It seems to me a little bit inappropriate tonight to write something about the singers and songs, the staging and the predictions for this year’s contest, when today the eyes of Europe, and indeed the world have been focused on the terrorist attacked this morning in Brussels.
Belgian flag at half mast outside the Embassy of Belgium in Dublin: RTE
It can sometimes appear as though we live in a Eurovision ‘bubble’ of music, performances, history, costumes, 12 points, 0 points, who should or shouldn’t have won in a particular year. To a point we do, but one thing I have been reflecting on today is how that ‘bubble’ has created and strengthened friendships, community and family; and friends, it’s at a time like this that those things are so very important. Whether you are a fan, a member of the press, or even a member of a delegation, whether you catch up on Eurovision in May or post on blogs and Facebook pages year round, whether you live in Europe or not, YOU are a party of this community.
The Eifel Tower, tonight lit up in the colours of the Belgian flag: RTE
Today we have been reminded that our ‘bubble’ is not floating off in space somewhere, unconnected to anything else, it exists in the very real world of modern-day Europe. We are not blind to what is happening in continent, nor in our neighbouring countries in the Middle-East. But we will not be broken or down spirited, we will remain a strong community of people who believe that a song contest devised 61 years ago to bring a divided continent together, may still have a part to play in uniting our countries, cultures and people. The slogan chosen for this year’s event ‘Come Together’ may have been a little more prophetic than we first realised.
Sure, tomorrow we can go back to discussing (or arguing!) about who deserves to go through to the Grand Final and who was robbed at their National Selection but this evening we stand as a continent, united in our sorrow and grief for Brussels and Belgium, reminded of those who lost loved ones in Paris last year. As one pretty famous ‘Queen of Europe’ told us, and I think it is right for today, “We are unity and we are unstoppable”.
Author: Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source: Eurovision Ireland