I have always been amused by the annual Eurovision song contest, if only because it means so much to all the nations participating.This year, the winner was a bearded drag queen from Austria who goes by the name of Conchita Wurst (real name: Tom Neuwirth). I heard a bit of his/her number, “Rise Like a Phoenix,” on YouTube. I have to admit that Conchita was in good voice and deserved some credit for not turning the number into a freak show.
Every year, I root for Iceland to win. For a tiny little island nation (under 400,000 population), they have tons of raw musical talent. This year, the representative was a group called Pollapönk, which looks something like a cross between the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the Teletubbies. Their musical number was called “No Prejudice,” which you can see here at YouTube. This year Pollapönk placed a lowly fifteenth out of twenty-six. According to the Iceland Review website, their favorable votes came mostly from San Marino (8), France (7), and Italy (6).
I doubt anything lik Eurovision would ever make it big in the United States. Although Europe has the musical talent, Eurovision is far too political (big surprise!) and far too oriented toward a lumpenproletariat audience. It differs from such performers as Barry Manilow and Tom Jones mainly in the politically liberal orientation of the musical numbers presented.