Hold the madness of the world, Eurovision has begun
Just in time, amid tense Europe, comes Eurovision, the world’s biggest live music event with its eccentric celebration of culture and song.
Watched by millions, the singing competition held this year in the city of Turin in northwestern Italy provides a welcome moment of celebration amid geopolitical unrest in Europe.
With a first Tuesday night in the semi-finals and a second Thursday, the 40 nations compete down Whittle to 25 battling in the Saturday final.
Ukrainian folk rap group Kalush Orchestra is the favorite to win.
Fans gathered outside the PalaOlimpico sports arena on Tuesday expressed their joy at the atmosphere of camaraderie.
“I think it’s amazing that this year Eurovision can happen again, especially now with the circumstances in Europe,” German fan Matthias Korte, 30, told AFP.
“Because the value of Eurovision is Europe coming together and sharing this unique experience and sharing music together. »
Give this wolf a banana
The European kitsch music and culture has captivated the continent for decades assortment, serving a steady supply of Belting no holds barred, flamboyant costumes, pyrotechnics onstage banter and awkward presenter in heavily accented English.
In its 66th year – the 2020 edition was canceled due to coronavirus – the cultural mash-up is camp and over-the-top, and often just plain weird.
This year seems no exception as seen by Subwoolfer of Norway, who perform their upbeat “Give this wolf a banana” wearing masks wolf yellow caricature with white teeth, or the entry of Latvia “Eat your salad” by Citi Zeni with her naughty lyrics and message in love with the planet.
Enjoying an outpouring of popular support and tipped by bookies to win the cult contest is Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, featuring the fast-paced rapping lullaby “Stefania.” »
The song addressed to a mother, which mixes hip-hop and traditional Ukrainian music, was written before the tensions began.
But with striking words such as “I’ll always find my way home, even if all the roads are destroyed,” the song became “really close to the heart of many Ukrainians,” said the singer rapper leader Oleh Psiuk, who along with the band received special permission from the government to attend Eurovision.
Bulls and Mechanical Violins
During rehearsals, the competitor of San Marino Achille Lauro climbed atop a mechanical bull red dressed from head to toe in Gucci while the Albanian Ronela Hajati sang “Sekret” in an energetic performance.
Sheldon Riley of Australia – one of the few European countries not to compete – showed a voluminous cape feather white ostrich worthy of Liberace, while the Moldovan brothers Zdob si Zdub & Advahov brought a dose of energy high octane index and with their accordion ‘Trenuletul charging violins.
Meanwhile, the UK’s long-haired, ever-smiling Sam Ryder gives the Brits a whiff of possible victory with his ‘Space Man’ entry, after a quarter-century of disappointment.
Last year’s winners, Italian leather-covered glam group Maneskin, will perform at the final on Saturday with a new single, “Top Model.”
The European Broadcasting Union, which organizes Eurovision, excluded Russia from the show on February 25.
During the official kick-off, the artists walked the turquoise carpet runway flanked by the press of the corresponding nations.
Votes are cast by music industry professionals and the public in each country. For the sake of fairness, no one can vote for their own nation.
Last year, 183 million people watched the contest.