Eurovision Song Contest becomes international sensation, gains attention


Photo courtesy of Sietske

Italian rock band Maneskin participates in the first semi-final of the jury show of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Maneskin finished with 524 points total, gaining 206 points from the professional juries and 318 points from the public vote.

Vijay Viswanathan

After Italian rock band Maneskin’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will be held in Turin, Italy. But what is Eurovision? Eurovision is a song contest that has been held in Europe since 1956. It was created for two main reasons. The first reason was to promote peace in Europe since it had been 11 years since the end of WWII. The second reason was to test the limits of live TV. 

Since the first edition in 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest has become a global and cultural phenomenon. But why am I telling all of you about Eurovision? It’s because I think that all of you should watch it. 

You get an entirely new experience when you watch Eurovision. You see, when artists sing on American Idol, they’re generally singing a cover of a song. In Eurovision, all the songs must be original, meaning they must be newly written and cannot be performed live before Sept.1 in accordance with Eurovision rules. 

That new experience can range from a lot of things. You can hear a song in a language you may have not heard before. For example, in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, you could hear the song Disko, from Slovenia, which is in the language of Slovene. You also get to experience the culture of countries. Generally, a lot of the culture is shown by a lot of the Eastern European countries and by some Western European countries such as France and Greece. 

Eurovision has also kick-started the career of many artists. In 1974, a Swedish pop group known as ABBA won that year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which kick-started their stardom into one of the most famous bands in the present day. Similarly, Eurovision kick-started the international stardom of Maneskin after their win in 2021, with the band becoming famous on TikTok and all across international musical charts. They were already well-known internationally, but Eurovision is what really put them into the spotlight. 

If you have a funny bone, Eurovision is still a great place for humor! Over the years, there have been many “joke” entries that have ended up in the Eurovision Song Contest. One famous example of a joke entry is the Montenegrin entry from 2012, titled Euro Neuro. The song is about the monetary unit known as the Euro. He literally admitted that he wanted a bad result at Eurovision. The most famous example of a funny entry is the Ukrainian entry from 2007 called Dancing Lasha Tumbai by Verka Serduchka. The song is the pure definition of crazy. Nothing in the song makes any sense and it’s just pure humor. It also has inspired what I like to call the “Verka Serduchka Effect,” where a song is so bad that it ends up doing good.  

Now, I will admit, in recent years, Eurovision has had a dose of politics injected into it. There is a phenomenon known as “bloc voting” where neighboring countries will vote for each other during the jury vote. That’s the reason why the French sometimes give their maximum 12 jury points (also known as “douze points”) to another western European country, like the Italians. Then there are the exclusions. In 2021, Belarus was kicked out of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 due to multiple human rights abuses in the country. In 2017, Russia withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 after it was found that their representative had visited Crimea through Russia, which is illegal under Ukrainian law. Ukraine was the host country in 2017.  In 2022, Russia was kicked out of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 after their invasion of Ukraine and threats of boycotts from several western European nations.  

But that shouldn’t let you distract from the overall intention of the Eurovision Song Contest. I have found the Eurovision Song Contest one of the most interesting things I know of. I encourage you to sit down and watch the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, which is available on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock on May 10, 12 and 14. The first two dates are for the first two semi-finals and the last date is for the grand final.