Posts Tagged united states
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.
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.
What about the inevitable backlash, you say, that comes with all of this? Surely there must be somebody out there who is against the primacy of English-language songs in Eurovision and secretly hopes for a pre-1999 (or pre-1973, as it were) return to the good-ol’-days. Or maybe just the days when one could choose their preferred tongue and not have it be politically misconstrued.
As a matter of fact, such people do exist! If you’re in the year 2010 and living in Turkey, just head to the local branch of your country’s MHP. Though I’m sure there are other examples out there, I’d like to focus on two specific ones which caught my attention in recent years:
Finally, a first post! (better late than never, right?) Being that this is Eurovision America, with Michael and I both one of the few, the proud American Eurovision fans, I feel that this first post should be devoted to discussing an ESC issue relevant to both sides of the Atlantic.
Now as you all know, a specter is haunting Europe….the specter of English-language songs! Barring the occasional Latvian singing in Italian, or bizarre exception, most of the winning acts (22 -24, depending on how strict you are with interpretation) have been sung in English. Naturally, this phenomenon has multiplied ever since the ESC changed the rule permitting countries to sing in whatever language they liked. Crafting English lyrics has even become an unofficial rule for any lyricist seeking a “successful” Eurovision tune.
Yet, this all begs the question: on a continent where the majority of people’s first language isn’t English, must the majority of Eurovision songs be sung (or partially sung) in the native language of those whose countries don’t even reside under the European Broadcasting Union’s domain? It should be duly, though ironically, noted that ESC stands for both Eurovision Song Contest and English-speaking countries, amongst other things.