Monday, 28 May 2012

There's Joy in the Air and a Song in Your Heart

Oh, yes, my loyal (and not so loyal) readers, it's that wonderful time of the year again. It's Eurovision! A celebration of pure joy, silly dance moves, suspect lyrics and all that is good in the world. Oh, Eurovision, you are the twinkle in my eye.

Unlike others, I am not here to complain that Sweden won (again) with a rather dull song with really weird posing instead of dancing. Look, Waterloo it wasn't, but who cares? I'm not even here to complain that all Ireland (the winning-est country ever - no lie) could field was Jedward for the the second year running. I am here to celebrate. To sing the praises of what can only be described as one of the most entertaining nights on television. A competition that makes Jedward look normal, calm and ordinary or at least slightly less insane can only provide lots of entertainment.


From my earliest memories of childhood, Eurovision night was a special one. I loved the songs, the costumes and the inevitable silliness that went on. Who among us can look at a woman with a carpet on her head that curls down around her collarbone like a dreadlock rat tail and collar that would make Dracula jealous as she shouts into a microphone and not smile? Though seriously, Albania, have a look inside that carpet, I'm pretty sure someone was hurting the cat that was in there. Nevertheless, Rona Nishliu got through to the final. Only in Eurovision.

Now, everyone will be talking about the Russian grannies, so I'll refrain from waxing poetic on them. Suffice to say, they are old, they are cute, they are rubbish singers and they got second place. I think they'll have enough money to rebuild the church Stalin destroyed in their hometown. But, then again, maybe not, this is only Eurovision.

So well done to Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Iceland and all the other countries who produced genuine musically talented performers with songs that could be sold and played on the radio today. But is that the goal of Eurovision? Are we really looking for the next ABBA? No, I tell you, we are not. What we are looking for is fun, joy and an ability to embrace the true meaning of Eurovision, which is only tangentially related to music.

For me, the highlight of the evening was Moldova. Hands down. No one had a better night than Pasha Parfeny (even his name spells w-i-n-n-e-r) and his five back-up dolls who doubled as dancers and singers. I admit, he had some competition from Malta with their nifty footwork, the Ukraine with the break dancing Roman trumpeters and of course Turkey, whose dancers twice (twice!) made a boat complete with sail and figurehead from the sleeves of their costumes. Still, despite this, I really feel Pasha brought it home with a combination of slightly unnerving costumes, crazy dance moves and, his coup de grace, amazing lyrics, a selection of which I reprint here for your entertainment and literary edification:

You have never
Been to my show
You haven't seen before
How looks that trumpet

But the sound goes
Straight to your soul
Gets you out of control
This trumpet makes you mine, girl

If that isn't poetry that speaks to your heart of hearts, I don't know what could touch you, Mr. Grinch.

These lyrics, combined with dance moves that included fist waggling, punting and little half steps, and doll-like costumes proved unbeatable in my book.

So to those of you out there lamenting that Denmark wrote her own song and Sweden wasn't the best, I say to you: This isn't X-Factor, it's not actually about the most talented.

All that brings me to the grand finale... (drum roll, please)...

It gives me great pleasure to announce that this years winner of Eurovision, according to my completely biased and very unscientific, but very genuine and enthusiastic opinion is...Moldova! Congratulations, Pasha. See you next year in, well, Sweden, but never mind that, clearly the trumpet worked on me.

2 comments:

  1. Ah see, but here I must disagree with you. As a Dutchwoman, I think back fondly to those beginning years, when we still stood a chance of winning, and songs were genuinely well-written and on key. I know it has been deteriorating for years and years, but I refuse to applaud that deflation.

    It is indeed no X-Factor, it is Eurovision - but that doesn't mean we can't take it seriously.

    http://youtu.be/FVvz7NA28CM

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  2. I don't really ever recall those mythical days of amazing performances. Perhaps I'm just getting old. (See previous post on loud music ect.) Seems to be a bit of a theme these days.

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