Last year I learned about Eurovision, a continental song contest with finalists representing each European country. Since the contest is not broadcast at all in America, I worried that I’m missing out on something great.
Now my fears have been confirmed: I am totally missing out on much awesomeness.
Courtesy of Go Fug Yourself:
Every year at about this time, all of Europe goes insane for the Eurovision song contest, cheering for each country’s entry into what could be termed a one-night international American Idol marathon with more language barriers, loud and drunken reveling, culture clashes, crazy clothes, and camp value.
…Famous past winners: ABBA with “Waterloo,” and Celine Dion, singing for Switzerland for some reason. Although the genius of the contest is better examplified by the Belgian act that came in second in 2003 by singing a song in an imaginary language. It’s awesome. Just try and imagine Katharine McPhee getting anywhere by standing before Simon Cowell and crooning in tongues.
The reason for my rambling: I am devastated that nobody in the U.S., not even BBC America, televises any of Eurovision. Because that is why I missed the live display — as opposed to the welcome yet not-quite-the-same blurry YouTube version — from this year’s Finnish winner, Lordi:
Lordi dresses itself — primarily with the aid of reindeer fur — as different monsters from different eras. Although presumably even the undead have an enduring sense of patriotic pride, as evidenced by the zombie whose face is rotting off, yet whose head is adorned with a kicky little Finland top hat, as if he is threatening here to break into a series of cabaret-style high kicks before he flosses his teeth with your intestines. And Mummy Of The Bride over there just seems so endearingly thrilled to be clutching that bouquet of spring life in his decaying arms. Fantastic.
I gotta sit down and watch that Youtube video. Click here for the original post, with pictures of other contestants and the winners with a fireworks-shooting axe.
And from the Eurovision website, here’s some choice quotes describing the performances from the semi-finals:
Armenia is in the contest for the first time … ‘Without Your Love’ is a high-energy dance track in which Andre is surrounded and eventually tied up by four dancers with black ribbons and tons of attitude. A great debut.
Slovenia is next. And Anžej Dežan, dressed in a white suit jacket that’s pure ‘Miami Vice’, starts to deliver a moving ballad. Within a minute, this has transformed into classic Eurodance and Anžej and his five dancers face the wind machine and strut their stuff, giving a really pumped-up performance.
Time for some punk rock. Polina Smolova from Belarus injects the show with some snarling attitude – in a song about mothers.
Next, it’s Poland with a stage show that looks like punk rock transported to the court of Louis XIV. As Ich Troje’s lead singer Michał Wiśniewski – complete with bright green hair – sings directly to his wife, sparks fly, at first metaphorically and then literally as Catherine Wheels shoot out spirals of flame. It’s all very dramatic and ends with Michał kneeling by his pregnant wife, his head against her stomach.
Dima of Russia sings about “flesh on my flesh”, and displays plenty of his own in a tight-fitting white vest. With his hair fashioned long at the back, in what can only be described as a ‘mullet’, he sings his infectious pop song, ‘Never Let You Go’ while ballerinas twirl around him and red rose petals are thrown onto the stage. Very romantic.
Finally, Iceland’s self-styled megastar Silvia Night brings us firmly back to the world of pop. This is kitsch with a capital ‘K’, with Silvia dancing round enormous candy canes and sliding down a giant stiletto. Even crazier than her country-mate Björk, Silvia sports a huge feathered headpiece and dances like a broken doll before stripping off to reveal a very daring costume. Utterly bonkers and highly entertaining. The crowd love it.
Why can’t America be this cool?