Eurovision Grumblings

Veteran Eurovision Song Contest commentator Sir Terry Wogan is so incensed by the result of this year’s competition that he’s having doubts about whether he’ll be covering it in the future.

"I have to decide whether I want to do this again. Western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in, because their prospects are poor," he explained.

Speaking out at the end of his TV commentary, he told about 100 million television viewers that while he doesn’t want to take anything away from Russia’s victory, Eurovision is "no longer a music contest." Ukraine came second and Greece was third.

Other celebrities were quick to support the genial Irish TV personality’s view, with public relations guru Max Clifford describing the event as "like having a World Cup where the results are worked out in political terms and it’s got nothing to do with who scores the most goals."

Show business legend Bruce Forsyth agreed.

"It’s not a song contest anymore, it’s political. It’s all so biased, it’s developed into a farce. I’ve stopped watching it, the last couple of years," Forsyth said.

"It’s a disappointment, considering that Andy Abraham gave, I think, the performance of his life with a song that certainly deserved more marks than it got," Wogan said, after the British entrant finished tied for last place with 14 points.

Abraham, a 43-year-old refuse collector who found fame on TV talent show "The X Factor," co-wrote the soulful song called "Even," although the title didn’t reflect his chance of winning. Bookmakers were offering 66-1 on the day of the show.

The 54th Eurovision crown, which took place at Serbia’s Belgrade Arena May 24, went to "Believe," sung by Russian heartthrob Dima Bilan, who finished second to Finnish shock rockers Lordi in 2006.

Serbia hosted the contest because Marija Serifovic clinched victory for the country last year in Helsinki, the first time the politically troubled Balkan state entered the contest.

Because of problems and riots in Belgrade following the declaration of independence by Kosovo February 22, the European Broadcasting Union held a phone conference to decide if the contest should be moved to a different country. Ukraine was considered an option since it came in second place last year.

The two main complaints against the contest – apart from the standard one that it’s outdated drivel – concern the voting patterns of the former Eastern bloc countries and that they’re entering acts who are already household names in their home countries as well as most of the neighbouring countries.

Although some contestants enjoyed considerable success in their homelands, the argument that the eastern and southeastern European countries are somehow cheating by entering known artists doesn’t stack up.

Sandy Shaw had six Top 10 singles before winning for the U.K. in 1967, and so had ’69 winner Lulu. Katrina & The Waves, with its American singer and bass player, had a worldwide hit with "Walking On Sunshine" before winning in ’97.

Cliff Richard, who came second in ’68, had previously racked up 34 Top 10 U.K. singles, eight of which had gone to No. 1.