Roughly two weeks ago the Greek government, currently facing a financial crisis, announced that it was shutting down its state broadcaster ERT. Immediately Eurovision fans began to worry about how will this affect Greek participation in the contest. Sadly, things look pretty bleak.
ERT was the only broadcaster in Greece that was a full member of the EBU, which is a requirement for participation in the contest. With the broadcaster shut down, that leaves Greece without a full EBU member station. In technical terms that means they can’t participate in the future. Another sad consequence is that 2,850 people are now without work in an economy where the forecast is as bad as Rambo Amadeus’ vocal ability.
Greece is a perennial favorite among Eurovision fans, reflected by their success in the new century of Eurovision. Beginning with the band Antique in 2001, Greece has enjoyed a flurry of good results, and is one of the few countries that has never been eliminated in the semi finals. Greece won the entire contest in 2005 with Helena Paparizou, (sometimes spelled Elena, does it really matter people?), and her spicy ethnic piece “My Number One”.
However Greece isn’t invincible, as Carola would howl (with wind blowing her full force), with Eleftheria Eleftheriou coming in 17th in 2012 with her song “Aphrodisiac”. That was a 9-year low for the country. Apparently generic doesn’t go down well with voters. But the Greeks regained their stride this year, coming in 6th place with Koza Mostra & Agathonas Iakovidis. Maybe cute Greek guys in man skirts is the new ticket for a good result? San Marino should take note ASAP.
A Greek absence would certainly leave a sad hole in future contests, but there appears to be a sliver of hope. It has been said that a “scaled down” version of ERT will be introduced after the summer, possibly keeping Greece in the contest. (Perhaps a lower budget means the man skirts will get even shorter). Nothing official has been confirmed yet. But I, along with countless other Eurovision fans, will keep my fingers crossed for good news!
Our readers are certainly optimistic. Here are the results of our recent poll which asked whether y’all think Greece will participate in 2014.
Will Greece Take Part in 2014?
Hells to the YES! Greece ain’t going nowhere: 184 votes, 60.93%
Unfortunately not. They don’t got no money or public broadcast support: 118 votes, 39.07%
Zachary Cook is Wisconsin-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com. Follow him on Twitter @CheerZach. Then follow the team from wiwibloggs.com on Twitter at @wiwibloggs and like our Facebook page to keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip.
Photos: Entertainment.msn.com and Eurovision.tv (EBU)