Last weekend my friend Kathleen hosted a Eurovision watching party. Before moving to England I had never heard of Eurovision before, but it is a huge deal here. Once a year more than thirty countries come together to compete in a singing competition. Each country has one entrant, which can be a solo act, a duet or a group.
The competition started in 1956, making it one of the longest-running shows in history. Over the years, some big names have competed--Abba, Celine Dion and Julio Iglesias, just to name a few. Interestingly, Eurovision was how ABBA was discovered. They won in 1974 with their song Waterloo. Mostly, though, the acts are really kitschy with cheesy costumes and staging. I absolutely love it!
Kathleen invited people over to watch the finals. We each represented a country by bringing food and drink associated with that country. As the host, she chose England and made a lovely Victoria sponge cake and sausage rolls. Irish stew and soda bread represented Ireland. A delicious almond cake was Ukraine's offering. Dan and I made falafel to represent Israel. Yes, Israel competes in Eurovision. Weird.
|Victoria Sponge Cake|
I really loved several of the acts, and absolutely hated others. Dan loved Poland's semi-pornographic act, as did most of the UK. I enjoyed Belarus' song called "Cheesecake." I also liked Switzerland's really weird song.
The most controversial act of all was Austria's Conchita Wurst. Known as the "bearded lady," she certainly caused a stir. I was expecting her to be a joke act, but actually, her song was beautiful. I could see it as a James Bond theme. It has that kind of sound. To everyone's surprise, she won the contest!
Thanks Kathleen for hosting such a fun night!
P.S. There are a couple of videos in this post that may not show up on mobile devices. You can see them on my website though.