Tag Archive | performance

How to Win at Eurovision

Eurovision Small

It’s Eurovision time again, and I do love me some Eurocheese, so like last year, it’s time to address another of the great unanswered (and mostly unasked, for obvious reasons) questions about Eurovision. This is a question that’s asked particularly in the UK, when we’re not complaining that the voting’s all rigged anyway: What sort of song is most likely to win?

Everyone has their own theory, generally based on analysis of previous winners or a memory of the sort of song that was common or did well over the previous year or two. Maybe it was a strong drum beat, or wistful songs to folk instruments. Perhaps it was unabashed cheese, or epilepsy-inducing trance. Power ballads never seem to go completely out of fashion, and nor do costume gimmicks or key changes. There must be a magic formula in there somewhere!

Before getting too deep into that argument, though, committing yourself to a preference for serious or camp, hard or soft rock, drums or strings, I’d like to ask you to pretend you’re a game theorist. Read More…


Religion, Sport and Tim Tebow

I’m not generally keen on what seems to be an increasing trend for overt displays of religion in the sporting arena. If sportsmen and women believe in God, that’s fair enough. If they constantly mention it in interviews, I suppose I can live with it, although it would irritate me as much as when they’re constantly mentioning their sponsor. And when a sporting career is sacrificed in the name of that religion, as with Euan Murray and Jonathan Edwards (his subsequent change of mind and eventual atheism notwithstanding), I find it very puzzling, although the sacrifice involved is something that I can’t help but admire and respect. I’m just not so relaxed when they bring this onto the field of play. Read More…

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