I’d heard of Eurovision a few times before.
Like when my boyfriend requested “Euphoria” at a birthday party in a nightclub. Don’t understand why that’s embarrassing? Here you go.
But then May 2013 rolled around. And now my life will never be the same.
If you’ve never heard of or seen the Eurovision before, think:
A Europe-only Olympics
+ That part of The Hunger Games where the Tributes are in the Capitol being interviewed on TV
+ Actresses that play pop stars in movies
The people are just as ridicul…I mean, fabulous. The presenting is just as awkward. And the patriotism is just as mind-boggling.
Several months ago, the Irish finals were held, where Ireland picked an act to represent them at the Eurovision. They picked this guy.
This weekend, he’ll compete against acts from all over Europe. Here are a few things you should know before you watch:
1. You don’t know jack s*** about Europe. I’m not transparent enough to admit to you here which countries I didn’t know were countries before yesterday.
But don’t be surprised if you find yourself in the same position while watching the semifinals.
2. It’s a popularity contest. The winner of Eurovision is picked via popular vote and a judging panel, however, nobody can vote for his or her home country.
Logically, then, people vote for the countries they like. Cleavage and shirtless dudes also help.
3. Eastern Europe is cooler than you thought. According to my housemates, the Eastern European countries are the cheerleaders of Europe. They have so many similar, friendly neighbors. (Hint: The ones I didn’t know were actually countries.)
Isolated islands without friends, like Ireland and the UK, are at a disadvantage. Should’ve rethought all those invasions, huh, Britain?
But according to The Guardian, the Eastern Europe conspiracy theory isn’t true. (#6 below would also refute the theory.)
4. There are languages you didn’t know existed. A lot of the countries sing in their native tongue, but even more sing in English. After all, will people who are not from Belarus enjoy a song entirely in Belarusian? (Yeah, that’s a language.)
There’s no way to predict, but it’s a risk to sing in a language that most people won’t be able to sing along with.
5. The previous year’s winner hosts the contest. And it will be a 2-hour-long tourism commercial for said country.
…And I guess it kinda works. After all, who could place Azerbaijan on a map before they hosted in 2012?
(Azerbaijan won for this in 2011.)
6. Ireland is the best, period, game over. At a grandiose 7, Ireland comes first in number of Eurovision wins. And they will not let you forget it.
My Irish friends theorize the dry spell is because 1996 was the last time Ireland could afford to win. An effect of the Celtic Tiger you didn’t expect, huh?
Much like hosting the Olympics, hosting the Eurovision the year after winning is hella expensive! So, like in most sports, you can just throw the game! This is such a popular theory on Ireland’s losing streak that there’s even a “Father Ted” episode about it.
Ted’s song is chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision, so that they will not win. Check out Ted’s entry about a lovely horse here.
Anyway, conspiracy theories aside, I can’t wait for the Eurovision semifinals tonight or the finals on Saturday!
I’m not going to lie to you, my trusted readers. I did, indeed, spend the last hour (or two or three) YouTubing past Eurovision entries.
So I’ll leave you with my favorite: the 2009 winner, from Norway. Click here to see a guy sing and dance around while playing the violin!