Norway 2013- Opening Up

After Albania’s entry “Identitet,” this was my 2nd favourite this year’s contest. So after a) not getting to watch the second semi-final due to classes at the time and b) watching my favourite entry epic fail, I turned to Norway’s entry. For one thing, I could actually sing along to the lyrics, and second, the song hit me at a personal level.

I didn’t want to tell anyone what happened at the end of German 2. No one really needed to know how I tried to tell someone that I liked him and that he wouldn’t talk to me for a year. But at the same time, I wanted people to know what happened without directly telling them. As a result, I wrapped myself in song lyrics and 6 Degrees of Separation metaphors, going, “Dude, I already told you what happened; don’t ask me anymore” all the time and getting frustrated with almost everything. It also didn’t really help that I lost my voice a lot from eating fried food and/or getting into screaming contests with my family. Eventually I just turned into the person that Malene Mortensen was singing about in 2002.

But considering that I’m talking about it right now, I got out of just sitting in front of the computer editing Eurovision playlists. After two more years of German class and a fresh start at uni, holding in the story wasn’t going to help. I was going to have to take down this wall, brick by brick to slowly open myself again. My RA and IGD (Intergroup Dialogue) leader took it a step further in class, pushing people to talk about past stories and feelings to be able to fully understand each other. The first week it was awkward, but slowly it worked and still helps today (despite a few meltdowns on the way). And it really felt like they took a knife and cut anything we tried to hide ourselves with.

Maybe if stuff works out, I might be able to use this song literally. As for right now, I’m eating a jelly donut. It’s not being 100% prepared for disaster control (at the moment), but at least I won’t have to bang my head on a wall in frustration of them not understanding over-the-top metaphors.

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How not to introduce ESC to people

It’s sometimes hard being an American who likes Eurovision: Unless you live close enough to New York City to attend Europhoria or have any ESC-fan friends, you’re stuck to listening to the songs online. Everywhere else no one’s ever heard of what you’re listening to, unless you ask the high school radio station’s weekly Europop show to play something. And when you do so, they’re only going to accept songs like “Euphoria” or “I Feed You My Love” because they sound radio-friendly enough.

Obviously, there are some songs that you shouldn’t use to introduce the contest to friends. Either you end up scaring them off with your weird interests, or they end up thinking that the contest is something over-the-top, kitschy, etc. Here are some songs that I don’t recommend introducing ESC with:

  1. Greece 2013- “Alcohol is Free”– My HS German teacher invited me to what would be called a Eurovision party, which was technically bribing students with free food and extra credit to watch some of the 2013 songs about a week after the contest. However, she hadn’t heard any of the songs yet. Naturally she was a bit annoyed with some of the German Club students deciding to play this on a school computer- I don’t think it would be a good idea to play this over the school radio either.
  2. Romania 2013- “It’s My Life”– Most people’s first reaction: Wait, what did I just see?!

    Just a sparkly countertenor dubstep vampire…

  3. Austria 2012- “Woki Mit Deim Popo”- My friend from German class saw me copying the title and just facepalmed. And then there are the people who think “Woki” sounds like “F*** you.”
  4. Ukraine 2007- “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”– Quoting someone I don’t remember, this is a “3 minute acid trip video.” One of my classmates at uni who’s heard the song said, “I was listening to this while driving and almost crashed the car due to how hilarious it was.”
  5. Estonia 2008- “Leto Svet”– I’ve been watching Eurovision for over 3 years and still can’t really understand this. Besides it being a mashup of tropes commonly seen in ESC, it doesn’t make much sense.

    “Two slices of chocolate cake, I’m fed up with green beans.” Yes, those are ACTUAL translated lyrics.

  6. Russia 2012- “Party for Everybody”– I’m guessing people will probably disagree with me, but I don’t think it’s that great an idea to introduce people to Eurovision with this song. Maybe it would work as a shock factor (which I’ve done) because typically Russian grandmas don’t go with disco balls, but it would probably just further the belief that ESC if just kitschy.

    Cookies anyone?