You may or may not know about the largest musical contest in the world. No, it's not American Idol, as much as Fox would like to think it is. It's the Eurovision Song Contest, now going into its 56th year. This year, the final is being broadcast from that famously liberal city Copenhagan and, according to Reuters,
The city of Copenhagen will perform wedding ceremonies for both homosexual and heterosexual couples from all around the world in the days leading up to Denmark's hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in May, the municipality said on Thursday.Taking a page from the Grammys, no doubt, but upping the ante a little.
And yes, "all around the world" means Russia.
And here's what Reuters has to say about that:
"We have already scheduled 20-30 couples in our calendar -both Danish and foreigners. On the first of the three days, we start with three Russian gay marriages," office manager Flemming Otto, who is in charge of the event, told Reuters.
Okay, how do we know the world, or Russia, for that matter, will be paying any attention? Well, some famous people - Lulu, ABBA, Celine Dion -- have won it, and Domenico Modugno's Volare, a winning song for Italy reached #2 on the American pop charts in the summer of 1958. yes, Russia is one of the countries that can send contestants to the contest, and this year, the Tolmachevy Sisters (yes, there's video) are among the 32 semifinalists.
How does the contest work? Eurovision is a little sketchy about the rules, but that's why we have Wikipedia.
Number of songsThere's voting, as in American Idol, but it's a combination of telephone votes and juries of musical professionals.
Each country in the Eurovision Song Contest is entitled to enter just one song. The Contest final is limited to 26 songs. They consist of the following:
The "Big 5" countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) as they are the 5 largest economic contributors to the contest, and are rewarded with automatic spots in the final.
The host country.
10 qualifiers from Semi-final 1 - held on the Tuesday before the contest.
10 qualifiers from Semi-final 2 - held on the Thursday before the contest.
At the first Contest, each country was allowed to submit two songs each with a maximum duration of three minutes. Nowadays, it is still required that each song not exceed three minutes in length, although many artists record the song in a longer version, simply performing a shorter version at the Contest. The number of participating countries has grown throughout the Contest's history, and since 1993 the rules have been changed several times to both limit the number of finalists and to allow for participation by former Soviet and Yugoslav republics, Warsaw Pact nations and others.
No previously published music
The entering song is also not allowed to be a cover version, and is not allowed to sample another artist's work. All songs must be completely original in terms of songwriting and instrumentation, and may not have been released publicly before 1 September of the year preceding. If released publicly, it may only be released in the entrant country's market until after the contest.
So that's the event. No, Nobody will be married during the broadcasts (May 6, 8 and 10) but, as Reuters observes,
Copenhagen municipality will marry couples on May 7, 8 and 10 at three different popular locations in Copenhagenand the international press will be invited. Thus, in a month, we'll know how much of a slap in Putin's face this will be.