Tuesday, April 27, 2010

EUROVISION..... 2010.... Norway.... The European American Idol!

EUROVISION! Have you ever heard of it? I LOVE EUROVISION! It is coming up at the end of May and I am SOOOOO EXCITED! I had NEVER heard of it until I moved here last year. ALL of Europe participates! If you have not heard of it than I am honored to introduce you all to ....EUROVISION!

Every country in Europe (and there are more than you think) like of course, Germany, France, Spain etc ., but also countries like Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, Azerbaijan and Malta. EVERY COUNTRY in Europe sends a music performance to Eurovision. They all hold contests in their individual countries to choose their best performer to represent their countries! And they go all out to try and win. For example last year Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the song for England. OH!!!!....and people like Celine Dion performed for Eurovision. In fact she got discovered representing France on Eurovison and won (1989)! AND.... ABBA got it's start on Eurovision and won in 1974! See it is big!

Last year the Eurovision was held in Moscow because they won Eurovision the year before. This year it is in Norway because a young Norwegian Boy won and NOW.... JUST FOR YOU BACK IN THE STATES (or anyone from around the world).... here is his live video performance from Eurovision Contest 2009 Enjoy! (and notice he is singing in English!)


It was a great song. I think he won cause he is cute. Okay, the way it works is that EVERY country in Europe has a contest to choose their Eurovision song contest representative. The winners all meet up in some country (last year’s winner’s country) and bring huge costumes and sets with them. The week of the contest they have semi final rounds live on TV and the entire Continent of Europe (except those countries participating in the semi-final) get to call in a vote who should move on. All done LIVE, all voting done in ONE HOUR and the seven countries (from EACH semi finals) going on to finals are announced that SAME night. The semi finals are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and the FINALS are Saturday! It is huge. Everyone watches or knows about it. There end up being 21 countries in the finals! At the finals they perform. All countries in Europe vote and then via satellite a representative from each country in Europe announces who their country voted for third place, second place and first place. Points are awarded for each place. A country cannot vote for their own entry. The points are then added up and the country with the most votes wins EUROVISION!

Now as with anything there is controversy.... The Western Countries feel the Eastern block countries favor countries from their region and vote for the countries in their region. I think it is HILARIOUS! All the passion and rivalry that Eurovision brings out! Now some countries choose to go main stream. It is amazing how so many of the songs are in English! I was shocked. BUT the funniest and most entertaining for me was how some of the music was REALLY GOOD....and some so god awful CHEESY! Like check these out:

Sweden...First off she is very UNIQUE looking (very muscular)(like a viking) BUT listen to her voice especially at the end I think she is pretty darn good… and it cracks me up because she is Swedish singing a song half in English and half in French in a contest in Russia and I am an American watching it in Holland sitting next to an Irishman while eating tapas! It is all confusing, intriguing, and a lot for an American to take in. Here she is:


Now one of my favorites (as I got sucked in the Eurovision 2009 and developed Eurovision fever) was Armenia....I mean who knew Armenia had such interesting music. Now these ladies had good voices, good choreography and cool costumes. (I voted for them). They made it to the finals. I even got so obsessed with them that I downloaded their song on iTunes….

YES AMERICAN FOLKS THAST RIGHT you CAN download the Eurovision finalist songs on iTUNES!

Anyway these Armenian (Sisters) are singing half the song in Armenian and half in English. I do not know why they sing in English but I am grateful (btw this song is great to work out with at the gym) so here they are..... MY 2009 favorite....Armenia! (It gets better and better just listen!)


Just a few more that are worth watching:

France...Oh so French.... A modern version of Edith Piaf (there is a Spanish TV intro to this video)


Moldova was very Moldavian (you know those Moldavians!).... Notice the Moldavian Rap!...sort of. YES FOLKS.....Maldivians RAP! So here is Rapping in traditional Moldavian costumes... Ladies and gentlemen I present Moldova..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GGIYX-ClQ4

Now one last one.... I really liked this girl and song from Portugal. I bought her song too...

OH ALL RIGHT...I have a confession.... I bought EVERY song from every finalist on iTunes. I became obsessed! I admit it...

Now the young lady from Portugal sings in Portuguese and I do not know what the heck she is saying but I like her and she sounds pretty and she makes me want to go to Portugal and drink Port wine! She also got very emotional when singing in the finals. It was very touching.


A few others to mention are Ukraine, Israel, Malta and Turkey. The men who run my Winkel (Dutch for Corner Store) are from Turkey and they were VERY excited by the Woman singing for Turkey. She was good(Chakira-esque). I am telling you these performers are all mega stars in their own countries! You can Google YouTube (the country) 2009 Eurovision to check out YOUR favorite country AND NOW you can do the same now for the 2010 contestants (at the moment I like Ireland).

