Daily Illuminator

May 8, 2024: Eurovision Fever!

Eurovision Song Contest 2024 Malmo Sweden

It's flashy and fun. It's colorful and vibrant. It's a spectacle of songs and props and pyrotechnics and costumes. It's the biggest music competition in the world. 
Each year beginning in 1956, countries across Europe (and in later years, Australia) have sent their very best performers to compete for the trophy. From Albania to the United Kingdom, Eurovision has drawn hundreds of millions of watchers each year. 
Even if you've never heard of Eurovision before, you most likely know two of the most famous winners: Celine Dion (1988, representing Switzerland) and ABBA (1974, representing Sweden). You may have seen the extremely popular Will Ferrell movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
This year's event, with the theme United by Music, will take place in Malmö, Sweden. The host country is the home of the previous year's winner. In 2023, Loreen took the victory with her amazing ballad "Tattoo." There are 37 countries participating, each with an original song that was written just for the competition. 
No matter what genres of music you enjoy, there's guaranteed to be something here for you to love. There's rap, multiple types of pop, techno, traditional folk, and so much more. In addition to outstanding musical compositions, Eurovision is also known for its extreme over-the-top staging and costuming.
Semi-finals will be held on May 7th and 9th, and 10 artists from each of those days will move on to the finals on Saturday, May 11th. During the Grand Final, those 20 artists plus last year's winning country (Sweden) and The Big Five (Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, and France) will perform. 
The points come from a popular tele-vote plus a vote from a team of professional jurors from each of the 37 countries. Beginning in 2023, residents of the United States can weigh in on their favorites, too!
Two of the very best entries this year come from Croatia and Norway. Croatia's Baby Lasagna is favored in the odds to win the entire contest with his song "Rim Tim Tagi Dim." Norway's Gåte will perform "Ulveham," which is based on a famous Norse fairytale.
Want to watch? Eurovision will be streaming LIVE on NBC's Peacock app at 2:00pm CST on all three of the contest dates! You can also use a VPN to watch it on YouTube. 

-- Michelle Richardson


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