I could not bring myself to watch last night’s semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest (the finals will be enough, thank you) but I was amused to find this morning that virtually my entire region of study was wiped out in the voting over the last several days. Thanks to a Wikipedia map (wow, that was fast) it’s graphically apparent that not one country from the Visegrad 4 made it past the semifinals. Slovenia also didn’t make it and Austria (on the map in non-participant yellow) didn’t even bother. The only other Euroregion to be similarly shut out was Benelux.
As a social scientists, I must ask why? The Danube appears to have something to do with this, and already yesterday Pravda prepared Slovaks for their unfair defeat by pointing out the non-musical charms of semi-final rivals and the academic qualifications of Slovakia’s participants. But I’m putting my money on a different causal factor:
Past visits by Mozart (see above) appear to inoculate a country against selection to the Eurovision finals (Germany, France and England have automatic bids) and in some cases (Luxemburg, Italy, Austria, even from desire to enter.
Regardless of the causal factors, this spares everybody the awkwardness of having Slovakia’s 12 points go to Hungary and for that everybody can be grateful, except maybe Jan Slota of the Slovak National Party (who could use a national distraction from other troubles).