Secret Confession

I have a secret to confess…I love Eurovision!Eurovision Song Contest.svg

Every year, I make the time to sit and watch the semi-finals, and then watch the finals (the last 3 years live, which means a very early – and cold – start to the day). I love the singing, the costumes, the crazy, flamboyant singers who seem to try and outdo one another with their costumes. A Eurovision act will have smoke machines, key changes, language changes, wind machines, costume change…and that’s all in one performance.

Australia has had a love affair with Eurovision for many years (I have been watching since I was a kid) which has been recognised by our inclusion in Eurovision (yup, an Aussie in a European singing contest!). This year, Jessica Mauboy is representing us and I know she’ll do an amazing job. I can’t wait to see her performance.

To quote from Wikipedia (if you aren’t familiar with Eurovision):

The Eurovision Song Contest, often simply called Eurovision, is the longest-running annual international TV song competition. It has been held, primarily, among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy since 1951.

Image result for australia at eurovision

Australian broadcaster Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) first broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest in 1983 and has continued to do so every year since. The contest has attracted a strong viewing audience in Australia, primarily because of the country’s political ties with the European Union, particularly with the United Kingdom.

From 2010 to 2014, SBS allowed Australian viewers to participate in their own televote for the Grand Finals. However, these votes were not counted at the actual contest and did not affect the overall result. The SBS commentary team and Australian delegation were awarded a commentary booth of their own at the 2012 contest in Baku. They have been allocated a commentary booth every year since.

On 24 March 2014, the Danish broadcaster DR gave permission to SBS to perform as an interval act in the second semi-final of Eurovision Song Contest 2014. One day later, on 25 March, Jessica Mauboy was internally selected to perform. On 8 May 2014, Mauboy sang her song “Sea of Flags” in the second semi-final.

Although Australia is outside the European Broadcasting Area, the European Broadcasting Union and Austrian host broadcaster ORF decided to permit an Australian entry to commemorate the 60th Contest. The special circumstances surrounding Australia’s entry and “to not reduce the chances” of the semi-final participants led the organisers to allow Australia to compete directly in the grand final without pre-qualification. Although Australia’s participation in 2015 was announced as a one-off event, Australia has participated ueach year since, including this year, although Australia no longer receives automatic qualification.

To date, Australia has placed 5th, 2nd and 9th.

Do you watch Eurovision?


14 comments on “Secret Confession

  1. A couple of times I have been fortunate enough to be visiting my Dutch relatives in Amsterdam when the Eurovision contest was on. I was fascinated and soon got into the spirit, cheering on my favourite act(s). Loved it!

    • Gosh, for a second then I thought you were going to say you had been to Eurovision – then I would have been terribly jealous. Awesome to find another who loves it =)

  2. I not only don’t watch it, but before your post hadn’t even heard of it, Aj! I’d love to claim that I’d watch it if it were available to me, but that wouldn’t be true. I never tune in to the North American shows, which I now realize must be knock-offs of the long-running Eurovision. It’s not my thing.
    However, do I think it’s great that it brings you such pleasure? Yup, I sure do.

    • It’s very different to all other singing contests as it is country versus country and it’s 3 episodes (the two semi-finals and the gran finale)…so all over in one weekend really. They sing the same song for both the semi-final and final performance and you vote for the country as opposed to the name of the performer. I don’t watch any other singing show – Eurovision is in a class of its own!

  3. I have never heard of it–I can’t believe it! It’s been around almost my entire life. I love the Voice so I suspect I’d like this one, too.

    • No idea if this is aired in the US. I have a feeling it was first aired last year? But if you get the chance you should watch it. As I’ve said, it’s only 3 episodes.

  4. I learned about it a couple of years ago and actually did a few Friday Fives highlighting the top 5 songs from the year. I especially liked the earlier years, when there were many more non-English entries. To be honest, it’s been a little disappointing the last few years, because all the songs sound pretty much the same, the sort of pop that dominates the “___________’s Got Talent!” shows that are so popular these days.

    I’ve never actually seen the show live (I live in the US), but usually watch the performances when they hit YouTube. Was it last weekend, or will it be this coming weekend?

    • The first semi-final was Tuesday night in Europe (early Wednesday morning Aussie time), and I thought it was one of the better semi-finals for a while. I really enjoyed all the performances (usually there is at least one I really don’t like) and there was a lot less reliance on special effects.

      In Australia, there is a drinking game (of course). Have a drink every time there is a wind machine or smoke machine or flames or … It’s quiet a long list. I think after the first semi-final people would have still been sober *grin*.

      Second semi is Thursday night in Europe and their Saturday night is the final. My favourite from semi-final one is Finland, followed by Ireland and Azerbaijan (although Azerbaijan didn’t make it through to the final).

  5. I used to watch it every year when I was young (and in the UK). My interest started to wane in the mid-80s, though, and has never really picked up. It seems to me that for a *song* contest, it’s far more about the performers than the people who wrote the songs (not always the same thing). To make the songs the centerpiece, wouldn’t it be better to get an international group of session musicians/singers to perform the songs, so each song is judged on its own merit regardless of whether you like the band/singer performing? Probably wouldn’t be as entertaining.

    There’s my 2c, anyway. 🙂

    • I’m not sure it would work because a lot of the songs are sung in their native tongue (actually, I’ve noticed this year so far there have been more than in past years in non-English languages). I’ve never thought it was about the song writers, but about the singing of the songs.

      Maybe you should give it another shot, Colin. Maybe it will surprise you 😉

  6. I have to admit, I never get around to it. It’s usually on at a time when I’m with my family. There is always a lot of discussion afterwards about what should or shouldn’t have won. Still, if it’s on SBS I suppose I can watch the online repeats.

    • My family like to watch it as well. We have big discussions on the costumes, singing, dancing, special effects etc. It’s a lot of fun (we also put my parents on speaker phone for the duration of the performance so it’s a real family affair).

  7. I’ve only vaguely heard of this. Good luck to the Australian contestant.

    • Thanks, Liz. Jessica Mauboy is hugely popular in Australia and she did well when she sang at half-time in Eurovision a few years ago so fingers crossed.

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