Saturday, May 10, 2014

What's the Deal with Eurovision?

Austria's Conchita Wurst
My dear ex-pat; entrepreneur; adventurer friend Adam (a handsome, towering gentle giant I first met in 94 when he played Theseus in my production of Midsummer...) is currently living in London with his equally awesome wife. After wishing him a happy birthday on Facebook, he asked if I was watching the annual Eurovision song contest. I admitted that I was not (I'm not even sure FiOS carries a channel that would air it), but had caught snippets online. He then posted a several clips, including one of Austria's entrant Conchita Wurst and her song "Rise Like a Phoenix." And while I knew who Conchita was (and that she riled up the homophobes running Russia these days), I don't know that I had actually seen her perform. Turns out, "Rise Like a Phoenix" (which - SPOILER ALERT - won today) is a pretty good song. The fact that the contest was won by a sexually ambiguous* performer, makes it all the sweeter.

*Conchita has described herself as "...a gorgeous woman with a beard." I am not one to argue with her. Of course, Conchita is not the first of her kind. Long before anyone had ever heard of Conchita, Bulgari's goateed Azis was making headlines and waves with his gender-bending music videos. 

Adam also suggested I check out Finland's entry, the Finnish Boy Band Softengine and their entry, "Something Better."

He found them a cross between A-HA and Erasure and while I mostly agree, I think we should add a dash of Pet Shop Boys.

Now, I understand talent contests. But a song contest? Each country competing only gets one song? Does it get performed over and over? How do they whittle it down to a winner? I just don't get it. 

More, anon.

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