It´s that time of year again. A time of year I was previously, and happily, unaware of. It´s time for the Melodi Grand Prix, the Eurovision Song Contest, or whatever it´s actually called. The time of year when every country in Europe generates one song, usually extremely awful and performed by the artist of their choice, and competes in a ridiculous display of bad taste and favoritism on television. The winner is determined by Europeans voting via telephone or SMS, with one rule: you cannot vote for your own country.
Not only did I not previously realize how big of a deal this contest is, I didn´t even know it existed. I was zapped to reality last year, when Zlata´s favorite singer, Dima Bilan, represented Russia (her home country), and won. Seriously everyone I knew stayed at home the nights Eurovision was on TV, and excitedly texted in their votes. I had no idea what was going on. Zlata later described being at work the night of the finale, but getting calls from her mother and friends as soon as he won, screaming and hugging everyone she saw, crying with happiness, etc. So it´s a big deal.
What´s also fun is how much drama this contest creates between countries. For example, last year Sweden´s song was terrible, and therefore Norway spent the majority of its votes on other countries. This offended Sweden. Deeply.
This year, Norway apparently has a pretty good chance with Alexander Rybak´s Fairytale, which I hated at first, but for some reason sounds better in Norway. It´s got a bit of Norwegian folk music in it, which must go well with the fjords, or something. The semifinals were yesterday, and hilarious to watch. Of course, Norway made it to the next level. It´s the only thing on the covers of newspapers these days – if Rybak doesn´t win, there will most likely be some sort of national crisis.
Besides this, there´s a grill party on the beach tonight, a HUGE party tomorrow, and May 17th on Sunday. And yesterday I took pictures of Anna riding a horse.