Ukraine should not have won

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the longest television shows in the world. In fact, it was firstly organized and broadcasted in 1956 and it is still running today as one of the most important European shows. The show was created with the purpose of uniting all European countries but, this year, public opinion was divided because of the controversial theme of the song 1944.
Ukraine's Jamala reacts on winning the Eurovision Song Contest final at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm

The winner, Jamala, of the Eurovision Song Contest final. TT News Agency/Maja Suslin/via REUTERS

The Ukrainian singer Jamala achieved victory at last Saturday’s grand final with a song that talks about her great-grandmother’s experience during the World War II. In particular, the controversy about 1944 burst because the song contained references to Stalin, Crimea War and ethnic cleansing and so, it breached the competition’s rules. So, did Ukraine really deserve to win taking into account that its representative did not comply with more than one of this year’s requirements?

One of this year’s rules established that “no lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted during the Eurovision Song Contest. No messages promoting any organisation, institution, political cause or other, company, brand, products or services shall be allowed in the Shows and within any official Eurovision Song Contest premises. A breach of this rule may result in disqualification.” But, since the song  talks about the story of thousands of Crimean Tatars people who were forced to expatriate from their own territory under Stalin’s dictatorship, we think that Ukraine should not have been allowed to take part in this year contest, let alone, winning it. Obviously, its participation and victory caused a huge disagreement between some of the participants and the audience especially because of the topic of the song. But, is this what Eurovision should be about? We do not think so. Since its main purpose is to bring European people together and not recall historical conflicts and political issues that may distance people and nations rather than unite them, in our opinion, 1944 is not a “song for Europe” because it does not respect the whole spirit of unity of the event. Furthermore, we also think that political matters, such as the one told in the Ukrainian song, should not be touched, as it could mean the end of this contest.

But, the rule previously mentioned was not the only Eurovision’s rule that Ukraine did not respect. In fact, the guidelines stated that “the compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before the 1st of September 2015”, but 1944 was uploaded online on May last year. Nevertheless, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) did not think that that was such an important advantage in front of the other participants. However, in our opinion, Ukraine should not have been accepted in the competition as it did not respect that rule.

To sum it all up, we do not agree with the Ukranian victory because its participation broke the rules and this could lead to more countries breaking the rules in the coming years. However, it is too late to say sorry as nothing cannot be done now and we think that the organization should considerate twice the requirements needed when participating. We think that as Eurovision is a musical contest, Ukraine did not deserve it since there were other songs better musically talking.


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