I’ve recently moved to Everett, WA, but I find myself in Sweden again for a couple of weeks and just in time to be caught up in the voting for Sweden’s Eurovision candidate. A quick Wikipedia search will tell you that Eurovision has gone on since 1958 and launched careers for among others ABBA, Julio Iglesias and Celine Dion. Starting with just seven countries 1956 in the pre-Eurovision contest, today it boasts 39 entries to compete in its 58th year.
Each country has their own criteria for choosing their competing song. How Sweden picks their song has changed through the years, but today there are a number of semi-final competitions around the country, Swedes call in the vote for their favorite song and the winners of each semi-final compete in a final in Stockholm.
There is some discussion that since there is such a wide diversity in music taste in the whole of Europe that only the middle of the road “bubblegum pop” songs win. Living in Sweden for 17 years, I’ve seen the popularity of Melodifestivalen (Eurovision) wax and wane. There seems to be once again excitement about it since Sweden won last year with the song “Euphoria” by Loreen , which means Sweden will be hosting Eurovision 2013 in Malmö. Thousands of Europeans will descend on the little city with a population of 664,000.
My experience and memories of the Eurovision Song Contest has been nothing but fun. Even if the participants are bad, it’s fun to talk about at work on Monday. Some entries have been incredible good and you can still hear them on the radio today. When my children were younger we’d buy snacks and a big bag of candy (plockgodis) and made a family evening out of giving our own ratings to the songs. They each got to call in their vote for which song they thought should go on in the competition. Some people have Eurovision parties, a smaller version perhaps of Super Bowl parties. Which reminds me… I better get down to the store to buy supplies. Tonight is the fourth and final semi-final. Army Of Lovers are on first and they ALWAYS give a good show.
Natália Kelly – Shine (Austria 2013 Eurovision Song Contest)
Hannah – Straight Into Love (Slovenia 2013 Eurovision Song Contest)
Eurovision 2013 Norway: Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love
Ireland Eurosong 2013 Zoe Alexis – Fire (Official Music Video)
Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Belgium: Roberto Bellarosa – Love Kills