I see the UK managed third in the Eurovision Song Contest – third from bottom that is. I don’t think that is an untypical UK result, despite my impression of the piece being that it was quite a decent song, performed well even with the infamous stage invasion event. I could probably do as well if I knocked up a song this evening and got put through next year (don’t worry – I’m not planning to put that to the test).
However, it reminds my why any kind of artistic contest is really an oxymoron. How do you judge what is better? Why does it matter if different people like different things? Sadly, I think I’m in a minority and I can’t see the concept of popularity contests going away any time soon; I don’t expect to see the rise of the Eurovision Song Showcase anytime soon (where each nation puts forward a song that represents something good about the state of their recent musical output).
What I really want to know, with music and other art forms, is not what is popular but the answer to other questions. What else is similar to what I’ve enjoyed? What does it connect to in terms of the artists involved and the chains of influence leading too and coming from it. What do other people with similar taste to mine also enjoy. And, a crucial question to break out of my taste bubble, what are people with very different tastes enjoying, which I ought to at least give a listen to once in a while?