Monday, February 13, 2006

Eurovision FINALLY Coming To US

I've been waiting for this for years. The cheesey Eurovision Song Contest is finally coming to the US via NBC. An annual celebration of tacky costumes and horrific power ballads, Eurovision is a huge event where every country in the EU submits one act and one song for a one-night showdown where people all over Europe vote in a complicated scheme (smaller countries are weighted heavily so, say, Germany and the UK don't dominate) and a winner is announced. It's an immensely guilty pleasure to watch as tiny Slavic countries dish out truly dreadful acts and even major countries like the UK fall flat on their face more often than not. (Past winners for their countries include ABBA and Celine Dion, though the winners usually fall right back into obscurity.) NBC is finally rejiggering the format for the US with each state offering up a song and act to perform it. What took them so long? Presumably they'll be smart enough to stage it in late summer far away from American Idol.

6 comments:

Michael in New York said...

To explain further, Eurovision acts can be pros -- established names often appear, as do newcomers. The US version wil use pros too, but since the big prize is a recording contract, I fear they're gonna emphasize amatuers. The songs tend to be middlebrow because they're selected by governments -- it's not clear whether individual states will make choices or whether they'll arrange local Idol like voting at that stage too. This should be a two week event at most, maybe stripping the contests nightly for a Who Wants To Be a Millionaire type event stunt.

Anonymous said...

I've only seen it once, but Eurovision was the campiest, silliest thing I have ever seen -- makes the kids on American Idol seem like old pros. In doubt the US version will be half the fun -- would an act from Nebraska be nearly as interestingly awful as an act from Poland? Nope.

Manic said...

Me as a loyal Eurovision fan don't think it wil work for the USA. People in the States all listen to the same music. The blacks to urban music, the whites to country and the Latino's to Latin, so I doubt if it will work. The reason why it works in Europe is first of all because it's a tradition, it already exists for 50 years, so we are brought up with this. Secondly most people never ever heard of most countries participating so it's truely amazing to see the acts. Eurovision is becoming more and more popular in smaller countries. In the big ones they don't give a damn who they sent, just look at the UK, last year was the second time they ended last with almost no points. Shamefull!
No go NBC, it won't work in the States, it's already a miracle it works in Europe

Michael in New York said...

Isn't the reason the UK got almost no points because of the political voting, with certain countries in each bloc always supporting each other no matter what? I don't know about the music being so different -- most of it seems vaguely Europop with only occasional flashes of local ethnic color. I agree most of its appeal is institutional -- it's been going on so long people love to hate it or hate that they love it. But the rivalry and regional pride when a tiny country wins it all -- I think that could easily translate to Arkansas and Missouri being thrilled about trumping New York. And music is quite diverse: New Orleans jazz, Kentucky bluegrass, southern rap, pure country, heavy metal, hard rock, pop -- there's a strong regional identity for a lot of music. But you're right: it will be an uphill battle.

truthisoutthere said...

It won't matter if they put it up anywhere near American Idol - that would kick its ass.

Anonymous said...

I have loved eurovision for years. You cannot beat the camp value of all of those Europeans fighting out over who has the best trashy pop song. I find it difficult to think that the American version is going to be anywhere near as entertaining.