The 54Th annual Eurovision Song Contest 2011 will be held this Saturday in Düsseldorf, Germany. For those of you unfamiliar with this spectacle, it's a cross between the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl, and American Idol. The contest involves over 40 countries, with each country submitting a song to be performed on live television.
The television audience casts its vote for the most popular song in the competition. However, viewers are prohibited from voting for their country's contestant. The most entertaining part of the show is when each country's voting is revealed. The results invariably reflect national rivalries. Consequently, Germany will always rank Austria last, and Austria will do the same to its German neighbor.
People gather in bars, homes, and other public venues to watch the show. It's one of the most-watched events in the world with an audience of between 100 million and 600 million internationally. The songs range from mediocre to BAD. However, most people watch the show purely for the laughs. Quite frankly, most of the Eurovision songs are pop cheesy trash.
Last year's winner, Satellite, performed by Germany's Lena had the classic line: “I bought new underwear – they [sic] blue.” Luckily, most of the winners are quickly forgotten and fade into obscurity. However, every now and then, Eurovision surprises us with some true pop class (Olivia Newton-John, ABBA, and Celine Dion).
Why do people watch: to see schlock. And this year promises plenty of schlock thanks to Ireland's Jedward and Estonia's Getter Jaani. We can even look forward to controversy (Iceland's Sjonni's Friends has a boy-on-boy kiss as part of their performance).