Tweeting Eurovision

Every year I am surprised that it’s Eurovision Song Contest again. To be honest, I think this is a waste event. I got goosebumps because of more than one song yesterday, but not of the good kind. I confess, I watched it anyway and it actually was interesting this time, but not because of the show itself but the millions of tweets on #ESC2015. Did you ever do this, watch TV and simultaneously comment every minute on Twitter on what’s happening? Don’t you think that’s strange behaviour?? Not that I am in a position for a judgement as I did it myself yesterday – and the ESC is probably the only thing on TV where it really doesn’t matter if you pay attention or look on your smartphone. But it’s weird. Everybody wants to throw in their two cents; it seems nobody really cares about the music, it’s just a contest about the funniest tweet. Even some of the big journalistic media participated in the collective bitching. Subjectively, this was what most tweets were about:

Uncontested No. 1: ESC haters who watch the show as a kind of self-castigation and express their loathing on Twitter:

(Translation: “Why are we watching this again? Bad music and wretched singers with poor messages, styled ad nauseam.”)

Closely followed by – Dresses:

(“With this dress, nobody will remember the song for very long” – about Greece)

People still wondering why the heck Australia participated in an EUROVISION Song Contest (in my opinion the funniest tweets of the evening):

(“Holy shit, what do we do if Australia wins, what do we do then?”)

(“Well, they could have told Greece straight away that they’re out of Europe – and Australia’s in”)

And finally suggestions to drink alcohol in order to make watching ESC fun:

(“ESC is only bearable with alcohol and Twitter!”)

Of course I didn’t read all tweets under the hashtag #ESC2015 – there were millions! But I think I grasped the main points. These were funny (or less funny) but altogether pretty harmless jokes. There was only one exception: Russia. When the fragile blonde Polina Gagarina performed her song (very well, by the way), many comments suddenly became political. I think it’s especially worth to mention the tweets of a very influential medium in Germany, the SPIEGEL, with its Live Twitter channel:

(“Exclusion from ESC apparently wasn’t part of the sanctions against Russia.”)

(“”You won’t be lonely anymore’ is probably what the people on Crimea like to hear as a Russian contribution”)

I really disliked this. The majority of comments suggest people don’t care about politics at the ESC. Why make an exception for Russia? I also think political criticism is out-of-place (and somewhat not authentic) between judgements about who had the sexiest dress. Maybe SPIEGEL Online should consider that next time. And if they would like to make the ESC political, why don’t they criticize other countries that would equally give them reason? Like Azerbaijan with its control of journalists and independent media, for example (this topic got much attention in 2012 when the ESC took place in this country, but the situation has not changed since then). I find this inappropriate, that’s why I mention it here. They should just decide once and for all whether the ESC is a political event or not.

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