Reflection: why I enjoy ESC

On Saturday evening, it was THAT time of the year again: time for the annual Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Originally, it was supposed to happen there last year already, but we all know how that went …

In all honesty, my liking for this particular event only really took off in the past four years or something. I mean, I at times caught it while I was channel surfing, but I wasn’t all too overly invested in it, but rather MEH! about it. Mostly, it was also my sarcastic ass being curious about Germany’s most recent fuck up and embarrassment on the international stage, because let’s face it – our entries in the past years were mediocre at the VERY best. Mostly, we’re like the bottom dwellers.

So yeah. ESC.

Love at not the very first sight, but I will be damned if I didn’t enjoy the competition by now. Yes, I am a Metalhead first and foremost, and you barely get decent rock artists there. But well, who says I can’t enjoy some fun here? And at times, some of the songs there are top notch and me likey.

Yes, it’s high quality trash. But I love it. The over-the-top costumes. All the glitz. The performances. Secondhand embarrassment as well. Wind machines. Pyrotechnics (well, tame ones compared to for example Rammstein). Confetti rains. Artists from all over Europe, some Asian countries (because for example Azerbaijan belongs to Asia, geographically), and bloody AUSTRALIA as well. It’s hilarious. It’s fun. It’s entertaining as heck. And I am HERE. FOR. IT. All of it. Judge me for it, if you want, but I don’t care.

Music is connecting people. And this particular event is the actual proof for it. I mean – even a Metalhead like Yours Truly tunes in to get some light hearted fun and entertainment. So there. Cringe worthy performances included, such as this year’s German entry (I mean, the message was nice and all, but the performance was entirely NOT it). Germany received a whopping amount of THREE points in total. Only UK did worse, earning 0 points.

It’s all about diversity as well – Germany’s bubblegum pop was followed by some Metal from good ole Suomi which then was followed up by a freakin’ BALLAD from Bulgaria. France’s singer tried a bit too hard to be another Edith Piaf, Cyprus’s at times sounded like Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” in the chorus, another trio looked like a Serbian version of Destiny’s Child, and San Marino deadass was joined by FloRida on stage.

And this, the various genres, the DIVERSITY of the different bands and artists is why I enjoy this annual contest. It’s refreshing. It helps me divert my mind from the current state of the world. It’s simple fun. Wholesome content as well. It’s like forgetting for a while about the Shit Show that’s been going on for one and a half years now. Yes, at times ESC can be political as well (for example, neighboring countries voting for each other or certain messages in the songs). But you know what? I am okay with it.

As I’ve said above – I am in it for the glitz and all the over-the-top shenanigans that come with it. It’s silly. It makes me happy and chuckle. Which, at the end of the day, cannot be a bad thing! Right? Aren’t we currently all looking for the simple things in life that make us feel good? That bring us joy? That let us forget for a while about all the stress, hassle and all that jazz?

People of various ethnicities, color of skin, religious backgrounds, sexual orientations and from different walks of life join in together to celebrate music. To celebrate the thing they love the most – music. To reach out to an international audience and simply HAVE FUN for an evening.

For me, that is also what makes Eurovision Song Contest a wholesome distraction from the woes and worries that are happening in my life or, if you want to include the bigger picture: the whole world. I love the annual music party that is ESC. And I am completely unapologetic about it! Because music has been there for me when others left. Music has given me hope. Strength. Something to believe in.

It’s also about dreams and the fulfilment of those. Dreams to make yourself known to a big(ger) audience other than your home country’s and achieve that goal by putting in hard work. Making yourself HEARD in the truest sense of the word. What is possible when you go after your dreams, no matter how many obstacles are in your way.

So in between all the silliness, the costumes and glitter, there are also stories to be found. Inspirations, even. And that is just another reason why I tune in when the time has come again for the Eurovision Song Contest.

To wrap this up, here’s this year’s winning performance, Italian band Måneskin and their song “Zitti e Buoni”. Enjoy!

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