Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Duncan Watts On... Eurovision?

Yes! The illustrious sociologist/network theorist Duncan Watts wrote an Op/Ed in yesterday's NYTimes about the Eurovision song contest! I too experienced my first Eurovision contest party this past May 12th, courtesy of my friend Arik who is a true veteran enthusiast of the contest, complete with a book on the contest's history (I had no idea that it's been around since 1956, and launched the careers of ABBA, Julio Iglesias, and Celine Dion!). Well... I guess it used to truly be a talent competition, but post-cold war with lots of little countries like Moldova & Slovenia having as much voting power as the UK & France... voting (much like voting for American Idol, only you can't vote for the contestant from your own country, and each country has the same number of "electoral votes" to award in total)...has become all about politics: European politics & the politics of sexuality!! Like Duncan Watts, I found the voting process FASCINATING!!!

But watching the song entries is silly, often campy, fun too. For example, check out the runner-up in this year's competition, Verka Seduchka from the Ukraine. Per Arik's report, this "Ukrainian space-age transgender telletubby is number 28 in the UK chart this week, based on downloads alone. Just wait until the physical single hit the stores. Danzen!":

The actual winner of the competition was what Arik would call the "Serbian KD Lang", Marija Serifovic. I actually thought she had the best voice in the competition, so given that Lordi (the monster metal band from Finland) won last year, I think someone with a good voice winning (rather than someone with just a major gimmick) is good news for the future of Eurovision. But he'd say she is BORING. You decide:

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