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international idol

Why You Should Care About (and Watch!) This Year’s Eurovision Contest

It's that time of the year again: Eurovision! Held in Malmö, Sweden, this year (related: Sweden took the gold home last year with Loreen's "Euphoria"), the international song competition is not just about the music: It's a matter of national pride. However, we Americans usually just see the cheesy side, with the train wrecks sent our way via the World Wide Web. But isn't that the way all American singing competitions are? A mix of talent (or, rather, "talent") and absurdly deluded William Hung–esque weirdos? So why not tune in, even if you don't have a home country to root for? (You can watch the show live online; today's first semifinal starts at 21:00 CEST, or 3 p.m. EST.) Here are two tastes from each end of the viable-comical continuum to get you hooked.

On the comical side, the "Internet Favorite" (as already crowned by BuzzFeed) is most likely going to be popular Romanian opera singer Cezar. His dramatic flair, powerful (bilingual!) song choice, and hilariously warbling vocals make him a prime candidate for inevitable viral fame. The music video for his Eurovision entry, "It's My Life," certainly seals the deal. Here he is onstage:

And on the less silly side, the U.K.'s entry is none other than karaoke classic "Total Eclipse of the Heart"'s Bonnie Tyler, whose "Believe in Me" is a quite catchy and sweet love song. Maura Magazine's Maura Johnson also reminds that Norway's entry is Margaret Berger's "I Feed You My Love," an echoing dance track that deserves fame beyond the competition.

Be sure to take your time going over the rest of the entries over at Eurovision's website, and get your bracket ready!