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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 May, 2004, 18:53 GMT 19:53 UK
Your views: Eurovision 2004
Ruslana's high tempo song impressed Europe
The Ukraine's Ruslana won the Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul on Saturday, with the song Wild Dance.

The song beat spirited competition from the Greek and Serbia and Montenegrin entries, but accusations of political bias in the voting may have marred the event.

Below are some of your views of Eurovision 2004.

Did anyone notice that the small countries didn't give any points to the three big ones of Europe (UK, Germany and France)???!!! But Max (Germany) and James Fox should have been on a better position!!!
Diana, Stuttgart, Germany

Brilliant! I am from Serbia and my wife is Ukrainian, what better result could we hope for!! 2 great Slavic songs, Slava Ukrajini! Zivela Srbija!
Mihailo and Olja, Bristol, UK

It was a hilarious show as always. The presenters were priceless, and the voting entirely predictable. Ukraine was one of the best though and deserved to win. Why on earth was Serbia at the top? One thing was clear from this, the west and east have very different taste in music. Whilst the likes of Iceland, Norway and UK struggled, all the Balkans were doing well. They like each others music.
Nadine, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Ukraine entry was fabulous, as an ardent Xena fan I think they were wise to target their audience. The voting was very predictable but made it all the more entertaining ! Many thanks to TOG Master ;-)
Monica Jones, Birkenshaw, UK

When I saw the Ukraine entry I thought it was fun and in with a good chance. That said it's obvious that many countries decide their political votes weeks in advance! With the eastern block all voting for each other they will tie up the contest for years to come unless something is done about the voting! Ukraine may have been the best 'performance' but special mention should go to Cyprus - it was the best 'song', sung very well and should have done a lot better... Roll on next year!
Anthony, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

A few things struck me. The most entertaining aspect - even more than usual - was Terry Wogan's commentary, and his almost spot on predictions about the way countries voted. This bring me on to the fact that the voting seemed even more political then ever. And finally, when they played a short summary snatch of each song before the voting, this really highlighted for me the blandness of so many of the songs. No wonder people are saying that the music industry is having problems. Still, just seeing the throngs gathered in various European cities, showed that this is still a popular event. Mind you, the political voting and weak songs may get spotted eventually.
David Cohen, London, UK

This competition could have been called 'An English song for Europe' as all the songs that I saw were in English. Should the rules be changed so that each country sings in their native language?
Marcus Russell, Cirencester

Have I misunderstood what this competition is all about? These are the very worst songs and performers right? None would have got past the first auditions in "Pop Idol".
Andy Gaffney, Livingston, Scotland

Call me a cynic but do any of the other countries actually take note of the results of their phone vote? I was just wondering if someone really popular through Europe - I don't know someone like Robbie Williams for example - took part, if they would still find themselves receiving nul points from Cyprus to Greece's twelve?!
Mark Glarvey, Leicester

Deserving winner and deserving second place. It would have been nice though if Terry Wogan had actually listened to the excellent Bosnian song rather than expressing incredulity throughout the entire voting process that the people of 36 countries liked the song...
Joel, Woburn Sands, UK

It was a shame that the guys supporting James Fox didn't realise that he should have sung the harmony in the chorus, not the backing singers - who no one could here because of the awful sound mixing at the show. As a result, the chorus - the main and best bit of the song - sounded all wrong; as if James couldn't get to the right note. What with that, and the fact the song was too slow for the Eurovision these days, was the reason we came 16th. However, politics won't have helped!
Barry, UK

The show was good. But the voting was pathetic. James Fox was a mediocre talent (but then he was no better on Fame Academy - he was described on there as a pub singer, and let's be honest that's all he really is! - don't fool yourselves into thinking he is anything more!) However this political voting is now beginning to make a mockery of the whole event. It is time the BBC saved our licence fee money and withdrew from this pathetic contest. Once the EBU have sorted out the voting system and made it fair and impartial the BBC can then re-invest. If we pulled out the EBU would soon get it sorted out - they couldn't afford not to. Remember we are one of the biggest contributors to this abysmal show.
MikeyR, Manchester, England

During the 1990s the UK was criticised for entering songs that were too lively rather than the kind of gentle ballads that were serving Ireland so well. Now we're being criticised for entering boring songs compared to the exuberant offerings of the Eastern European countries. In Eurovision nothing is predictable except for the biased voting which has got ten times worse since the introduction of telephone voting.
James Parkin, Leicester, United Kingdom

