Although Mark and I definitely watched the first semi-final of this year’s Eurovision contest in Malmö with enthusiasm and fascination, I didn’t post about it because I am just not yet equipped to parse this amazing and amazingly complicated European institution for my American compatriots just yet. But I will be attending a Eurovision Partý tonight (for Iceland’s performance) and on Saturday for the final, so perhaps after this immersive experience I will be better equipped to tell you all about next year’s competition in vivid detail.
In the meantime, I suggest those among you who take enjoyment from unabashed, earnest nationalism, the poppiest of pop music, amazing costuming, circus-like staging, and incredible back-up dancers (and drummers) to check out tonight’s live streaming broadcast of the second semi-final (in which Iceland will perform), here.
In case you want to know more about Iceland’s competitor this year, you can read the Grapevine cover story and comprehensive Eurovision guide. And, for context, I will pass along a sentiment that has been shared with me now multiple times by Icelanders regarding the country’s Eurovision chances and this year’s competition. In the words of one man:
We always think we are going to win. Every year…
But not this year.
(The yearly optimism does seem to be borne out, if this article is any proof.)
Only time will tell…