Think American Idol on steriods. The 52nd Eurovision song contest is now history. Serbia was the winner and the drag queen from the Ukraine came in second. The two countries with the fewest votes were Ireland and the UK. All of the “western” or “old” European countries were in the bottom third of the voting.
With 42 countries participating they had a semi-final a couple of days ago to reduce the number of contestants to 24. Even so it was a three-hour show. Some of the countries participating are non-European countries (in my opinion) such as Armenia, Georgia and Israel. Turkey is a little iffy.
Central and Eastern Europe came out high in the voting, but that’s to be expected since the former Yugoslavia is now a half-dozen separate countries. You can say the same for the former Soviet Bloc. Italy is about the only major country not participating. Even Andorra is now a part of the contest.
Voting in the past followed geographical or cultural affinity. This year was no exception. You could often predict the top vote getter for a specific country. (Countries are not allowed to vote for themselves.)
In past years nearly all the music was pop or rock. This year they had specific categories added such as folk and “operatic.” But pop-rock dominated as did singing in English. It’s interesting that some groups adopted specific US accents. Countries like France and Spain continue to sing in their local languages. Staging continues to become more theatrical with each year.
I watched the program on the local state television known as La Primera in DVB-T. They had five hours of coverage starting at 21:00.