Eurovision: What Does an Actual European Think?

Eurovision may have Australians glued to their televisions but what does an actual European think about the world’s biggest song contest? Camilla Lian shares her thoughts.

It comes as a surprise to me every year, one I thought I had escaped by moving to Australia in 2013. But it’s back again, appearing as a whirlwind of pink haze, glitter and crappy songs on the radio that makes me realise “Oh, it’s that time of the year again.”

That’s right, the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest is here.

Growing up in Norway, I’ll have to admit that I loved this stuff when I was a kid. I was super fascinated by all the dresses, the weird outfits, all the colours, and the excitement of who gets the magic 12 points, the maximum amount of points each country can give another (see here for an explanation on how Eurovision voting works).

As the years passed, however, I understood why my parents’ sarcastically guessed who would get the points from each country. If you start paying more attention, you’ll see that they all vote for their neighbouring countries first anyway. Portugal must have been surprised to win last year as their only neighbouring country is Spain.

I guess you could say that I’m a little spiteful. Just a little. I mean, the 12 points were actually magical to me when I was younger and I keep hoping they might change back into a surprise again.

Despite being from Europe, I’m not saying that I know more about Eurovision than Australians. On the contrary, Australians seems to be more excited about it than any other nationality I have ever met. It’s actually a little endearing, and I am delighted you were allowed to enter for the first time in 2015. Now, what you don’t know yet, is how it feels to win the thing. Let’s hope you figure it out this year so I can stop patronising you.

So, what does Eurovision mean when your country wins? Well, I’ll answer that with a question. Do you remember Fairytale by Alexander Rybak? No? I didn’t think so. It was the 2009 Eurovision winner and came from, as you might have guessed, Norway. I have NEVER been so continuously exposed to a song in my entire life as I have been to that song! We actually went on a holiday to Greece and I still couldn’t avoid hearing it at least ten times a day. Although we were all thrilled about the win at the start, we got over Alexander’s slightly faltering, too-happy voice very fast. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way about We Got Love by Jessica Mauboy if it wins this year.

I recently asked a friend from Bulgaria what he thinks about Eurovision, and he had the best reply I have ever heard: “It’s the best drinking game there is!”

How you play your Eurovision drinking game is up for debate, of course. Do you add the rule where you have to skull your drink every time 12 points are predictably given to a neighbouring country? My Bulgarian friend even suggested speaking in the accent of the winner for the rest of the night (morning for Australians).

If for some reason you want to celebrate this colourful evening Norwegian style, I suggest baking a cake full of berries, chocolate and whipped cream, pop a bottle of champagne, and put on the most flamboyant clothes you can find. It’s the only way to do this.

There is really not that much more to say about Eurovision, except that one of the ‘fun’ facts I found says that winning it rarely results in long-term success. So, I will end this by adding an iconic video of the best contribution that has ever been made to Eurovision. Still going strong after 8 years!

Feature Image: Screenshot from Eurovision Song Contest, via Youtube.

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