It has been a week since the grand final of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest aired (May 23). However, tempers are still running high in regards to whether or not the right winner was crowned. Indeed, many are still discussing as though it was yesterday and are being far less than respectful to Swedish singer Mans Zelmerlow, who won the whole thing with a total of 365 points (the third-highest score to ever have been registered in the Eurovision Song Contest). However, it has become clear from the majority of comments sent the 28-year-old’s way that people are picking on things having nothing to do with the actual results itself, but rather to do with their incessant need to drag past controversies up which have already been dealt with. Those who choose to approach the situation reasonably rather than childishly as most tend to, should realize that Zelmerlow undoubtedly deserved his win.
Zelmerlow has been working for this for some time now. This year marks his third attempt to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2007, he competed in Melodifestivalen (the annual Swedish competition to see who will go to Eurovision that year) with the song Cara Mia, which he is widely known for. He came in sixth place overall. In 2009, his song Hope & Glory put him in fourth place. This year, however, was his year and he soared straight to the top with the anthem track Heroes.
Zelmerlow is a talented, hardworking entertainer who is caring and intelligent, and is only being attacked due to a ridiculous combination of jealousy and grudge-holding for a comment that was made a long time ago. It is mistakenly looked at by Eurovision fans as being original to rehash the subject of the singer being homophobic, due to a statement he made during a guest appearance on a cooking show in which he passed the comment that being gay was akin to not being normal. The translation was blown completely out of proportion, and he apologized the instant he realized he had hurt people’s feelings and upset them in any way. He has openly stated he would date a man, has pictures kissing a man, and has always advocated for equal rights from the start. People who have taken a dislike to the song for whatever reason, or simply do not like that a good-looking, charming white male was destined to win the whole thing have latched on to the only rebuttal they have of Zelmerlow’s success, the aforementioned conflict.
For those who try to take shots at his musical credibility, there is a widely overdone discussion going around as to whether Heroes is overly similar to a David Guetta track. This topic was, much like the allegedly homophobic statement issue, almost put to rest before Sammarinise non-qualifier Michele Perniola decided to seek some more attention after the horrific performance delivered by him and co-performer Anita Simoncini. He took to Twitter to post an upload “jokingly” mistaking the aforementioned Guetta track for Heroes. This sparked a new discussion as to whether Zelmerlow’s song was a rip-off, a matter which had seemingly gone unheard of by some but was now being debated by a whole new group of people prior to this year’s Eurovision. The accusation in question also takes away from the meaningfulness of Zelmerlow’s song, which he recently revealed is about another student who helped him through troubled times being bullied and mistreated when he was younger.
Those who was bringing up the issue of the jury vote results versus the televote results need to let the issue go. Yes, Italy (Il Volo) won somewhat overwhelmingly in the televote, followed by Russia (Polina Gagarina) and then Sweden, but a different end in results due to this process is nothing new. Every year, the rules are the same, and every year the final rankings change as a result of this rule. To suddenly act as though it is something new and unreasonable is ridiculous, and shows that Eurovision fans are okay with a process when it suits them but not when it does not. Indeed, Cyprus (John Karayiannis) fans were devastated to learn that although the Eurovision jury put him in the top 10, the mix of the televote put him in 22nd place.
Essentially, the reactions of non-Måns Zelmerlöw fans to his victory has done nothing but prove that their arguments towards him winning are invalid and center around things other than whether it was deserved or not. Either way, the contest is now over and nothing can be done about the situation whatsoever; therefore, disgruntled Eurovision fans need to find some way to let it go and move on. In every contest, some favorites move forward and some are left behind; however, there are different ways to deal with it than the blatant immaturity and disrespect flying in every direction at this point in time.
Opinion by Chanel van der Woodsen
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