Any self-respecting European will be watching the finals next week of the Eurovision song contest final on the 29 th of May, if only to poke fun. This year’s contest is being hosted in Oslo. Last year’s winner Norwegian Russian Alexander Rybak, won the 2009 competition with the wonderfully catchy Fairytale. I was lucky and got to see this live last summer at the outdoor stage at Rica Maritime hotel in Haugesund and it was entrancing.
I was first made aware of this tradition in 1993 on my first visit to Norway at a party. We sat talking and drinking in my now husband’s friend’s one room flat with the TV blaring in the background. I just didn’t get how much national pride was at stake. The contest has changed since I first saw it, thank goodness – earlier all countries were required to submit songs in their own language which was sometimes very beautiful and moving and other times just weird.
There is a lot of hype in Oslo about the finals and I think it will be quite spectacular but Norway’s finalist for the competition was a safe ballad. A very beautiful ballad performed by Didrik Solli-Tangen mind you, but maybe a little boring? Take a peek for yourself
Germany on the other hand has a catchy tune by a Lena singing about her blue underwear. Strange lyrics – not OwlCity strange, just bad English strange, not to mention her very odd accent. Is it cockney meets Nashville meets Brooklyn? Listen for yourself. Maybe she should have sung in German.
I am not sure who to cheer for this year. We are living in Germany and should maybe show some support? But Norway is a very small country, not more than 5 million people, so, of course I know someone who is related to the composer of this song. I guess I have to cheer for Norway.