A very European weekend (don’t tell the Europeans!)

Hello hey you, AU – Aarhus calling! This weekend is the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest! Woohoo! Hurrah! Huzzah hurray! Even for those like me who don’t have cable, I’m sure there is some sort of viewing party set up somewhere where tons of non-Danes will flock to watch on a big screen (or am I swayed by the German’s love for “Public Viewings?”). So for those who perhaps come from the other side of the world where talk of such a contest seems exciting and intriguing, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is an annual competition held between active members of the European Broadcasting Union. This threw me off at first – when I first moved here and saw that Israel was competing, I thought my geography lessons had gone haywire (albeit them being US geography lessons to begin with).

Countries aren’t allowed to vote for their own singer/group and the top votes are assigned points, with the most getting 12 points. Think American Idol except you can’t vote for the contestant from your own state (if your state makes it to the finals) and there are points and lots of other differences… okay think of any song contest and then try to relate. There are a lot of scandals (take a look at this article posted in the Copenhagen Post with the Top 10 Scandals of the ESC) and a lot of people I’ve talked to in the past can’t stand the ESC. For some reason, Europeans love to hate it (or love to love it, there is no middle ground).

I guess I’m really indifferent. There are a lot of studies behind it and I’m sure there are a lot of drinking games associated with it, too. Let’s take a look at Denmark’s contribution to this year’s ESC, “Only Teardrops”…

Not bad, eh? Supposedly Denmark is a favorite in this year’s competition, though that really doesn’t say much. I’m going to relive one of my favorite ESC moments involving Denmark, which I think is great indication of Danish humor.

This guy caught a lot of slack for saying that (and if I remember correctly, it was later edited out). American “prude”-ism aside, was that really funny? I guess to a Dane.

So enjoy your Eurovision weekend everyone! If you get the chance, try and catch a little bit of the show. Maybe it’s not Danish culture specifically but it’s a part of being here in Europe that makes it fun and unique. May the odds be ever in your country’s favor (that is, if they’ve made it to the final round and were even participating in the first place)!

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