It’s the middle of May, and in Europe, that means one thing: Eurovision. The Eurovision Song Contest, a time full of over the top performances with extra effects and extravagance. Think if the Olympics and a singing competition had a baby and threw some glitter and sequins on it and there you go, you have a perfect picture of what Eurovision is. An annual show, that started as a way to bring a fragmented Europe together after World War 2, and it has worked.
It lets every country find a way to express themselves in whatever way they see fit. Whether it is through an iconic disco ball dance number, a group of hard rock ‘monsters’, or Russian grandmothers partying and baking cookies all are truly full of uniqueness and individuality. Eurovision while sometimes lauded as tacky and ridiculous is something that all Europeans can turn to and enjoy.
This year the competition is in Lisbon, Portugal and there is no doubt that there will be memorable performances. The winner of the contest will be chosen through two Semi-Finals (May 8 and 10) and a Grand Final (May 12). The first semi-final saw 19 countries vie for a spot, 10 winning countries then moved onto the final. The ten that advanced in the first round were Austria, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania, Finland, Ireland, and Israel.
The second rounds of semi-finals commence on May 10 where we saw Norway, Romania, Serbia, San Marino, Denmark, Russia, Moldova, The Netherlands, Australia, Georgia, Poland, Malta, Hungary, Latvia, Sweden, Montenegro, Slovenia and Ukraine all try to make the Grand Final. The winners of the second semi-finals were Moldova, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia, and The Netherlands. They will join the winners from the first semi-final, the Big Five (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) and the host country, Portugal in the grand final.
I encourage you to watch if you never have before it a fun experience. You get to see what’s going on outside your own country’s bubble and just be entertained. As I think my French cousin put perfectly: “Eurovision is a beautiful way for countries to share their culture and show the world how music can unite us. And what is great is that each country can vote for another in idea to support them!”
So go out, support, and dance the night away while you’re at it.