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.

12 Points To…

Some of you might remember last May when I decided to check out Eurovision, became a fangirl and burbled on about it through the entire month and a little beyond.

Others of you may wonder, what the heck is Eurovision?

Eurovision is an annual international song contest. About 40 or so nations send their chosen artists to perform in an internationally televised event. Viewers, along with a professional jury, decide on the winner. The catch, and it’s one I truly love, is that you can’t vote for your own country.

This year, rather than take up space in this blog, which is more about reading and writing, I decided to start a new blog. It’s called 12 Points To… 12 points being the highest score a performer can earn from each nation.

If you’re already into Eurovision or want to learn more, you might want to check it out. Currently, the participating countries are choosing their performers. Some countries do this through televised contests that can be very exciting. In other countries, the broadcasters decide which artists to send. The performers can be either amateurs or professionals.  In my blog, I’m taking a first look at the chosen participants.

In my Lori Writer menu, I’ve replaced my poor, neglected Tumblr, 6 Words, with 12 Points To… This will take you to my Eurovision website. Enjoy!