The Eurovision Song Contest's highstakes tale

Denmark's Emmelie De Forest, winner of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, sings

Denmark's Emmelie De Forest, winner of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, sings "Only Teardrops" (Janerik Henriksson/Reuters)

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The Eurovision Song Contest is just the European version of American Idol, right? Dead wrong, says Brock University professor Karen Fricker.

Fricker, editor of Performing The New Europe, is an expert on Eurovision and its cultural impact. She says that although some dismiss the contest as a tacky spectacle, others see it as a serious chance to represent their country in the global spotlight. (Not to mention attract tourist dollars if they win the chance to host the show.)

The contest is, after all, the most watched non-sporting events on the planet - attracting more than 170 million viewers, annually.

Fricker joins guest host Gill Deacon to explain why recent changes to the contest rules have become their own scandal, and how Eurovision is connected to larger cultural hopes and tensions across the continent.



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