Eurovision Night in Washington

I’m sorry that I’ve neglected this for so long, but I’ve been a little busy with school. Daniela and I promise that we’ll write more in the future.

Last night I had the privilege of attending a Eurovision party at the House of Sweden hosted by the Swedish Embassy, surrounded by such stars in the Eurovision world as Christer Björkman, producer for Sveriges Television and head of delegation for Sweden, Fred Bronson, reporter and Eurovision expert, and Anna Sahlene, who’s competed in Eurovision. (Fred has also expressed a willingness to contribute to Eurovision America. Whether that’s reporting or his experiences, it is quite an honor to have a reporter of his caliber writing for our little blog.)

Once I finally catch up with my RSS feed, I’ll provide some commentary on recent Eurovision news.

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This Week in Eurovision

There were a number of big announcements in the Eurovision world this week that are worth discussing. I’m going to limit myself to the two that I’d actually like to comment on.

First, Telenor Arena it is! Yeah, yeah, the EBU is calling it Fornebu Arena, which is its old name. It’s called Telenor, but because Telenor is not a corporate sponsor of Eurovision Song Contest, the venue can’t bear the Telenor name. It should be a fun venue, as it’s supposed to seat 23,000. That’s about as big as a place I’ve ever seen a concert in (biggest is the now-demolished Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, NC, which held 23,780 for a concert). Obviously, it’s way too early to start hearing a word about tickets. Hopefully the Norwegians will handle it a little better than the Russians. I can’t imagine what it was like to try to get a ticket if you didn’t speak Russian. My main concern with Telenor Arena is that it’s not easily accessible from the city center, being in the suburb of Bærum. The Russians figured something out for running the metro after hours, though, so I have complete confidence that the Norwegians will make it work for the thousands of foreigners who will come for the concert.

Second, the most recent UK contestant, Jade Ewen, winner of Eurovision: Your Country Needs You and fifth-place finisher in this year’s final, has released a new single, which has me saying, “What?” She was supposed to be a West End musical star, and she’s released what sounds to me like the stereotypical American pop song. Take a listen from the BBC via YouTube:

It’s certainly not what I expected from Jade. It sounds nothing like “It’s My Time,” possibly because Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote “It’s My Time” and this one was written by Ina Wroldsen. While I probably won’t be listening to much of Jade’s new material, I do wish her all the best.

EDIT: Fixed YouTube link.

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Bonsoir Europe!

Hello Europe!

And hello to the rest of the world. We here at Eurovision America are a rare breed – we are fans of the Eurovision Song Contest from the west side of the Atlantic Ocean. (No, that doesn’t mean we’re pro-Western Europe. Or pro-Eastern Europe for that matter.) We hope to provide a unique view of the ESC as we see it. We’re not attached to any particular competitor country, nor any country that has any time competed (we’re looking at you, Italians!). As we see it, this gives us a unique perspective on the contest that we all love. Eurovision is important to us, even though we’re not European.

What we hope to be able to do here is bring together the Americans that are Eurovision fans. We know there are more of them out there, and there could be many more if they just watched one grand final.

To accomplish our goal, we’ll be bringing you Eurovision news and reviews. And yes, many of them will be published elsewhere in the European world, especially up to the time the contest rolls around in Oslo next year. But we’re a blog – we don’t just report the news, we give commentary on it.

The two authors that we have right now are both U.S. people. We are searching for more authors, so if you’re an American, Canadian, or other English-speaking North or South American, drop us a line, either in the comments or by e-mail. (We’re going to limit this to be English-only.)