EDITORIAL – London is a city that has upside downs on its weather and it seems it has upside downs in organising Eurovision Song Contest. Here are my thoughts after having an experience of a BBC hosting for the very first time in my life.
It was a very important person last night at the Eventim Apollo London, the name of which I cannot reveal who said to me (and he was totally right) that BBC knows about television but the don’t have a clue about organisation. Somehow they were right. The BBC people handled the 60th anniversary concert made a mistake from the beginning of the project: they didn’t have a concrete and at least convincing show. I was surprised EBU assigned the project to them and I now understand why NDR was furious losing the bid.
I agree with the Guardian when they said that the show needed names like Celine Dion, Bucks Fizz and I would add Katrina and The Waves, Helena Paparizou at least. I don’t agree that BBC did a bad job. They did what they know best: a good TV show for the British; though I am afraid they will not convince the European audience in the later broadcast of the recorded show.
The organisation was problematic from the very first minute. There was no clear communication with the international press and international press showed no interest. Only SVT and ORF were there. BBC got a 2×2 square meter press facility with a wifi that never worked and with press people who didn’t know what to do asking each other how to solve things ON THE SPOT! I actually helped them decide how to arrange the incoming and outgoing of the artists. At least they had good coffee and juices.
SVT seems to have saved the day with the pre-show red carpet project with Sarah Dawn Finer acting like Lynda Woodruff (you know, distant cousin of hers). They rented a studio at K-West Hotel & Spa, they were coherent and professional in their work and no detail skipped throughout their preparations. I am sure they were also there to save BBC from making more mistakes.
BBC decided a line up that was clearly appealing to the British audience. I saw the British at the Eventim Apollo cheating for Swedish, Danish and loved anything Irish. This is not how 60 yeas are celebrated throughout Europe: we need a variety of songs that appeal to any television broadcaster and truly honouring the 60 years of the contest. Not that the Eurostars were bad but the line up should have been stronger. I had enough seen in national final shows and various celebration specials other Eurostars performing “Waterloo”.
I was also surprised by ORF’s correspondent who lives in London anyway as she was shouting out to BBC all the time about the lack of organisation for the press sessions plus she brought a huge bag with refreshments, sandwiches and salads to keep eaten all day, the fat old cow! In a 2×2 room she had 3 crew members, BBC had 4 and ITV 2. The rest of press inside the small “press centre” was oikotimes, esckaz, a Russian broadcaster and a gay magazine correspondent who was anxious only to get photos of the artists with the cover of his magazine which had a naked man on. Totally lack of quality and professionalism.
Not to mention that in front of the artists all journalists were so diplomatic and cheering and when the left the premises the gossip was that big making me thinking that if every bad comment for an artist was a kilo of sand then Eventim Apollo would have been buried within three hours!
In the live event I was also surprised by the lack of professionalism by some websites who uploaded videos and photos from the event when BBC sincerely and strictly asked not to and I am surprised BBC and EBU haven’t bothered to react and remove them while when I make a photo credit mistake I get immediately EBU shouting out at me! Weird! In the live event, also I was surprised with the awful vocal performances of the Eurostars. Only Emmelie de Forest, Anne Marie David and Johnny Logan were descent enough on stage. I was also shocked seen the audience shouting out for Electro Velvet while they were laughing with them while performing. Such a hypocrisy! In the very end I concluded to my own top ten of the live shows on stage from last night (and I care less if you agree)
12 points deserved for Loreen
10 points deserved for Emmelie de Forest
08 points deserved for Johhny Logan
07 points deserved for Electro Velvet (although not part of the show broadcast)
06 points deserved for Anne Marie David
05 points deserved for Brotherhood of Man
04 points deserved for Conchita Wurst
03 points deserved for Lordi
02 points deserved for Rosa Lopez
01 point deserved for Dana International