I moved here at the end of June 2008 and began reading a lot of the expat blogs around May. One thing that I had never heard of was something called Eurovision (here and here).
Even though I missed it, I was determined to see it the next year!
Eurovision, for those that don't know, is a (cheesy) song and dance competition among countries of the European Broadcasting Union (not to be confused with the European Union). To get a feel, think American Idol meets World Cup meets Miss America (and although there was plenty of cleavage, Eurovision does not pay for any breast implants). It is the most watched non-sporting event in the World with estimates of 100-600 million viewership.
In other words, it is so bad, it is somehow good!
If I didn't know any better, watching this contest made me think (why they were making everyone speak in really bad English) that everyone here was just one big happy family. Sure, Russia didn't just recently cut off Ukraine's gas supplies, Azerbaijan and Armenia don't have a serious border dispute, etc...
Nevermind that... now onto the music...
I really dug this folk-sounding song from Moldova.
Of course, like any major competition, it is not without it's controversy. Germany, as usual, was told to show less nipple with their song Miss Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with American Strip tease artist Dita Von Teese. I actually thought this song would finish higher due to the fact that I couldn't get it out of my head. (Isn't that a prerequisite?)
The winner of the contest, Norway, was seen having a caviar lunch with one of the judges.
One of its most endearing features is featuring the downright bizarre.
Why is a Czech Republic Superman rapping about gypsies?
Why was Cher performing for Ukraine complete with boy toy Roman gladiators? (I think one of the lyrics at 2:05 is "You my sexy bum")
Why is Green Sparkly Spider Man accosting this very short 16-year-old Barbie from Albania?
Estonia did a great job complete with dark goth women and their mini-orchestra.
You can read more witty blogger accounts from CDHeidelbergerin, Germany doesn't Suck, The Queer Expatriate and Charlotte's Web.
Luckily for us, for one night, they were able to put their disputes aside and settle it...with a song!