Last night I did something I have never done before. I watched the Eurovision Song Contest. It took place this year in Düsseldorf Germany, because if I understand the rules, the winner of last years event was the German entry.
Living in New Zealand, you have no clue what Eurovision is. Living in The Netherlands I still didn’t, I vaguely knew it existed because one day in the year there would be a headline on the News telling all about who had won Eurovision that year, but by that time of course I’d missed it.
The other predominant factor to my never having seen it was a subtle one… I discovered a while back that Himself apparently loathes it.
It was apparently never quite just a stoke of luck that we would be surely be busy entertaining, or being entertained by family and friends on “that” evening, and of course naturally enough, never with any die-hard Eurovision fans.
Himself dismisses Eurovision as a politically stage-managed and rigged outcome of a very bad song event where buddy countries vote for their friends and countries with deep long-standing personal differences exact revenge by awarding zero points to each other.
It’s a popularity contest he says, the Eastern Block will vote for each other no matter how bad the song, and The Netherlands and Belgium will probably give each other the maximum possble points of offer because they know that no one else will.
Again no account is seemingly taken as to the strength or weakness of the songs. Apparently many of the songs in Eurovision are weak anyway… not just weak, but ailing, sad and just downright painful.
It’s an ignoble tradition that Eurovision songwriters and composers are meant to live up to.
My research tells me that the peoples of Europe are meant to treat it like a comedy and weep tears of laughter as they watch, yelling enthusiastically and hysterically at the television if the song they like least is bumped up the list by it’s friends, or if their favourite is downgraded. Many of them however take it seriously.
Ok… so my Eurovision Experience was set to remain at zero, until one particular blogger came into my computer.
This was Jamie who’s a self confessed Eurovision fanatic. From his blog “One Life” http://jamieonline.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/planning-the-perfect-eurovision- party/#comment-636 and his posts http://jamieonline.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/deja-vu-dusseldorf-semi-final-1/ and http://jamieonline.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/deja-vu-dusseldorf-semi-final-2/ I learned that not everyone who enters Eurovision gets to the chance to preform on the “Big Night”, because there is a two part run-off beforehand and some countries are already eliminated.
This would explain why I can’t find The Netherlands in this year’s line up, they didn’t make it though the preliminary elimination process. because of Jamie’s posts I was prompted to watch the two shows earlier in the week… to be honest I don’t think the Dutch boys were so bad? That said, after a little research, I also thought that they sounded better on the YouTube version of their song than they did on the live performance. The fact that we are not a big country with a lot of clout and many friends probably didn’t help either. Oh well.
Then I looked at Belgium’s entry and it was no surprise why they didn’t get though… ouch, What were they thinking??? About the only thing Belgium could console itself it with was that the Portuguese entry was even worse (and that’s saying something)… the Portuguese song being all bout protesting for better working conditions made it look like no-one told them it wasn’t at trade union event they were attending.
I discovered too that there are many stories behind Eurovision…
- I discover that Israel’s entry is a woman who used to be a man (looks stunning too, but they didn’t make it though to the final)…
- that the Romanian entry is a British guy (great voice!) … but does that mean you don’t need to be a National of the country you represent? apparently not…?
- that the guy on the Finnish entry has a funny name (Paradise Oskar) a nice song and a good voice but a face that even a die-hard pacifist would want to slap for it’s extreme smugness. Very off-putting, but in his defense he’s very very young and someone needs to tell him that he’s trying too hard.
- that Iceland’s singer/songwriter passed away suddenly recently so his mates are singing it for him…(yes seriously, I got a lump in throat and damp eyes on this one)
- that France has the world’s youngest tenor, very easy on the eye, with a voice of liquid gold for their entry… Oooh la la!
- what I haven’t sorted out yet is how there appeared to be an elimination procedure for every European country except Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom… they appear to be directly though on some kind of “go straight to the final“ ticket, and since I don’t know the answer to this one I’m assuming that they must have been the top scoring countries last year as that’s the most logical explanation I can think of.
There are many other quirky entires, but by chance I discovered that Little Mr. is mayhap privy to secrets that I am not… he may even be a secret Eurovision fan, and we didn’t even know it.
I’m concluding this because I found a drawing of his that very closely resembles the lads of the Irish entry and their ultra bizarre hair…
So, I’m no longer a Eurovision virgin and it’s also possible that Little Mr is a secret fan… the look on Himself’s face if I suggest organizing a Eurovision Contest Party next year might be worth it just for the shock value. On the other hand I love the man and don’t want to give him a stroke.
.. and I think Himself is wrong, is it just me?, seriously, I think some of the songs ain’t half bad…
Check out the songs and decide for yourself… http://www.eurovision.tv/page/dusseldorf-2011/about