I love Eurovision. I’m taking a week off to fly in from Colorado to watch it live. I read wiwibloggs daily. And I have not watched any of the acts.
Let’s go back to 2012. Everyone else on this blog already knew who was good, who was bad, and was comparing each of the entries to Loreen. Meanwhile, knowing nothing, I had a wondrous experience.
It started with Rambo Amadeus. WTF? Expecting something good, I instead see my dad wandering around the stage complaining about everything. Total shock because it was completely unexpected. And that’s part of what makes Eurovision Eurovision—some absolutely horrible disasters. But they need to be a surprise to be a shock.
And then Rona Nishliu. There’s a thin line between singing high notes and screaming and she blasted well over it. My dogs went running from the room with me right after them. Once again, not knowing what was coming made for a much larger shock. If I had heard it before I would have just muted the sound before she started.
As the first semi-final continued, I started to worry that it would be a repeat of 2011, nothing spectacular. Without knowing what was coming on Thursday I was left thinking that while Greece and Cyprus had nice songs, there might not be anything that was incredible. And for 2 days I was left wondering, hoping, despairing. The highs of joy are built on the lows of despair.
And because I saw them for the first time, I initially discounted Lautar because the stage act was so hokey. So I got the experience of having the song grow on me during the contest. (La La Love grew on me over the course of the contest too.) So instead of watching the acts having already picked my favorites, I had songs that were moving up (and some down) until the very end.
And then we had the second semi-final. All of you watched it excited to see the top acts. I watched it hopeful that there would be better, but not knowing. And that meant that as each song started, I was begging that it be spectacular.
Then came the joy as I heard stellar performances. Zeljko Joksimovic and Kurt Calleja were both really good. And then Loreen…I had no knowledge of what was coming, no expectation other than Sweden usually had good performers. OMG! And I was in thrall. Totally mesmerized. And that can only happen when you see something for the first time with no expectation.
And so that’s it. Loreen has it won. And then shortly after Ott Lepland who also sang an absolutely beautiful song and with that another wondrous surprise as there were now two songs that were well beyond anything I expected. After Tuesday where I was just hoping for something really good, I now had two that were incredible.
And then there was the final. Starting off with another train wreck. Yes I expected the UK to suck, but they reached new depths with Engelbert Humperdinck. And that had me wondering if any of the other big 5 + 1 would have something good. So with lowered expectations I waited to see the others. Which made for a very pleasant surprise from Anggun, Nina Zilli, and Sabina Babayeva. Unexpected and more enjoyable for that.
And then Pastora Soler sang. Like Loreen, not expecting anything and seeing something that transcended perfection, it was absolutely amazing. To think Loreen had it and then hear another act every bit as incredible, wow. But again, if I had heard her before, I would not have viewed it as in the bag for Loreen before hearing her. (Granted, it was in the bag for Loreen once the votes came in.)
So I read the blogs. And therefore I should know what’s coming right? Well sort-of. The blogs state unequivocally that Cezar is either going to win it or will be so bad that it will destroy Eurovision. And the articles about Alyona Lanskaya say that she either will win in the top 5 or is a talentless hack who’s only in because of rigged voting in Belarus (something that never ever happens in Belarus).
In other words, reading the blogs doesn’t give you any idea of what to expect. And so while the rest of you will be measuring each against the acts that are already your top picks, I’ll be seeing everything for the first time. And that makes for a much more enjoyable time.