Americans don’t pay much attention to something called “Eurovision,” and I supposed we usually shouldn’t. It’s a kind of pan-European version of “American Idol,” in which musical acts chosen to represent every country in Europe stage overproduced performances of inoffensive and quickly forgotten pop anthems. While it’s a competition, it seems to be less about the singing than about an intra-European popularity contest, and it’s common for viewers to vote in national and regional blocs to put their candidate—the one who represents, say, Eastern Europe—into the finals. The whole thing is a bit of European cultural nonsense, without much significance.
Except that this year produced an especially strange result.