Today in the evening the european song contest is going to be held. This year the event is broadcasted from Moscow and there are down to 25 European contries (from a larger definition of Europe) in the final. The competition is decided through telephone/SMS voting and jury which are giving points to the other participants. The next year the national broadcasting company of the winning country is responsible for hosting the event again. The event is one of the oldest competition broadcasted through television and was supposed to make a cultural, musical European comunity in a postwar Europe. The first competition was first broadcasted in 1956 and in Norway from 1960 (the first year of regular broadcasting in Norway).
The is a lot said about the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), everything from tactics where every country is voting for the weakest opponent and the probably worst song is winning the competition. Another fact is that its a lot of incredably tacy songs and performances. Less is absolutly not more in a ESC context.
Eventhough that I’m not a fan of the ESC I think its a funny consept. A lot of nations compete against each other and try catch the charisma and fasination of the other nations. Often with a integration of their own culture. Some contries are also hiding national feelings and politics behind their songs. An example is this years disqualification of Georgia due to their political messages in the song. Its also typical that countries are voting for their neighbors and other contries they identify them self with. An example of variety of European music and cultural identity can also be found in the founding of MTV Europe. Af first it was just one station, but afterwards they was splitting it up in four regions to reach the audience better.
ESC can also be looked at as a media event. Its something which draws our attention and works as a pause in our everyday life. This could be seen in ESC parties around Europe. Groups of friends and families are getting together to watch it. Its presented as a “must-watch” event in the weeks before the competition, and its get a lot of media attention. At the same time its working as a training arena for the public broadcasting companies which are trying to improve the technical aspect of sending such an event. At the same time the program is made for television, from its name its understandable that its a television event, and it would not be possible to arrange without television and probably no fun without television.
Well, tonight I’m going out to watch ESC or as we name it here in Norway “Grand Prix”. It going to be fun to sit there in the living room with friends and sing and cheer when something happens. Not because I care bear about it, but because its fun. So tonight its going to be fun to watch that we are winning.