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22 May 2008 @ 08:49 pm
Eurovision, since when did we have high expectations for quality?  
This Saturday, the 53rd Eurovision Song contest will be held in Serbia.

For all of you who are not familiar with Eurovision, it is this contest which began with European countries, but now has spread to several countries of North Africa and the Near East such as Morocco and Israel. Each country has a contest similar to our American Idle, but that's not where it ends. The winners of those contests represent their country and then they all compete together among all the competing nations and then people can vote for any representative except for the one who represents the voter's country.

I think it is a pretty cleaver idea, especially the whole not being able to vote for your representative, which creates a means for people to think about other countries in a positive light, well perhaps just not in a negative light. Cooperation. Anyway, this has been going on for 53 years now, unlike our American Idle, so I'm sure several people are people jaded. What has become common among contestants is to sing songs that include lyrics in several languages to appeal to diverse audience and or lyrics in English, because then everyone (well nearly, for their purposes) can understand the song. Also, they try to be catchy, because the contest doesn't go on for that long, and as we all know catchy often are LOVED instantly and then kind of die out, well because we just listened to it too much.

I was looking on youtube to get a couple sound bites of some songs for this year which I hadn't till today thought about and when I was watching the video for Germany's entry, a song in Spanish called La Histería, I looked at some of the comments that were made:

"Their spanish is terrible. And all lyrics are totally terrible. Almost all lyrics are the same. And the songs are the same too. La histeria and vayamos compañeros are almost the same. But ok, some people like it. There's no accounting for taste."

and "why does ukraine sing in english if the are from ukraine[?] like wise (sic) for half of them [the song contestants]"

So first off, I kind of get annoyed when people are always complaining about how foreigners don't sing well in their language... Yeah you're right. they should have never tried in the first place. Well maybe when the youtube user said the spanish is horrible, he meant the lyrics, like you wouldn't necessarily use the same terms or phrases so it sounds like someone who is clearly not from a spanish speaking culture.
And the asking why they sing in english? It's not like if you don't sing in your country's official language you're not being patriotic. I think the contest has a clear intent and when you can understand the lyrics to songs, you have a different perception of that song. This must be uncontested. Whether it's a better impression or worse, it's different. You have more to judge, like the message of the songs or the choice or words.

People sing in English because, low and behold, English is an international language that nearly every country in the world, not just in Europe, teaches its population as a second or foreign language. This way, people have the chance of not just liking the beat to a song, but the lyrics as well. I kind of feel like this shouldn't be too difficult to infer.

And the complaining about the quality of the music. I'm going to put this out there, assuming that many people agree with me. The songs put out through Eurovision more often than not are really trashy but catchy songs. The entire contest is for fun and I don't think anyway thinks of it anywhere near parallel to what we think of our American Idle. The songs often are not serious and are really goofy and have weird voices in them or weird themes. Popular music is often criticized by the masses and I think it's time to accept that some people like catchy music. And catchy music is going to be repetitive and often people are going to think it's not creative or of a quality nature.

To all you music snobs out there, at least if you want to criticize music, just don't do Eurovision songs. Criticize music that comes out in actual attempts to gain legitimacy and wide spread listenership based on qualities like singing voice, lyrical creativity, etc.

For all of us out there who like a good laugh, we can continue listening to Eurovision.
Current Music: Marquess, La Histería