Eurovision Fever

I’ve got Eurovision fever. I’ve been giving most of my love to my 12 Points To… blog. I hate neglecting my reading/writing blog, but my mind is on music with a European flavor. Bear with me. It’s only another two weeks.

For those not around for my blog this time last year, Eurovision is the European song contest. Upwards of 40 countries compete every year. Most of these countries are in Europe, however certain other countries that belong to the European Broadcast Union (EBU) also compete, such as Israel.

Each country sends a representative singer or band and a single song. Many of these countries have qualifying competitions with judges and televoting, much like “American Idol.” The winning nation hosts the contest the following year. This year, after Loreen’s 2012 triumph in Baku, Azerbaijan, Eurovision will take place in Malmö, Sweden.

The winner of Eurovision is decided by a combination of judges’ scores and televoting. You may wonder, how can a small country like Sweden win against a huge nation like Russia? Easy. Citizens cannot vote for their own country, i.e., Russians cannot vote for Russia’s song. It’s a twist I really love and it makes for an interesting contest.

Eurovision takes place over three nights, with two semi finals and a grand final. The contest has a worldwide following and the official Eurovision website will be televising the competition live. The dates this year are May 14, 16 and 18.

For the past two months, I’ve been reviewing all the countries and their participants on my blog 12 Points To… Below are my top five favorites of 2013. I think only one of them has a chance of winning Eurovision. These are my winners in alphabetical order.

Adrian Lulgjuraj and Bledar Sejko, “Identitet” (Identity)

I’m a rocker chick at heart and I love me a good rock anthem. This is a great rock anthem! I love Adrian’s voice and Bledar’s badass guitar playing. Will this win Eurovision? Not a chance. I’m not even sure it will final. Don’t care. I love it.

Elitsa & Stoyan, “Samo Shampioni” (Only Champions)

This hits my sweet spot when it comes to something both traditional and modern. Love the drums, the bagpipe and Elitsa’s extraordinary voice. I hope they get enough votes to make it to the final, but I think they’re too ethnic and unusual to win. Too bad, because they are awesome.

Emmelie de Forest, “Only Teardrops”

“Only Teardrops” has been acknowledged the current frontrunner and for good reason. It’s haunting and beautiful, and Emmelie de Forest has a lovely voice as well as a unique and graceful stage presence. Denmark has a strong chance of a very deserved win.

Koza Mostra & Agathonas Iakovidis, “Alcohol is Free”

I’m thinking my fellow Gogol Bordello and Pogues fans are with me on this one. I love the folk punk genre and this nails it. I’m so glad Greece went with something high energy and fun. Won’t win and might not final, which would be too bad, because this song is a party and deserves to be heard twice.

El Sueño De Morfeo, “Contigo Hasta El Final” (With You Until The End)

Celtic rock is another favorite genre of mine and hearing it in Spanish makes it even more special. As a band, El Sueño De Morfeo is fresh and appealing. I’d love to hear more from them. Since Spain is one of the so-called “Big Five” sponsors of Eurovision, ESDM is already a finalist, which is actually a shame. I think they’d get more support if people could watch them twice. I don’t believe they’ll win, but they could make the top 10.

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