I have always been drawn to Eurovision – the song contest that grips Europe in a weird mix of music, costumes, staging and patriotism. Attending a Eurovision is on my bucket list but it is definitely not on my husband’s, so I’ll have to invest a little time working around that one.
According to the official Eurovision website, an estimated 180 million viewers watch the contest, including live coverage into the US and China for the first time this year. In 2008 and 2011, a record number of 43 countries participated. Ireland has won 7 times, Sweden 6 and Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom 5 times.
The website also reports Norway has the dubious honour of being at the bottom of the list as many as eleven times. in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004 and in the Grand Final of 2012. Nevertheless, they also won in 1985, 1995 and 2009. Never underestimate a Norwegian. Most winning songs are performed in English – songs (mostly) in English won 26 times. French is also popular, with 14 victories. Dutch and Hebrew songs have each won 3 times.
Six different voting systems have been used to pick the winner of Eurovision, as the organisers strive to maintain the build up and work around regional voting blocks.
Things got a little closer to home after Australia was given a place in the competition last year and Guy Sebastian snagged a top five finish. And it was against this background that Dami Im swept off to Eurovision this year and blow me down if she didn’t blow everyone away with her second placing just behind the emotionally charged performance from Ukraine. Dami won the judges round but could not compete with the popular vote. Ahhh…so close so close and yet so far.
Eurovision has always been known for its outrageous costuming and staging – a bit like gift wrapping for extreme performers, where it seems nothing is off limits. Although Ivan From Belarus opened his song “Help You Fly” naked with a wolf this year, the Committee wouldn’t let him do the whole song unclothed. Costumes maketh the show.
My homage to Eurovision plays off the sparkly silvers and whites of Dami Im’s dress. My goodness she looked beautiful sitting atop her glittering podium, her dress over the top but elegant at the same time. I went for some architectural folding, using the paper flaps as the feature as her dress appeared quite architectural to me. Don’t know if architects saw it that way. The paper is silver cellophane which I would not recommend for the feint hearted as it is most unforgiving – every fold, finger print and tiny tear shows. But if you need a show stopper ( a la Eurovision) and have the time to zjoosh, then give it a go. And by the way, because it all comes back to gift wrapping for me, I hear word that silver is big big big for the upcoming festive season, so you can’t buy too much silver ribbon in preparation.