Eurovision is like the Miss Universe pageant of music! Except only in Europe! (Those close to me know I love me a Pageant (don't judge!)) (except Baby Pageants or little girl ones like on Toddler and Tiaras... Do ya'll know that show? Uggh they show it here in EUROPE! WHY? It is really disturbing and makes the U.S. look a bit insane!)

I guess I am so entertained by EUROVISION because of the diversity, the quality, and the cultures. Also how some countries were so good and some were just awful AND how at thirty (something) I had NEVER heard of this! EUROVISION is really big. I am so excited about Eurovision that this year I am hosting a Eurovision party. I have Dutch, Americans and a few English coming over. I am serving Mexican. We are all cheering for our countries (except me as an American) and, I have to say, although I live in Holland now.... I am not rooting for Holland…. Last year’s Dutch entry was... well.... embarrassing .... and unfortunately this year is not much better…. The Dutch have “different” taste in music.... Alright I am not going to sugar coat it: last year the Dutch entry was just plain awful and tacky! BUT that is part of what makes Eurovision GREAT and ENTERTAINING! So for your enjoyment.... here they are.... The Dutch.....


I hope you all can watch Eurovision this year! It starts the last week of May broadcasting from Oslo Norway on possibly one of the BBC channels and throughout Europe!

P.S.: The next big entertainment thing in Europe after Eurovision is the World Cup soccer. Which occurs only every 4 years... I am scared because major plans are already being made throughout Europe. I am sure I will be writing about that.


  1. Kenbo,

    So glad you've discovered Eurovision! Here's a scary number. Superbowl 44 viewers, 105.6 million. Eurovision 2009 viewers, 112 milion.

    I'm going to be writing about Eurovision, and attendign the show this year, you'll find me here (bit.ly/ewanesc) ... and I' have a podcat abotu Eurovision as well!

  2. I think it was Ukraine's entry last year that had me cracking up the most. So fantastically over the top and unintentionally hilarious. I didn't vote, but I was happy the Norwegian kid won last year. His song was my favorite.

  3. I've booked my ticket to come to Kenovision 2010. I'm all excitypants!

  4. Ok, this blog post cracked me up Ken! I discovered Eurovision in Holland too. Years ago when I was visiting randomly in May I had dinner at my friend's house and he told me that I was in luck because it was Eurovision night. Euro-what? lol

    Indeed it was a wonderful night of horrible performances and cheese. FANTASTIC! I still cringe at the expression the scary Irish representative had on his face during his performance.

    Oh, and notice that I didn't say anything mean to John in this post (even though I know you'd love for me to. ;).

    ~Real Friend ™

  5. Okay Ken- you have sold me on Eurovision and I've been in Nederland for EIGHT years!!! I have never been so darn excited about it until after reading your post! But yes, some of the acts are very corny. Check out some of the past acts in the 80...



  6. I'm back- just watched De Toppers. Oh Lord. I had to look away and ask, 'whhhhhhhy???'

  7. Ewan - Thanks for the INCREDIABLE stats. Also you are going? I want to go? I want to be one of your reports. I am so jealous!

    Kerryanne- I know the TOPPERS? What the???? Why??? and I got to say this yeras is not much better. Have yo seen her? Ugggh! Oh am so happy I will not be the only ex-pat, dressed in costumes, laughing and cheering. It is a hoot!

    John we are going to have a eurovisiontastic time!

    Derrick- come again. Although Ireland (as I said) is my front runner this year. I need to preview them all again


  8. Hee hee... want to go even more international? Here's a Dutch expat reading your blog from New Zealand :-)

    I really enjoy it because a) as an expat I know all about getting to know the quirky things in your new country, and b) it is hilarious looking in the mirror that someone from another country puts in front of you. Most of it is so recognizeable.

    About the Dutch submissions: after all the eastern European countries joined, it looked like quality didn't really matter anymore. Just be outrageous and you'll score high. For about 6 years Holland tried with serious high quality mainstream songs (at least, *we* thought they were). As that didn't get us even into the finals, I think they now just try to be cheesy. That way, when we don't win we now actually CAN say we deserved it :-)

    The guy who wrote the submission for this year was hugely popular as a Dutch folk singer in the '70s and '80s. You could call it the Dutch hillybilly style (with that I mean it is a locally acquired taste, rather than that the styles are similar).

    His most popular hits were

    "The Smurf Song"
    It was even exported to Germany:


    "Het kleine café aan de haven" (The small pub at the harbour)

    Enjoy (or cringe) :-)

  9. The third link should have been

    (it was the same as the second link)