Posted by: adeliciousmoment | May 28, 2012

Required viewing

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Hey there, my fellow Americans… Have you heard about Eurovision?

Did you know that it’s an insanely popular European song competition? No? You’ve never heard of it before? Same here, until last year, when my boyfriend informed me that the show is required viewing for pretty much everyone in Australia.

Wait–in Australia? you may be asking. Isn’t it a European thing? That’s right, very much so. Yet the contest is ridiculously popular here in Oz, primarily because of disco super group ABBA. You see, ABBA got their start by winning the Eurovision song contest in 1974, and the rest, as they say, is history. (In case you were unaware of how huge ABBA was–and still is, in Australia, you can read my post about the phenomenon right here.)

Ok, back to the show…

Here’s how it works: Eurovision showcases one song each from 42 different European countries. Each song/ performer has to win in their own country before competing for the main event. Each country votes for their 10 favourite songs, with extra points going to their top three choices. They are not allowed to vote for their own entry. This process leads to some ass-kissing votes, based on geo-political interests (or so I am told), but most countries seem to award their top vote to the song which is truly popular and deserving of a chance to win. The performers can be amateur or professional, young or old, of any nationality (I do find it odd that performers do not have to be citizens or residents of the country they represent, like Celine Dion, who is Canadian, singing for Switzerland in 1988, and winning). The songs must be original, and they must be sung live. There are two semi-final rounds, on two different nights, in which ten entries per round are chosen to compete for the final show. Also, five countries, the ones who pay for the contest, along with the previous year’s winning country, are automatically entered into the final round. The winning country hosts the show for the following year. This year, Eurovision was held in Azerbaijan.

Last night was the big finale of Eurovision, and what a show it was, full of razzle dazzle and all that jazz. And I’ve got to say, as much as I abhor cheesy song and/ or dance contests, and that sort of thing (sorry, Dancing With the Stars fans, that stuff is just not my cuppa tea), I was seriously into Eurovision. Why? Because it is over-the-top fun. And gay. As gay as it gets. Happy, silly, dance-inducing fun. Lots of pretty boys and gay commentary, including an array of queeny tweets (I even chimed in, trying to get on TV, I’ll admit, but we are half an hour behind here in Adelaide, so there was no chance of that). Watching the Aussie hosts are as much fun as watching the performers themselves, with their dry witticisms and sincere adoration for the show.

Eurovision had it all last night. There were grannies from Russia, in traditional costumes, singing a dance club-style song, goofy Turkish dudes wooing the ladies with some odd form of charisma, ponderous ballads, wacky costumes and even wackier dance moves, crazy hair-do’s, glittering sequins, Star Trek-style shoulder pads, pyrotechnics, and even a performance by Engelbert Humperdink.

Wow… All that and gay humour too? How did I miss out on this incredible show all those years? Oh, yeah, I was in America, where we ignore most things from other countries.

Yes, I went there.

The winning song for Eurovision 2012 was a fabulous dance club kinda number by Loreen, from Sweden, called “Euphoria”. It certainly got my uncounted virtual vote.

You can see the winning performance here on YouTube.

Cheers! Next year, onto Sweden! Maybe we will get to see a reunion performance by ABBA…. We can dare to dream.

(By the way, last night I did not indulge in any of the Eurovision drinking games, which are supposedly very popular here in Australia. I’m not saying that I was sober while watching the show, but I kept my inebriation to a respectable level, just one drink. Ok, it was only because we ran out of wine, but still.)

Photo: Jedward from Ireland, performing at Eurovision 2012, found here

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