For television fans in the United States, May is an important month. Most series are winding up, giving watchers a cliffhanger to think about until September. On the reality show front, most of the programs are finishing just in time for May sweeps week. That includes shows like American Idol, Survivor, and the Voice. New champions are crowned, and the latest star is born.
The U.S. might think they have the market cornered on these reality shows, but that is not true. The Eurovision Song Contest came to its conclusion the other night in Malmo, Sweden. It is yet another of those singing competition shows, but it does come with a few twists. Unlike American Idol and its months of singing songs from many genres, contestants on this show compete with one tune of their choosing.
The Eurovision Song Contest also brings with it a lot of pizazz. Yes, each contestant performs their song, but it can be accompanied by all sorts of exotic theatrics. This is not a show where the contestant walks out on stage and sings a song. Take second-place winner Farid Mammadov of Azerbaijan, for example. Here was a guy who performed his song “Hold Me,” while being atop of a glass cube. If that was not interesting enough, the cube contained inside of it a male dancer.
The theatrics did not stop there. The third place winner was carried on stage by a 7 foot 8 athlete and placed on a rock. There was a contestant that sang her tune, and then ended it with a girl on girl kiss. It did not sit well with the voters as she plummeted to third to last. Heck, there was even a rock opera piece performed by a guy who looked like Dracula.
When the dust settled, the winner was Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest. She won with an offering called “Only Teardrops,” which is considered a love song. Perhaps it was her barefoot, innocent quality that stole the hearts of the judges and fan voters. Her singing was accompanied by flutes and drums, giving it just the right mix to go with her deep voice.
The other big difference in this show is that it is not all amateur hour, like American Idol. The supposed appeal of Idol is that all contestants are off the streets, not established singers per say. The Eurovision Song Contest had some well known singers looking to make a comeback, including Bonnie Tyler and Anouk, who represented the Netherlands. Neither came close to winning though as Tyler was 19th, while Anouk did make it up to number nine.