In 8 days we have the first semi-final. In two weeks we have the final. As we enter the home stretch of the contest, every contestant, every fan, and every country is campaigning for their favorite. They’re trying to convince us they’re deserving of our votes before we even see their complete stage acts.
There are music videos for most of the entries. But this is not the MTV video awards for the best music video. The music video is not the measure of the act. It is a carefully shot and edited movie that is far different from a live performance within the constraints of the stage. Vote the presentation at ESC, not the Hollywood movie.
There is a story behind each act. There is the striving to reach this point. The impressive work they have completed up to now, earning the right to represent their country. The friends and family that have helped them. Their legions of adoring fans (most of whom need to get a life). Vote the presentation at ESC, not the most amazing (or tear-jerking) backstory.
Countries are close kin divided by a border and give each other high votes. Others are sworn enemies and refuse to give any votes based on centuries of conflict. Really? This is the most ridiculous reason of all to cast or withhold a vote. It’s a music contest. If country takes primacy in that vote, how do countries have a hope of treating each other equally?
And we’re now starting the deluge of articles about each act. How wonderful they are, how amazing, how they represent something special. Everyone trying to sell themselves as one of the best. And they will do their best to make you empathize with them. To care for them. To love their effort. If they do that, then they’ve got your vote before the show even starts.
When the show starts, forget everything you’ve heard and everything you’ve seen. Watch the acts. And then vote for the ones that reached out and grabbed you. Vote your heart.