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Late Night: The Guilty Pleasure of the Eurovision Song Contest

I LOVE EUROVISION! There, I’ve I admitted one of my darkest deepest secrets.

For the uninitiated, the Eurovision Song Contest began in 1956 as a live microwave broadcast designed to unite the European Broadcasting Union (then consisting of 23 member stations from as many countries; there are now 74 members). Members are not confined to the European continent: Israel, Morocco, Russia, Estonia, the United States, and Azerbaijan (whose 2008 debut was astounding!) are among the non-European nations who have joined the EBU and competed in Eurovision.

The most famous winner of the Eurovision Song Contest was ABBA in 1974. In 1994 Riverdance made its international debut as an in between song bit of entertainment. The winning country hosts the following year’s contest and Ireland’s seven wins were parodied in the brilliant series Father Ted, when Father Ted and Father Dougal’s song “My Lovely Horse” is chosen by the Irish Eurovision song committee as a sure loser. A dozen years later in an effort to loose, Ireland entered the children’s favorite, Dustin the Turkey with a disco anthem.

This year there are some rad contenders showcasing in Dusseldorf, if you have a sense of humor.   [cont’d.]Turkey (video above) and Poland (video below) are fabulous, very Euro

but didn’t make it through to the finals; while Hungary, which is dire, did. And the anthemic “I Love Belarus” got canned as well…. Greece is a contender, and so is Iceland. Both could use the tourist dollars…

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Late Night: The Guilty Pleasure of the Eurovision Song Contest

 

I LOVE EUROVISION! There, I’ve I admitted one of my darkest deepest secrets.

For the uninitiated, the Eurovision Song Contest began in 1956 as a live microwave broadcast designed to unite the European Broadcasting Union (then consisting of 23 member stations from as many countries; there are now 74 members). Members are not confined to the European continent: Israel, Morocco, Russia, Estonia, the United States, and Azerbaijan (whose 2008 debut was astounding!) are among the non-European nations who have joined the EBU and competed in Eurovision.

The most famous winner of the Eurovision Song Contest was ABBA in 1974. In 1994 Riverdance made its international debut as an in between songs bit of entertainment. The winning country hosts the following year’s contest and Ireland’s seven wins were parodied in the brilliant series Father Ted, when Father Ted and Father Dougal’s song “My Lovely Horse” is chosen by the Irish Eurovision song committee as a sure loser. A dozen years later in an effort to loose, Ireland entered the children’s favorite, Dustin the Turkey with a disco anthem.

This year there are some rad contenders showcasing in Dusseldorf, if you have a sense of humor. Turkey (video above) and Poland (video below) are fabulous, very Euro
but didn’t make it through to the finals; while Hungary, which is dire, did. And the anthemic “I Love Belarus” got canned as well…. Greece is a contender, and so is Iceland. Both could use the tourist dollars…

 

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.