During the late 1970s, the Warsaw Pact states had the Intervision Song Contest, an ideologically-sound Communist alternative to Eurovision, held in the Polish seaside resort of Sopot and attended by mostly Soviet-aligned and non-aligned states. The contest as such last ran in 1980; 1981's was cancelled due to the rise of Solidarność and the protests in nearby Gdańsk and it never returned as an international spectacle. But now, Russia is reviving the Intervision contest, after a 34-year gap. [more inside]
It's under 24 hours until the Grand Final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, airing at 2100 CEST (2000 UTC, 3 pm EDT). Are you ready for the most wonderful musical event of the year? [more inside]
Just over a month out from the final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Denmark, and the line-up of acts contesting semi-finals one and two, and getting a bye into the grand final, is clear. While there's the usual rivalries, and a special focus on how Ukraine and Russia will do in the voting, the entry that is receiving much early attention is from never-winning Poland... [more inside]
April 6, 1974 -- Final night of the Eurovision Song Contest [1h50m, auf Deutsch (but music is the universal language)] If you don't want the full, stuffy context, you can watch the winning performance. (You already know who won... ) And watch them perform again after they were named winners. [more inside]
It's that time of the year again, when the (television network) continent of Europe comes together to sing, wear interesting clothing, and gyrate before an enthusiastic/baffled world. [more inside]
The most insane Eurovision contest performance you'll ever see, courtesy of Winny Puhh with their song Meiecundimees üks Korsakov läks eile Lätti. [more inside]
Eurovision, the annual offering of musical culture from the continent to a sometimes bewildered world, approaches. Greece have decided that they can now afford to send an entry to the finals in Sweden this May, using private sponsorship. Their entry, winning the national selection contest, is the Rebetiko-infused "Alcohol is free", an anti-austerity song performed by Koza Mostra and Agathonas Iakovidis. [more inside]
Winny Puhh, a finalist for the Estonian entry in the Eurovision Song Context, perform live on Estonia's prime breakfast TV show. You might want to turn your volume down a touch. [more inside]
The Eurovision Song Contest 2012's first semi-final begins tomorrow at 3 PM EST (12 PM PST). Watch it online, and listen to the songs (below the jump). [more inside]
Finland has always looked both west and east, notably the Loviisa nuclear power plant used Westinghouse instrumentation married to a Soviet design, earning the nickname 'Eastinghouse'. They hedged their bets on rather less safety-critical issues as well. Having little success in the Eurovision Song Contest (until they changed tack relatively recently), they also entered (and won) its Soviet counterpart: Intervision. [more inside]
Rambo Amadeus - Euro Neuro, Montenegros rapping donkey-riding entry to the 2012 Eurovision Contest. "Euro skeptik, analfabetik, try not to be hermetic. Euro Neuro don’t be skeptik, hermetic, pathetic, analfabetic forget old cosmetic you need new poetic, estetic eclectic, dialectic."
American Country Music legend Bobby Bare (76) will take part in the Norwegian finals in the Eurovision Song Contest. [more inside]
Portugal, in the throes of an IMF / EU bailout that Finland could block, sends a video letter to convince Finland to support the rescue effort. Finland responds. Bonus: crisis the focus of Portugal's Eurovision entry this year.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2011's first semi-final begins at 2 PM CST. Watch it online.
