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Eurovision: Douze Points

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

Eurovision: Douze Points

Andrew Ryan

I don’t know about you, but I fucking love Eurovision. This brightly coloured, flashing, shiny and noisy anthropological display has been happening yearly since 1956, which must make it the world’s longest running television show by now, surely! It has seen the rise of popularity of the colour television, all the way through to the overthrowing of governments sparked in part by the idealist vision of an Australian hacker, as facilitated by the internet. That’s a very significant space of time in terms of humans and their technology, but somehow the world has been significantly affected by only two aspects of the song contest, a contest which was designed to unite a war-torn Europe through their love of trashy pop music… it gave the world ABBA, and it gave us a fucking good drinking game.

Australia has embraced Eurovision, and the many variety of drinking games inspired by the event, harder than any other country outside of the European Broadcasting Union, I assume, because we’re flippant piss heads who love laughing at euro trash. We get a shout out every year now, because we’re well known by the organisers to love it, although I’m not sure they understand the level to which our beer goggles have affected our passions.

Some of the usual drinking game rules  were voided this year by the economic ability of the host nation, Germany, and their fastidious elimination of potential fuck ups. But while the artistic direction of the segments before each performance was expensive, fashionable, tasteful and very visually appealing, and the video feeds were working just fine, and the instances of “bloc” voting http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/9/2/1.html were quite small compared to past years, it did not detract from the insanity and the novelty that typifies Eurovision, and the level of drunkness that can expected. As an added bonus, we had Julia Zamiro and Sam Pang letting us know when was advisable to fill up our drinks. They were very good commentators. I am in love with Julia now, and I expect that boozing enthusiasts all over the country woke up on Monday morning with a particularly bad head ache, and possibly some vague memories of a similar declaration of love for Ms Zamiro.

I’ve had these fucking songs cycling through my brain for three days now. There is nothing worse than finding yourself in the shower, singing a pathetic love song to your feet with an Azerbaijani accent, mimicking the tonal changes in the male and female parts. It makes one want to continue the liver punishment started when the song was debuted to an Australian audience.

For those of you who missed it, here is what some of the best enablers looked like this year. Please note that I have just poured myself a glass of wine, and have Slint’s “Spiderland” cued up on iTunes to relieve me when the trash gets too much (yes, I am watching these videos again, over and over, as I write this).

MOLDOVIA This band has supported Rage Against The Machine, Korn, and Garbage . They are a ska band. They are terribly mediocre, but somehow ranked at 12th after the voting had closed, which I can only put down to the fact that the “disturbingly attractive” girl riding a unicycle didn’t fall over. Most of the people on stage wore giant cones on their heads. What does this mean? Is it a reference to politics? Who knows, but it was all worth at least 10 sips, a few slurps, and at least one chug.

HUNGARY  OH, what an epic build. Bleached blonde hair, powerful emotions, crazy light show, terrible choice of dress, somewhat masculine in appearance, back up dancers dressed in all white urban attire doing back-flips and other such hip-hop stylings… it ticks all the boxes, and you probably should have emptied your glasses by now. This song could potentially become this European summer’s nightclub anthem. And I would not be surprised if the singer became something of a gay icon. I expected this one to do better than 22nd place that’s for sure.

ROMANIA In my opinion, this one was so bad that I couldn’t even bring myself to laugh, and I LOVE laughing at bad things. During the semi final performance, I had one of those mouth-twisted-in-horror expressions, and kept yelling “AWWHHRRRRRRR” at the television. During the final performance, I chose to smoke a cigarette outside. The singer, who is actually English, has been living in Romania for four years. I wonder if he was picked because it was assumed that the English and Irish would give them more votes, regardless of his talent (or lack there-of)? Whatever the reason, it didn’t work out too badly (they placed 17th), but it doesn’t change the fact that I want to shoot this smarmy little piece of shit the knees, and kick the gross flirty smile off the face of that creepy piano player who looks kind of like my ex-housemate. The dancers look as if they were choreographed by an 11 year old girl. Not any particular sort of 11 year old girl… just… an 11 year old girl. Maybe her mother suggested the high heels. My eyes water at the thought of getting hit on by these guys. Or are they gay? Fuck, it’s so hard to tell with smarmy entertainers. And you should be just as “enthusiastic” as I am if you’re playing the drinking game correctly.

