United Kingdom- In the quest to find reasons for their bad results at the Eurovision Song Contest, many British tabloids blame block voting in the “Evil East” or people generally not liking the United Kingdom. Now, the Daily Mail has published an article that claims racism may be the reason the UK does so badly. Indeed, many of recent UK representatives belonged to ethnic minorities: Javine Hylton, Andy Abraham, Jade Ewen, and one member of boy band Blue.
The article claims that industry figures that want to stay anonymous told the paper that they experienced racism before and at the annual contest. One says that they were told before the contest that they did not stand a chance because of the race of their singer. Apparently Andrew Lloyd Webber was asked at a press conference why he had cast a “black girl“.On the basis of these arguments the industry officials allegedly ask for the UK to withdraw from Eurovision.
While racism should certainly be taken seriously, the article is misleading at many points. For one, there is a picture of this year’s winner Loreen from Sweden next to a picture of Engelbert Humperdinck. The subtitle reads: “Sweden’s Loreen, left, won this year’s contest, while right, Anglo-Indian singer Engelbert Humperdinck came a dismal twenty-fifth”. Mentioning Humperdinck’s heritage is absolutely absurd, if anything one would assume a German heritage due to the name. The fact that Loreen is of Moroccan origin is not even mentioned.
Furthermore the fact that Jade Ewen came 5th in 2009 is only mentioned marginally. By any means that is not a bad result. Also boy band Blue came 5th in the televoting last year and was only voted down (deservedly) by the juries presumably due to Lee Ryan’s bad vocal performance. The article also exclude indigenous British performers such as Jemini (last place), Josh Dubovie (last place), Daz Sampson (19.), Scooch (22.). In all, the ethnic minority singers actually did better for Britain in recent years.
It is unfortunately a fact that racism still is afloat in many (all) European countries and a few televoters may not vote for a song they perceive as foreign to a country; but to blame the UK’s bad showing at Eurovision on that is way too simple and probably simply wrong. The article claims that the UK acts did badly despite “strong performances“. We would like to recommend the authors to rewatch some of these performances and to judge the quality and modernity of the songs objectively.
Read the “Daily Mail” article here!
Source= Daily Mail