Non-European readers may not be familiar with the Eurovision Song Contest (lucky them). It’s a song contest between “European” countries held annually. It’s been going for years, a source of national pride as well as fairly duff music, and Ireland has won the thing loads of times. ABBA once won the contest for Sweden with a song about a train station in London, and Céline Dion once won it for Switzerland. It’s a big TV thing in Europe. This year the contest is being held in Belgrade, Serbia.
However, last night’s semi-final saw this year’s Irish entry – “Irelande Douze Pointe” performed by a stuffed turkey called Dustin – not only eliminated but actually booed by the audience. Of course, there was uproar in Ireland. Seems the smug Irish putting forward of a “joke entry” didn’t translate too well in a country that had been waiting years to hold this contest and saw it as a showcase for their country to the rest of the world. The hunt for the guilty has begun.
In all, a very serious misjudgment by one of the world’s most globalized countries and a cultural lesson that humor doesn’t travel well and the perception of events varies by time and location.
It was a turkey of a song (http://youtube.com/watch?v=NYyxhWEHO3w) that really did deserve a good stuffing.
And I thought that Riverdance stuff was embarrassing.