Monday, May 18, 2009

And The Winner Is...


Apart from the privilege of having C&J² Suiter takes up residence there, I wasn’t sure what Norway produced beside oil.

Ah, the Eurovision Song Contest -- a huge thing in Europe, a non-event for the rest of the world.

Last night marked the finals, which were held in Moscow and broadcast in nearly 50 countries.

Norway's baby-faced Alexander Rybak won the event, beating out 24 other countries and earning a record-breaking 387 points for his song "Fairytale." Iceland came in second place and Azerbaijan came in third.

The contest is held between active members of the European Broadcasting Union. Voting is a little complicated. Some 42 countries are eligible to vote, but cannot vote for their own entry in the song contest. Through both public voting and a jury, each country awards a set of points from 1 to 8, and then 10 and 12, with 12 being for the song they liked best.

This was the first year in some time that juries were let back into the voting process; following complaints from some that public voting essentially guaranteed that each country would vote for its closest neighbors.

There is still a lot of that kind of bloc-voting, though. The Balkans tended to throw their votes to other Balkan countries; ditto Scandinavian countries. But one of the big differences was that no matter what, most countries were giving their top points to Norway.

Of course, you might not know the name of Alexander Rybak. But you know some other former Eurovision Song Contest winners: LuLu (UK), ABBA (Sweden) and Celine Dion, who won the contest in 1988 singing for...Switzerland.

I remember watching it when I was young with my parents and there was always a competition in our home about whom between the French or the Italians would win (at least beat each other!).
Since the country winner gets to host the following competition, the Eurovision will be host in Oslo (from the Olympics to the Eurovision, can my life be more thrilling?!). Well at least it gives us a glimpse of what to expect from the music (and dance but not from the language since he sang in English!) from our future host country (and that’s saying a lot!)

And to save you a google search for the song, click here!

By the way Google’s Eurovision Predictor (didn’t know such thing existed!) picked him as the winner with a potential total point of 388 (He won with a record score of 387). The Google Eurovision Predictor took Google search volumes for all the performers and translated these into Eurovision points.