I sat last night and watched the European Song Competition (ESC). To be honest, I dozed through one hour of the deal at some point.
For Americans, ESC is a highly packaged music show that started in the late 1950s. It was supposed to highlight new songs and show some competitive nature among European countries. It occurs once a year, in the spring. Each country sends up a contestant or band.....they sing a live show, and then individual countries vote. A winner is declared at the end.
In the sixty years that it's existed....Germany has won the contest twice (1982 and 2010). That's it. They've been in the show 59 occasions. The missing year? Back in 1996, the Germans sent up their choice of Leon. There were so many choices for that particular year (in Oslo) that the judges said there would be a preview and several groups were knocked out prior to the show. Well....Leon wasn't allowed to continue to the evening show. Curiously enough....one of the big backers and financial supporters of the show is ARD (via the German TV tax), and they went kinda ballistic after the event unfolded. The rules were changed after that event...to ensure it never repeated again.
Do a lot of Germans watch ESC? I have my doubts. For those in the 15 to 30 year old group, I would speculate that fewer than 20-percent watch.
For several years, Stefan Raab got into the middle of the competition business for the German choice for the ESC, and it's safe to say that the whole thing was treated as a joke. Since the Germans weren't going to win, it was the natural choice to make it a joke. A couple of years ago.....ARD took over the competition within Germany and tried hard to make it a serious thing. Frankly, I don't think it's improved much of anything.
Last night....at the end of the first line of voting.....Germany was next to last and the young gal who'd been sent to compete was pretty misty-eyed over the lack of votes.
Strangely enough....somewhere in the beginning of the show last night....the Romanian couple delivered their song...."Yodel It". If you can imagine taking a decent rap-song, and combining it with young gal yodeling part of the lyrics.....well....that was the song. I have to admit, it was a catchy tune and it ought to be played in the US.
Beyond that, it was a worthless show to watch, thus explaining how I dozed through 60 minutes of the show. I suspect if you asked the 82-million Germans about continuing the ARD sponsorship and payment into the show...over half the nation would suggest to drop sponsorship and not air the show. But thankfully, ARD runs the business, and won't dare mess with the format or participation.