It’s that time of the year again…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 (shamelessly ripped from my tumblr from last year, but hey, whatever works!):
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 (and neither of which are in it this year, a shame, beause I liked last year’s Turkish entry), 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 6) and the second half in Semi-Finals 2 (Thursday, May 8). From each round, the top ten countries are selected and move on to the Finals (Saturday, May 10). 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, Denmark gets the free pass.
So who are the entries?
Another good question. Over the next few weeks, I’ll break the entries down country by country. The week of the contest, I’ll give you my top 3 picks and my dark horse pick (who I would like to see win, but won’t because of ridiculousness) the week of the contest and then we’ll see just how good of a musical tastemaker I really am.
What’s been your record?
Well, I’ve been paying attention to this since 2007 so…
2007 and 2008: I made no official guesses in 2007 and 2008, though my top 2007 pick was Georgia (Sopho’s ‘Visionary Dream”), which placed 12th. 2008’s top 2 picks, Armenia (Sirusho’s “Qele Qele”) and Turkey (Mor ve Otesi’s “Deki”) placed 4th and 7th repectively.
2009: My number one pick Denmark (Brinck’s “Believe Again”) finished 13th, but my number 2 pick just so happened to be Alexander Rybak from Norway, who won.
2010: Was so blatantly obvious, that I had it picked from the word go. Germany (Lena’s “Satellite”) was my number one, the only one I bothered giving a number to well in advance, and she won it all. Right before the semis, I did pick a number two, namely Turkey, which so happened to also be the number two song. I was on FIYAH!
2011: Definitely an off year in general, I hadn’t called my favorites until just before the finals. I was gunning for back to back titles from Lena since “Taken By a Stranger” was quixotic, and my number two was Iceland (Sjonni’s Friends’ “Coming Home”), but they came in at 10th and 20th, respectively. Ironically, it was Azerbaijan (Ell & Nikki’s “Running Scared”), my dark horse, that came in first
2012: Not an off year, but a weird one. My one and two (Cyprus and Lithuania) came in 16th and 14th, respectively. My number three, which was also my dark horse, Turkey, placed the highest with 7th (but then going pirate with it definitely helped)
Last year: Malta, Spain and Norway were my one, two and three. I knew that Spain had the autobid, and would get kinda screwed (and they did, getting 20th) but I really thought that Malta got jobbed. Yeah, Gianluca got 7th, but seriously, he should have gotten higher, if not won it outright, and damn it, Margaret Berger was the only female vocalist that attempted range and pulled it off, screw Emmelie de Forest’s Taylor Swift wannabe ass. At least she pulled a respectable 4th.
This year: You’ll just have to wait and see…