The Most Serene Republic of San Marino. According to legend, the tiny country of San Marino was founded in 301AD by Saint Marinus of Rab, and is thus the world’s oldest republic. Occupying 24 square miles around Mount Titano in the middle of Italy, it is the fifth smallest country in the world. [more inside]
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final airs tonight, 21:00 CET. A live stream can be found here. [more inside]
It's Eurovision week, everyone! The last of the semi-finals was last night, and the twenty-five entries are now set for this Saturday's extravaganza in Moscow, the most expensive and flashy yet. After last year's controversy over votes motivated by regional politics and entries that detracted from the, er, dignity of the event, the Eurovision voting mechanism has changed. Western countries in particular have brought in the heavy musical muscle, with Andrew Lloyd Webber writing the UK song, the amazing Patricia Kaas singing for France, and Dita von Teese performing on stage with the German entry. You can't vote from outside of Europe, and you might struggle to watch the contest live from outside Europe. But you can have your very own Mefi Eurovision experience right here! Get some snacks and lots of booze, settle in, view the twenty-five entries here, and decide for yourselves. (MLYT warning) [more inside]
Marc Moulin, Belgian pop culture polymath and electropop pioneer, has died. Moulin was probably best known outside of Belgium for the electronic group Telex, founded in 1978 with Dan Lacksman and Michel Moers. Telex scored an international hit with Moskow Diskow, made a great video for their version of Twist a Saint-Tropez, did anything but Rock Around the Clock and, most famously, entered the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest with a cheerfully mocking song titled Euro-Vision. [more inside]
Once again, the Eurovision Song Festival has taken place this weekend, giving rise to the usual recriminations about political voting. However, it is worth noting that it is exactly fifty years since Italian singer Domenico Modugno managed only third place (out of ten contestants) with a charming little ditty called "Nel blu dipinto di blu", but better known as "Volare". [more inside]
6 hours til Eurovision 2008 begins (well semi-final round 1 begins in 6 hours). After last year's extensive Eurovision discussion, let's see how 2008 does. There are a number of Eurovision blogs and many of the bloggers are hanging out in Belgrade. Not in Europe? You can watch online as well. [more inside]
It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends (though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way). [*not really].
The link to the live stream has been posted! Eurovision (previously) from Helsinki is about to begin (2100 CET), and there is a live stream available. Just get the plugin, and, if it all works, you'll be ready to watch!
You've all no doubt been wondering who will represent Ukraine in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Well, she's a drag queen, and if that wasn't enough to piss off the Ukrainian nationalists, she's also an environmentalist ("All of us have heard that nuclear waste from the whole world is planned to be brought into Ukraine. It is horribly!"). Oh, and the Russians are ticked off, too. Introducing... Verka Serdyuchka! [last 2 links to YouTube]
The Eurovision song contest season has just begun, and already there is controversy. The Israeli entrant, the Teapacks' "Push the Button" [warnings: Windows Media video, strange-looking accordian player], has English, French, and Hebrew lyrics that talk about certain "crazy rulers" who are "gonna blow us up to kingdom come" concluding that "I don't wanna die, I wanna see the flowers bloom, don't wanna go kaput-kaboom." These lyrics are apparently too political for Eurovision, which is likely to ban the song.
Morrissey is "in negotiations" to write or perform the UK's next entry in The Eurovision Song Contest (won forty years ago by Morrissey's childhood hero - and later singing partner - Sandie Shaw). The ever-helpful BBC offers tips on how Britain's second greatest living cultural icon can pen a winning song. The "won forty years ago" link is to Google Video, by the way
Eurovision winner declared: Finland's Lordi, (previously mentioned here, wins with the highest Eurovision score of all time, 292 points, breaking Finland's 40 year long bewitchment of the Eurovision Curse. [Euro♥isionFilter]
Hardrock Hallelujah Finland's entry for this year's Eurovision contest. It is indeed the day of Rockening.
Molvania banned from Eurovision contest...again. After failing in 2004 with his Elektronik – Supersonik (prev.) ZLAD! tried again with his darker I am the Anti-pope (video) which was rejected because "Satanism has no place at Eurovision." Zlad! responded, speaking backwards through a hooded translator, "In Molvania, this is one of our most loved children’s stories." You may also want to check out Hospital of the Hearts (video), the number one soap in Phaic Tan.
50 Years of Eurovision --pics, video, info on 14 of the best(?) songs ever performed in the contest. Tonight they're picking the Number One of all time.
The best bits (RealVideo) of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, complete with a sampling of UK's Terry Wogan's legendary commentary.
160 million people watched the gloriously kitsch Eurovision Song Contest this year. The UK's entry [Real] scored an astonishing nul points (i.e. none of the other 25 countries thought the British song was in the top 10 competitors). The singers blame the country's worst ever result on sabotage. What do you think?
The Eurovision Song Contest is tonight. Being an American, I don't understand it one bit, especially since the grand prize seems to be a one-way ticket to eternal obscurity. But someone must like it. "I want to shower you with sugar lumps/and ride you over fences..."