Eurovision Champion

Russia nailed its first Eurovision win this year with a song by Dima Bilan. The song is called “Believe,” and was produced by the American artist Timbaland. 

For those of you not familiar with Eurovision, think of it as Europe’s version of American Idol (except that it has been around since 1956). Each country submits one artist, and the other countries vote on their favorites. Countries are not allowed to vote on their own artists, and the votes are generally done via phoned-in text messages.

I saw my first Eurovision in Norway, and it’s, uh, entertaining to be sure. You can check out the Russian’s winning performance and decide for yourself.

Published in: on May 25, 2008 at 6:15 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I cannot help thinking that it would be slightly better if each country’s competitor(s) sang in Esperanto. Take a look at

    Esperanto works! I’ve used it in speech and writing = and sung in it – in a dozen countries over recent years.
    Indeed, the language has some remarkable practical benefits. Personally, I’ve made friends around the world through Esperanto that I would never have been able to communicate with otherwise. And then there’s the Pasporta Servo, which provides free lodging and local information to Esperanto-speaking travellers in over 90 countries. In the past year I have had guided tours of Berlin and Milan in the planned language. I have discussed philosophy with a Slovene poet, humour on television with a Bulgarian TV producer. I’ve discussed what life was like in East Berlin before the wall came down, how to cook perfect spaghetti, the advantages and disadvantages of monarchy, and so on.

  2. Please do NOT compare Eurovision with American Idol, or with the original British version of that show, Pop Idol.

    Eurovision is a laughable mess of political manoeuvering. The votes for this year’s winning entry, Russia, owe more to the country’s threats to stop supplies of Gas to its neighbours than the quality of the song it entered.

  3. I must say I was surprised to see you blogging about ESC! I didn’t know you were a fan! You must be happy for Norway though huh? They came in like 5th place…not too bad…much better than Sweden!

  4. Thanks for the info on Esperanto, Bill. I wasn’t very familiar with it, and it is an interesting concept.

    I wonder though. It seems that English (especially in Eurovision) has become the lingua franca of our day. Is it better to switch to something more obscure in order to foster peace? Is peace best achieved through communication?

    You’ve definitely got me thinking!

    … … …

    One thought about Eurovision as “political manoeuvering.” If this were the case, why is it that Russia waited 52 years to exercise its political prowess?
    Doesn’t it seem more likely that Russia would have done this, say, during the Cold War?

    But I do agree that Russia’s victory had less to do with the quality of the song than of some other factor (though I don’t have a convincing counter-explanation)

    … … …

    I am excited to hear that Norway beat Sweden, that both surprises and delights me.

    I do like Eurovision. Of course, it’s not like I can participate here in the States, but I really enjoyed it the 2 summers I spent in Bergen.

    Speaking of Norway and Sweden…

    Why couldn’t Jesus be born in Norway?
    There were no wise men to the east.

    It’s the one joke that I know, and it was stolen from a former roommate. So sad…

  5. Well… he’s cute I guess.

    Anyway, I don’t watch American Idol. I’m like, the only person I know who is all “David who???” right now.

  6. я вот что скажу: превосходно..

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