Have you ever wondered how ABBA was discovered? Celine Dion? Or where the song Volare came from?
Look no further than Eurovision, the Eurasia wide song contest.
The most important day of the year is coming up, May 12.
You may ask yourself, why May 12?
It is not just National Brunch for Lunch Day, it’s the Eurovision Song Contest finale.
I was first introduced to Eurovision while I was studying abroad in Sweden last spring.
Eurovision is very popular there and is preceded by Melodifestivalen, which is the show to determine who the singer to represent Sweden at the international contest will be.
ABBA won the contest in 1974 with their performance of “Waterloo.”
The song “Volare” covered by Dean Martin and also featured in The Lizzie McGuire movie, is the most covered Eurovision song ever.
Celine Dion won the contest in 1988 as the contestant from Switzerland, with her song “Ne partez pas sans moi.”
Every performance at Eurovision is extremely extravagant.
The crazier and more elaborate, the better.
Even Spotify has designated Eurovision as its own genre.
According to Eurovision’s website, Eurovision was started 63 years ago, in 1956.
This year’s competition will be hosted in Lisbon, as Portugal won the contest in Ukraine last year.
In 2006, Finland won with their performance of “Hard Rock Hallelujah.”
The heavy metal band, Lordi, was dressed head to toe in monster costumes with battle axes, bat wings, and bones.
Flames and sparks shot out of the stage for added effect.
The Epic Sax man from Moldova is known by every Eurovision fan.
His saxophone solos in the middle of performances and his dance moves to accompany it is an experience to remember.
Watch “Hey Mama” by Sunstroke Project for the full effect.
Ukraine’s performance in 2007 has gone down in Eurovision history.
Although they only got 2nd place, eccentric performer Verka Serduchka, wore a giant star on his head while he performed “Dancing Lasha Tumbai.”
This year’s winner is predicted to be Israel, represented by artist Netta with her song “Toy.”
Netta entertains her listeners by clucking like a chicken throughout the song.
In her first live performance of her song she even danced like a chicken.
Even Australia has joined the competition, despite them not being located in Eurasia.
They were such huge fans of the show that they were allowed a guest performance in 2012 but was allowed to enter the competition in 2015.
It’s now time to start planning your epic Eurovision party with your Eurovision obsessed friends.
Make sure to wear anything in your closet with sequins and sparkles, because that’s the only way to watch, in classic Eurovision style.
Listen to the Eurovision 2018 playlist on Spotify over and over again so you can sing along during the performances.
Prepare classic dishes from your favorite country performing and have your friends do the same.
Decorate your dorm with flags, glitter, and a disco ball to dance under.
During the voting, make sure to gasp in horror if the Denmark doesn’t give twelve points to Sweden or the Netherlands doesn’t give twelve points to Belgium.
Eurovision can get political. For a Political Science major, it gets good.
Although voting can be political, Eurovision is also a symbol of unity as countries come together to showcase their best performances.
Some of which are culturally significant, like Armenia in 2015 and Ukraine’s winning performance in 2016 with their songs about genocide.
Since 2004, Eurovision debuts a new motto every year that always is based on inclusivity.
This years motto: All Board!
Previous mottos have included: Share the Moment, We are One, #JoinUs, Building Bridges, Come Together, and Celebrate Diversity.
Sweden is known for dominating the competition.
After all, they are the third largest country of pop hits after the United States and the UK.
They’ve won six times and it has become popular for a Swede to write songs for performers.
Songs are usually sung in English and since the beginning of the contest, most songs that have won had english lyrics.
In preparation for Eurovision this year, make sure to check out these classic songs:
- Euphoria by Loreen
- Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw
- Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest
- I Can’t Go On by Robin Bengtsson
- Toy by Netta
- Icebreaker by Agnete
- Monsters by Sarah Aalto
- Dance You Off by Benjamin Ingrosso
- Rise Like A Phoenix by Conchita Wurst
- Waterloo by Abba