I’m sure all of you have been closely watching the results of the Eurovision Song Contest as they’ve been streaming for the past few days. But for the uneducated, uncultured masses, The Eurovision Song Contest is an international song contest open only to Europe. Basically it’s the greatest thing ever, and not because some its music is genuinely interesting (most of it is actually terrible), but because the bombastic performances are irresistibly captivating.
Artists that I particularly enjoyed this year, for sheer novelty: Norwegian Adam Lambert (Tooji), Italian Amy Winehouse (Nina Zilli), Russia’s dance music grandmothers (Buranovskiye Babushki), and the San Marino song about Facebook.
The contest begins as each participating country sends one artist to represent them. Deciding on a representative act often comes down to preliminary contests held in individual countries, such as Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. The contestants are split into two semi-finals, from which the top artists move on to the Grand Final, in which viewers and special juries from each country vote on the winner. Representatives from France, the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the host country are automatically entered into the final. The winning country hosts the competition the following year.
Because the participants must often be middle-of-the-road to attract a lot of votes, the overwhelming amount of winners are over-produced pop stars. This means that songs representing obscure genres seldom win. Moreover, while many popular artists have graced the stages of Eurovision and won, including Katrina and the Waves (the United Kingdom), ABBA (Sweden), and Celine Dion (Switzerland), most winners delve back into the obscurity from whence they came. Still, because the contestants are judged live, a good singing voice is usually required.
2012 did offer some engaging, albeit formulaic artists. I will rank the top 12 artists as I would have picked them, compared to the actual outcome.
The Official Rankings
1. Sweden – Loreen, “Euphoria”
2. Russia – Buranovskiye Babushki, “Party for Everyone”
3. Serbia – Željko Joksimović, “Nije ljubav stvar”
4. Azerbaijan – Sabina Babayeva, “When the Music Dies”
5. Albania – Rona Nishliu, “Suus”
6. Estonia – Ott Lepland, “Kuula”
7. Turkey – Can Bonomo, “Love Me Back”
8. Germany – Roman Lob, “Standing Still”
9. Italy – Nina Zilli, “L’amore è femmina (Out of Love)”
10. Spain – Pastora Soler, “Quédate conmigo”
11. Moldova – Pasha Parfeny, “Lăutar”
12. Romania – Mandinga, “Zaleilah”
1. Italy – Her singing was fantastic. I loved the mix of English and Italian. Also, her backup singers cracked me up.
2. Sweden – She was so much fun! I enjoyed her spastic arm movements quite a bit. Although, her one backup dancer was strange. He was wearing all black, so I felt like he wasn’t supposed to be seen, but he was dancing, too.
3. Spain – She was a pretty good singer.
4. Albania – She can really hold a note! Still, her hair looked like a rope that was also surgically implanted into her clavicle. Albanian Björk?
5. Pasha Parfeny – His trumpet makes you his, girl. Keeping theme with hilarious backup dancers. Also an equally hilarious arm dance.
6. Azerbaijan – She and Pastora Soler seem to think that it’s ok to just stand on stage and sing while in a wedding dress. Still, I enjoyed her song.
7. Romania – Fine, danceable song. Cute girl. Again, wonderfully humorous backup musicians, including a bagpipe.
8. Serbia – He had these weird twin violinists in his backup ensemble. He can croon like a Serbian Michael Bublé, but eh.
9. Estonia – He’s a good enough singer, I just wasn’t a huge fan.
10. Russia – The Party Grandma thing was a bit weird for me.
11. Germany – His song was boring and I hated his beanie. Also, his song was a bit too “Big Time Rush” for me.
12. Turkey – He was really bad. His backup dancers looked like bats and they scared me. And then they turned into a ship and I about lost it. But seriously, how did he get 7th place?
Honorable Mention – Tooji from Norway. His song was bad, but he’s pretty cute. And isn’t that what pop music is all about? Though there were cries of outrage based on his ethnicity (he’s Iranian-Norwegian) and his perceived sexual orientation, I really think he lost because his song was not so great. He lost on his birthday.
So there you have it. My picks for who really should have won the Eurovision Song Contest. Still, I’m super excited for the spectacle of next year.
This Year’s Winner:
-Thomas Welch, Blog Writer