SLOVENIA Sung in classic accented English, with those gross Christina Aguilera styled vocal acrobatics goin’ all up in the spaces. It’s dramatic, it’s provocative, you forget what the singer looks like as soon as you blink, so she does those idiotic hand twists that I guess are supposed to hint at a sense of the exotic…? Ergh. Whatever. This is an attempt at brooding empowerment for scorned ladies around the globe. And to its credit, the crescendo at 1:45 or so is pretty powerful, but not powerful enough to place higher than Moldova’s cones. Sorry girly. Maybe it was the too tight dress and the scary butch back-up singer that put everyone off. A few drinks, and I’m a bit meh.

GEORGIA THIS BAND ARE AMAZING. Normally this style of chugging guitars and tired attempts at attitude are Turkey’s forte, but these Georgians truly shone. Whatever it is she’s singing about (in English but it usually doesn’t sound like it), she must not be able to sleep because of the anguish, and the band fully supports this perspective, with back up screams, rapping and matching costumes proving their loyalty to this woman and her pain, in front of the whole world. 9th place! Fuck yeah Georgia. That pyrotechnic display at the end was totally money well spent you guys!

AZERBAIJAN WARNING. If you really don’t want to experience the bleak situation mentioned earlier (shower singing), do not, DO NOT watch this video. For the rest of you brave souls willing to risk it, it’s a fucking weird thing to watch. Is that his older sister? Or like… his aunt? Something is a bit off about this duo. She’s definitely had facial surgery. Has he too? Is everyone on stage wearing all white (sip, sip, sip, sip, sip, sip) to affirm the purity of the singers? Have the singers boned? They’ve totally boned. I think she’s boned everyone to assure her place in the competition, and I think he’s either the nephew of someone “important” or he’s also had to do some sexy things, or both, and maybe at the SAME TIME. Because neither of them are fantastic singers, neither of them have a stage presence to speak of, and they’re weird looking, together AND on their own. And that constant offering of air to the audience, what the shit? GET CREATIVE MORONS. And stop being in my head all the time. YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE WON! You shouldn’t have woooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn falls to knees, banging the floor with fists .

So I’m a little drunk again, and that was only 6 youtube clips worth of Eurovision. If you’re interested in seeing more, I suggest you do a youtube trawl. There’s a song that sounds like it’s from a Disney film which is sung AND signed, and there’s a French opera singer (who’s a bit cute), and the Greek act had an amazing (kind of embarrassing) rapper (named STEREO MIKE) and an amazing (very impressive) classical Greek singer (named FUCKING SEXY), and the Serbian entry was cute as a button and you can’t help but smile. Plus there were a whole host of cocky young men in leather, women in tight dresses with big hair, and a really fucking sweet performance by 6 friends of the guy who was going to represent Iceland before he died. HEAVY, I know, but you have to watch these Icelandic guys, it’s such a good tribute.

What a weekend! Next year should be interesting. There are already plans to build a WHOLE NEW VENUE in the host city (Baku, capital of Azerbaijan), because they don’t have suitable facilities. Imagine how much Eurovision could seriously affect this country! Thousands more people have now actually HEARD of the country, which can expect a giant spike in tourism this time next year, if they sort out their stance on homosexuality. All thanks to the Eurovision Song Contest! Yay!

Will you be watching next year? I WILL. And I want to have a party, a party with more than just me and my boyfriend. I want guests. GUESTS GODDAMMIT. AND WE’LL ALL BE DANCING. And it will be beautiful, because the world will be connected through song. And booze. Just like it should be.