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Europeans and music make a bizarre mix

Submitted by Jakob on 18 May, 2006 - 23:22.My Blog | Miscellaneous | Music

I just finished watching the semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest, a relatively popular event here in Europe. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it's an annual contest where several European, as well as non-European, countries compete in music. Each country chooses an artist to represent it. The winnining country gets to host the contest the next year. As usual the quality was uneven, there were some potentially great ones and a lot that were mediocre and some that were outright bad. Also as usual, the results of the vote made absolutely no sense.

In fact, the songs that could be considered awful made it while other songs that were much better and a lot better performed didn't. I just don't get it. The music taste of the average European is bizarre. Fortunately Sweden made it to the final and we got a good starting position near the end. This is good since when people are presented with a list and then later prompted to recall it they tend to remember the first thing and the last thing. It's called the primacy-recency effect and is well-documented by cognitive psychology. The Swedish song is rather catchy, a bit too much eurotechno and a bit too cheesy for me but it will certainly catch on and be remembered.

While I can't say I'm a fan of our artist nor her song, I still consider it one of the better ones and I tend to become quite the patriot when it comes to competing against other nations, regardless of whether it's sports or something else. Our singer has won once before so her making it again would be somewhat legendary. Well we'll see what happens on Saturday.

Meanwhile I believe you can listen and view the videos of all the songs at the offical ESC website. It's an option if you don't live in Europe and you're curious about this whole bizarre ESC thing we Europeans seem so obsessed with! :)

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