weekend, indicating a surge in interest. Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, sentiment plummeted, with most users feeling negative towards the Dusseldorf-staged show.

Some were unremittingly critical, indicting the singing as well as the much-berated voting system, which some argue sees many countries simply awarding the highest scores to neighbouring countries, rather than rewarding the best songs.

  • ‘So annoying, it is all politically oriented’
  • ‘It doesn’t appear to improve’
  • ‘Should be scrapped’
  • ‘Won’t watch, won’t listen, won’t care who wins’
  • ‘Farce as usual; we don’t stand a chance’
  • ‘Britain can never win, it’s politically impossible, as we are not liked’
  • ‘A bit of fun but becoming too political’
  • ‘Waste of time’

A few saw the show as a good dose of fun, and others simply revelled in the spectacle.

  • ‘Best TV event of the year’
  • ‘I absolutely love it, every time it’s on I sit down with some popcorn’
  • ‘Always worth a giggle’
  • ‘Some decent songs for a change’
  • ‘Very entertaining’
  • ‘A glorious celebration of the worst music in the world’

Eurovision 2011 took place in Dusseldorf, Germany, after Hanover-born Lena Meyer-Landrut took the top spot last year. Twenty-five countries competed, with France’s opera-singing Amaury Vassili tipped to win. On the night, however, Azerbaijan’s entry Eli/Nikki stormed ahead with 221 points, followed by Italy’s Raphael Gualazzi, and Swedish singer Eric Saade, meaning that next year’s show will take place in Azerbaijani capital, Baku.

Despite the UK entry, erstwhile boy band Blue (pictured, above), eventually coming in 11th place with 100 points, Eurovision saw a much more popular British reception than in previous years, with an average viewing figure of 9.5m compared to last year’s 5.5m. This surge in viewers may be explained, some have suggested, by the interest generated not just by Blue, but by controversial X Factor twins Jedward (pictured, right), who were competing for Ireland.

Nowadays, Britain generally regards Eurovision with tongue firmly in cheek, and presenter Graham Norton has followed in the footsteps of fellow Irishman Terry Wogan when it comes to caustic commentary of the often-baffling scenes. An early run of high scores saw Britain briefly take the top spot, to which Norton joked, ‘Quick, take a picture!’

Britain’s last victory was for Katrina and the Waves, in 1997.

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