You know Céline Dion, ABBA, and Julio Iglesias but did you know how they got their start? I didn’t know this, but it was with Eurovision, the singing contest that way predates American Idol.
This contest began in 1956, is one of the longest-running tv shows ever, with the largest viewing audience outside of sporting events. I was vaguely aware of this contest last year, and now I am less vaguely aware of it, especially since it is so ephemeral, lasting only a few rounds.
The night we spent in Fribourg was the finals for this year’s contest, and our hosts as well as their Lithuanian roommate, Gintare, were very interested in the outcome of the contest, so we gathered around the internet to watch the final 20 countries compete.
Gintare was very excited that her country was represented in the finals, but she was under no illusion that they would win. It was her pure pleasure just to have her country invited to the party.
The broadcast started at 21.00 and we were in bed before the final acts performed, and certainly before the voting was cast and counted and the winner declared. The first question we asked in the morning was, “Who won?” The answer was Sweden with Russia in second place. I wasn’t aware that Russia was in Europe. … Then I found out that other countries can be invited to participate. This year was Australia’s debut year as a participant.
You can watch the winning song here.
You can read our Two Small Potatoes friends’ blog post about it here. Trust me, you’ll enjoy that post!