Monday, May 9, 2011

Tuning in for Eurovision 2011

The month of May marks many exciting events within the Norwegian community, primarily the celebration of Norway’s Constitution Day. However, this year Norwegians have yet another event to celebrate: Eurovision 2011.

In it’s 56th year, the Eurovision song contest is an international broadcasting event—coordinating simulcasts in 43 participating nations as well as Australia, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Korea, and New Zealand. From May 10th through the 14th, viewers across Europe will be tuning in to this year’s live song contest to watch and vote for their favorite contestants. Hosting the event this year is Germany, the home country of last year’s Eurovision winner, Lena Meyer-Landrut.

Norway’s contestant, Stella Mwangi, received a winning 280,217 votes in Oslo’s Melodi Grand Prix with her song “Haba Haba” to win the nomination for her adopted county in February. Mwangi’s energetic pop song takes cues from her African roots and centers heavily on the words of encouragement Mwangi received from her grandmothers, who encouraged her to be whatever she wanted to be. Commentators from Aftenposten suggest that Mwangi may have good chances of winning Eurovision since recent winners—including Alexander Rybak—have succeeded with upbeat songs.

Viewers in Canada and the U.S. can follow along by visiting at 2:00 PM (CST) on Tuesday, May 10th to watch Mwangi in the first of 2 semi-finals, where she will compete against contestants from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. The second semi final will take place on the 12th, the final on the 14th.

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