Eurovision Track Contest, 2008: a report from past the pale.
The Eurovision finals, the annual kermesse of pop schlock, beloved by teenyboppers, ice skating costume designers, campy queens and all lovers of dangerous style all through Europe is a responsible pleasure that I sit up for yearly. Think about if the Europeans have been allowed to create their very own pop music with out the overwhelming creative bullying of Afro-American kinds, Caribbean beats, Indigenous melodies from Mexico and Afro-Lusitanian creativity from Brazil? A daunting thought, and one which is delivered to terrifying life each Spring!
On Saturday, Might 24, the 2008 remaining night occurred. An extended parade of largely amateurish songs glided by in a gleeful blur. However that is okay, as a result of though a real fan finds the entire present completely entertaining, it’s all the time considerably tongue in cheek, and half the enjoyable is hating it. I watched it on French TV and had the chatter of Julien Lepers and Jean-Paul Gaultier to maintain me firm. Right here was my tackle the proceedings:
The primary track was from Romania. Nico and Vlad singing “Pe-o Margine de Lume.” I feel Romania has performed the Italian bit to loss of life. This love duet was performed half in Romanian and half in Italian, and it was an suave track, however that wasn’t be sufficient to make it in any respect attention-grabbing.
UK: Andy Abraham, singing “Even If”. Contemplating that the U.Ok. might by no means sink decrease than the 2007 entry, which can in all probability go down in historical past because the worst Eurovision track EVER, this was nice as compared. Funky soul disco from the 1970s, and a reasonably good efficiency from Andy, as properly. Jean Paul Gaultier referred to as him elegant in his kind becoming funksuit albanisch musik.
Albania: 16 yr previous Olta Boka sang “Zemrën E Lamë Peng.” Effectively performed, within the French soul diva mode. However since Albanian would not sound in any respect like anything, it was arduous to inform what she was getting all labored up about.
Germany: No Angels sang “Disappear”. Sure, that is proper. Disappear. Please! Think about the Pussy Cat Dolls in the event that they could not carry a tune or bust even the lamest transfer. Clearly, Germany was getting again at Eurovision for the snub 2007’s entry obtained.
Armenia: Sirusho sang “Qele, Qele.” The Balkan beat that’s acquainted from so many ex Yugoslavian entries through the years blended with a little bit of Pink. Not horrible, because the French would say, largely due to her robust and musical voice.
Bosnia Herzegovina: Laka singing “Pokusaj”. Simply what we would have liked: Theater of the Absurd inside the Theater of the Absurd. The singer appeared like Captain Kangaroo assisted by the bride of Frankenstein in a miniskirt. The track gave the impression of an previous novelty track from San Remo, classic 1985.
Israel: Boaz sang “The Fireplace in your eyes.” A superb singer with an authentic pop track with a Balkan tint. The primary actually good track within the present.
Finland: Terasbetoni singing “Missa” one thing or different. Yikes! Extra scary heavy metallic from Finland. Mercifully, this time they left the Star Trek Klingon masks at residence. Ugly screaming and ear splitting guitar licks gave me very unwelcome dangerous journey flashbacks from the 1980s.
Croatia: Kraljevi Ulice and 75 cents with a track referred to as “Romanca.” Croatian ballads all the time have a tendency dangerously to the schmaltzy, however the melodic intuition normally saves them. This time it simply did not work, and screamin’ Grandpa and the clumsy dancers did not assist.
Poland. Isis Gee sang “For Life.” A pleasant ballad and singer, however it was a really quaint tune that sounded at occasions like an airline business.
Iceland. Euroband singing “That is My Life.” Jean-Paul stated all of it. He referred to as it “Ice Tektonic”, a brand new development, marrying the newest euro-disko drum machine pap with that squeaky clear toothpaste smiley Icelandic look. I can simply think about the teenage hooky-players practising their strikes to this on the sidewalks exterior of Les Halles, minus the toothpaste, after all.
Turkey: Mor ve Ötesi sang “Deli.” With a really cool lounge lizard look and a really robust rock sound they have been an actual success. Artistic, authentic and musical. Once I learn that the Turkish entry was chosen “internally” at TRT, (Turkish tv), I imagined the worst. Nevertheless, they selected a well-known group with a powerful sound. Onerous rock, alla turca, with an actual stage presence. One of many strongest songs this yr.
Portugal: Vania Fernandes. “Senhora do Mar.” A reasonably profitable quantity. It had an enormous stagey sound with a contact of Portuguese fado. It virtually sounded just like the grand finale of some Broadway musical and was excellent for this stadium environment. It was very properly obtained.
Latvia. A bunch referred to as Pirates of the Sea singing a track referred to as Wolves of the Sea. A pirate novelty track. The Baltic nations generally tend to shout that they’re too cool for Eurovision just a bit too stridently with these irritating novelty acts. Jeez, for those who’re too cool for varsity, then simply keep residence, just like the Italians do.
