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Eurovision — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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The ABC reports on the annual Eurovision contest, a talent show for countries. [Consider a talent show put on by the State Department …]

So you know, a Swedish singer named Loreen won with a club/disco song called Euphoria. It is apparently essential that you be made aware that she wasn’t wearing shoes when she performed. [No idea why that’s important, but all the reporting mentions it. She may have taken them off when going through airport security, and never got them back.]

The other big thing was the battle of the grandparents between Russia and the UK. The two groups came in second – the Russian grandmothers, Buranovskiye Babushki, were second from the top, and the UK grandfather, Engelbert Humperdinck, came in second to last.

I have to say that I would never have expected that a group of pensioners from a small village singing a traditional song put to a disco beat would have done well.

Norway came in last, but they probably wore shoes.

They changed the rules this year and added ‘professional judges’ whose votes counted for 50% of the final score. The other 50% was based on phone calls and text messages. After last year, when Azerbaijan won, and won the right to host this year’s contest, there was concern that the government apparently knew how everyone in the country voted, and actually invoked sanctions against people who didn’t vote for the ‘home team’, it was thought there might be a problem with all of the votes coming over the Azeri telecommunications system.

It is safe enough to watch the video at the ABC site, as it is only 60 seconds and features the short takes of the winner and the Russian grannies. If you are a musical masochist, here’s the Official Site which contains videos of all the performances in their entirety.


1 Badtux { 05.28.12 at 4:11 pm }

Loreen appears to be the Swedish answer to Bjork. But if she is the answer, what was the question?

I was especially amused by the objections Azerbaijan had over Loreen meeting with human rights activists. Sounds like they didn’t think things through when they decided they wanted to host the show and rigged last year’s vote — short of confiscating all equipment and deporting everybody en masse, how did they hope to control what got televised? Ex-commies just don’t understand mass media, they never did.

– Badtux the Easily Amused Music Penguin

2 Bryan { 05.28.12 at 7:41 pm }

I’m not sure that being on the same stage as ‘The Hump’ is going to help her career, but it launched ABBA to ‘fame’.

This is a prime example of why our Cuban policy has been wrong for half a century. Dictatorships just don’t survive interaction with the outside world, and benefit from external pressure like the US embargo. Every screw-up the Castro government made was explained away as the result of actions by the US.

Watching the Eurovision contest can be an enjoyable experience in the correct environment, like a local pub with a lot of drunk people…