Eurovision's love-in with Australia appears to be over. The novelty has worn off. Fans gave Jessica Mauboy's grand final performance a cold reception. Of the 26 nations competing in the final, Mauboy received the lowest public vote.
European fans did not warm to Jessica Mauboy.
Eurovision has served as a successful platform for social movements in recent years. In this year’s competition, France performed a song about refugees, Italy sang about terrorism and the winning song from Israel was inspired by the #MeToo movement. While such practices are encouraged in Europe, Asia is an entirely different story. For instance, the EBU decided to cut ties with China’s Mango TV at this year’s competition after the network reportedly censored Ireland’s performance featuring a same-sex romantic relationship and subsequently blurred out a rainbow flag in the audience.
Political tensions sometimes surface in Eurovision, but are likely to be more evident in Asia. Chinese viewers are unlikely to judge performances from Japan solely based on music. Another geopolitical rivalry that would cause complications would be that between India and Pakistan. And what about Southeast Asian and the Central Asian countries – would they form geographical voting blocs?
I'm an optimist, I think such an initiative could bring Asia, a region dogged by geopolitics, rivalries and potential flashpoints, closer together through music. But at least at first, Asiavision would have to be about song and spectacle not social movements.
Jieh-Yung Lo is a Chinese-Australian writer, analyst and commentator. Twitter: @jiehyunglo
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