Sunday, 11 May 2014

No Gimmick. A great performer.

Last night Conchita Wurst won the 2014 Eurovision song contest.  This morning some commentators complained that it was a gimmick and detrimental to Eurovision.

The Complaints before 
Russia and Belarus allegedly - according to BBC Website were asking for Conchita to be removed from the competition as they might edit her out.  Luckily she got to stay. 

Next year might be interesting when Conchita performs her song again in Austria.  It also been suggested she may host next years' event.  

The assumptions after 
I find it worrying that commentators complained about the quality of the song.  I know art is subjective but I think it's clear that it was one of the better songs of the night.  And most of the commentators were not musical experts.  Perhaps some bias is at play.  

The Netherlands song was good but had a rather weak chorus in my view. There were 3 or 4 stand out tunes and many were voted for. 

The commentator bias?
So, I couldn't help but question how on BBC Breakfast this morning there were 2 men being interviewed and both agreed the song was a gimmick and a weak song.  What I wonder was the best song in their opinion? And were they in fact falling for the psychological bias of prescriptive and descriptive stereotypes.  

Descriptive stereotypes are when we have beliefs about gender characteristics (or other social groups).  Conchita flouts the normal description of the female stereotype. 

Prescriptive stereotypes are when specific behavioral norms must be upheld to avoid derogation or punishment by others (Gill, 2004). Conchita did not uphold the behavioural norms.  Some people and countries were ready to punish her verbally, just for going against the "accepted" norm.  I experience it as I walked through Columbia road market today and two traders were shouting about their horror at Conchita winning. 

The future?
So where often there is a social penalty to pay for flouting these stereotypes, something amazing happened last night.  Conchita won and so many voted for her.  It was amazing to watch. Voters liked her, supported her despite the potential social bias, maybe because of it.  Flouting the norm takes bravery and we all admire bravery. .  

I imagined a day when people would see each other equally; understand our differences and celebrate them not condemn them. Where we admire people being themselves, in all the variety that means. 

Austria's winning song was voted by the public because  we, as viewers, really enjoyed the performance, the vocal and the song.  It was a stand out performance.  Why is that so hard to believe?

1 comment:

  1. Did you see what was happening on the other side too?

    What an amazing weekend for tolerance and diversity!!