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Eurovision 2014: Winning Trends and the rise of the English language

by Aidan Elder | May 9, 2014

The Eurovision Song Contest is like the McDonalds of the music world. It’s ridiculously popular, without substance and for most people it’s a rare indulgence whose greatest achievement is to make you appreciate what real food tastes like. Or in this case what real music sounds like. In fact people have been heard to say things like “that new Justin Bieber song is so deep” in the days following Europe’s annual Cheesefest.

So as you get ready for your yearly splurge we take a look at some of the trends of Eurovisions past.

Winning Countries

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Ireland top the charts, which is about the only chart we’ve topped other than the ‘Owes the Most Money to Angela Merkel’ rankings. The United Kingdom also boast quite a successful history, not that you’d have guessed it from some of the results they’ve chalked up in recent years.

Defending champions Denmark moved on to three wins last year joining Israel and Norway. Israel have three wins to their credit despite not technically being in Europe but then Monaco has one win despite not technically being a country. This is a pretty rogue event when you really think about it.

The slew of Eastern European countries which have entered the fray over the last fifteen years have nobbled the traditionally successful countries, liberally spreading the wins around by creating Lord of the Flies type voting pacts. Ireland may never win again. Does that make us Piggy?

Winning Genre

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Way out in front is the love song genre. It’s understandable. For all the multitude of languages, cultures and strange fondness for David Hasselhoff that divides us, love is a constant that transcends difference and something we can all understand. Except maybe Vladimir Putin. There’s a man who clearly wasn’t hugged enough as a baby.

Despite the reasonably high level of success, Granny Pop is basically defunct as a genre. It stems from the day when mass television was in it’s infancy, judgmental moralising was in it’s pomp and a woman wearing a skirt that didn’t cover the knee was basically an admission she was a whore. It’s inoffensive tripe you could imagine your granny enjoying.

Mum Pop sounds vague but it’s really not. If you can imagine your mum listening to the song, tapping her foot along approvingly, badly humming the tune and saying something like ‘Oh that’s a nice little tune. I might go online and unload it from the iTubes’ then you’re pretty much there. Unless your mum is Courtney Love, then you’ll have an idea what ball park were in.

Total Eurocheese is another category encompassing a lot of possibilities. In short, it’s not a bad song per se, but it sounds like something that may have been popular five to 10 years ago and if you had listen to it more than let’s say – three times, someone might get punched in the face. It’s hard to tell what qualifies for the genre, but if you find yourself thinking ‘I wonder what I did with that big box of tie-dye t-shirts I used to have’ during the song, it’s probably Eurocheese.

Abba and Abba Clones are the near bastard cousins of Total Eurocheese, it’s just it’s Eurocheese presented in a band of around four featuring at least two scantily clad women and two men who have a look on their face that says ‘hey, don’t be a hater – someone just asked if I wanted to be on stage and I said ‘yes”.

Heavy Metal comes from that one time those Finnish nobs won a few years back. no-one has really tried again since although we look forward to the day Cattle Decapitation have a go at the Eurovision.

Winning Language

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The United Kingdom hasn’t won the event since Katrina and the Waves in 1997 but the last six winners have all sung in English. In fact 46% of all winners have sung in English. Which is a moral victory of sorts. It’s kind like your kid going on to become a famous move star. You may not be doing any of the acting but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve some of that Hollywood money. So well done England, not so much Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s not called United Kingdomish.

The French, not traditionally known for being particularly successful in European conflicts, can take partial credit for an impressive 23% of Eurovision wins. The five wins of their own are bolstered with wins by Luxembourg, Monaco, Belgium and Switzerland. A veritable who’s who of white flag wavers.

With nearly every country singing in English this year it looks like it’s going to be another one in the win column for the Queen’s tongue.

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