Eurovision Song Contest! ESC! That’s right, yours faithfully is going to post a blog on that very matter. For those Non-Europeans out there and for those whose nerves are not strong enough to face the contest, here is a short explanation about what happens. The contest was carried out for the first time in 1956. Back then it was called “Grand Prix de la Chanson d’Eurovision” which has only been changed rather recently into “Eurovision Song Contest” – catchier you see, just like the development of the music that is presented. I remember times when every country had to sing in their specific language, now most of them do it in English. It was also not allowed to publish the song for the contest unlike today when everybody tries to place their songs in the international charts and puts on high-tech performances to get more votes. ‘Boooh’, if you ask me! For more information on the ESC, click here!
Now, the ESC is a tough one if you love good music. But there are valid reasons to watch. Most countries really manage to present themselves in the most horrible way! In German we have a word called ‘fremdschämen’. There is no direct and accurate translation for it but it means more or less ‘to be ashamed or embarrassed for somebody else or in his place’. It’s the face-palm moment, you see – you are so embarrassed that you don’t want to watch but you cannot not watch either! I think you get the picture. And sometimes, in my view, you should practise your face-palm tolerance. It’s good for you, it’ll train your ability to survive a lot of bad situations! Plus, this is THE opportunity for judging, bitching and slagging! So this is why we had a little gathering last night to watch the show. Sweden won last year’s ESC and was therefore hosting it in Malmö. Let me describe the setting before we re-live the joy and pain together:
In my apartment, we have yours faithfully (Lunatique, German), my German friends I. and B. (both male) and our Ukrainian friend A. (female). Crisps, peanuts and olives are on the table, at this stage we are still drinking tea and water but we are well prepared and have therefore stored beer and wine in the fridge. We know what’s coming. We WILL have to ease the pain later! And since we live in the future, my dear friend Tourmama is also there, not in person but on the mighty interweb. Tourmama is from the US and has been living in Europe for so long now that I consider her Eurotrash – which is a compliment! At this moment of the night she is sitting in Sweden, supported in the ESC challenge by her Swedish boyfriend Mr. P. We both have our laptops ready to get through this together via Mr. Zuckerberg’s network – it’s the easiest for us to comment quickly. We are not futuristic enough to use the hashtag network, but I am seriously starting to THINK in hashtags after last night! Anyway, this is the setting and if you like, be part of our night and commentary! We grade the songs, 1 being the lowest (well, in the course of the contest it went down to below 0 at times) and 5 being the highest. The comments overlap in time sometimes because we both type fast! The descriptions of what is happening will from now on be in Italic. Also please check out the live videos from the contest by clicking on the song titles to get an idea of what we – as lovers of good rock music – put ourselves through! Enjoy!
The show is starting with some introductions by the lady who presents the show. As expected, smiles are kind of frozen and jokes are a bit lame. We are calm. It is all good.
Tourmama: Here we goooooooooooo!!!! I have no alcohol. If this was in Stockholm we would soooo be there.
Lunatique: That’s bad. Go get some! We are still drinking tea though!
Tourmama: No chance in Sweden. Government and all. Only folköl which is 3,5%. No wine, booze or anything else until Monday again when the government run liquor stores open.
Tourmama: Are we grading? 1-5 points? I give minus 6 points for the jokes so far.
Lunatique: Yes! 5 being the highest. We are four people here so we take the medium vote!
France is starting. It’s Amandine Bourgeois with ‘L’Enfer Et Moi’. Good voice, good song for a start. If you are not impressed, wait for what is coming later!
Lunatique: We give France 4 points!
Tourmama: So did I!
Next is Lithuania. Andrius Pojavis with ‘Something’. It is getting worse already. He should have sung in any language but English. Plus, what’s with the lyrics? He sings about shoes? Pain? Spain? What? He should ‘dell’ us all about it!
Tourmama: I don’t need to hear more. Lithuania 1. Or can we give 0? Hahaha… Dell Me Now. Because of my shoes, I’m wearing today. One is called Love, the other is Spain? I’m naming my shoes after emotions and countries from now on.
Lunatique: hahaha… you just wrote what we said! 1 point from us! We dell you!
Moldova. Aliona Moon with ‘O mie’. Ugh. First moment of ‘Oh my Goood!’ She sings in Moldovan, which is a shame because we might have gotten the explanation for that hairdo from the song. Please?
Lunatique: Moldavia 2 points: one for hairdo, one for light show!
