Eurovision: can’t resist

Liveblogging the first half hour, before I’m too drunk to continue.

Romania okay, will get votes but not a winner. Britain so-so, not that bad but not real Eurovision. Albania cute female lead singer in a cloak with bare midriff and a wind machine… okay.

Germany godawful! Geez — bad outfits, horrible singing, annoying song. Armenia very Armenian, strong female singer singing in Armenian (which sounds more impressive than it is; I know enough Armenian to know she’s singing the same two trite phrases over and over). Guys climbing all over each other — looks like an old Soviet circus troupe there.

Bosnia… what the hell. Bride outfits, fright wigs, laundry? Surreal, in a very Yugoslav sort of way, but not a contender. Israel, Boaz “the Yemeni nightingale” singing in mixed Hebrew and English — very handsome guy if you like ’em like that, and somehow very Eurovision-y. Shortlist.

The wife has made nachos. We have beer.

Finland, oh ha ha ha. It’s 1989 all over again! Hairmetal, complete with that flip-the-long-hair-over-the-head move! Once again, Achewood makes the call!

Croatia, the street performers with the famous 75-year old guy, much better than I expected. Wacky fun. I used to see this sort of thing up in the Catskills. Hope they do well.

Poland
… “Hi, I will be your escort tonight!”

Okay, will update in an hour or so.

[Update at 10:30 CET]

Iceland forgettable — although, as the wife points out, the female lead might be the only real platinum blond in the show.

Turkey decent straightforward rock band with lots of jumping up and down and spinning and power chords! that turn into fists in the air! Could be a contender if they weren’t singing in Turkish.

Halftime! Announcer: “Belgrade is a city where it’s a sin to sleep!” You know, we’ve lived in Belgrade, and that’s actually true.

Portugal is pretty good, and you have to respect them for putting a heavy female lead in front of an ethnically and visually mixed backup group. But it’s a ballad, and ballads haven’t won for a while now.

Latvia! OMG. Singing pirates, complete with… well, complete. You know, pirate outfits, swords, puffy shirts, eyepatches, all that. “Hi hi ho, and a hi hi hey, pirates are all we can be!” Horrible, awful, lame… but pure concentrated essence of Eurovision. Shortlist (flinch).

oh god, that one guy is swinging a black pirate flag. I can’t look away.

umm… Sweden, right. A somewhat more expensive escort than the Polish entry. Great legs! I should be able to say something more substantive than that, but Sweden is finished and it’s time for Denmark, which… is a B-side pop tune with a nice bouncy beat, sung by a guy in suspenders. No. Nobody wearing suspenders has ever won Eurovision. Well, okay, that one Irish guy, but that was very long ago. Sorry, Denmark.

Georgia, hey, the whole Caucasus got in this year. In fact, we have (counts on fingers) seven of the ten eligible former-USSR states. Well, they take this stuff seriously. Georgia, their song is “Peace Will Come”, sung to an oddly gloomy and militaristic stomp-beat with a black-clad Mafia bride lead singer (big! sunglasses!) and three Billy Idol guys as backup. I rather like it, but I’ll be surprised if it places.

Ukraine, okay, I see why this is a favorite: scantily clad lead with, umm, enhancements, walking all over (literally) her black-clad male backups. Sort of Poland crossed with Armenia? But it hits all the buttons. I hope this doesn’t win, because it’s totally forgettable, but short list.

France, oh dear. Very bad. There is a golf cart. The male singer has a Jesus beard, and — did I just see that? Did I? do the female backups have Jesus beards too? I mean, fake ones? I haven’t had that much beer. Oh. Ow. That was just bad.

Azerbaijan. Let’s call it… Eurasiavision? Caucasiavision? Sorry. Anyway, Azerbaijan. The German announcer just said “Azeris are the aborigines of Azerbaijan”, yes, really. Okay…

OMG THIS IS AWESOME. Satan on his dark throne on one side of the stage, white-clad angels with wings and silver contact lenses on the other. Satan just said “HaHaHaHaHAAAA!!” His evil backup girls have tattoos! Go, go, Azerbaijan! I take it back, you have grasped the spirit of Eurovision! You totally have my vote I WILL GO MAKE THE CALL RIGHT NOW.