The UK entry was bland to the point of being offensive, whilst the Ukraine and others actually attempted to be entertaining. I actually struggle to remember a year when Terry Wogan hasn't accused the voting of being biased.
Nick, UK

Ukraine deserved to win, it was not the best song, but the best visual act. But then again what about voting patterns, don't we really love our neighbours ? Let's reintroduce a qualified jury who votes with knowledge about the songs!! The predictability made it so boring!
Thomas, Belgium

I guess Ruslana deserved to win the Eurovision singing contest. It was very original and made us swing our hips. She rocks!!! The most important thing is for Europe and other countries who are annually watching it to enjoy and have fun. Albeit the problems and disagreements besetting the countries around the world, at least we get to keep united and enjoy:)
Ariadne, Quezon City, Philippines

The Eurovision Song Contest, which has never had the highest standards, hit a new low last night. The production standards managed by the Turks in Istanbul were poor, but not as poor as the songs, which must represent the worst crop ever in Eurovision history. As for the partisan voting, it makes a complete mockery of the idea of the 'contest' being a search for the best talent, or even the most catchy song. And having 36 countries voting on the entries made the voting process, traditionally one of the more exciting parts of the Eurovision spectacular, into a boring procession. Nul points all round I fear, and a signal to the UK that it is time to follow Italy's lead and turn our backs on this now tawdry charade.
Simon, Hove, UK

Although the show was very amusing thanks to Wogan's great comments throughout, I didn't really think very much of the songs. Unfortunately it appears ever increasingly necessary to produce a lively song with plenty of distraction throughout, which the UK seems to have not yet realised. However 29 points are at least better than 0.
Helen, Durham, UK

OK so the voting was extreme, but Ukraine did keep pulling in the votes. But to change the voting would require a complete overhaul of the way the show is organised. For example, should the countries get split up into regional finals, with only the top 10 countries going through to a "super" final?
Dave, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Fantastic show and one of the best songs won, but surely the televoting has to stop? If not, I believe it is going to see the demise of the contest, and that would be a huge loss. EBU take note! PS What happened to Italy this year? and PPS Should we not go back to a Eurovision Jury in each country???
Michael Craig, Galway, Ireland

As usual I only watched the results (it is one of the best 'comedy programmes of the year!). I would not question the worthiness of Ukraine's song but some of the voting was so predictable I was able to guess, even before Terry Wogan, who would received the points. If the Eurovision Song Contest is to have credibility something must be done by the EBU with regard to voting and in time for the 50th Contest next year.
Peter, Weston-super-Mare, UK

I think Britain should send the Rolling Stones next year. Maybe Coldplay? Dido? Then we will see which country actually produces the best music. What's the point of Eurovision again?
E.Tomasson, Iceland

Terry was entirely correct with his predictions, and for once sounded as though he wasn't enjoying the show. Lets face it he is the only reason to tune in and if he's not bothered why should we? Its time to rise above it and pull out gracefully...
Paula Bratton Young, Buckingham, UK

Its quite obvious that neighbouring countries vote reciprocally for one another and do not vote for good songs. It has been quite a while that this has been happening! in some occasions (previous years) even Malta was affected and had to place second and third respectively because the last votes were biased according to the countries geographic position. Televoting is not the right way to vote that's for sure...
Daniel, Mosta MALTA

I think its time for the BBC to pull out of this competition; it really has become a farce. The only reason it's been worth watching is to hear Terry Wogan's Commentary. And I even think you could hear in Terry's comments that he thought it was getting beyond a joke. Just like in the words to the Swedish entry - "IT HURTS!"
John Mills, Ex-pat Sweden

Ruslana is the best! Ukrainians are proud of her! Thanks to all Europe for supporting our singer!
Serhiy, Kyiv, UKRAINE

No English person I have every known has taken the contest seriously. I was proud of our country last year when we got 0 points. But I was in our Uni bar last night and a group of ten or so Greeks were watching the contest over the internet and I was just amazed at how seriously they took it. It took so long to get served by the Greek barmaid because she was watching the show and didn't notice the customers. We were told to be quiet while they were announcing the points. It was a bizarre experience.
Leia Carey, Lancaster, England