Tourmama: Moldavia…. hahahah… EXACTLY what I wrote!!!!!
NOW. FACE-PALM. Finland is on with Krista Siegfrids and ‘Marry Me’. Ouch. Ding dong? DINGDONG??? And kissing a woman at the end of it? Really? Oh, shocker! Come on!!!
Lunatique: Oh god. Face-palm the first. At least from me! From all of us: minus 5!
Tourmama: Agree wholeheartedly. One hand typing because of face palming action. Ding dong. Cheap ploy at the gay vote. Booooo!!!!!!
Spain. ESDM with ‘Contigo Hasta El Final (With You Until The End)’ . First of, what’s with the bag-pipes? Wrong country? And pleeeeeaaaaaaaseeeeee check out the guitarist on the right!!
Tourmama: I give one point because the guitar player is making me laugh.
Lunatique: 10 points for the fake guitar player! 3 points from us for Spain!
Tourmama: 1 for me for Spain!
Now it’s Belgium’s turn. Roberto Bellarosa with ‘Love Kills’. Well, this performance surely kills ME! Is it even English? Why is he staring? And who the HELL is responsible for the background dancing???
Tourmama: Whoa. Crazy eyes.
Lunatique: Is this English?
Tourmama: Ummm…no. And minus 100 points for that hair cut. I really hate that hair cut. Who choreographed this with ostrich dancing?
Lunatique: I am dying! The others have gone out smoking! I am going to open the wine soon!
Tourmama: Belgium 1
Lunatique: 1 point for gestures and dancing!
See! Wise me! From that point on, we went for wine and beer. You cannot get through this with tea. Nonono! On we move to Estonia! Birgit ‘Et Uus Saaks Alguse’ . Black and white and then colour. What? Oh yeah, and nice pregnancy dress!
Tourmama: It started strong with France.. I fear it’s all downhill from here.
Lunatique: Yeah. But Estonia is black and white now. How did they do that?
Tourmama: She must be in Oz now, because it’s in color. Well, at least she can sing in key… which is more than the last few. I need some pyros. Estonia 3 because she sang well… that is all.
Lunatique: 2 points. one is for pregnancy!
Belarus. Alyona Lanskaya and ‘Solayoh’. I mean, what happened to the good old Eastern European Countries? Shakirakovska now? And uhm…nice “dress”. The guys were impressed though! Cha-cha!
Lunatique: Shakira, much? I. is giving 1 point for the short dress!
Tourmama: Belarus 3 points. 2 for pyros, 1 for disco ball drums.
Lunatique: 3 from here too: 1 for dress, 1 for the clapping style and 1 for the drums. Cha-cha!
Everyone familiar with Monchichis will get a kick out of the next one. And the rest, too! The smile! OMG! Here is Gianluca, a doctor from Malta, with ‘Tomorrow’. He is a big bundle of joy!
Tourmama: This guy already gets one point because his name is Dr.Feelgood, and that is hilarious! He reminds me of our pizza guy here, who we call Smiley, because he is ALWAYS smiling in an uncomfortable manner.
Lunatique: 4 points from us for cuteness and Monchichi-look!
Tourmama: Cuteness, ukulele, and Dr. Feelgood. 3 points.
And we go East again, to Russia this time. It’s getting worse again! Dina Garipova and ‘What If’…
Lunatique: I am gonna have five more points on my weighing scale tomorrow since I am stuffing crisps into me to ease the pain!
Tourmama: Mr. P. is going to get me ice cream, hahaha. And we ate chips to ease the hockey game excitement. So you’re fine.
Lunatique: They’ve got balls.. Minus 1 for pathos and balls!
Tourmama: Ok.. I’m giving Russia 4 actually. Great voice, great lyrics.
Now it’s Germany’s turn. I am already embarrassed because this is CLEARLY a rip-off of the Swedish song ‘Euphoria’ which won last year. Very uncomfortable. We have a lot of talented singers, so WHYYYYYY???? Cascada with ‘Glorious’!
Tourmama: Pyros… one point…shiny golden statue legs, another point. Wow… this REALLY is like Euphoria… Swedish commentators said the same thing. Germany 3,5!
Lunatique: 2 points because we have to…
A rock band? Really? That could be interesting… Wait… what? This is pop in disguise, big time! This is, for Armenia, Dorians and ‘Lonely Planet’. They should move to one!
Tourmama: Ooof.. those brows! o.m.g. keyboardist!!!! Is that John Goodman?