Greece. The female lead looks like a young Sarah Jessica Parker, which is always good. More black-clad acrobatic male backups, that seems to be the trend this year. Lots of dry ice smoke, which I don’t consider a good sign.

Okay, more beer is needed. Back in a bit.

[half an hour later]

Spain — WTF? I can’t make snese of this. Weird Al Yankovic? “funny” skinny guy with a kid’s toy keyboard and a bouff-do in front of gumdrop-colored girls doing… what? There are words flashing on a screen behind the stage? what? No, no. No. Serbia, I have just noticed that one of th stages is shaped like a uterus, complete with fallopian tubes. Probalby this should bother me more. Anyway, Serbia. Low-key ballad, with a reasonably competent female lead singing in Serbian. Respectable, but I see no reason this should win.

Now here comes odds-on favorite Russia. Well. They have a fucking Stradivarius up on stage, which does not seem right to me, evne if oil is over $130/barrel. Also an ice skater. And they hired Justin Timberlake to do something or other? But the song is boring and the singer sang in English with a Russian accent, which… come on. It’ll place, and might win, but it kinda sucks, and not in the good way.

Norway is last, number 25, and it’s amazing because the female lead is not that cute — she’s a bit plump and a bit plain. I mean, by Eurovision standards, which means she might not have had major surgery. As you’d expect, one of the night’s best voices. Singing a Mariah Carey song, but well. So, Norway is upholding the honor of Western Europe. All this stuff about how the Easterners are all voting for each other? Well, yeah, true, but after the French and German acts you can totally see why it’s all New Europe the last few years.

Break for voting. Look it’s Vlade Divac!

My pick: Azerbaijain OH YES. Just sent in my vote. Claudia liked the Croats. They’d be in my tp two or three too, along with Turkey and Georgia. (The lead singer for Georgia looks a lot like Belinda Carlisle of the B-52s, which puts them over the top.)

Okay, voting coming up. I’ll post a final update if I last that long.

[Update]

Just found that Nosemonkey did a much better job of this, even if he did inexplicably take the French entry seriously.

Wait, you only get three votes now? For 8, 10 and 12 points? That sucks. I mean, it’s quicker, but it sucks.

Britain gave the douze to Greece. Pfft. Macedonia to Albania. Germany gave its douze to Greece too? Fuck, this is stupid. The greek entry was blah.

Oh wait, I see now, you get the full votes but only the last three are announced. Okay. Bosnia douzed Serbia with Croatia dn Turkey behind quelle surprise! Hey Albania has an annoncer who is not the former Enver Hoxha Deput Minister of Culture from 1982. That’s a big step up. JESus Christ Albania douzed Greece too! This is sick.

[later]

Armenia got douzed by Belgium. San Marino is a country? No just kidding, I knew that. Thy are very glad to be here for the first time. That’s sweet. Fiirst dozen votes and Germany doesn’t have a single point. Wow the Latvian announcer is cute. Douze for Russia. )Wife: “sure, we don’t want to be invaded again tomorrow.”) Armenia doing OK with lots of

WAIT

Bulgaria just DOUZED Germany which had NO pints until then
oh wait, Claudia explains it’s because one of the backup singers was Bulgarian. Okay.

Bosnia douzes Serbia

Where was I… Armenia doing OK with lots of middle points, but the top slot is shaping as a dogfight between Greece and Russia which is like painfully stipid

News Flash Cyprus douzed Greece! Astounding.

MOldova… what? The announcer is some disheveled guy who looks drunk. Well, there’s always one. Douze for Romania, which lifts them from near last place. Poland and Britain at the bottom now, handful of votes each, so nobody gets nulled this year.

