Eurovision sounded like a television network or production company to me and I never gave it much thought until I watched Father Ted’s ‘Song For Europe’ episode — Series 2 available from Amazon.com, Father Ted Definitive Collection from Amazon.com, Series 2: Part 1 available from Amazon.co.uk, Father Ted Definitive Collection available from Amazon.co.uk. So, it’s officially a song contest among members of the European Broadcasting Union. I see it as a big annual talent show since the song itself is only a fraction of it. After all, the song doesn’t have to be written or composed by citizen of the competing nation only performed by someone from there – and even that has leeway. As shown last night by the fact that Cyprus’s entry was performed by a lad who lives in Wales. Which makes it a very global contest, even if most Americans have never even heard of the event.
The rules are probably complicated, but what I absorbed is that an entry cannot have already been commercially released and is chosen within the country before being submitted to the Eurovision by the contest deadline. The winner traditionally hosts the contest the following year so this year there was a bit of chatter on Twitter about the fact that few countries could afford to host the event so it was a relief when financially sound Germany won. Little tidbit: When Ireland won in 1992, they followed by hosting the 1993 event in quaint Millstreet in County Cork making it the smallest town to ever host the competition.
My favorite performance of the entire competition was when Norwegian band Madcon performed Glow with groups of flash mob dancers in participating countries moving along to a choreographed dance. All this was coordinated through a Facebook group!
I Tweeted throughout the competition as I was enthralled with the novelty and hype surrounding it. Starting with enthusiasm that Ireland’s entry was a human, not a turkey, this year and continuing as I shared how I enjoy when an entry is in the country’s native language. Click here to see all a list of all the entries and lyrics.
Here are a few of my Tweets which chronicle an American’s first Eurovision experience with links I added after to explain what I was looking at when I wrote them:
• It’s Eurovision o’clock. Let’s go Ireland’s Niamh Kavanagh!
• So happy when songs are performed at #Eurovision in languages other than English. Wee bit of cultural authenticity. [Spain, Serbia, Greece, France, Portugal, and Israel all performed in their respective native languages.]
• Is it just me or did [Moldova’s lead male singer] sound like Tom Jones?!
• Considering the vote benefits of having a Welsh entry for Cyprus. Will they get UK and Greece then?
• “Time to melt the ice…” …global warming theme. [Bosnia & Herzegovina]
• Bosnia does air guitar with an actual guitar. Quite a feat!
• Why does Belgium’s song seem familiar? Nice understated performance for a change – just him & his guitar.
• Shakira meets Bollywood, but great foreign language lyrics, Serbia.
• Emo lyrics in a peppy tune, Greece!
• That’s a robot?! I thought it was a futuristic knight. [MaNga from Turkey]
• I ain’t missing you at all… wait wrong song. [Denmark]
• Denmark had a wind machine, pyrotechnics, and smoke machine. The trifecta!
• What’s déjà vu in Spanish? [Referring to Spain’s repeat performance]
• Oooh I love me a flash mob. [Check out the flash mob taking place all over participating Eurovision countries to Madcon’s song Glow – Dublin is from 3:19-3:40]
• Is Ireland being punished for Dustin the Turkey? [Referring to their entry of Dustin the Turkey in 2008]
I can only imagine what it would be like if the United States held one for the 50 states, DC, and its territories, though that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as if they held one for all of North America. Hmm.
Links & Resources:
Learn about Eurovision Song Contest on Wikipedia
See all a list of all the entries and lyrics.
YouTube video of the Eurovision flash mob to Madcon’s song Glow
Learn the Eurovision Glow flash mob dance (my playlist of useful related videos)
Watch the winning song, Satellite on YouTube
You can watch the “Song For Europe” episode of Father Ted on SeeSaw if you’re in the UK.
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