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Eurovision ’07 Favorites, or not.

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest starts in just over a week, with the preliminary round held a week from Thursday.

I am very excited.

Now as I mentioned, I fagged out in Leipzig and made B. and Cathy go with me to Saturn where I picked up a copy of the 2007 Eurovision Double CD with all 42 songs—songs that I have listened to more times that I care to admit and have divided into three categories: my five favorites, two really bad ones, and the rest. We shall now explore the first two categories—with the caveat that I doubt any of my five favorites will win, and I am fairly certain neither of my least favorites will win.

Favorites

Drama Queen by DQ for Denmark: A nice pop song with a good beat, this song is about your Drama Queen. Clearly it is meant for the queer audience: it’s a song about having fun at night in the presence of the Drama Queen: “When the lights are on / I will be your shining star.” I know people like this; plus I’ve known people who could wholly agree with the idea that “Everything will be alright when I get on the stage tonight.” The song seems to me to be perfect for Eurovision and its usual relentless upbeat happy tripe.

Vampires are Alive by DJ Bobo for Switzerland: This trippy anthem about the fact that “Vampires are Alive / Oh they just have to survive.” M, of the “So… Busted” fame, thought that I was kidding when I mentioned that this song for his home country was one of my favorites. I’m not sure which part he didn’t believe: the title, the theme, or the fact that I owned the Eurovision CD and had been listening to it quite frequently. There is something charming to me about this song that vampires “will be forever young,” even as the song survived Swiss Christian Protests. Beyond that I’m not really clear how this song connects to Eurovision—it seems more like an anti-Buffy anthem. That said, I adore the song. It’s been stuck in my head for days.

Salvem El Món / Let’s Save The World by Anonymous for Andorra: Salvem El Món is a rock song that reminds me of some other song that I just cannot place right now. It’s bugged me from the first time that I heard it. Meanwhile it has a fairly decent beat—not necessarily good for dancing, but “left, right, up and down, turn upside down / that’s how we treat the world right now / can’t ignore the fact that it’s happening” is an important message to the political leaders—unfortunately George W. Bush isn’t listening. In terms of Eurovision quality, I see no way that it is going to do well: It’s not gay enough to appeal to the gays, nor is it radically different enough (like last year’s winner) to make an impression.

Flying The Flag (For You) by Scooch for the United Kingdom: This is a euro-trash song that has absolutely positively no value whatsoever. It’s a three minute Eurovision “flight” that attempts to invoke as many European cities as possible to garner votes with memorable lines like, “Flying High in Amsterdam” (right-o on that lyric). The song is filled with these random asides from what sounds like what must be a gay flight attendant: “Some salted nuts, Sir?” and “Would you like something to suck on for landing, Sir?” It sounds like the perfect set-up for a porno movie and if Denmark hadn’t entered “Drama Queen,” it would probably have won the pan-European fluffy gay vote.

Dancing Lasha Tumbai by Verka Serduchka for the Ukraine: Poor Verka Serduchka (a drag queen, as I understand it) starts out introducing herself noting that “Me English nicht verstehen, let’s speak Dance.” Apparently she understands a bit more German than English because suddenly he’s counting in German and with the random “Ich Liebe Dich” thrown in for good measure. Set with an ethnic beat, Verka offers us profound wisdom: “Don’t live to dance/ Dance to live/ I love You” In terms of Eurovision, it’s got potential as an ethnic song with the crazy accordion sound (at least I think that’s what it is) in the background. The beat escalates as the song progresses and one could imagine a group of traditionally dressed Ukrainians dancing in a circle, kicking up their heels. It’s probably not going to do well.

So those are my top five Eurovision songs—picked after a week of endless listening whilst in Portugal. Upon my return to Germany I found that Twinkleboi, of podcast fame, had remixed the “Flying the Flag (For You)” video together with the video for “Dancing Lasha Tumbai.” The result is a 3 minute video that saves you from having to listen to the songs individually. Enjoy.

Despised

Ok, so despised might be too strong a word, but when it comes to my least favorite songs I don’t listen to them more than I have to—this year the most I’ve listened to a crappy Eurovision song is three times before assigning it the one-star of death in iTunes. One-star usually means that it will be deleted before too long—deleted completely off the hard drive and out of my life. The list is from next to last place to last place.

Cvet Z Juga by Alenka Gotar for Slovenia: this song starts out grandly. Like an Opera or something. I imagine Alenka to be a Diva. Marching grandly onto stage and demanding an audience. She starts singing and then… it cannot decide what it is. Electronic tinges, a dance beat, yet it seems to be an opera performance. It is just plain bad. It’s trying to be too many things at once, and managing to be none quite successfully—the slide into faux-folk music for a second or two, here or there is painful. The noise of everything at one time is enough to make me want to scream.

Push the Button by Teapacks for Israel: Ok, I’m all for dark humor—and I admitted that the “So Long Mom” ditty by Tom Lehrer is brilliant satire—to me as an American. I’m not really sure that a song about Israel’s potential nuclear annihilation is appropriate for Eurovision—Eurovision is an upbeat and relentlessly happy content—annoyingly happy and annoyingly campy, which is one reason I adore it. Meanwhile Israel includes this song that attempts to make light of nuclear war with an ethnic multi-lingual ditty, complete with an accordion, that just goes nowhere. No matter how much they shout “Push the Button,” I just won’t push the buttons to vote for this piece of crap: it just ain’t gay.

10 comments to Eurovision ’07 Favorites, or not.

  • Jul

    Alas, I’m going to be in the US during the Eurovision this year. It has been on my calendar for months, and it was a gutwrenching decision to schedule a trip when I knew it would make me miss it. Pity me.

  • Ouch! My condolences. I adore the total unmitigated campiness of the whole show.

  • Jul

    It is so much fun to watch. Last year we had a party for it and introduced a bunch of other expats to the concept. I adore campy stuff.

    I was not into DJ Bobo’s song at all when they announced it this year, but then when I found out it pissed off Christians, I started liking it more. 🙂

  • B.

    I still have absolutely no idea eurovision is. I guess I’ll need to get with the program and catch it when it comes on again… I hate missing out, even on things I don’t understand.

  • Adam you’re a genius! Your taste for good camp is impeccable! Luvs it!

  • Jul: I like “Vampires Are Alive” for no reasonable reason. It’s just stupid funny. I think the fact that the Christians hate it helps a lot, but their reaction seems atypical for European Christians.

    B.: Eurovision is an international song contest–where each participating country competes to win (and thus the right to host next year’s contest). The songs tend to be really bad. The voting system is very complicated–simply put people in Germany can vote for any country they want except Germany. At the end of the night the top ten countries get votes from germany that add up to an overall vote. It’s pretty easy to catch on to when you are watching. It’s split up over two nights, with a preliminary round on Thursday (with a different voting system from the one I outlined above). Finals are on Saturday night. If you can, watch the finals on BBC1 — the show on BBC1 is the best in Europe–it’s the same video feed as everywhere else in Europe but the host, Terry Wogan, makes nothing but the most pithy, sarcastic, and amusing observations about the contest you can imagine.

    Cathy: I hope you enjoy the show!

  • Adam, you forgot to say that Eurovision spawned Abba.

  • how could i forget?

  • Macedonia is going to win!!!

  • […] the year in Europe. I have no idea who I expect to win, although I suspect my current favorite, “Vampires are Alive” will probably not […]