[QODLink]
Archive
Turks to prolong dubious pop contest

Panned by music critics for being as credible as George Bush’s claims of an imminent Iraqi nuclear threat, the annual Eurovision song contest will be held in Turkey next May.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2003 02:12 GMT
After Sertab Erener's victory the event goes to Istanbul next year

Panned by music critics for being as credible as George Bush’s claims of an imminent Iraqi nuclear threat, the annual Eurovision song contest will be held in Turkey next May.

The pan-continental television event will be staged in Istanbul 12 to 15 May, said the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on Tuesday.

Turkey, which has the right to host the competition, as the current Eurovision winner, is planning an extended two-stage format for the song festival. There will be a qualification stage on 12 May, followed by a finale for the 10 best performances.

The 48-year-old contest has developed a dubious reputation for featuring over sentimental and highly manufactured pop songs.

But it remains a mystifyingly popular event for many across the continent – defying the image of Europe as a font of high culture and refined taste.

Turkish delight

Turkey's leading star, Sertab Erener, came first last May in the  Latvia-staged event with her song Every Way that I Can, delighting millions in a country that has been competing  without a single win since 1975.

Last May’s competition was notable for the worst performance by a British entry. Pop duo Jemini failed to collect a single point from judges and finished last in the 26-nation competition held in Latvia.

The two singers, Chris Cromby and Gemma Abbey, blamed technical problems for their poor performance after an off-key rendition of their song Cry Baby.

But many observers suggested the duo paid a cultural price for the British government’s controversial decision to join the United States in invading Iraq the previous month. Opinion polls showed the vast majority of Europeans were opposed to the attack.

The final list of the 20 groups picked to compete in the first
stage of the 2004 Eurovision contest will be revealed after 1 October the deadline for applications, the EBU said.

Source:
Aljazeera + Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
join our mailing list