Seven lessons Malta should learn from the Eurovision Academy

We want to be liked and validated so badly, that the lack of points are taken to mean that other countries hate us – we just cannot accept the result and analyzing the hell out of it

josanne_cassar
Josanne Cassar
19 May 2016, 7:20am
Ira Losco
Ira Losco
I will never forget the year Sally Fields finally won an Oscar after many years of trying to prove herself as a serious actress. “You like me, you REALLY like me,” she gushed to the Academy and the audience, as everyone shifted in their seats with embarrassment. It was a very cringeworthy moment, and you just wanted her to stop talking. For her own sake.

Malta’s ongoing desperation to win the Eurovision reminds me of this moment every time. We want to be liked and validated so badly, that the lack of points are taken to mean that other countries hate us (when the truth is that they didn’t like the song, or they really don’t care about the whole thing and were probably binge-watching Game of Thrones instead). As happens each year, we just cannot accept the result and we are still analyzing the hell out of it.

So, as a public service, I am suggesting that we create a special, badly-needed Eurovision Academy. Applications are now open for the various posts together with my recommendations of which nationality would suit each subject best.

1. Australian lecturer: Course title: “How to accept defeat graciously”

Dami Im, Australia's Eurovision 2016 contestant
Dami Im, Australia's Eurovision 2016 contestant
 

If anyone should have been spitting bullets it should have been Australia. I dread to think how we would have reacted if we were leading the whole way only to be pipped at the post at the last minute. Brains would have imploded, and people would have run screaming into the streets in a wave of mass hysteria usually only seen in movies where zombies have taken over the earth.

Yet if you take a look at their tweets, they were full of self-deprecating humour, such as this: “Australia enters a period of national mourning. Pass the Nutella and the spoon. We'll be on the couch for some time.”

2. Russian lecturer: Course title: “Remaining cool under pressure”

If Australia was “robbed’ what can we say about Russia? It was leading with the popular vote and stakes were high (apparently, they are even more desperate to win it than we are). Then they had to go and lose to Ukraine. Sure the Russian Government went ballistic, but the singer himself was unfazed and was the epitome of cool, releasing a charming video thanking everyone as his fans reportedly wept.

3. British lecturer: Course title: “An analysis of bizarre voting patterns”

Graham Norton: 12 points to us??
Graham Norton: 12 points to us??
The splutter of disbelief by Graham Norton when Malta awarded the UK 12 points was heard all around the world. Come on, let’s face it, when you know your song is bad, but really, really bad, you have to wonder about the motivation of a jury awarding you full points.

4. Swedish lecturer: Course title: “Eurovision spoofs, learning the basics”

When the host country gives you not one but several hilarious spoofs about the whole Eurovision concept, you know you are dealing with a country which possesses a healthy wallop of national self-irony. The same course will include additional tutorials led by the presenter Petra, the Queen of the sarcastic one-liners, who made the usually tedious process of each country presenting its votes, one of the best parts of the whole show.

5. Armenian lecturer: Course title: “Feminism and the right to wear whatever I like”

Armenia's Iveta Mukuchyan
Armenia's Iveta Mukuchyan
Armenia’s beautiful singer with those legs that never stop will be the perfect speaker for this unit. She can remind us that we are no longer living in the judgmental society of the 1950s where old ladies gossiped about village folk behind their twitching curtains. She could also point out that just because a singer happens to be pregnant, she should not have to wear a tent, or be told whether she should continue preforming or not. Extra units will be held on the subject of time travel and feminism, which will be perfectly suited for those whose archaic views about pregnant women belong firmly in another era.

6. US lecturer: Course title: “Misogyny & bitchiness”

While the US did not take part, for the first time they had the opportunity to watch the show. This American lecturer would therefore be ideal to go into the finer points of how the word “bitch”, when used in a certain context by a man reveals that deep down, said man probably despises women, especially if they do not fit in with his political views. Think Donald Trump and you will get the picture.

7. Special guest lecturer Ira Losco: Course title: “Ten-step programme in dealing with haters”

If she has done nothing else, Ira Losco has taught people a thing or two on how to deal with nasty comments. You rise above the whole thing, keep your dignity, and ignore. And that, ladies and gentleman, is what is known as a class act.

josanne_cassar
Josanne Cassar's field is communications – and over the last 30 years she has worked in ...