Sweden. Charlotte Perelli singing “Hero.” Jean-Paul was involved concerning the Battle of the microdresses. I used to be extra involved about checking my blood sugar ranges from the syrupy disco, within the sweetest Eurovision fashion.
Denmark. Simon Mathew. “All Night time Lengthy.” Scandinavians must be prohibited from singing in English. With their wonderful accents, they sound like they know what they’re saying, however then the lyrics are so mind-numbingly silly that it’s important to marvel concerning the singer’s sanity. Each English lyric cliché strung collectively for this feel-good ditty, together with a pair of blue suede sneakers.
Georgia. Diana Gurtskaya sang “Peace Will Come.” Robust beat. Truly, it was not dangerous, and Diana was virtually equal to the difficulties of this track. Why was I not stunned that they have been all wearing black? As a result of that is the one shade they put on in Tbilisi. The change to white garments midway via the track was the shock. Good track, although.
Ukraine. Ani Lorak. “Shady Girl.” Shake it, child. She outdid the Swedes at their very own sport, and impressed Jean-Paul together with her spangly microdress. One of many higher songs and performances within the contest. Jean-Paul referred to as her torrid.
France. Sebastien Tellier. “Divine.” The countdown to the French track was over, and Julien and Jean-Paul lastly shut up for a few minutes. Nevertheless, it could have been simply because they did not know what to say about this considerably messy track. With a shoo-bop pop fashion from the 1960s, a flighty melodic line and odd costumes, it despatched very blended messages. Not less than it was very French, regardless of the cockney English lyrics.
Azerbaijan. Elnur and Samir. “Day after Day” began off with a countertenor blast to knock your socks off. Azerbaijan con las plumas, you possibly can say. It went on with a tough rock Gothic sound that truly labored. Not too dangerous.
Greece. Kalomira. Chirping with “Secret Mixture.” Was it the Jenny-from-the-block accent or the pinnacle not screwed on tight sufficient that made this sound like 1990s Latin hip-hop with a Greek guitar riff? What occurred to the blokes with the bushy chests and the disco divas? She was fairly and simpatica, however please, ship her again to Astoria, now!
Spain: Rodolfo Chikilicuatre. “Baila el Chiki Chiki.” Apparently the Spanish assume that that is some sort of selection present. We take our dangerous style severely right here, muchachos! This yr, as an alternative of sending the standard Macarena wannabes and rotten Tomatoes, they determined to introduce Europe to Reggaeton, in essentially the most grotesque method potential. The track is stuffed with humor and puns, most of which I did not get, however I did just like the dance step that appeared just like the moonwalk and was named, appropriately, el Maiquelyason.
Serbia.: Jelena Tomasevi that includes Bora Dugic. “Oro.” Effectively sung and with an appropriately large orchestration for the host nation entry, however the track was sadly, nothing to get notably enthusiastic about.
Russia. Dima Bilan. “Imagine.” Effectively, now that he has lastly chopped the mullet off, Dima can do no mistaken. However that is not from lack of making an attempt. He sang this mediocre track in essentially the most melodramatic smarmy approach potential. The terrible English pronunciation did not assist. He has nice stage presence, although, so he managed to drag it off. The viewers was in love, and he was undoubtedly the star of Eurovision.
Norway. Maria. “Maintain on be robust.” A very good pop track with a contact of R & B, and efficiency. Actually boring garments, although. Jean-Paul saved his mouth shut diplomatically.
And that was it. There adopted fifteen minutes for voting by cellphone and SMS, throughout which the host and hostess engaged within the traditional amusing chit chat. I used to be rooting for Israel, U.Ok., Norway, Turkey and Ukraine, not essentially in that order. As traditional, I hoped that not less than a few them would do properly, however I used to be absolutely ready to be completely appalled by the winner: that can also be a part of the enjoyable. In any case, 5 songs that I actually preferred was not a nasty harvest, I believed.
With the voting over there was nonetheless extra time to burn, so miraculously, they minimize out the corny jokes and the cheesy repartee and launched Goran Bregovic and his Marriage ceremony and Funeral Band. Lastly, a couple of minutes of actual Serbian music, to scrub the palate in spite of everything that syrup and slop! Sure, there actually is nice music in Europe past the glare of the American music industries.
Then the votes have been counted, utilizing a time honored methodology of cut up display dialogs with TV personalities within the varied (forty three!) European capitals that participated. The dialog will usually start one thing like this: “Hiya, Andorra, are you able to hear me?” answered by, “Hiya, Eurovision! That is Andorra calling!” The same old voting cartels weighed in: the Balkan mafia, the ex-Soviet lockstep, the Scandinavian barbarian blok, the Iberian inquisition. However some drama did handle to develop. For some time there, it appeared just like the hideous Greek track would find yourself on prime, however then cause prevailed, and Dima Bilan received. He wasn’t my favourite, however he made up for it by returning to the stage to simply accept his trophy and to sing with this shirt completely unbuttoned, with a Russian flag waving in his free hand. A pure Eurovision second.