Eurovision: A Beginner’s Guide

 Eurovision is an annual song competition that has been held by the members of the European Broadcasting Union ever since 1956. The program has been one of the longest running in the world, and creates a spectacle amongst the nations every year. The aim of the game, is that every country that enters performs a pop song on live televison filled with fantastical costumes, dance routines and sometimes incredible lipsyncing. After the performance of the song, each different country will vote for other countries giving points which ends up tallying to a total, to find the winner of the competition who returns the following year for another performance.

While it may seem like the average competition that you may see gracing our screens these days with the reality television programs, this one is entirely unique and becomes a party each year.

Eurovision is much more than a pop and television music contest. Each year the previous year’s winning country hosts the event which usually turns into a nation wide ceremony for celebrating the wonders of that nation. With amazing events, festivals and carnivals that take place during this time, it only further accentuates the love behind the program.

Eurovision is probably known best for ABBA’s entry in 1974. The band performed ‘Waterloo’ which essentially created their career and skyrocketed them to international fame. In 1974, the board behind Eurovision finally re-allowed the provision of singing in a foreign language during the competition that still stands today.

The program itself is not known for its groundbreaking ability to find fantastic new artists. All people entering are usually performers who tick the singer-dancer-actor boxes quite well, and know how to put on a show. It almost seems as though every year each countrry is trying to out-do each other with craziest costumes, entertainment tactics and the amount of glitter and strobe lighting used on stage.

It’s not unusual to try interesting tactics in order to gain votes; throughout the competiton’s history there have been songs that basically declare the nation’s winner previous to voting (and gosh-darn that song was catchy, I would’ve voted for them too if I was in the EU), as well as grandma’s playing bass drums, giant metal war-lord robots, and glam rock metal hair bands. Each of these performers have put up a memorable show which has definitely stayed in the minds of those voting. This is just part of what makes Eurovision exciting each year.

Previous to this year, TerryWogan has been in charge of the commentary and translation for the countries who do not give an English translation for the entirety of the program. For this reason alone, the show has gained immense popularity as Wogan’s comments seem to sting more and gain a harsh quality the more he drinks while recording the program. This has spawned many drinking games as well as hundreds of belly laughs as Wogan comments with humour – and sadly, a lot of accurate information which causes the laughs in the first place. Unfortunately, Wogan has decided to retire from the business. It’s fair to say, whoever fills his place must have big feet to fit his shoes.

So in order to watch the Eurovision Song Competition this year, you need to be prepared. Settle yourself and some friends with some great nibblies and some drinks and get ready to laugh. Watch several countries make a fool of themselves on stage, and be wowed by some decent entrants. Have a great giggle at the voting tally at the end of the show, and marvel in the terribly apparent politics involved when it comes for each country’s voting pattern.

Enjoy the competition this year, it’s taking place between the 12th and 16th of May.

 

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