All entries for Tuesday 11 March 2008

March 11, 2008

What the song contest makes us to think

These days I have been stressed by the revision of two tests this week. Anyway, now I finished them, I come back. But one of the test makes me to think about the Eurovision,as the test question is about the criticism of this song contest.

As for people in Europe, I think everyone knows well about it. But I also would like to explain a bit of it for those who don’t know well. It is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. Each country participates via one of their national EBU-member television stations, whose task it is to select a singer and a song to represent their country in the international competition.

However, such kind of contest may have some invisible inequalities. The Contest has long been perceived as a political institution, where judges??and now televoters??allocate points based on their nation’s political relationship to the other countries, rather than on their opinions of the songs. An analysis of voting patterns does indeed show that certain countries tend to favour certain other countries with which they are politically aligned. Defenders of the Contest argue that the reason certain countries allocate disproportionately high points to others is because the people of those countries share similar musical tastes and cultures and speak similar languages, and are therefore more likely to appreciate each other’s music.

This reminds me about such kind of song contest which is called “super-girls”(direct translation from Chinese) in mainland China. It is a contest that open to all the youth girls in China, who are good at singing. They are selected from several interviews, and many rounds of competitions, finally they are rated by the first 50s, 20s, 10s, 8s, 6s, 3s, 2s,1. First of all, I have to admit that most of the young girls are really good, even professional at singing; they are also good looking. Even before the first 50s, the competition is quite equal, as all of them are judged by the famous singers or music writers. But since the first 20s, the competitions will be judged by the votes by text messages of the audience. Finally, it becomes kind of competition of who has the most fans, and whose family is the richest, so they can afford the expensive fees of the text messages. As a result, if someone is less beautiful, or less wealthy than the others, they have to be ‘kicked out’. That is fairly unfair.

This kind of truth of the competition is told by the press, maybe it is too extreme sometimes, but the form of voting is true. So of course, we can judge whether such kind of inequality is true or not. In my opinion, I think, to some extent, the inequal situation is true. Then I would like to question why people are still keen on watching such kind of contests for almost half a year every week. And who benefits the most out of such kind of voting system, or who is the really best singer out of thousands and thousands good looking girls.

Who knows, I don’t know.

March 2008

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