She's got my vote.
April 2, 2007 3:04 AM   Subscribe

You've all no doubt been wondering who will represent Ukraine in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Well, she's a drag queen, and if that wasn't enough to piss off the Ukrainian nationalists, she's also an environmentalist ("All of us have heard that nuclear waste from the whole world is planned to be brought into Ukraine. It is horribly!"). Oh, and the Russians are ticked off, too. Introducing... Verka Serdyuchka! [last 2 links to YouTube]
posted by flapjax at midnite (50 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Israelis won with a drag queen in 1998, but Dana International was a pale shadow compared to this triumph of Eurovision Song kitch.

I say you gotta like the Ukraine's chances with this entry.
posted by three blind mice at 3:28 AM on April 2, 2007


The only thing that would surprise me more that a drag queen at eurovision is assless chaps at a gay pride parade.
posted by srboisvert at 3:43 AM on April 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


...goggles...earplugs...they...do noth--

*dies horribly*
posted by zardoz at 3:48 AM on April 2, 2007


Seems happy hardcore meets dragqueen. Harmless and entertaining (even if for 5 minutes) presenting extreme diversity maybe with a trash spin, but mostly harmless and fun.
posted by elpapacito at 3:52 AM on April 2, 2007


Eurovision always sets me reeling somewhat, and that song is no exception. Still, good for her!
posted by Drexen at 4:04 AM on April 2, 2007


It's rarely possible to tell whether countries intentionally pick bad songs so that they won't win and therefore won't be saddled with the costs of hosting it next year, or whether they're just utterly shit at this sort of thing.
posted by vbfg at 4:34 AM on April 2, 2007


Is Morrissey going to write her song, too?
posted by Biblio at 4:58 AM on April 2, 2007


I'd hit it.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:06 AM on April 2, 2007


... or whether they're just utterly shit at this sort of thing.

Well, how much room is there for creativity when you have to impersonate Shakira?
posted by taursir at 5:07 AM on April 2, 2007


What I really want to know is who is the teeny tiny lady in green? Is she a Ukrainian superstar too?
posted by miss lynnster at 5:09 AM on April 2, 2007


who is the teeny tiny lady in green?

My guess is she's an undercover agent from the Ukrainian equivalent of the CIA.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:16 AM on April 2, 2007


I like drag queens.
posted by nola at 5:21 AM on April 2, 2007


I think the correct terminology is:

Verka Serdyuchka: He is a drag queen.

Dana International: She is a trans-sexual.

But I could be wrong.
posted by Grangousier at 5:29 AM on April 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd snorgle it.
posted by klue at 5:32 AM on April 2, 2007


I dunno, the music itself isn't that good, unlike Lordi last year which was campy, but also at least a little musically interesting.
posted by delmoi at 5:35 AM on April 2, 2007


the music itself isn't that good

The only thing that would surprise me more than good music at Eurovision is assless chaps at a gay pride parade.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:37 AM on April 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's all very easy to understand, though. Obviously...

Dressing up as a RuPaul/Dame Edna type = baaad.

Dressing up as a growly, putrifying, BUT MACHO heavy metal zombie in a codpiece & platform heels = gooood.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:48 AM on April 2, 2007


Great text in in "Dancing Lasha Tumbai".
"TANZEN!! Weiter weiter. Ich lieben. Sieben sieben, eins zwei drei vier. To dance or not to dance. I love you. TANZEN!"
posted by kolophon at 5:55 AM on April 2, 2007


miss l---
my kid just ran screaming from the room and he can't even crawl yet.
posted by Dizzy at 5:57 AM on April 2, 2007


Grangousier: I go with 'she' for the drag persona - the character - and 'he' for the performer him - or my - self. But generally speaking, it's not a big deal, and I've never really known anyone get worked up over it.

three blind mice - Dana International: not a drag queen.
posted by terpsichoria at 6:05 AM on April 2, 2007


I thought that's what it said. Uhhh... why is the Ukrainian song in German?

Diz, that band was Lordi from Finland, they won by record points last year with that song. Some of the losers definitely handled it better than others.

I was traveling in Europe last year during the finals so by the time the finals were over I had learned ALL about it (I tried blogging it, actually). We have barely even heard of Eurovision in America, but it's been huge in Europe since the '50s. Abba & Celine Dion both won it before becoming famous in the U.S.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:33 AM on April 2, 2007


BTW, the Icelandic woman having the temper tantrum in the "than others" link is actually playing a character called Sylvia Night.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:45 AM on April 2, 2007


What terpsichoria said re "she" and "he". My partner's best friend from childhood goes by the name "Vanna White." He doesn't do drag, but we always call him her, except when we're being seriously serious, and then we call him Michael.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:46 AM on April 2, 2007


why is the Ukrainian song in German?

I suppose a lot of these contestants choose to enter with a song that's in one of the "major", or at least more identifiable languages. The Lordi tune (band from Finland) was in English, as was your Sylvia Night link. I don't have any statistics, but I'd guess that's generally the case with Eurovision?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:56 AM on April 2, 2007


assless chaps at a gay pride parade

Are there any other kind?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:58 AM on April 2, 2007


Are there any other kind?

I once met a chap who had a big ol' ass. And I'm sure there are others out there like him, as well.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:04 AM on April 2, 2007


Verka Serdyuchka: He is a drag queen.

