Why Germany won

Anyone who recalls German lessons from his/her schooldays will make it unscathed through this short interview above.

An article drawing management lessons from Eurovision has to be fun and one or two points struck a chord with me.

Why did Lena Meyer-Landrut win?  The youtube above helps understand that, the clever lyrics of the song and its catchiness also helps – but not for the non-English speakers.  She herself both annoyed and attracted – annoyed because she was gauche, abrupt, very 19 and that’s not a good thing for someone who appreciates urbanity and manners … attracted because she was so unconstrained by the need to conform.  The amateurish mannerisms, showing she didn’t take herself too seriously, especially at the end of the song, were good.  That she couldn’t really dance to save herself also endeared.

That accent- well,what can a native English speaker say?  Again, it wasn’t annoying – it was idiosyncratically her and therefore bemusing and endearing.  The author of the article wrote:

The management lesson I derive from these deep and meaningful lyrics is the act of making an effort.  It’s easy to stumble into a managerial routine, which is when your autopilot switches on and your exertion switches off.

It’s a good point.  For me, there’s more.  The tired, formulaic entries in that contest, the bored, cynical “have to flash flesh to win” lycra and baubles, the deeply unappealing attitude and deportment of the dancers and singers, the falseness of it all, the contrived, overcomfortable tedium in the vast majority of it – all of these were a giant turnoff.

And into the middle stepped an amateurish, kooky girl who wore two different shoes to the rehearsal to see which ones she’d wear on the night.  The penny has now dropped – this was all about sincerity, being herself, freshness … and modesty, a commodity not in high demand at most Eurovisions.  In the end, it might have been the modesty and the desire to get off her butt and achieve something that really struck a chord somewhere deep inside.

I think most people around the world saw that and would agree the German girl was a worthy winner.  When asked whom she’d done it for, she answered simply, “For Germany.”

Good for her.  That also endears in this globalized era.

This is the stuff that our Eurowinners are made of:

5 comments for “Why Germany won

  1. QM
    May 31, 2010 at 08:15

    ♫ Boom Bang-a-Bang ♪

    It’s all the same and the voting is highly political too, frankly Wogan, his cynical wit and his slow slide into drunken merriment were the only things about the program worth watching. Graham Norton wasn’t a patch on the great guy.

  2. May 31, 2010 at 08:29

    It’s so true. Wogan was the goods. I’ve just been looking at the Telegraph post-mortem and almost all miss the point. We were exactly as stated above:

    The tired, formulaic entries in that contest, the bored, cynical “have to flash flesh to win” lycra and baubles, the deeply unappealing attitude and deportment of the dancers and singers, the falseness of it all, the contrived, overcomfortable tedium in the vast majority of it – all of these were a giant turnoff.

    Our slappers, backing a naive and flat singer were a bizarre mix of sluttiness and innocence which just didn’t work. We can’t effing get it right in this country with those people in charge.

    Whydid we win in1997? Sincerity and power. It didn’t need a young, teenage star – it needed passion, sincerity and style. That’s all but it seems beyond us.

  3. WitteringsfromWitney
    May 31, 2010 at 09:41

    And she wasn’t even on a bicycle! How gauche!

  4. JD
    May 31, 2010 at 13:36

    she celebrated by sleeping (to midday) and eating
    that made me laugh out loud

    you’re right James, very endearing young lady
    🙂

  5. May 31, 2010 at 16:12

    Nice kid, yes.

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