Since I guess that I’m an official fan of Eurovision, why not blog about it? I cannot really talk to my friends from the States about it because they don’t “get it” . . . or care. Kind of like talking about marathons with them. 😉 This year, it might be interesting to follow the song contest from start to finish.
What is Eurovision?
The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la chanson), sometimes abbreviated to ESC and often known simply as Eurovision, is an international songwriting competition organised annually by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), featuring participants representing primarily European countries. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio, transmitted to national broadcasters via the EBU’s Eurovision and Euroradio networks, with competing countries then casting votes for the other countries’ songs to determine a winner.Wikipedia
Since the contest was started as a means to reunite Europe after WWII, I think that it’s the longest-running televised singing contest.
How did I get into it?
During the Christmas season, the hubby (who’s from Spain) likes to watch old ESCs while baking and decorating Christmas cookies. One holiday season (2019, I think), he started watching ESC 2018 while I was getting ready for a run. Since I’m not a huge fan of singing contests, I figured that by the time I finished my 10-mile run, he would be done watching ESC 2018. Upon returning home, I was shocked to see that the damn thing was still on, AND there were at least another 1.5hrs of content remaining. After about an hour of watching, he was like you can change if you want. Followed by me saying for what? Now I wanna see who wins and where the rest of the acts will finish.
FYI: Netta’s “Toy” (Israel 🇮🇱) won that year
Sorry, but many of the performances from the finales are either copyright or geotagged protected, so I’ll do the best with what is available on YouTube.
The runner up Eleni Foureira’s “Fuego” (Cyprus 🇨🇾)
Jump to last year (ESC 2021), I actually started watching the semi-finals and picking whom I thought was going to be the top ten finalists. Because of the pandemic, ESC 2020 was canceled.
- With the exception of the Big Five and the hosting country (the winner from the previous year), countries have to qualify for the final round in one of two semi final heats. The Big Five (the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy) automatically go to the final because they contribute most of ESC’s finanical backing
We even went to an ESC 2021 watch party at a local bar hosted by EurovsionNYC.
Boy, I was not prepared for this. Note to self: If I attend another Eurovision party in a bar, I have to make sure to: 1. eat something before going to the event and 2. pace my consumption of gin & soda. Let’s just say that after the party, the hubby, a friend, and I went to a Thai restaurant, and I kinda forgot how to “eat”. Man, I was STRUGGLIN with those chopsticks.
What’s different about this year?
Last year was kind of my crash course into ESC because I pretty much heard the songs for the 1st time during the semifinals. Now, I can listen to the songs as the countries have their national selection contests for the artists and start picking the songs. Right now, I think only the Czech Republic and Albania have picked both their artists and songs. Also, I can start picking my favorites and making my predictions for qualifiers and the top ten finalists. Sooooo, I think that I will take on this task in the following manner.
I will create a KOS Eurovision Meter (I just made up the name) where I will rate songs from 1 (bad) – 6 (awesome), and songs with a score of 3 and above will be my predictions to qualify to ESC 2022 final round. Unlike ESC, I’m not going to give 0s. ESC 2021 was pretty interesting because FOUR countries (the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany) received 0 televotes/public votes, and the UK did not receive any televotes/public votes OR jury votes (ouch).
Kind of weird that three of the Big Five and the hosting country did not receive a single televote/public vote, but more on that in another post.
I will say the folks who received 0 public votes were waaaaay more professional than I would have been. I probably would have flipped over a table. 😉
Where was I?
Once all of the national songs have been released, I’ll then rank them based on where they will end up in the finale. Actually, maybe I should also group them based on how well I think they will perform with the public vote and the national juries. Lemme think about this some more.
Why do you care?
The hubby and I have been going back and forth about attending Eurovision for our summer vacation. This year, ESC 2022 will be held in Turin, Italy . . . not a bad place to see Eurovision for the 1st time. If you have been following, the country is selected based on who won the previous year’s ESC. For ESC 2021, Måneskin with their song “Zitti e Buoni” took the title and trophy (a glass microphone) so ESC 2022 will be in Italy.
Aww, Duncan Laurence, the winner of ESC 2019 (remember ESC 2020 was canceled because of COVID), could not give the trophy to Måneskin because he contracted COVID during Eurovision week.
Side Bar – American Song Contest:
Word on the street is that the States will have its own version of the song contest in February after the Olympics. For this contest, the 50 states and six territories (A. Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands) will compete for the grand prize. I have to admit that I knew only four of the five territories; I didn’t know about N. Mariana Islands were a territory. To be completely honest, I do not know how successful ASC will be because I have not seen much advertising for it. I have a feeling that our version might last for three seasons – season 1 will be the pilot, season 2 will try to improve on season 1, and season 3 will be three strikes and we are out.
Questions of the Day:
Are you a fan of singing competitions?
Do you think Eurovision will make it to your things to watch in May?
When my girls were living at home we used to watch all of those talent shows. Back then I think there were just two of them.
I had no idea that ESC has been going since the 40’s?
I know that most Europeans speak more than one language, but these songs must be in dozens of languages. How do people get into a song in a language they don’t understand?
Originally, ESC contestants had to sing in one of their countries official languages. Some countries were annoyed with this rule because the English (and probably the French) speaking countries had an unfair advantage in the public vote. Now (and unfortunately) most of the performances are in English. Some may sing mostly in English, but add a couple of words from their country’s official languages (eg Israel). For ESC 2021, only 8 performers (of the 26 finalists) had non-English songs.
In terms of getting into a song, I think that falls on the musical and/or vocal arrangement. For instance, I do not speak a word of Serbian or Albanian, but I really liked those songs.
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Wow, you are committed to the process! Even we don’t watch the selection process here! I did used to watch, however the voting is so partisan, and now we’ve had Brexit everyone hates us (and our songs are usually rubbish) and it’s a bit depressing! But I’m glad you enjoy it and if you DO go, we’ll have to watch it to see if we can spot you in the crowd!
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hehehe. I’ll call it a nice distraction.
Word on the street is that the BBC will use Dua Lipa and Lana Del Rey’s team to select the entrant for ESC22. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing.
To be completely honest, I did not think Newman’s song from last year was THAT bad. However, the performance could have been a bit better. I mean he sounded out of breath within the 1st 30 seconds, but I do not think that he deserved 0 points from both the public and the national juries.
We’ll see if I make to ESC22. The hubby and I will have to make our decision pretty soon. At least airfare prices (~$350) to Italy are not too bad right now.
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