Hello Dusseldorf… Washington Calling!

Explaining Eurovision to audiences that may not be familiar with the European-wide singing competition is kind of tricky. The best I could come up with is that Eurovision launched the career of ABBA. And it hasn’t changed much since those days. Held once a year, Eurovision is typically hosted by the country that won the previous year. Last May, the adorable Lena Meyer-Landrut of Germany won the intra-European singing affair in Olso with her catchy tune Satellite so Dusseldorff gets to be the site of the 2011 edition. In the past, I’ve had to watch the competition online but this year, the Goethe Institute, that little German cultural bastion here in DC, is hosting a watch party. Wie aufregend!!

If you missed Lena last year, you’re in luck, she’ll be back to vie for the tittle on May 14th. One person who will not be back, however, is that terrible singer who represented France last year (the song: Allez Olla Ole. Just plain embarassing.) France, which was one of 7 countries present at the very first Eurovision back in 1956, was once very successful at the competition. Once. We’ve won 5 times. But sadly, the last time was in 1977. This year, we’ve learned from our mistakes. No repeat of the white pants bootie shaking debacle of 2010. Instead, we’re playing it safe with Sognu, a corsican balad performed by Amaury Vassili, a Gallic Josh Groban. He’ll have some tough competition, notably (and I’m kind of excited about this) from the UK’s Blue. Yes. As in the British boy band that brought us All Rise and One Time back in the early 2000s. Wie aufregend again!! 

So… can Lena keep her crown? Will France break her 34 year dry spell? Can Blue stage a comeback? Find out Saturday at the Goethe Institute!! Attendees are encouraged to dress up in creative outfits representing the colours of the country they wish to represent, so come up with something good. Oh, and go France, bien sur!!!

The finale of the Eurovision contest is Saturday, May 14th at the Goethe Institute, located at 812 7th Street NW. Co-hosted by the lovely Kate Michael and Christoph Röckerath, a correspondent for ZDF German television, the live screening of the finale will begin at 2:30PM. Tickets $5. RSVP to (202) 289-1200 ext. 173 or rsvp@washington.goethe.org.

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