ICeland douzed Denmark. Tch.

[more]

France the only country that doesn’t announce its points in English. Douzed Armena into third place. At this point it’s clearly either… wait, the Portuguese announcer is another blond female? There have been like sixteen so far. Arwe there no cute non-blondes in Portugal?

Wife can take no more andis off to bed.

Interview with Greek team. Sarah Jessiva Parker has a strong New York accent! No, more like New Jersey. “We reeeeeally reeeally worked hard and we just hope for the best!”

Hungarian announcer another blonde. Because there are no brunettes in Hungary, or they’re ugly.

Hungary dozed Azerbaijan! They can’t win, but it’s nice to see someone appreciate them. Good on you Hungary.

Andorra

It’s interesting to listen to the varying levels of English competency. The Pole has a /Midwestern/ acent — wonder what the’s the story there. Poland douzed Armenia.

Slovenian announcer got a big hand from the Belgrade crowd — amybe they remember him from Yugo days, or something? HE seems too young.

ARMENIAN announcer is female and BRUNETTE — a first! Go Armenia! Also, perfect American English, even with a faint Southern accent. “Ahr /twailve/ points go tew… Ruhshah!”

Cute Czech announcer is a redhead, so the Armenian won’t be lonely. But the Spanish is another blonde? I’m so confused. Armena holding steady at third. Turkey is ANOTHER BLONDE. Turkey douzed Azerbaijan — clearly this is the new Greece/Cyprus. Malta is blonde, and dozed Sweden…. the room is starting to spin a little.

Ireland another redhead. She speaks English very well.

Azerbaijan has light brown hair! So the MEditerranian is one thing (Spain, France, Portugal, Malta, Turkey all blonde) and the Caucasus is another. Interesting. Douzed Turkey, ha.

Greece douzed ARMENIA, not Cyprus. And gave their second place vote to… um, I just forgot. But not Cyprus. Wow. Bunch of ingrates.

Finalnd, another flawless American accent, this time California. Douzed Norway. Croatia douzed Bosnia, secondplace to Serbia.

[more]

Swedish announcer was totally drunk. Funny.

Belarus! Another blonde, American accent, faintly Midwestern, could be doing an infomercial on cable. Douzed Russia. At this point Russia is a lock. Fuck. Germany, UK and Poland in a three-way tie for last palce, but it would be Germany in the bottom (and they ould deserve it) if not for that strange Bulgarian douze.

Russian announcer, brunette with a swiss hat — what art those things called? — and weird pigtails. Douzed Armenia. See, Russia has like five countries that will always douze them. That’s hard to beat.

Montenegro breaks the pattern, with a brunette announcer. This suggests that Montenegro is more a Caucasian than a Mediterranean country. This seems intuitively correct. I like the word “intuitively”. I mean, for an adverb.

No Damn it, Georgia has a blonde! In a red toga! so, Georgia is Mediterranean not Caucasian? I am confused again. I mean, more. I feel there is a pattern here that I am just unable to grasp.

Russia wins. Ah fuck.

Well, well, next May in Moscow, for the second time in five years. Nice closing shot of the Belgrade’s Kalemegdan cstle across the Danube, which made me sniffly, because we really liked living in Belgrade back when.

Okay, if you’ve made it this far, thanks for your patience. I am going now to drink a lot of water and take some vitamins and stuff. The big question is should I wake up my wife. I am thinking no. Drunk, not stupid.

Thank you.

Good night.

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, Culture and tagged by Douglas Muir. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Muir

American with an Irish passport. Does development work for a big international donor. Has been living in Eastern Europe for the last six years -- first Serbia, then Romania, and now Armenia. Calls himself a Burkean conservative, which would be a liberal in Germany but an unhappy ex-Republican turned Democrat in the US. Husband of Claudia. Parent of Alan, David, Jacob and Leah. Likes birds. Writes Halfway Down The Danube. Writes Halfway Down The Danube.

