Every year, starting with Worker’s Day/May Day/Beltane on the 1st of May, Europe emerges from its winter sleep, and the party season starts.
The first major event on the entertainment calendar, is the Eurovision Song Contest, a competition between mostly European countries, televised over three days. As such, the event is not very well known in South Africa, except perhaps for the fact that ABBA won it in 1974 with “Waterloo”. (This kick-started the Swedish group’s worldwide popularity, which endures to this day.)
I must confess: I LOVE EUROVISION!
Yes, the music is mostly forgettable, running the gamut from candy floss-like pop to heart-rending drama. Most of the songs are in English (some good, some less intelligible), although a token smattering of local languages can be found. Yes, the block-voting is fairly predictable. The Scandinavian countries vote for each other, as do those of the former East bloc. Cyprus, Malta and Greece always get each other’s 10 or 12 points (top score), and the UK and Ireland feel obliged to support each other, while each hating the other’s guts. And yes, by what permutation of European borders Israel and Australia get to take part, I have yet to figure out.