It’s that time of the year again. The Eurovision Song Contest.
Eurovision was started in 1956 to unite a war-torn Europe. European countries select their representative usually through a country wide search. The singer/band then gets the chance to perform in the semi-finals and some of the big funders of Eurovision automatically qualify straight into the grandfinal. Songs must be original and less than 3 minutes. The country of the winner of the Eurovision hosts the contest the following year.
There are other rules of the game:
– all contestants must be aged over 16
– bands can be no more than 6 people
– pieces must include vocals
– pieces can be performed in any language
There are other ‘rules’ of Eurovision which is also about the glitz, glamour and pyrotechnics. The weirder, more memorable the better. I think this is so much of the appeal of it. The chance to be over the top, to be odd, to over exaggerate and at this almost global stage where nothing is too much. It’s the time that makes me all warm and fuzzy about international rapport and jokes, travel, languages and acceptance of all.
Although I know not everyone shares these sentiments. My European friends often tell me how lame it is and no-one they know watches it. When here in Australia, there are even parties and friend screenings of the grandfinal. Australia has been included in recent years and almost won in 2016 when we finished 2nd! I doubt we would have been ‘allowed’ to have won though.
Eurovision is also no less surrounded by controversies every year surrounding the political voting, political affairs and LGBT communities (and not to mention in countries where this contest is broadcasted and where being LGBT is still a crime or taboo).
Still, the show must go on.
Here is a skit that was performed at the beginning of the 2016 Eurovision with Måns Zelmerlöw (the winner of 2015 Eurovision) and Petra Mede (arguable one of the best Eurovision hosts to grace our screens) on what makes the best Eurovision song.
Are you a Eurovision fan? Who are you backing to win this year?