Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eurovision: A History

It's the 55th Anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest today! So, I could say I waited until today to do my first blogpost, because I didn't want to inundate everyone with another slew of Eurovision posts. I mean, yeah sure, that's EXACTLY why I haven't posted until now. (It wasn't because I am so technically inept, that I still can't link this Blog to my Facebook Notes; or that I have been jet-lagged; or that I made much ado about nothing about this being my first Blog entry...like, EVER). That said, let's get to the good stuff?

So, 55 years ago today, the European Broadcasting Union hosted seven European nations in Lugano, Switzerland for a friendly music competition and called it Eurovision Song
Contest (Concours Eurovision de la chanson, in French, which was really the only language that mattered back then). Each country was represented by two musical acts, chosen by their respective countries' own broadcasting organizations, with the firm rule that the lyrics of each entry had to written and performed in the own national language(s) of each participating country. With four national languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh), Switzerland was seen to have a natural advantage, especially with the United Kingdom (along with Austria and Denmark) disqualified due to a late entry submission issue. Of the two Swiss songs performed by Lys Assia, Refrain controversially came out the winner for the first host of the Contest (she was interviewed several times during this year's contest). Incidentally, through its many years participating in the Contest, Switzerland has been represented by each of its national languages (along with English after the national language rule was nixed), but has only won in French. This first win would also be the only time Swiss would take home the trophy until the appearance of a young Celine Dion in 1988 with Ne partez pas sans moi (Do not leave without me -excuse the audio quality). This is pre chest-pounding, Titanic theme song belting, $500 a ticket Vegas shows Celine. It's almost vintage (witness the hair, the teeth and my G-d, that dress).

If you know me at all, you also know that whatever Celine does or says, she is NEVER EVER wrong. She is in fact F***ing Amazing (I had to throw this clip in here...I laugh every time I see it) and OMG, I just realized this is directly related to being exposed to her at such an early age in French, in her natural state (before the professionals got the style on her). No other act could ever compare to Celine in her Eurovision finesse (ahem, that goes out to you Colbie Caillat wannabe Swiss chick singing that plagiarized song of yours and coming in last this year. HA-see, there is some justice in the Eurovision world).

Oh yeah, click here to watch the winners from Azerbaijan. I thought they would get Top 5, but win? The theory out there is that because Turkey didn't make the final this year, Azerbaijan's Top-5 worthy song got the boost of all the votes Turkey would have gotten from the immigrant populations living in various countries. I tend to believe there's A LOT of truth to that. It wasn't quite the landslide victory Lena had last year, but it was decisive. Oh well, so much for Eurovision in Tel Aviv or Stockholm or Copenhagen next year. Burke, I had a fantastic time on this trip with you...I cannot thank you enough for our crazy German/Eurovision tour! For realz yo!

I'm up for 2013, how about you (*depending on hosting country, of course)?

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