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Eurovision [participants who happened to hail from North] America: 2000-2010

The following North Americans have participated in Eurovision since the year 2000.  Since that’s a relatively recent period, I think I’ll just organize the acts by year:

2001

2001 saw Natasha St-Pier representing France, the country’s first (and, thus far, only) North American act.  A prolific recording artist, she recently released a greatest hits album and is currently on tour in her native Canada.  Interestingly, she’s done the best for France so far this past decade – perhaps an affirmation of her views concerning French ESC participants, or perhaps because her 4th place song “Je N’ai Que Mon Âme” (“I Only Have My Soul”) was in fact the first French attempt to–mon Dieu!–incorporate English lyrics on stage?  Who knows.  Only time will tell if France will ever pick a US contestant to represent them (though that entry, as we’ve seen from recent controversy over language policy and test scores, would have to been sung at least partially in French).  Even so, I’d seriously doubt it.

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Eurovision [participants who happened to hail from North] America: 1956-1999

Firstly, my congratulations to Lena Meyer-Landrut of Germany, winner of Eurovision 2010! (better late than never, right?)  Guess we’ll be seeing her again next year….though there’s another talented act we probably won’t be seeing.

Allow me to begin by saying that although many Americans may not have heard of the Eurovision Song Contest (at least, as compared to the Australian and South African fans, from what I’ve seen), the few, the proud does in fact extend beyond myself and my co-author (and, of course, you, our lovely reader).  While respected local and national US news (ie Washington Post and New York Times ), media commentary, and entertainment industry sources alike commit the egregious error of framing the contest as a “European” version of American Idol to their readership, we the enlightened ones, however, know that to be utterly preposterous!  It’s actually a Europeanized version of Italian Idol.

Same stylist, different contest. (Sources: Wikimedia Commons and http://www.flickr.com/photos/rayzphotoz/2520021340/)

This may come as a surprise, but several members of our select circle have taken it upon themselves to venture into uncharted pseudo-celebrity waters as North American performers in the ESC.  Yes, you’ve heard me right – people originating from our dear continent have actually traversed a fairly large ocean to represent countries competing in a European song contest!

Now, you may be asking: who are the honorable members of this exclusive club, and what the heck were they doing at Eurovision?   Tricky questions, indeed, but nothing we here at Eurovision America can’t answer.  Let us proceed in a chronological order, from the start of the contest to the start of the current century.

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Junior Eurovision Song Contest

I happened by coincidence to catch most of this year’s JESC. I’m not a particularly big fan of the Junior contest but I was rather impressed by some of the acts. It was a fun, quick show.

 

I found Belgium’s entry impressive, especially for a ten-year-old to be singing:

And the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s entry I think, with a little polishing, would have done quite well in the real contest. I don’t personally like it as much FYR Macedonia’s ESC entry this year, Nešto što kje ostane, but I think the song, with the right singer, could have done better. Maybe it would have made the final.

Malta staged a Chiara look-alike, which was quite interesting to watch. The Chiara look-alike didn’t have a voice anywhere close to Chiara’s, which I think was at its best in Angel in 2005 (interestingly, also in Kyiv)

Also appearing on stage in Kyiv tonight was Ani Lorak, Ukraine’s second place finisher in 2008, and yes, she performed “Shady Lady.”

The Netherlands ended up winning. Enjoy their promo video.

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