If Eurovision symbolises European unity, then it is interesting how it is so divisive. For one night every year, the entire continent is transfixed by this cringeworthy spectacle. It never fails to disappoint, whether it is the curious cultural videos between songs, the driest of commentary from Terry Wogan or the acts themselves. An event that attracts the attention of 120 million viewers is possibly the only time when the European audience is truly captivated.

However, trouble is afoot. There is an atmosphere of dissent within Western Europe where many countries failed to pass the semi-final stage. Those who remained (including Germany, France, Spain and the UK) were automatic qualifiers for the final because they pick up a large part of the bill. Curiously, this never worked for Germany at the 2006 World Cup and will probably not work for Team GB at the Olympics in London 2012.

Anyhow, the Eastern European effect has steadily been increasing over recent years. Apparently, Eurovision is taken very seriously indeed, not least because it gives Eastern cities the chance to prove their worth to a massive audience.

The reaction to the 'bloc-voting' that occured, whereby neighbouring states exchange maximum points between each other, has seen outrage amongst the (Western) European press. 'It is not fair' (Times) that the great British entry could only muster 23rd place and that the voting did not reflect the reaction of the audience in Helsinki (20minutos).

The thing is, for as long as I've been watching Eurovision, voting has never been on the credentials of the music. Ireland always vote for UK, Spain for Portugal, etc. When Britain went to war in Iraq against the will of the majority of European leaders, it was no suprise we got nil points.

People moan that Eurovision is no longer about the music, but in all honesty, was it ever?

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