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15 May 2011



She’s gorgeous, of course, but every church choir in America has fifteen better voices.

Has the world has ever witnessed kitschier, more-expensive celebrations of mediocrity than these Eurovision contests?

There aren’t very many things that make me happy to live in the U.S. rather than Europe, but Eurovision would be one of them.


"but every church choir in America has fifteen better voices"

Absolutely. But this is not America. This is Europe where music is often more traditional and vocal ranges often more restrained. Mwangi's style is more African than American and for that she stands out in Europe very much.

I agree that Eurovision is gauche and shlocky. But it is what it is. Many of these countries are very small and are fiercely proud of their Eurovision entries or successes.

And speaking as a Afro-Italian, I'm very proud that several Blacks were representing nations at Eurovision including Italy's Senit.

As always Rod, very impressed by the blog.

Bjørn Smestad

Two miatakes here. Norway is certainly not "virtually all-white"! it was 40 years ago, but these days, less than 50% of the pupils in many schools are white. (I'm one of the people who are okay with this development, by the way.)

And Stella was virtually unknown in Norway before this year's contest - she is not "one of the most popular singers in Norway", at least she wasn't six months ago.

But I agree that it's cool that she represented Norway this year, although I'm.not too happy about her voice.


@ Bjorn:

Norway is almost 90 percent white, correct? That is "virtually all white."

Certainly there are many more non-white immigrants than previous years. Oslo and some suburbs have a considerable African and Asian population, but the country and Scandinavia are still largely very white.

"She is not "one of the most popular singers in Norway", at least she wasn't six months ago."

We're not talking about six months ago. Stella is one of the most popular NOW right? And she represented Norway at Eurovision, so, probably a lot of people know her, right?

It was a very positive article about your beautiful country. Most Americans aren't aware and/or don't care about Eurovision. You're looking for faults, my friend.

Talarico, Afro-Italian in Milan

Bjørn Smestad

Talarico; I see that my answer seems negative.

I am happy that Norway gets good press. But I still think the article gives a wrong impression.

As you say, parts of Norway have a considerable African and Asian population. Several of Norway's most-loved artists are non-white. Norway is becoming a multi-ethnic nation and many Norwegians are proud of that fact.

But I guess it ends up as a discussion about words: Is a country "virtually all-white" when the non-whites makes up as many as 10 per cent of the population, as you estimate? Would it be meaningful to call Norway "virtually all-heterosexual"? Of course, the heterosexual population is probably as large as the white population in Norway, but the non-white and the non-heterosexual members of the society are clearly visible and are mostly considered important contributors to a diversity that most Norwegians enjoy.

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