Are you guys’ familiar with the glory and spectacle that is Eurovision Song Contest? Well, if you’re not let me break it down for you.
Much like the name suggests, in its essence, it’s an annual song contest in which the contenders are representatives from each European country. Hence, the Euro part in Eurovision. And although things are a bit different this year (COVID-19 restrictions- have you heard of them?)… The 3-day extravaganza is still happening in 2021, and Rotterdam is the host city for that spectacle. Look, I’ve written about plenty of other ceremonies and awards-shows. Most recently I even wrote about The Oscars. Check it out here. But it’s time for Eurovision. Let’s begin.
But… What’s so special about Eurovision?
Well, for more than 6 decades now, Eurovision Song Contest has been a form of entertainment unmatched by anything else. It’s sappy, it’s campy and it’s filled with glamour, glitter and talent. Or lack thereof depends on how you see it. Some countries take it way too seriously, but most of them are not invested at all, and merely see it as a good source of fun. However, at this point of the article, it’s good to say out the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Much like I mentioned earlier, there’s a 3-day spectacle divided into three separate competing nights. There are 2 semi-finals and of course, the main event is the final. Which is where (and when) the winner is crowned. Right after the long and tedious voting process that is. However, just 10 out of the semi-finalists get to participate in the final (again after that very tense voting process). And there are a handful of countries that get an automatic entry into the final. But they’re usually no fun. They’re not even trying anymore, and they’re boring, so let’s not discuss them. Also, for the first time since its debut in 2015, Australia failed to qualify for the final, but don’t ask me to explain this geography conundrum. That’s a topic for another article.
Special COVID Rules for Eurovision 2021
After the last year’s cancelation, the 2021 edition of Eurovision is in full swing. With limited seating arrangements. And that applies to the three live shows and six rehearsals before the competition itself. Oh and some other special measures as well but you get the point. However, even the strict COVID restrictions (and relentless testing) were not enough and a bunch of performers still tested positive to COVID-19. Sadly that’s true.
But Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, Cyprus, Norway, Belgium, Israel, Azerbaijan, Malta and Ukraine got into the final from the first semi-final. While San Marino, Greece, Moldova, Iceland, Serbia, Albania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Finland, and Switzerland got into the final from the second semi-final. Are you excited about the final? Let us know in the comment section, and also share our favorites with us. We’d love to know your picks.
Games And Movies To Go With Eurovision 2021
Yes, we know that Eurovision is a spectacle all to itself, we at IndieGala have some other sources of entertainment to offer too. Even though we don’t have many singing oriented video games (if you don’t count Disney High School Musical 3: Senior Year Dance, Old School Musical or Figment), we do have some cool music/dance-inducing video game soundtracks. Simply search for the term soundtrack and you will find a varied selection.
But while I’m on the subject of entertainment, there’s a great movie that goes well with the topic of this article. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Let me tell you about my take on the movie.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
It’s hilarious, it’s bonkers and it has an incredible cast. But let me start from the very beginning. Will Farrell and Rachel McAdams are Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdóttir here. Two best friends from Iceland who dream of not just signing at Eurovision. They also dream of winning Eurovision Song Contest. So, together with their band, Fire Saga they’ll finally get the chance to fulfill their lifelong dream, but the road to Eurovision is not an easy one for these two. There will be a lot of mistakes (*fairies maybe) and so so much more.
Seriously, how hilarious is this movie? One might say bonkers, but it was enough to keep me entertained and belly-laughing for almost the entire run-time. First, there’s the SNL-like overacting that’s present in almost every actor’s performance. Indeed, it’s silly and over-the op but it works here. As if the over-acting is in line with the absurdity of the entire movie. Frankly, it is, and it’s the reason why it works so well.
Seriously, The Cast Is Fabulous
And I’m not solely talking about Will (who did his own singing) and Rachel (who does not). Although I’ll come back at her in a moment. Dan Stevens is equally hilarious as Alexander Lemtov. The very flamboyant singer from Russia who’s fabulouuuuus. While Pierce Brosnan is fantastic as Eric I must admit. You remember Eric right? Lars’s disapproving dad. Sure, there are plenty of real-life Eurovision winners and former contestants, but can I go back to the incredible Rachel once again. She deserves all the praise in the world for this movie.
Look, I know she’s a good actress and therefore a good comedic actress. But over here in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga she’s extraordinary. Honestly, I’m surprised how her back is not hurting even now since she did carry the movie on her own shoulders. You may come for Will, but you will stay for Rachel. I guarantee it.
What I didn’t appreciate was the sketch-like treatment of some of the scenes, and therefore some of the jokes. The delivery felt off at times, but I’m guessing that was the intention. Not to take the movie, or themselves so seriously. I mean it’s parody after all.
Loving The Songs Though
They’re bonkers and Eurovision material at the same time. Not to mention, they’re original, which is a lot more than some other movies can say in this department. Again, much like the movie itself, they’re fun. But they work, especially Husavik which was also nominated for an Oscar. But you know what else works? The costumes. In line with the over-the-top style and the kitschy excess of Eurovision of course. But they’re kitsch galore and I love them too. Look, I know that for plenty, the movie was a handful. And it can be if you take it too seriously. But if you treat it like a fun parody, it’s a hilarious 2 hours long experience that you might enjoy.
Are You A Fan?
Of the actual Eurovision Song Contest, and the movie as well? Let us know which country is your favorite this year. We’d love t know all about it. Don’t be shy. Hit that comment section, and tell us.