If you live in Europe — about 30 percent aNewDomain.net readers do — you know tonight is the big night when finals begin for the Eurovision 2012 song competitions. People go crazy for it. The winner takes the prize Saturday, May 26, 2012.
Americans who’ve missed out on the excitement can catch up on this wildly popular Euro phenom below : ) Great find from our +Thomas Ewing. Meet Loreen.
Caption: Loreen, Sweden’s Eurovision entrant singing “Euphoria.”
US news coverage of Eurovision usually apes UK news coverage. So there’s a weird, somewhat bitter tone behind the kitsch behind this some 60 year 40 plus countrywide competition in Europe.
The contest is hottest in continental Europe. Take the Nordic stations. A dozen have banded for a European series — in it critics play and grade each song from each country’s entrants.
Catch the semi-finals and finals live tonight and Saturday. The show starts at 2100 CET (Central European Time). So, 2100 CET (9 p.m. in Paris/Berlin/Rome) is 2000 GMT (8 p.m. London), and noon in San Francisco. If you are like us on the US West Coast you can have a Eurovision luncheon.
Good luck to the finalists! Here is Bosnia-Herzogovina semi-finalist Maya Zar, singing “You Know the Steps.”
Caption: Bosnia-Herzegovina entrant Maya Sar singing “Korake Ti Znam” (“You know the steps”)
This year is shaping up as somewhat of a battle of the Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Greece, Serbia) versus the Baltics (Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden). The Norwegian and Swedish entrants show how much more multicultural those countries have become in recent years with respective ethnic Iranian and Moroccan entrants. The UK has entered 76-year-old Engelbert Humperdinck who still sports 1970s mutton chop sideburns. The Spanish entrant has been told not to win because Spain can’t afford to host next year’s competition if they win.
Caption: Engelbert Humperdinck singing “Love Will Set You Free.” Humperdinck says he’ll be happy if he can reach the high note at the end.
All 40 entrant videos are available on the Eurovision website: http://www.eurovision.tv/ (The videos are also on Youtube if this site is down, which happens right about now due to high demand.)
This year’s final is in Baku, Azerbaijan because Azerbaijan won last year’s competition. (Don’t see that city’s name very often in datelines). On Saturday, the 26 finalists will compete for the title. Azerbaijan, last year’s winner, is the host for this year’s event.
The Eurovision rules define “Europe” according to the ITU’s definition, which means that “Europe” also includes parts of North Africa and western Asia.
Past winners include Abba and Celine Dion, who obtained Swiss residency in order to compete.
Yes, many of the acts are a bit amateurish, but where else are you going to hear Malta’s top pop star or someone singing plaintively in Serbo-Croatian or Lithuanian, or a happy jingle from Moldavia, sometimes considered the world’s least happy country?