Monday, May 30, 2011

The Eurovision Song Contest

A lot of people in the US have just finished watching "American Idol." In fact, the show had a big bump in the ratings this year. I've seen numbers like 20 million a night. Which is chickenfeed, when you compare it to the hundreds of millions watching Eurovision Song Contest. And if you've never seen any Eurovision, you don't know what you're missing (although in some cases you are also extremely lucky).

The way it works is that every member country of the European Broadcasting Union submits a song, on which the other countries vote. Abba won for Sweden in '74, and Celine Dion won for Switzerland in '88 (which means that either Canada is in Switzerland or else one need not be from the submitting country), and the nature of the songs is that sort of mainstream pop (with a lot of them in English). The Irish entry below is fairly typical:

One of my favorites this year is from Moldova. Well, I like their hats, anyhow. Like a lot of the official videos, this one opens with a little travelogue:

I honestly do like this one from Italy. Rather catchy:

And the winner is Azerbaijan. They're not bad at all, but I think they'd be better in Moldavian hats.

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