Wednesday, July 14, 2010

EUROVISION Song Contest 2010

Have you ever heard of this annual musical competition? ? The host nation is determined by who won the previous contest. Last year, in the 54th such European-wide contest, Norway's Alexander Rybak danced, fiddled and sang his way to victory with a FAIRYTALE. Next year, Germany will be the host country, since their nominee, 18-year old, Lena Meyer-Landrut (now, just LENA), recently won in Norway. In fact, she had nearly 90 points more than her nearest competitor (maNga, from Turkey).

Lena also seemed to have won over Alexander Rybak; for fun, you can check this out here . And, with some German text, including from the Host of the Interactive German TV show which selected Lena to represent Germany, there's more on the infatuation subject .

Maybe now's the time to listen to Lena's winning song, SATELLITE. What do you think of it?

Some of Lena's stiffest competition this year came from another 18 year old, Azerbeijan's Safura, whose fan base continues to widen. Just before EUROVISION, she was her country's entry in the EUROPEAN TOP MODEL contest, where she was the runner up. Safura's EUROVISION entry starts slowly and builds into something fairly dramatic. It's called DRIP-DROP, which many find quite catchy. (It's been drumming through my ears for awhile now.) Check it out here:

Did you listen long enough to hear the dramatic build-up? Did you find the "drip-drop" chorus "catchy," too? Safura came in 5th place in this year's EUROVISION Song Contest. Between Lena and Safura, how might you have voted?

Now that Lena has brought the 56th Annual EUROVISION Song Contest to Germany, plans are underway to host this major event. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, you might be wondering how Lena was selected to represent Germany this year. Lots of Germans were embarrassed by their musical representative last year, a swing-jazz number called MISS KISS, KISS BANG, which finished in 20th place. Maybe you would have been embarrassed too. While the composer/producer/pianist (Alex Christensen) is German, the singer (Oscar Loya) is actually a Californian actor. See the result for yourself: HERE

I can't include the live (official EUROVISION) number here (it's just embarrassing).

So Entertainer Stefan Raab was given the task of beefing up the selection process. Raab devised an interactive TV competition called OUR STAR IN OLSO. As the weeks went on, various competitors were eliminated until just Jennifer Braun and Lena remained. They each were assigned various musical tasks, and then the public selected which of them performed best, and deserved the honor of representing Germany in the 2010 EUROVISION. One of those tasks was to sing an original number. Another was to perform the song, SATELLITE. Jennifer's version of this song takes a much slower tempo. See what you think about her performance .

Just like in the USA, these contests which offer significant exposure to the public really do change people's lives. Following the careers of this cast of characters can prove entertaining.

Did you notice that these performers are singing in English? It used to be a condition of EUROVISION that at least a certain percentage of each entry be performed in the language native to that nation, but this seemed to unfairly burden the smaller competing nations, so that qualification has been dropped for now. Of the 39 entries, 16 were sung in the national language.

According to Wikipedia, Greece, France*, Serbia, Israel, Spain and Portugal all reached the finals with songs performed in their native languages this year's EUROVISION, with these corresponding results: 7; 8; 10; 12; 19; and 20.

The countries which performed in their native languages but didn't make it out of the semi-final bracket include: Croatia; Bulgaria*; Finland; Holland; Macedonia; Poland*; Slowakia; Slowenia; and Switzerland.

One final tally here is a short list of countries represented by songs sung in English, but their entry did not make the final cut: Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; Malta; and Sweden.

* indicates that some segments of their entries were sung in English.

One final link here. Great Britain didn't seem to find an advantage of singing in English. Their entry, Josh Dubovie, who sang THAT SOUNDS GOOD TO ME, finished in LAST PLACE, the third time this has happened. Here's the song, as well as commentary from the press in the UK regarding the number. LINK

Finishing in last place can be stressful, but Josh seemed to handle the competition well. Do you fault the singer? The song? The production? The costumes?

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