A few days ago (I will admit) I sat down and watched part of the finale of the Eurovision competition. The song contest where European nations enter a song into the competition. Several rounds of eliminations take place. Then the rest of the European community votes on their favorite song. That’s the gist of it. To be honest I didn’t know much about the contest. I began to get a vague idea last year when the winning Serbian song (Numa Numa) made its way to international parties the world over in ridiculous number of remixes. It just seemed to never die out.
So this year I got a bit more insight to this interesting spectacle and yes it really is a spectacle. Apparently, the contest was started by France and for many years traditional Western European nations were the victors. In recent years that has not been the case. Despite the absurdity of some of the acts, I couldn’t stop watching. It was like seeing a two cars about to crash and you can’t take your eyes away. Additionally the horror or amusement (whichever u prefer) was satirically commented on by British broadcaster Terry Wogan.
First off, although it’s a European contest for some weird reason Russia, Israel, Turkey (debatable depending on who you talk to) and Azerbaijan participated. Last I checked all these countries were in Asia ( again with Turkey and Russia depends on who you talk to). It was evident that some took the contest far too seriously while others used it as a tool to mock and parade about on stage.
When voting time rolled along it was clear that this contest wasn’t about the music but had clear political roots. I quickly found out why it’s a lost cause for many of the Western European countries to think about winning. Those countries eliminated early on, root for their neighbours. Well that depends if that neighbour took part in their ethnic cleansing. Regardless it seems that the Baltic block as Terry Wogan put it ” know who brings home the bread and butter” and voted overwhelmingly for RUSSIA?!
Another point of interest, most countries opted to present a song in English; Even FRANCE!. I was definitely taken back by that one.
From the portion of the finale that I did watch there seemed to be several Britney Spears-esqe admissions presented by: Greece, Ukraine and Armenia.
Others were off the wall in an amusing way: France, and my favorite Spain. Others, took it way too far and I have no idea what they were thinking Azerbaijan, Latvia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Overall it was interesting. And if your interested here’s a recap video of the finalists.
don’t know if it is worth calling it eurovision any longer, or pretending to care about the music.
I thought Russia was a Eurasian country— i.e. in both Europe and Asia? I missed Eurovision this year, but it’s a biiiiiig deal for a lot of people (as you discovered!).-Anne