It’s one of my favorite times of the year, Eurovision time !For all of you Non-European, especially American, dwellers who have no clue what the Eurovision Song Contest is, here’s a quick primer:
Imagine a country-wide American Idol. Got it? Yeah, I hate the sound of that too, but it gets better. Okay, now take the winner of the national American Idol, and go continental with it. That is essentially the ESC. This year, 39 countries have all picked a song to represent their country, and will duke it out for the votes of industry professionals, and the voting public of Europe and a few other countries that are part of the European Broadcasting Union. For some odd reason, this includes countries like Turkey and Morocco, both of which aren’t on the same continent, but whatevs. Whichever country wins gets a concert tour, and their country hosts the following year..
So, how does it work?
The Contest takes place over three days. The first half of the field go into Semi-Finals 1 (Tuesday, May 14) and the second half in Semi-Finals 2 (Thursday, May 16). From each round, the top ten countries are selected and move on to the Finals (Saturday, May 18). In each round, the winners are determined by a total of two votes: Record industry hacks Record label execs and regionally (in some cases blatantly) biased public televotes via SMS.
HERE’S THE CATCH!
Six countries can skip the Semis, pass Go and collect $200.
Say what? Why?
Glad you asked. The “Big Five” countries, England, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, get autobids because they pay for the Contest itself. Simple enough. The sixth country is the host country because they won it last year. This year, Sweden gets the free pass.
So who are the entries?
Another good question. No, I’m not going to links to all 39 countries on here. If you want to see that shit, or watch the contest live at 4 pm for those on the East Coast (it’s Sweden, so they’re UTC+1 this time of the year, which makes us UTC -5 relative to them. It starts at 9, Malmo time) click the pic:
So why do I care?
Simple: European pop music is often better than the crap we put out, and I like to try to guess the winners. I pick my top 3 and a dark horse. some years, I try to pick the Funny: the funniest good song that has no shot in hell at winning. My picks are listed below:
THE FAVORITES (IN ORDER)
SPAIN: “Contigo Hasta El Final” – El Sueno de Morfeo
MALTA: “Tomorrow” – Gianluca Bezzina
NORWAY: “I Feed You My Love” – Margaret Berger
SLOVENIA: “Straight Into Love” – Hannah
The Funny pick:
GREECE: “Alcohol Is Free” – Koza Mostra & Agathon Iakovidis