Sunday 30 May 2010

Eurovision Song Contest 2010

My Second Eurovision!

Last year, only a few weeks after I moved to Ireland, I got to experience my very first Eurovision Song Contest.  Many, if not most, of my American readers probably have no idea what that means, and I had no clue before last May either.  It's an annual competition among European countries, each of which enters a single act to represent it.  Each participating country then assigns a certain number of points to the songs they like best, and these are totalled to determine the winner.  Imagine if American Idol were an Olympic event...that's sort of what Eurovision is.  (Something I learned last year:  ABBA actually got their start as Eurovision contestants in 1974 with "Waterloo"!)

Anyway, I got to enjoy my second Eurovision this past week.  We watched the semi-finals on Tuesday and Thursday, and the final was on tonight.  Most of the acts are cheesy beyond belief!  The songs are totally cornball, and there seems to be a separate competition to see who can do the most with smoke, flames and wind machines.  Last year treadmills were popular, too.  A lot of the songs are sweeping, sappy ballads...blech.  But still...I love it!  (Judge me all you want...I KNOW I have excellent taste in music, but even a five-star chef enjoys a Big Mac once in a while.  Not that I know any five-star chefs to ask.  But I'm sure there must be at least one out there confident enough in his or her skills to admit they like the McJunk on occasion.)
Ireland has had great success in Eurovision historically, and actually holds the record for the most wins with seven.  We made the final this year, but didn't do that well in the final standings.  Personally, I found Ireland's entry this year rather sleepy and boring.  A few years ago, though, it was anything but.  It seems Ireland pissed off the rest of the continent by sending Dustin the Turkey as their 2008 Eurovision representative, and the very first puppet to ever grace the Eurovision stage as a contestant.  I think that's hilarious, but I guess nobody else got the joke;  he didn't make it past the semi-final stage.  (You can see his performance in the 2008 semi-finals here.)

 This year's contest was full of mostly rather forgettable songs.  There were a couple that stood out for me, though.  Tom Dice represented Belgium, singing "Me and My Guitar".  It was great!  You can see it here.  I also loved Germany's contribution.  Nineteen-year-old Lena Meyer-Landrut became the second German ever to win the competition with her song "Satellite".  It's definitely a catchy tune, and it has earned Lena dubious comparisons to Lily Allen and Kate Nash.  You can check it out here, but be warned:  It WILL stick in your head like gum to the bottom of your shoe!

 My favorite part of the whole evening, though, without a doubt was the great interval act with Madcon.  They are Norwegian (a fact that somehow escaped my notice until tonight), and the event was held in Oslo since Alexander Rybak won last year with "Fairytale".  They performed with a flash mob that danced across Europe to Madcon's "Glow".  It was a great event that must have been ridiculous to try to organize, but it came off really well.  I'm a HUGE fan of the flash mob thing anyway...though I can never decide if I'd rather be part of one or a gobsmacked onlooker.  Anyway, we got to see Madcon et al dancing in Oslo, Reykjavik, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Vilnius, Ljubljana, and Gothenburg mob-style, along with families in their living rooms in countries across Europe, including Poland, Slovenia, Estonia, Israel, Portugal, Albania, Serbia, Switzerland and others.  It was brilliant, well-organized and really well-executed.  You can see it below;  it's definitely worth watching!

1 comment:

CountessLaurie said...

Wow - that is really fun! Obviously, I had not heard about it before.

P.S. My five-star husband has been known to eat at McDs, so you are correct there!!

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