One of the great travesties of American television is that, for all the ridiculous reality TV we consume, there is truly no flair to it. This is not an opinion I thought I would hold, but after a night of watching the Eurovision Song Contest with my European compatriots, I stand by it firmly. Kim K’s got nothing on the Germans.
The night of the finals of Europe’s biggest annual television event, my friend Megan from OU was in town visiting before her own exchange experience started at Arezzo in Italy. She joined me and two other non-Europeans in watching what is hands down the most bizarre live television event in existence, with all of my European friends going absolutely ballistic.
For those of you who don’t know, the Eurovision Song Contest is Europe’s version of American Idol, except nations compete against each other for the title and they are voted for by citizens of other countries. The ESC has brought us such notable pop icons as ABBA and Celine Dion, but quite honestly most of it is absolute trash.
Which is why it was hilarious and somewhat shocking to see grown adults, the people I’d been working with and hanging out with for the past four months, completely losing their minds cheering or jeering at contestants. It’s eye opening to see your French and British friends arguing loudly over how well each would do at the end of the night, nationalism completely taking over for the two-hour show.
The entire evening was a sloppy mess, but it was a fun one and a quintessential European experience. Check out the footage on YouTube and decide for yourself. Spoiler alert: Ukraine won, but Russia caught the snitch.