It's a joke. I'd like to know how much of the licence fee the BBC is spending on this. Is it value for money? I tuned in hoping that it was going to be so naff that it would be funny. It was just naff.
Rob, Oxford

I thought it was a superbly arranged show with a good standard of performances. James Fox sung great as always, even though the song was quite dull. Voting was pretty much the norm for Eurovision though I do think that Iraq was in the minds of the people which reflected in our low amount of votes.
David, Brighton, England

Well done to Ukraine! Voting - yes it's a joke. Terry Wogan - he is the best!
Adrianna, London, UK

You cannot accumulate 280 points just from neighbours. The top 6 were consistently awarded points from all countries. We only complain because our efforts are too pathetic to be rewarded. Now should Monaco and Andorra's vote have equal weight? Let's get the Lib Dems on the case.
John Chilton, Brighton, UK

Most of the western people know Ukraine only for Chernobyl, Andrey Schevchenko and chicken Kiev. Here you are, please meet Ruslana.
Vladimir , London

Eurovision is a good test of how we are seen by our European partners and undoubtedly we do not seem to have any friends at the moment. Rather than pulling out of next year's bash maybe our politicians should make greater strides to address WHY we're out in the cold. Iraq must be the place to start.
Joe, Sandbach, Cheshire

Has anyone actually given any thought to these accusations of 'political voting'? Is it entirely unfeasible that Balkan states vote for other Balkan states because of their cultural similarities and therefore because they genuinely enjoy their neighbours' songs? When the citizens of the Balkan states phone in their votes, I sincerely doubt that they do so with some sinister but ultimately futile gesture in mind.
Luke Dunn, London, England

The voting was entirely predictable, there were no surprising results, but at the same time, the Ukraine entry was one of the best, and the most original by far and a deserved winner
Kevin Hand, Manchester

So long as everybody has a good time and gets to listen to all the songs then it shouldn't matter how the voting goes. My heartfelt congratulation to Ukraina
Ian Yates, Burbank, California

The contest is not about the music and artists its about politics. I think the United Kingdom should draw out of the next comp for the sake of our prides. It had nothing to do with James Fox because he is very talented the guy can really go far.
Caroline Gregory, Surrey, United Kingdom

Ukraine had the best song, let's face it, Although I must admit that the political voting must stop - it's threatening to pull this competition apart!
Michael Jakowuik (Kerr), Galashiels, Scotland

The competition was more biased than ever, and I think that Iraq is still a sore point with our European partners, but Terry Wogan's amusing and light-hearted commentary made it a worthwhile and enjoyable watch!
Ed Wilson, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

Congratulations to Ruslana! Who will say now that Ukraine does not belong to Europe? Ukraine into EU!
Andrew, Vancouver, Canada

Yes, the Ukraine deserved it. UK's entry was boring, we were lucky to get the points we did. It's been obvious year after year that the Europeans like fast-paced, colourful, sexy displays (remember Bucks Fizz ripping off skirts!), yet we had James stood alone on stage playing a guitar! When I saw the "Song for Europe" I knew we were doomed, none of the entries attracted my attention then. Wake up "Song For Europe" judges and put a bit of raunch and life into our music and maybe we'll stand a chance!
Sharon Henry, Wigan

Well, at least the best song won! And we did rather well considering the song we offered. As for biased voting, of course neighbours will vote for each other, in the smaller countries they are more likely to hear each others songs. Hopefully Kiev will be able to host a good show to mark the 50th anniversary, and find presenters that people will actually be able to make sense of.
Matt, London, UK

Great to see that Serbia and Montenegro are doing well. Great Show one of the best I've seen for a while.
Dejan, Canberra AUSTRALIA

During the 1990s the UK was criticized for entering songs that were too lively rather than the kind of gentle ballads that were serving Ireland so well. Now we're being criticized for entering boring songs compared to the exuberant offerings of the Eastern European countries. In Eurovision nothing is predictable except for the biased voting which has got ten times worse since the introduction of telephone voting.
James Parkin, Leicester, United Kingdom

May I nominate Terry Wogan for this years "Kilroy-Silk anti everything non-English" award. His paranoid chitchat regarding the political voting was too sad for words. It was public voting and they were right. The Dutch entry was dreadful and ended in its right place. Put him out of his misery and don't ask him back next year. It's not my cup of tea musically but at least you can show a little bit of respect.
Michel, Leicester, uk

