The Eurovision Song Contest Phenomenon

I had never heard of the Eurovision Song Contest before moving to Denmark but I soon learned that this annual music competition is HUGE here. It’s not just big, it’s HUGE. People even host parties the night of the actual contest like Oscar nights in the U.S. to cheer on singers/performers from Denmark to Albania, Montenegro and Switzerland to Belarus. Many perform in their local language although English is the most popular language of the most-winning acts. Talk about an international spectacle.

The contest has run for the past 53 years and winners are determined by televoting. Believe it or not past winners have gone on to produce one-hit wonders or in some cases even had a long successful career. Who are some of these now known performers? Well, would you believe this is where Swedish sensation ABBA got their big break? Or what about Celine Dion, Milli-Vanilli or Rick Astley? Yes, it’s true. Another notable winner, albeit a one-hit wonder abroad, is Danish sensation Aqua with their obnoxious but irresistible song “Barbie Girl.

 This year the contest will be hosted in Moscow on May 12/14/16  and Denmark’s entrant has just been confirmed. Each country participating holds their own in-country competitions first and Denmark’s “Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2009,” just announced Brinck as the winner who will go on to compete. You can see the video of the winning performance below.  To me he sounds more like a country music performer from Texas than a Danish performer. But that’s just me. What do you think? What are your past favorites? Perhaps it’s the winner of the 2006 contest Finnish “hard rock” band Lordi?


4 Comments on “The Eurovision Song Contest Phenomenon”

  1. Great post! I love the Eurovision Song Contest — which was also a near-mystery to me before moving here. It’s cheesy, crass, over the top and hilarious; what could be more fun than to break out some drinks and snacks and have a good laugh at the expense of sequin-overloaded glam rockers and Macedonian klezmer pop? 🙂

    I especially enjoy it on BBC with the snide commentary of Terry Wogan. He just pushes it over the edge into complete kitsch…


  2. The only thing I am unhappy about the Eurovision Song Contest is that the use of English, in the Eurovision Song Contest increases year by year.

    As a native English speaker I think this is unfair!

    It’s certainly time to break the habit of “language imperialism”, in the Eurovision Song Contest, and use a song, sung in Esperanto instead!

    This is a serious suggestion, as you can see from the Esperanto music which is already available at or at

    There’s even cheesy Esperanto music available! See


  3. Hi Laura

    I found your blog on the, for as serial expat, (Native Danish), it is really funny to read about DK through the eyes of a foreigner, I grew up with the Eurovision Song Contest and newer though about that we actually kind of celebrate this event, it was just normal, that you gathered with family and friends to watch this on Saturday evenings in March / April.


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