The Eurovision Song Contest 2010When German TV folded a few years ago I was very diasappointed, as it meant I could no longer count on watching Tatort regularly, and moreover I could not be sure of being able to watch the Eurovision Song Contest.
I got a bit more determined on the latter front this year and found it was being streamed live so my wife and enjoyed three hours on Saturday afternoon soaking up this rather unique cultural experience, a strange mix of good and bad music, of weirdness and blandness, and of a great mix of sort of European cultures (including at various times Israel, Morocco, and strange parts of the old Soviet Union).
The contest involved 25 competing countries, each allowed three minutes for its team to perform a song, and then 39 countries voting at the end. The voting is wildly political - old countries in the Soviet Union seem to vote for one another, whatever their historical hatreds; ditto in the Balkans. There is some logic in this as they are likely familiar with one another's music. One of Russia and Georgia voted heavily for the other! (My favorite vote was for Armenia when the presenter found a coded way of saying his country liked the Armenian singer's cleavage; I will admit I was also impressed.)
There is no question my favorite song was that from Russia.
I have always been a helpless victim of the soulfulness of Slavs!
(Listening to it once again I still love it.)
My second favorite was France.
It was simply zesty!
In the end it was won clearly by Germany's Lena, as SillyWife had predicted. I don't think either of us really got why she won. But in the waiting period before voting she was interviewed and was so disarming and disarmed - "I am freaking out!"
In the end I saw totally why Germany won, and I think it is fair to say why Lena won - a high school senior, still waiting her abitur, who applied rather diffidently to the German part of the competition and just kept winning everyone over. She is an utter charmer.
I hope this year is different and she makes a career of it. That would be unusual.
But thanks Eurovision! That streaming sort of worked this year (occasional burps but pretty good).