If the reason for the UK's bad performance was Iraq and politics, then the UK has more to worry than a song competition, especially if it is unpopular among most of Europe. As for the biased voting, I doubt people in Ireland will be complaining about biased votes from neighbours - the only votes they got were from the UK, and last year not even the neighbours voted for the UK. This competition seems to be all about spectacle and countries who put up the best show.
Jojo, Croydon,UK

Fantastic Show and one of the best songs won, but surely the televoting has to stop? If not, I believe it is going to see the demise of the contest, and that would be a huge loss. EBU take note! PS - What happened to Italy this year? and PPS - Should we not go back to a Eurovision Jury in each country???
Michael Craig, Galway, Ireland

Well, it was parody and something like a show. I am from Bulgaria and my country was only one from the Balkans which did not participate, which I admire. I wonder why contestants sang on pidgeon English with the presumption that they do not speak English. They tried to look like western Europeans, but it was impossible. British TV host Terry Wogan was cheerful as usual.
Plamen Simeonov, London

I would like to congratulate Ukraine, although I am from Greece and I would like Greece to have won. Just please don't say again that Greece votes for Cyprus and vice versa, because last night it was 8 countries of former Russian republics and 5 countries from the former Yugoslavia voting for each other. We only have one fellow country...
Christina, Athens, Greece

The voting was worse than half of the songs. People voted for their favourite country rather than the best song! I think James should have got more points than he did. The voting was among the worst I've ever seen!
Abi, Mitcham

Talk about 'everybody needs good neighbours!' The voting system must return to a panel of specially-selected judges, not the public vote because they are politically biased. This will alleviate but of course not solve the issue of political block voting by the newer states. I don't expect the public vote will be scrapped simply as it is a way of generating money for TV stations. Having said that, I thought the win was deserved.
James Cooke, UK

Will somebody stop blaming the political voting for British failure to produce a winning song? Was there any novelty in the British entry? The song was soapy and predictable and the tunes so familiar to the rest of Europe. As to the political voting, remember that the former Yugoslav states were until recently at war with each other. No much love there, believe me. It is just the rhythm that people of the Balkans are used to. They just voted for the local pop stars. Nothing wrong with that. Well done everybody!
Pathon, Colchester, UK

With the worse than ever political voting and the traditional courtesy votes to the host, will we ever see Eurovision move from the Ukraine?
Phil Symonds, Basel, Switzerland

Congratulations to us!!! Not often we can realy be proud of our country, but yesterday Ruslana was stunning. Slow songs are not memorable, that's why "Wild Dances" amazed so much! I myself found the peformer from Germany was very talented. Well, welcome to Ukraine!
Alina, Kirovograd, Ukraine

All i can say is, it was a really fantastic show and i guess it is a marvellous tourist attraction for Turkey. I especially liked the folk dance show at the end, the stage design, the lights and the computer programming which were all so strongly performed. The songs were still in the good old Eurovision format. Mr. Fox made a brilliant performance but I really do not think that this kind is what the voters want. Ukraine was somehow okay but i would prefer the Greek song with their perfect show.
Lewis Farren, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

Oh come on! "Someone has got to stop this"?! A bit theatrical, don't you think. Neighbours voting for neighbours is an old Eurovision Song Contest tradition. It's always been like that. What has changed is the UK sending mediocre contestants with boring songs - you guys used to be so good, you were considered as favourites even before anyone heard your song. Not so anymore. I know it hurts, but you're going to have to start trying harder and stop blaming everyone else for your failures. Good luck!
Deana, Duesseldorf, Germany

The bias in the voting is a huge shame - it's removing all the suspense from the competition. James Fox was never going to win, but I don't think the political voting did us any favours. I enjoyed the Ukrainian song a lot and don't mind that it won, but equally I hoped our entry would score better than Russia, Poland and Turkey - which were all dire. The political vote used to just be a comedy interlude - Greece/Cyprus, Germany/Turkey, Spain/Portugal. But now it's taken over the whole show. Having said that, as long as Terry is doing the commentary, I will be tuning in. He's superb!
Sian, London, UK

