Offically, the ESC is an entertainment show, on the other hand it’s a peaceful union of countries in a friendly competition. If the circumstances are getting crazy it’s an obligation to open the mouths.
40 years ago, Nicole could win the Eurovision Song Contest with a peace song “Ein Bißchen Frieden”. In 1982 there has been a military conflict between Great Britain and Argentina. Luckily it did not escalate. This year we are facing a terrible war in Ukraine, caused by Russia.
Russia has been excluded from the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) shortly after invasion. And it’s unimaginable that Russia will return in the near future. There has been and still is a great solidarity with Ukraine. And Ukraine takes part in this year’s ESC, like normal. It’s a very unreal situation, while people are suffering, have to flee or being killed, there is a happy Eurovision Song Contest in Italy with the theme “Sound of Beauty”. There are rumours already that Putin intends to harm the voting, to avoid Ukraine to win.
It has been apprehended that the ESC could have been cancelled in the beginning of the war. The EBU emphasizes that the Eurovision Contest has always been apolitical. It’s not allow to show flags for countries or regions which have nothing to do with the participating countries or could harm another country. It happened before that unauthorized flags have been hold into the camera. Those people received punishment.
This year, it’s not allowed to show signs like “We stand with Ukraine”. The German singer Malik had the Ukrainian flag on the backside of his guitar in the German national final to show his support. But in Turin he has no permission to do so.
Nevertheless, the opening sequence of the Grand Final will at least have the song “Give peace a chance”, a little sign to show commitment.
What about the voting procedure? It will be very interesting to see, how Ukraine is going to shape up. A lot of people believe that Ukraine has won already, because of solidarity points. Is the song “Stefania” the winning song and better than all the others? If they would win, the discussions will rise, if Ukraine has won because of the political situation or having the best song, or both?
In case of a Ukrainian victory tonight, what will happen to the ESC 2023? Hosting this event is hardly possible in a country which is in a war situation. The event must be held in another country. Spain, Poland and Iceland have already uttered being interested in hosting the next ESC.
Over the years, strange situations happened, such as the Balkan war in the 1990’s. There was always a goose bumps situation with standing ovations when the singers from Bosnia & Herzegovina came on stage, or the live circuit when Sarajevo wanted to transmit the votes.
Nevertheless, Politics do has an impact on a music competition. Officially, everything is neutral, but it’s not possible to hide feelings and reactions. The Russian entries have often been booed, due to homophobic laws. In such a situation like this year, where peace is threatened and Europe is heavily involved, it’s more than fair to stand up for human rights, to condemn the minion.