First off, as an American I had no idea what Eurovision was until I did my study abroad in France (which – just throwing that out there- inspired my book “Six months of Croissants, Cafe cremes, Parties and Love available on Amazon :))
At first sight, Eurovision meant glitter, pop fever and everyone dressing up like they were about to go to a space convention. It was a bizarre sight, but I’ve been watching it for almost seven years now and I enjoy it. I love to love or hate the songs being performed and I gasp and shout at the TV when countries award points.
This year, it was about as political as usual; countries were awarding highest scores to their neighbors or their economic alliances. Okay, fine. We are used to it at this point. But this year I was completely and utterly against Russia winning. Why? I didn’t care much for the song but mostly it felt wrong if they won. With Ireland overwhelmingly voting for same-sex marriage on the same say and celebrating, I couldn’t help but think how they treat gays in Russia.
Russia is a very closed-minded/intolerant country. As I saw Conchita Wurst sitting next to the Russian representative Polina Gagarina who was leading in the half time, I could not help but think how unaccepted Conchita would be in Russia. How they would treat her being who she is. How they treat LGBT community. So this year, specially, I cheered for the Enrique Iglesias/model runway looking Swedish Mans Zelmerlow who not only had amazing graphics to support his act but had an uplifting song and a message that will continue the open-minded legacy of Conchita Wurst and not pull it back. Because…. as much as it should be about music, it is about something more to, and in this case it was about “building bridges” and not burning them.