The Phenomenon Called Eurovision

I know, I know. “Eurovision 2013” is long over, but I wrote this post during the final competition, and I thought it would be appropriate to share it on the blog – to at least preserve it for our family memories. (Who am I kidding anyway? I can’t take a day off from blogging. It’s just too much fun, so read on and enjoy!)


Question: What do you get when you cross a soccer match, American/British Idol, and American Music Awards?

Answer: You get “Eurovision” – at least that what it felt like when watching it for the first time.

I had never heard of “Eurovision” before, but apparently, it’s been around since the 1950s. It came about in the aftermath of World War II, giving a stage to bring some healthy competition between European countries (and now other surrounding other countries like Israel and Azerbajian) through music. According to Wikipedia, it’s one of the longest running tv programs in the world. Prof and I caught one of the semi-final rounds a few weeks ago. One of our friends even wrote a post about “Eurovision” on his family blog, Letters From Cyprus.

The only thing I remember during semi-finals was a woman from Romania who sang a strangely sounding rock aria. I wasn’t paying much attention to the tv, but once I looked up, to my horror, I saw a guy from Romania singing falsetto. That song was oh so so soooooo bad, and yet this guy made it to the finals. Why?

Well, their voting system is based on 50-50 voting from tele-voting and a seprate judging panel from each country, where points are allocated to another country to get them to the next round. Accusations have been made about voting blocs based on certain geo-political relationships, not purely based on musical performance.  For example, people say that Greece gives its points to Cyprus and vice versa.

Prof and I watched the finals to see what all the hoopla was about. After all, we must do as Europeans do and watch the phenomenon called “Eurovision.”

I think it’s awesome that you can have the sexy, rock pop music song mixed with the hokey yet wholesome group such as the group from from Switzerland with its cute J.Crew-styled couple mixed with grandfatherly-aged and other middle-aged musicians in the background.

However, following the twitter feed on BBC Eurovision had to be the highlight of my night while watching the finals.  Here was one very funny tweet:

“I love the traditional Celtic music of Spain.”

Do you know what else Ms. Bonnie said on her twitter feed about the Romanian singer who sang falsetto? She wrote, “And…ACTIVATE PANT TIGHTENING.” I nearly died of laughter at her most appropriate comment of the night.

Maybe it’s me, but I’m not much into singers screaming into their mics and calling it music, or those who stand behind a mic  and only wave their arms up and down like they are some wanna be gangsters in a rap song. (Sorry, France. I had to call you out.) But then again, I don’t really know that much about European music, so it’s been fascinating to watch.

Congrats to Denmark for the winning performance of the night.


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