Understanding Eurovision.. Maybe

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So… being from Canada, I was totally oblivious as to what the ‘Eurovision Song Contest‘ was.

I’d kind of heard of it over the years, but I hadn’t really bothered to find out what it was all about.  It wasn’t something that was ever shown in Canada so what was the point.

Of course it’s different now that I’ve been in London for close to 4 years now… not that I really have a clue of what it’s all about still, but at least it can be fun to watch.  For the finals this past Saturday, I was perched at the bar in a Brighton bear pub after spending the day roasting in the glorious sunshine.  🙂

Mostly from my experience and from people I’ve talked to about it, it’s just a fun night of music.  Everyone knows it’s going to be cheesy… and some can be downright creepy.  Check out the pic of twins Jedward creating a heart with their hands. (They’ve now represented Ireland 2 years in a row..)

It’s meant to solely be entertainment.. but the more you read about it, the more you come across theories about how the voting is all political and so forth.  Umm.. ok, it’s a song contest people.

So… for those back home or outside Europe – What is Eurovision and what is the point of the contest itself?

Ummm.. no clue.  I checked their website (Eurovision.tv), but I didn’t really find much as the the ‘why’ the contest exists to begin with.

So I turned to good old Wikipedia for some information .. and the contest was set up by the European Broadcasting Union as a way of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a “light entertainment programme” as Europe was rebuilding after the war.

I’m not going to go through the 50-some odd years of history of this program .. Most of it is kind of boring, like when they changed the rules form this to that.  Or when they introduced the phone voting or the semi-final voting.

Or even that currently each year there are 6 countries that get an automatic pass into the live finals – the host country (previous year’s winner) and the ‘Big 5’ (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).  After a bit of reading on Wikipedia and the official website, I eventually found out this was because those 5 country’s broadcasters (BBC for the UK) are the biggest financial contributors to the contest and broadcast itself, and that it couldn’t be shown without their financial backing.

There’s a whole bunch of other information about the contest that I read through.. but to be honest, it’s not much more exciting .. and I got completely lost as to why countries like Iceland, Israel, Morocco, Russia, and such were able to participate in the contest when they’re not even part of Europe or the EU (there was a bunch of latitude and longitude numbers thrown around to explain the area..).

If you really want to know more about it, check out the Wikipedia page, or the Eurovision website itself.

I’m sure I could probably wrap my head around it all, but it’s late and I’ve got to be up for work in the morning. 😉

I’ve decided to just try and enjoy the music… even if most of it is cheesy (check out the Russian entry from this year .. and they came 2nd!).  And I’m not even going to discuss the UK’s entry.

Here’s the 2012 winning entry from Sweden.. It’s totally catchy, dancey.. and gotta love the lighting/camera work done for her performance.

Loreen performing ‘Euphoria’

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2 thoughts on “Understanding Eurovision.. Maybe

  1. Casey

    Without Eurovision, we might not have had ABBA – one of the greatest bands ever, or Riverdance- the half-time act Ireland put on one year.Also, it provides Ireland with an opportunity to compete in Europe with a chance of success. (Until Ireland realised the liabilty and cost of having to host as winners – hence Jedward’s appointment to represent). Then there’s the snide commentary from Graham Norton and in the past, Terry Wogan. To add Canadian interest: Celine Dion did represent Switzerland, I think, by way of her introduction to a european audience back in the day.

    • Oh I completely agree with you. The contest has been an international launch pad for some artists who wouldn’t have otherwise gotten noticed. Though at times kitchy, I do find it entertaining.

      And on behalf of Canadians everywhere, we apologise for inflicting Celine Dion on the world. LOL

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