I just popped onto social media for a moment to see what new catastrophe has erupted in the world (stop it, U.S.), when I saw the first Eurovision hashtags appear. Oh, glorious day!
BV and I are fully planning on tucking in here on Saturday night to have our own watch party, which we mentioned to the Villagers when they were here last weekend. Though VillageGal is German and is all-too-familiar with the absurdity of the Eurovision Song Contest, VillageGuy had no clue what we were talking about.
I’ll give him a bit of a pass for being an American, but he’s been in Europe for about 10 years, if not more. Given his job, he’s surrounded by Americans 95% of the time though, so I guess that environment insulates him a bit more than someone in my circumstances, for instance. Add to that the fact that they, like us, don’t have satellite or cable, and that doesn’t lend itself to too much time in front of the tube. We tried to fill him in on the appeal of the kitschy glory, but he didn’t seem too convinced. If all of us hadn’t already had full weekends booked, I think we could’ve gotten them up here again, but perhaps we can convince them to join our watch party next year.
While I haven’t indulged in the glory of Eurovision every year since moving to Europe, I do vividly remember the first time it came up.
Marit, a gorgeous, dread-locked, Swedish med student had begun dating one of the gents from our TEFL course when we were all still getting ourselves settled in Prague. A group of us were out one night and she was excitedly outlining plans that she and some of the other foreigners at Charles University had begun making for a Eurovision party.
Cue confused looks from the Americans in the group.
What the heck is Eurovision?
She and some of the other Europeans tried to explain it to us in terms that we Americans could understand, namely “reality show” type singing competitions… American Idol or whatever else was on TV circa 2009. But Eurovision is nothing like that, in my opinion. Eurovision is like a bunch of countries got really drunk, were given keys to every costume department on Broadway (or at a circus), and then paid a laser light show/pyrotechnic enthusiast to just go crazy all over the stage behind them. It’s sheer madness.
Add to that a fair amount of political jockeying and countries that are literally thousands and thousands of kilometers removed from Europe being thrown into the mix (hello, Australians!), and it’s full-on insanity. Semifinals are going on all this week but BV and I are saving the glory for the big finale. On the final evening of the contest (this Saturday, get your drinks ready), the top acts will perform again, and then reports come in from all the voting countries to determine the winner.
Is it weird? Yes. Is it kitschy as f*ck? Yes. Does it feed into BS stereotypes? Yeeeep. Is it completely worth watching? YES.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash some dishes, including our light-up plastic ones from Las Vegas, which are completely Eurovision appropriate. Lasers!
Editor’s Note: This is part of a 31-day challenge series for the month of May, in which I aim to spend at least 15 minutes writing about whatever strikes my fancy. Results may vary.