Eurovision Song Contest Country Smackdown, Round 4!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2, the Interval, Round 3A, and Round 3B)
Well, this rules out any future for me as an ESC bookie. =P I would never have predicted which two countries would be slugging it out in the Final. But more fun for me, aye? LOL! Greece's wildcard win in Round 3B also means that only songs from the second thirty years of Eurovision will be competing this week, so Monaco, which dropped out long before the ESC's thirty-year anniversary, will not be representing the Francophones again this round. (Yes, yes, I know they tried to come back in the early 2000s, but those entries never made it past the semis.) Anyway, I have a feeling that Luxembourg won't mind one more chance to show us what it had.
Greece vs. Luxembourg
Hellas are here with another song from their most successful decade ever, the early 2000s. And few things are more Greek than a song like ΩΠΑ! Giorgios Alkaois wanted this Top 10 finisher to encourage his fellow Greeks, who were then enduring the worst of Europe's economic crisis, to stop dwelling on the past and to start over in the present. On the Eurovision stage, it became a spirited message for the whole continent. Up against it is Luxembourg's last big hurrah, from the late 1980s, featuring the Belgian chanteuse Lara Fabian, whose first language was Italiano. The yearning ballad Croire is all about the things you can believe in if you see life avec les yeux de coeur (with the eyes of the heart). Although it did not win the contest that year, it became an international hit that made hundreds of thousands of music-loving believers all over Europe. Which musical message do you think should dominate this tournament bracket?
And of course, because this is a Shredded Cheddar smackdown, another country we haven't even heard from until today could still take the crown home for itself. I hope you're ready for the final wild card . . .
With three wins to its name, Israel arguably deserved a spot in the "Insieme" Sixteen. It didn't get in because I have this funny belief that Eurovision should be for European countries only. (Of course, not being European myself, what do I know??? =P) But the ESC's rule is that any country that is a member of the European Broadcasting Union may join the song contest, even if it obviously just wants in for political reasons. All that aside, I have to admit that Israel "does" Eurovision the way I wish its actual European competitors would: in its national language more often than not and with its own musical traditions and artists. There are very few Israeli entries that sound as if they might have come from other countries. So let's give it its due at last, training the spotlight on Viva La Diva, a song about a highly idealised beautiful woman worthy of being named with Aphrodite and Cleopatra. And see if you notice anything about the "diva" who sings it . . .
This will be the last chance to get entries for this year's Philippine Literature Giveaway, which will also be ending soon.
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