The glitter. The lights. The key changes. If you spoke to a European over the weekend or were in Europe for the first time, you likely heard about a little singing competition called Eurovision. No?
What if we told you this is the competition that catapulted your mom's favorite Swedish pop group, ABBA, to fame in 1974? And that at 125 million viewers, it averages more eyeballs than the Super Bowl?
Alright. Well here's what you need to know: Eurovision is an absurd contest that pits European countries against one another in the form of song. The music is often terrible. The performers often worse. And the national pride -- or shame -- it elicits borders on hilarious. Think "American Idol" mixed with the World Cup, with a dash of "The Room".
Eurovision is like "The Voice" on steroids. Or maybe uppers. Who knows. But the shaky vocals, preposterous performances and outrageous outfits make this an international event of note. Really, Europeans get into it. And each year spawns some weird cultural meme. Without Eurovision, the world would never know Epic Sax Guy. And Riverdance never would have become a (unfortunate) household name.
As with most years, 2014's iteration had its fair share of winners and losers. Here are a few highlights and lowlights from Saturday's grand finale in Copenhagen.