Lunatique: Discount on scarfs for the band?
Tourmama: oj oj oj… Armenia, 1 point, only for the shooting fire.
Lunatique: 1 point for daring to give the horns!
We move only a few kilometres away from where I am, to the Netherlands aka Holland. In my opinion one of the very few decent gigs that night, simply because it is Anouk! Anouk with ‘Birds’.
Tourmama: Ok… watch out. Giving away my first 5 points to Za Nesherlandsh. Mr. P. is asking if you know of Anouk.
Lunatique: 4 points for Holland: 3 for the song and one for the depression! Tell Mr. P. yes we do!
So. Now it comes. Prepare yourselves! You might want to go get strong drinks or drugs before you watch this next video. For Romania, OF COURSE, a vampire! The outfit! The high-pitched voice! The trash of it! The dancers! Fantastic!!! Cezar and ‘It’s my life’ (funny title for the undead!) Come on Dracula!!!!!
Tourmama: Oh yessssss! A real Romanian vampire! Mr. P.’s voting now. He’s giving 5 points for the outfit! OH YES!!!!
Lunatique: Please tell me I am making up those dudes!!! 5 trash points from us for Romania!
Bonnie Tyler. Rings a bell, huh? I need a heeeeeeeroooooooo! Yes, the one! She is giving it all for the United Kingdom. She better had not. Bonnie Tyler ‘Believe in me’ !
Tourmama: Is she having a stroke?
Lunatique: She is having an eclipse of the heart!
Tourmama: HAHAHHAA! Ok, she get’s 3 points for being Bonnie Tyler.
Lunatique: Same here!
Sweden, the hosting country. They won last year. Like Tourmama is going to point out, apparently they do not want to win again! Robin Stjernberg with ‘You’.
Tourmama: Sweden’s candidate was my favorite on Swedish Idol. I haven’t heard this song yet.
Lunatique: How old is he? 15?
Tourmama: Not sure… it is however clear that they do not want to pay to put this on again next year. 2 for Sweden. One because I know he actually CAN sing (not here though) and one for the fencing uniform he was wearing.
Lunatique: 2 points for Sweden: 1 for under-age talent and 1 for capoeira dancing!
Well, fair play for singing in a language that no-one understands. And hipsterness seems to have reached Hungary big time. Check out ByeAlex with ‘Kedvesem (Zoohacker Remix)‘ <—— important to mention! I actually like the song the more I hear it!
Tourmama: Minus 10 for hipster douchebags. Hungary – 1 for the drawings.
Lunatique: After discussions: 3 – for looking like “angry bird”, for singing Hungarian and for weirdness!
The odds-on favourite is entering the stage: Denmark. I am very fond of the Danish for entirely personal reasons but this is the favourite? In my opinion: look-wise, yes, but the song is absolutely meaningless – apart from the RECORDER! RECOOOORDEEER!! But maybe I’m weird. Emmelie de Forest and ‘Only Teardrops’!
Lunatique: 3 points for Denmark! 1 for looks, 1 for the drums and 1 for the RECORDER!!!
Tourmama: 4 for Denmark for me. 2 for elf look 2 for live drums. Apparently, Denmark are the predicted winners on the betting sites.
Ahhh, Iceland! As many of you know, I am in love with the country. If not, check here, here and here! And look-wise, this Icelandic sweetheart gets all the points from me! Not for performing though! Eythor Ingi with ‘Ég Á Líf’. In Icelandic! Awwwwwwwwwww!!!!
Lunatique: 5 for Iceland from me for looks before hearing it!
Tourmama: 3 for Iceland. 1 for his frosty pink nails, 1 for the suit, one for the looks.
Lunatique: 2: for the suit and for final gestures. Plus my 5 from the heart
Tourmama: Yeah, it was 2 from me until I saw those nails.
Achem…. Azerbaijan. The performance of everyone who is NOT the singer is brilliant. I mean the dude in the glass box is fantastic! But this is about the song, right? Farid Mammadov and ‘Hold me’.
Tourmama: I want to give that dress 5 points and the guy in the box 10 points…alas, it will have to be 1 point for Azerbaijan, since the dress and box guy didn’t sing the song.
Lunatique: Azerbe…. whatever: 0 for the singer, 4 for the dude in the box!
