Sunday, May 15, 2011

43 different ways to say Azerbaijan

ELDAR GASIMOV & NIGAR JAMAL finished their celebratory final performance of "Running Scared" -- the winning entry in last night's 56th annual EUROVISION SONG CONTEST -- and KERSTIN turned to me and said:
"We've got to find that song."
erstin was bitten by the bug: She's another music fan hooked on Eurovision.
We originally tuned in (it was live streamed on the Eurovision website) to see JEDWARD, those Irish twins with the gravity defying hair and "gosh-let's-put-on-a-show-in-the-school-gym" level of enthusiasm and performance ability.
We continued watching because of the variety of the acts from the 25 finalist nations and the novelty of a continent dropping everything to bask in often-overwrought pop music.
Famous past winners of the continental song competition have included France Gall, Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Katrina and the Waves and ABBA -- who were launched as a global pop sensation after "Waterloo" won the 1974 edition.
Although many of last night's acts sang in English -- the lingua franca of pop -- some struck out in their native tongues. As opposed to X-Factor or American Idol, there seemed to be a greater variety of singer and song at Eurovision.
Two of my favorite entries were Serbia's NINA RADOJIČIĆ -- she performed the song "Čaroban" in a retro-60s girl-group pop-art style and Moldova's ZDOB ŞI ZDUB, who seemed to take a Pogues-like punk approach to Transylvanian folk music and who performed "So Lucky" while wearing towering cones on their heads.
It was a memorable night of music, and Kerstin and I both watched transfixed as the 43 participating nations reported in with the results of their voting (by judging panel and viewers' votes -- with the restriction that nations couldn't vote for their own entries).
We decided "Ell and Nikki," as Gasimov and Jamal were dubbed for the show, were deserved winners. As the votes poured in, Kerstin noted how each nation had not only its unique interpretation of pop music, but also it's own way of pronouncing "Asch-scher-BYE-zhawn."
We're both probably hooked on the Eurovision experience now, and yes -- I did find "Running Scared" online. I'm listening to it now.


Blogger inger said...

The first time I saw any Eurovision on TV was in Croatia, in a small hotel room in Trogir, and then I saw a show about it on the Norwegian channel when I was in Stockholm last year too :)

9:02 AM  

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