Russia and Estonia may be at each other’s throats over the decision to move a war memorial, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other areas of cooperation – such as helping each other out in the Eurovision pop song contest. It seems that the relatively younger sovereign states of Eastern Europe carry a distinct advantage over Western Europe, as they allegedly form “musical voting blocks.” But then again, perhaps the British are just baffled by their inexplicable failure to win the contest. Talk about a values gap! (for those interested, for better or worse Siberian Light has posted videos of every single Russian Euroevision entry to date). From the FT:
Rumours have persisted for years of secret voting pacts between neighbours, but nevertheless some of these deals seem remarkable. After all, not so long ago the region was racked by war – now they’re voting for each other’s crooners. Even Estonia seems to be in on the game. It gave maximum 12 points to Russia, even though it is in a bitter dispute with its mighty neighbour over the moving of a Soviet war memorial from Tallinn city centre. (The big Russian minority in Estonia may have helped.) The losers come from western European countries, who either don’t bother to fix the votes or have rubbish songs. Amazingly the top 16 entries in this year’s contest all came from eastern Europe, while Britain and Ireland (home of Coldplay, U2 and the rest) came last.