ESC 2013 Aftermath

Now there are only teardrops left. Tears of laughter in my case. I’m emotionally exhausted after this years grand finale of ESC. A big thank you to Moldovia, Greece and Romania for their contributions. I nearly fell off my sofa when they came on. Greece was really fun, though. A team of soccerreferees in kilts with the worlds smallest lute, going at it like a balkan brass band. This is the kind of stuff I live for. Romania also did awesome – a musician friend texted me that he’d rather shave his privates with a badger. All very nice indeed.

Actually, my real favorites were Malta, Hungary and particularly Spain. Heck, their songs I could probably stand to hear on the radio repeatedly. Denmarks music piece that will be blasted all summer I will shun as I am already tired of it. The danes only got 5 checks in my book, so the performance wasn’t really that special either. Norway had by far the most epileptic lightshow, Moldova hairdo of the year, Finland took the costume award, Ukraine the biggest giant on stage… I’m sure the Prince of Eurotrash, designer Jean Paul Gaultier in the audience approved.

In fact it was Sweden who scored the highest on my scoresheet. They had the most complete show according to my standards, but sometimes it takes more than that. Poor Ireland had flirty eyecontact, gayfactor, bodhran drums, celtic tattoos and all, and yet they were barely voted on by their neighbours. It’s truly hard to predict the outcome. I only guessed 3 of the top ten, so I’m not placing any bets next year. It was fun, though. Totally worth it. I love that not all the crazyness is left behind in the national selections so cynics like me have something to look forward to in Copenhagen 2014 ūüôā

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Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Finale

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Jorå, formuläret finns på svenska med, kolla längst ner.

So, it’s here. The culmination of all our entertainers efforts. The night of flashing smiles and sparkling outfits. Or the other way around. Either way, it’s all settled at this one event. Every competing nation sits expectantly in front of their TV sets, ready to cheer, vote, and diss the opposition. I have just the thing for this occasion – a score sheet!

Granted, I’m not a ESC fan. In fact, I tend to avoid it, but always end up seeing it anyway. But it’s been around since at least colour TV. I still love the harmless bickering and bragging between nations, and not being a sportsfan, this is as close I get to nationalism. From the Te Deum trumpet fanfare to the disappointed aftermath (with a few exceptions – are there any nations who has never won?) it’s a part of me as an European. This, I believe, entitles me to make as much fun at it as I like. The Score Sheet is therefore focusing on the things that make ESC entertaining for me. Feel free to peruse, spread, be annoyed by, just don’t take it too seriously.

Just in case you have no idea what this is about, here is a brief introduction to the bizarreness that is a European song contest.

ESC 2013 Finale Scoresheet

ESC 2013 Final Röstformulär

ESC 2013 Final Röstformulär

Eurovision Song Contest 2013 semifinals

It’s an European thing

It’s that time of the year again. They’re dusting off their feather boas, bringing out their leotards and working up a synchronised dance routine you can’t distinguish from last years. It is time for the European¬†play-offs¬†in the bad taste league, the cultural extravaganza to bring a whole continent together for a laugh and a cheer. Personally, I wouldn’t notice if they skipped a year. In fact, I think every four years like the Olympics would be a sufficient interval. There’s no hope of that happening with all the money involved, though…

Oh, I’m sorry, you may be from another continent and not get this. The rundown is that every year in May, all countries in the Eurovision organisation are eligible to participate in a¬†song contest where a few (20-something) are selected to compete for the audiences favour (and a professional jury) in the finale. The winning country will be the host of next years arrangement. There’s major prestige in this, although some countries (particularly the smaller ones) tend to take it more seriously than others. Plus the money of course. Not prize money, but guaranteed appearances all over the place and endless high rotation on radio. Even for some non-winning participants there is a piece of pie. This amounts to a huge circus of advertising money, record companies looking for the next big thing, and scores of hopefuls yearning to break internationally. With all this at stake the last few years have seen an increase in activities. In Sweden they had a whopping six events before choosing a winner to send to .. Sweden. Since Sweden won last year, with a single girl dancing barefoot on stage, they are the hosts this year. Hopefully they wont win again now, as that would be too taxing on their cultural budget or whatnot. Poor Ireland won 4 times in 5 years back in the nineties, and I don’t think their economy have recovered yet.

As for the songs, it is pretty much what you’d expect from Europe. Here are some of the titles included in this years
semifinals: Hold Me, Marry Me, You and Me, Believe in Me, and Alcohol is Free… at least occasionally one tries to stick out from the crowd. Sometimes the music has some cultural flavour from the originating country. Most of the time it’s just the lowest common denominator, meaning artificially sweetened peppermint bubblegum. You never really know who is going to win, though. In 2006 Finland won with their metal contribution: Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi. Pretty toothless for metal from a Nordic country, and yet it was still refreshing to see these growling beasts of metal outwin the usual lovesong trifles.

If this competition was anything like the original Olympics, the performers would have to train together for two weeks, eat the same food, receive the same service, and perform naked. Well, they don’t. It’s really not all about the song anymore, if it ever was. Stage presence, fireworks, costumes, orchestra¬†etc.¬†all come into account. It’s a show, and a pretty spectacular one at that. No inflatable pigs or Stonehenge on stage – I’m sure there are restrictions, but some are really clever at making the most of it. I expect some bizarre creativity this year like others. So, that’s where the entertainment lies for me. All these years I wowed to skip this hoopla, and yet I’ve ended up in front of the TV with the rest of my Scandinavian friends and family. Every year not wanting to. But still, there is some amusement in commenting cleavage and silly antics. What I always felt lacking was a way to systematically ridicule the ESC. Last year I made this scoring sheet I tested out with my wife. It worked out fairly well, we had a good time, so now I’m sharing it here. Hope you’ll enjoy it too.

(I’ll make sure to have one ready for the finale by the 18th as well, of course.)

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Röstformulär ESC 2013 Deltävling 1 och 2


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Scoresheet ESC 2013 Semifinals 1 and 2