I think it’s safe to say that this year there was little debate over who would be the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. The real question therefore is: why exactly did everyone see Ukraine’s victory coming?
And to that I would answer ‘the same reason Israel and Australia take part.’
Ukraine's 'Kalush orchestra' has won this year's Eurovision to almost no one's surprise. The real question is could they have sent anyone and expected the same turnout?
Europe is a continent haunted by its colonial past and shaped by its political allegiances in the modern world. For these reasons it does not surprise many that the voting patterns of the aptly/not so aptly named ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ will be shaped by political worldviews over musical appreciation.
However, the recent additions of countries such as Australia and Israel; have rid the competition of a mainland European identity. Which is OK. Unless your competition is literally called ‘Eurovision’.
As you can see, the two are not exactly in European geographical orbit...
Both Australia and Israel are post-colonial states, set up, cleaned of their native cultural identity, and then given independence (both) by the British crown. This does not necessarily say anything about the ordinary people living in those countries today, but speaks volumes for their political identities as nations and should make us ask why they are allowed to participate in the first place.
The treatment of aboriginals by white European colonisers would likely dictate that they have very little to do with European identity and consequently overly politicised singing contests...
The fact that they have been included in this competition will leave only the US to receive an invitation before the entire thing becomes a cheesy PG13 façade for trying to maintain the idea that Europe and the rest of the American-led ‘western world’ are one and the same thing.
This has been a narrative that has needed (and will need) extensive maintenance as holding a united front against the geopolitical enemies of the US on their behalf is something Europe (although doing well for the time being) may have trouble with in the near future.