Starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as a pair of Icelandic pop singers, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is full of everything that Eurovision fans love: power ballads, elaborate costumes, over-the-top production numbers, and more than a little national pride.
Don’t jump right in, though. The Story of Fire Saga is even better if you know a little bit about how the actual Eurovision Song Contest itself works, as well as the people who brought the movie to life. Before you watch, here’s everything you need to know.
The real-life Eurovision Song Contest may not be that well known in America, but it’s a huge deal across the Atlantic. Over 182 million people tuned into Eurovision’s 2019 contest, which was almost double the number of people who watched that year’s Super Bowl. So, yeah, it’s pretty big.
It’s relatively simple, too. Any nation that’s part of the European Broadcasting Union can submit a song to the Eurovision Song Contest. All submissions must be completely original — no covers, remixes, or samples allowed — and can’t have debuted before September 1 of the previous year.
During the three-day broadcast that follows, participating nations perform their songs on television for the world to see. Then, pre-selected jurors from the countries in the competition and the general public vote for their favorite songs. The votes are tallied up, a winner is announced, and history is made.
The Eurovision Song Contest is a great showcase for some supremely talented singers, but the music is only half of the show. In 2006, Finnish metal band Lordi dressed up as demons before taking the stage and ultimately won the whole thing. In 2009, a group of Russian grandmothers baked cookies in between synchronized dance steps. In 2015, Austria’s representatives, The Makemakes, set their piano on fire. Sure, Eurovision is a musical competition, but it’s also a visual spectacle and a heck of a lot of fun.
Make sure you watch this before you see Eurovision.
What is the Eurovision Song Contest? | 0:00
Meet Fire Saga | 1:50
Volcano Man | 3:15
The rest of the team | 4:26
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Watch This Before You See Eurovision | Netflix
Two small-town singers chase their pop star dreams at a global music competition, where high stakes, scheming rivals and onstage mishaps test their bond.