The next one is fun! The combination of people, the song, the instruments. Just the title destroys it all in one second! This is, for Greece, Koza Mostra (REALLY!!!) feat. Agathon Iakovidis with the song title of the year: ‘Alcohol is free’. You will need some for this, so bring on the ouzo!
Tourmama: Not one of them are singing live. Not one. 2 points. One for lit up instruments, and 2 for ska feel. Air guitar on the trumpet? Really?
Lunatique: Greece 4 points (1 face palm point for title)
Apparently there are giants in the Ukraine. Cannot say much more. Even my Ukrainian friend was rather speechless. Zlata Ognevich and ‘Gravity’!
Tourmama: Ukraine… 2 points for giant, 1 point for singing in key. So 3.
Lunatique: Ukraine 2: for voice and for butterfly ring!
Italiaaaaaaaa! We love Italy, but really, the song….. boooring! Marco Mengoni and ‘L’Essenziale’!
Tourmama: Mr. P. thinks this is a toupee.
Lunatique: Psycho eyes!
Tourmama: Italy-2. One for the suit, one for singing in key.
Lunatique: 1 point for different reasons: B. likes the suit, I., A. and I like Italy!
And it is up North again, to lovely Norway. The song started off very very well, but then…. hmpf….. what happened, Norge??? Margaret Berger with ‘I Feed You My Love’!
Tourmama: Mr. P.’s friend wrote this song.
Tourmama: And The Knife-ish,
Lunatique: Norway 1,5: one for intro, 0,5 for…. I already forgot
Tourmama: Oh! I liked the Norwegian song… another 5 from me.
News of the day for the next song: there is a German feather duster in the audience!!! Just in case you did not notice because you were too busy falling asleep with Georgia. No, not the US-American state, Georgia is a country in Eastern Europe. So we did learn something here after all! Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani and ‘Waterfall’. Yawn…
Tourmama: The Georgian Linda Ronstedt mandatory duet.
Lunatique: There is a German feather duster in the audience!
Lunatique: Georgia: 1 point for fog. And fog fountains.
Tourmama: Georgia, 1 for harmonizing.
Finally. At this point we don’t think we can take in much more. But here is the last candidate: Ireland. Oh Ireland. You know I love you, but…. face-palm de luxe!!!! Ryan Dolan and ‘Only Love Survives’
Lunatique: Ireland: 2 points for MEGA face palm!
Tourmama: Ireland 2 points for the hot gay male disco going on behind this train wreck.
Phew. It’s over. Because now comes the part that everyone has been waiting for: the national votes. Before that, we have the chance to see short summaries. And then the countries vote (not for their own country though) and then comes the long, looooooooong part where every country announces their top three. This is preferably done by women with loads of make-up and bleach-blonde hair. More face-palm than the songs, really!!! Here are our bets!
Tourmama: Ok… top 3 for me: Netherlands, Norway and a dead tie for third place with Denmark and Romania.
Lunatique: Ok. We only gave Romania 5 points. I. wants Malta, B. Greece, A. Hungary and myself Holland!
Tourmama: Although Romania is there for shock value and because I want Eurovision to be in Romania next year.
And now, like every year, the being-pissed-off begins. Because the votes have usually nothing to do with the performances but with bloody politics and friendships. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland give their votes to each other. All the former USSR countries vote for each other except for Russia. Nobody seems to like Russia there. Belgium and the Netherlands vote for each other, Cyprus votes for Greece. Nobody votes for Germany hahaha. But Germany votes for Iceland this year! That is surprising. The girl presenting the German votes mixes up Norway and Denmark and causes heart-attacks out of embarrassment in my apartment. The Finish presenter does begin indeed with ‘Good evening from ding-dong-land’. Aaaaaaaarrggggghhhhh. Some dude compliments the Swedish presenter with ‘hashtag milf’. (-google milf if you don’t get it) He does!!! I mean…. f**********ck!!!!!!
But then, there is still the big surprise. Azerbaijan gets tons of votes! What? Did I watch the wrong performance? And everybody seems to love the Danish song. Now really Europe: Yes, the chick is cute. And she does not wear shoes, so maybe there is pity from people who struggle to afford shoes. Denmark doesn’t, believe me. And Denmark wins. They win!!! I mean – noooooooooooooo!
We switch off the TV. This was a hard night. Exhausting for the soul and for the nerves. We are tired. We cannot believe it. We swear we will not watch it again. EVER!!!! Until next year!
Now give me your votes! Opinions, favourites, questions, ding-dong – DO IT!!!
Yours truly, madly, deeply!