Eurovision from an American Expat's Perspective
I'm an American expat living in Sweden with my Swedish husband. Eurovision is a big deal here - it's like the Super Bowl of Europe. It's an international song contest where one contestant from each country competes for the title. Watching Eurovision is an experience like no other- it's loud, colorful, and over-the-top! Contestants sing original songs, and this year I think Sweden has a real shot with their contestant Cornelia Jakobs. The song contest really is as bombastic as the Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams movie "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga." Eurovision is truly a unique event, and I'm excited to see how Sweden does this year.
If you're not familiar with Eurovision, I highly recommend checking it out. It's a great way to spend an evening (afternoon if in the United States) with family and friends, and it's a fun way to expose young ones to different cultures all from your couch. Europe comes together for this event in a way that is truly special.
There are songs from all over the world represented in the contest and it's really cool to see. It also makes for a more diverse and interesting show. I think it's great that the contest is able to showcase so many different cultures and languages.
If you're not into the whole "singing competition" thing, that's okay too. There are plenty of other aspects to Eurovision that will keep you entertained like the fashion, the sets, and of course- the drama.
Some contestants are theatrical and it's sometimes amazing and sometimes hilarious.
How is the Eurovision Competition Set Up:
The competition is held over three nights- the semi-finals and the finals. This year, the semi-finals are on May 11th and 12th and the finals are on May 14th. Five countries are guaranteed a place in the finals: Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain. This is because they contribute the most money to the Eurovision organization. All other countries who are participating must compete in the two semi-finals. 26 are selected then to compete in the finals.
So How Does the Eurovision Voting Work:
The voting is sometimes the best part of this spectacle.
It's always interesting to see how the voting plays out and which countries give points to whom. There are sometimes political undertones to the voting, but that's part of what makes Eurovision so fun to watch. It'll be interesting to see how Ukraine does in this year's contest. Russia has been denied participation in this year's contest.
Voting is a big part of Eurovision. The audience plays a huge role in who wins the contest. And the public's opinion can sway the contest completely as it did in 2021's contest when Italy's Måneskin won.
Each country gets to award 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 points to 12 respective contestants. The song with the most points at the end of the voting is the winner of the juried votes.
One of my favorite bits of the show is when each country's representative tells the committee their scores. They often try to run bits and it's cringy and hilarious.
Where You Can Watch 2022 Eurovision:
If you want to watch the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, it'll be airing on May 11th, 12th, and 14th at 21:00 CEST. You can also stream it live on the Eurovision website.
For those in the United States, that means the contest will be airing on Wednesday, May 11th at 15:00 EDT, Thursday, May 12th at 15:00 EDT, and Saturday, May 14th at 21:00 EDT. You can stream it live and on-demand on Peacock.
I hope this has given you a little taste of what Eurovision is all about and maybe even inspired you to take part in it this year! Pick a country and root for them!
Do you have any plans to watch Eurovision this year? Let me know in the comments below! And if you're not familiar with the contest, be sure to check it out - you won't be disappointed.