Another classic show. The voting is almost more entertaining than the music. Wogan was brilliant as ever - "beware the baldy woman on stilts" ! Until we pull out of our coalition with the US then we're going to get panned no matter who we put forward. It used to be the poison chalice to a musical career based on the "tackiness" of the show - now it's the poison chalice based on the politics of your country which is very sad. At least the best song won through all the back-slapping. Well done Ukraine!
John, Leeds UK

The contest and concert was something! And though all Russian people were shouting for Yulia Savicheva we were really glad that Ruslana won! Her song was something different from pop-song-clones that every participant performed and I also adored the Turkish punk group- really fresh. I'm a fan!!!
Anna, Samara, Russia

Credit to James since we didn't finish with nul points again. The new format is complicated but also interesting, but I think the block-voting is suspicious since now most countries sing in English. I have been watching ESC since 2000 and because of this year's winner it should be called EBVAGC "Eurovision Block Voting and Gimick Contest" it used to be about the songs - now it is just political.
Rob, Stamford,England

It was obvious that the three songs voted as the best ones were the best performances. Ruslana was impressive,but her win would not occur in the absence of her neighbours.It is sad that Greece has not so many devoted neighbours! Anyway, this biased way of voting is censurable. Europe, listen to Sakis, he is worth it and his show is great!!!
Apostolos, Chania Greece

I enjoyed the show very much, but wish Terry Wogan would stop with the derisory comments which his fans then mimic. When we (the UK) received good votes from our neighbours his comment was "that's alright". He is entirely biased in favour of the UK. A scandal worth mentioning, which Wogan completely ignored, was that all the songs that had won through the semi final did much better than many of the great songs that went straight through to the final, presumably because of greater airplay. If the EBU intend to continue this new format they should give this distortion some serious thought. Terry's shameful forgetfulness is astonishing. He kept saying that he couldnt remember the Serbia and Montenegran entry which was consistently scoring points from hundreds of thousands of Europeans. He must have seen the dress rehearsal, surely. I think Serbia's was a beautiful song and deserved its high placing. But old Terry kept going on about how bizarre! It was, as he does every year, just because he didn't like how the voting was going, constantly trotting out the same xenophobic drivel. It's amusing at the beginning of the evening but whips up hatred as the night goes on. Sandy Toksvig to replace him, if we have to have a joker? Tim
Tim, London, England

Why do people have to always complain about the political voting? Without it, the contest would just be another pointless pop-idol affair with dismal songs and boring boring performers. I have always thought that the voting is the best part and that without it Terry Wogan wouldn't have anything to joke about. The cheesiness is the main attraction.
Vlad, London, UK

I think we need to enter a really naff tune or get Cliff Richard back. If we could marry the two, I think we could just about win it!
Pete, Gloucester, UK.

Ukraine were worthy winners. Why must the UK always look for ulterior motives behind their failings?
Adam, High Wycombe

I think that the contest is unreliable. Since I was born we've given 12 points to Cyprus and vice versa, Scandinavians prefer Scandinavians, German speaking countries prefer German speaking countries and so on. I think that a new rule should be laid down; neighbouring countries, countries of the same language, national origin or former members of federations cannot vote each other.
Pavlos, Patras, Greece

It may well be the case that England does not politically have many European friends. But is it not also the case that England has not been writing songs with European appeal? If there is any significance in the so-called political voting then I'd like to know which country has won this contest on the strength of it? Heaven forbid that a UK jury vote for a perfect European song. The UK does not know European tastes and does not care to shift in that direction. Cop out UK, by all means! Jan Deane, Leeds, UK
Jan Deane, Leeds

Serbia and Montenegro were by far the best and lost out just at the end. It truly was a nailbiting time for everyone watching.
Andrew White, Horsham England

I loved Eurovision this year. Every year Eurovision just gets better and better. Every song was great. I liked Bosnia, Norway, France... I was a little surprised that the French judge awarded all the points to Turkey, not that Turkey was not good. Although I do think that Turkey was much better than this year, thanks to Sertab. There was not one song that I didn't love. I am glad that Ruslana won. Ruslana is the best! She worked hard, and she really does deserve it. I love the way that she blended modern style with Ukrainian folk music. Sounds great!
Irene, Ukraine/USA




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Jonny Dymond reports from Istanbul
"All voting was by European citizens over the telephone"



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