22 thoughts on “Eurovision: can’t resist

  1. Denmark, which… is a B-side pop tune with a nice bouncy beat, sung by a guy in suspenders. No. Nobody wearing suspenders has ever won Eurovision. Well, okay, that one Irish guy, but that was very long ago. Sorry, Denmark.

    You’d better be right or I will have to die of shame.

  2. Some truly excellent songs so far. I quite liked the French one actually, and yes, the Azerbaijanis are full of win. Spain for some reason is also awesome in its awfulness.

  3. Come on – the French one was actually a halfway decent tune, and appropriately tongue in cheek. Infinitely preferable to the current front-runners Greece and Russia – bland, boring nonsense. As per usual.

    Still, another half hour or so and it’ll all be over, and I can avoid pop music for another year…

  4. The French one was boring and would’ve never gotten into the finale if not for the fact that they got a free pass. Same for the UK of course, and Germany. The Dutch are too cheap to fork out much for Eurovision, but still believe they can win with a boring song, so we didn’t even make it to the finals.

    The Georgian mafia bride is actually blind, hence the glasses.

  5. Was she really blind? That’s sad, but wonderful. It was a good song.

    Overall pretty boring, with the three bookmakers favorites sweeping win, place and show. Surprise of the night was the strong performance by Armenia. Go figure!

    Azerbaian just above the middle of the pack, 10th or so. Philistines.

    I will stop now.

    Doug M.

  6. To sum up the experience: Cute chicks, gay (or teenage girl) idol male singers, incestuous voting (shameless Scandinavia) and one or two songs that did not make me want to throw up. Some things never change 🙂

  7. You missed the Danish blonde. She used to be the girlfriend of the Danish Crown Prince who is now married to an Australian brunette. His younger brother married a French brunette earlier today after divorcing a Hong Kong-brunette (both major national channels transmitted the event for something like ten hours – each!)

    And boy, are the Swedes depressed. In Sweden, this thing starts in January with five – five! – qualification shows before the national finale. And then the Swedish entry sinks without trace. The headlines on the tabloids will be quite something to read tomorrow.

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  9. I am really annoyed that countries like the UK, who have rubbish, generic acts, start slagging off russia and other eastern european countries. I thought russia’s act was very good, i also loved ukraine’s and armenia’s acts. now the uk wants to withdraw from eurovision just because their acts are terrible!!!

  10. I’d just like to say the Spanish act is a national shame. But hey, we got Andorra’s allegiance! 🙂

  11. To add insult to cultural injury, Hungarian Szabolcs Brickner won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium at the very same Saturday night the Russian Timberlake won the ESC… The media silence is deafening. Talk about irony.

  12. Swedish annoucer is a famous swedish comedian..not drunk nor high.. He made the whole Eurovision fiasco in Belgrade really funny!

    “Hola Belgrade!!!”

    HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA

  13. omg, you’re so dry people.
    the swedish announcer wasn’t drunk,
    it was comedian. ;b

  14. And the fellow is supposedly a tee-totaler, to boot. Arguably, it was not one of Björn Gustafsson’s better performances, though, he should have done something more genuinely bizarre… But then again, the hurried snippets in which each nation inflicts its points upon the contest aren’t that great a venue for _intentional_ comedy…

  15. Oh for goodness’ sake Douglas Muir. Can you go through your own entry and count the times you commented on the women’s appearance? What a caricature.

  16. Hmm I’m afraid I thought the Russian entry was a load of tosh.
    Remember how last year some people were lauding a return to ‘musical values’ what with Molitva winning (as well as complaining about bloc voting).

    Normal service has been resumed this year.

    Oh I thought that the twirling former ice skater was amusing though.

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  18. Quite obviously, Eurovision is the one contest where it pays to have lots of minorities and emigrants in other countries. How else can you explain all the votes for the truly worthless Turkish rock group or the Albanian mess or the victory for the skating Russian boy band? LOL

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