Drag queens are also referred to by the gender they perform as. You would also be correct in saying "Andriy Mykhailovych Danylko is also known by his drag persona," but "Verka Serdyuchka, she is performing in this year's EuroVision song contest."

When in doubt, borrow the Finnish hän /hæn/. It means s/he, and saves all the confusion. :P
posted by taursir at 7:09 AM on April 2, 2007


She's a drag queen and she's fabulous.
posted by MotherTucker at 7:58 AM on April 2, 2007


I'm actually putting money on Scooch this year. Fucking sublime Eurovision pap, with amazing spoken sections - the sour-faced orange-tanned camp as tits bloke first asks, 'Would sir care for some salted nuts?', then, later, 'Would you like something to suck on for landing sir?' while holding up what appears to be a dildo.
posted by jack_mo at 8:19 AM on April 2, 2007


According to Russian Wave Radio:

Verka Serdyuchka has been alcoholized in three versions !

The founder of an image of Verka Serdyuchka Andrey Danilko has released vodka "Serdyuchka", which presentation took place in Kiev in the end of December. "Serdyuchka" is issued in three versions: "Classical", "Citric" and "Pepper tincture". Cost of a bottle of this drink in Ukraine near to 15 griven (nearby $3). Since January vodka "Serdyuchka" goes on sale in the Russian shops, and also will be imported to Kazakhstan and Israel.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:00 AM on April 2, 2007


(Oh, and Russian Wave Radio has also reported that "Britney Spears has to be treated for an alcoholism")
posted by R. Mutt at 9:05 AM on April 2, 2007


Shut Up and sleep with me , golden boy!
posted by elpapacito at 10:08 AM on April 2, 2007


Abba & Celine Dion both won it before becoming famous in the U.S.

OK, I'll bite: how does a French Canadian end up representing Switzerland at this thing?
posted by kittyprecious at 10:12 AM on April 2, 2007


And I don't want to be mistaken for someone who's too prescriptive , it's just that there's a material difference (or so I've been given to understand, sometimes quite forcibly) between a drag queen and a trans-sexual (and, indeed a drag queen - usually but not always a gay man impersonating a female persona - and a transvestite - usually a straight man who wears women's clothes because he likes it), and there was apparantly some confusion very early on. Looking back it's just Three Blind Mice's comment (second in the thread), so you can mark this down as an insane over-reaction.

The impression I had was that a drag queen was undoubtedly a man who was impersonating a woman, and that a trans-sexual was a previously empenised woman.

British popular culture has a long tradition of drag queens in it - the pantomime Dame, Old Mother Riley, Lily Savage, Danny La Rue, the old ladies portrayed by Les Dawson and Norman Evans, and the terrifying old women of Monty Python (covering a range of time period, queerness and gender parody) - and I suppose it's that which has informed my (no doubt misinformed) opinion.

But I'm in over my head already. People are what they are, and should be addressed as they wish, it's not really any of my business.
posted by Grangousier at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2007


I don't have any statistics, but I'd guess that's generally the case with Eurovision?

Pretty much, except generally the songs tend to sound like they were written by someone with English as a second or third language. That and the hilariously biased voting are pretty much the only reasons to watch tbh, though now they let the public vote the voting is much less hilarious than it was.
posted by vbfg at 10:21 AM on April 2, 2007


...and that a trans-sexual was a previously empenised woman.

That may be the best word I've seen all day, thank you.
posted by taursir at 10:24 AM on April 2, 2007


Grangousier, reality is, as usual, much more complex than you thought. Lots of drag queens are also transsexuals. Indeed, many work as drag queens to save up money for all the expensive parts of being a transsexual. Dana International started as a drag queen and eventually had SRS. Where in there she was transsexual is a matter of definitional debate; some people say that transsexuals are only people who haven't had surgery yet, others say that you're always a transsexual if you intend to change sex, and some people even say that you're only transsexual after you change sex.

Being a drag queen is less about being a man doing female impersonation (which is, after all, a female impersonator) than it is about having extreme gender: kitsch, camp, hyper-femininity, whatever aspect you want.
posted by jiawen at 10:45 AM on April 2, 2007


Well see here's one of the things that I noticed about Eurovision, kittyprecious... the people who go on it are almost like football players who transfer to whatever country's team will be likely to take them to the finals. Germany's band last year was called Texas Lightning (a Dixie Chicks/Bob Wills inspired band -- FROM GERMANY??? Huh?) and their lead singer is Australian. It didn't help them, though.

Here was Celine Dion with her winning song. Oh, and here was Abba. As a singer, what would kill me about this competition is that you spend months of your life (if not years) singing just ONE song. How sick must these people get of these ONE songs? That would drive me absolutely batty.

Oh Lordy, I'm loving Russian Wave radio!!!
posted by miss lynnster at 10:58 AM on April 2, 2007


I always marveled that ABBA's singers learned their English lyrics phonetically (as they didn't speak a lick of "Murrican) yet still "sold" the songs so well.
Also am in awe of Benny's hair.
posted by Dizzy at 11:05 AM on April 2, 2007


As far as the whole gender reassignment thing, I know someone who went through this and it was years and years of transition before the surgery. Hormones, all sorts of things. Really took a toll on her body. I mean, she was put through the ringer. Before she had the final surgery she had gone through so much awful medical and hormonal rigamarole (they even made a cable documentary on her) you really just couldn't still call her a man. And now in some ways she's way more feminine than I am. And she plays a seriously kickass bass.

Anyhow, after watching her and listening to her talk about what she was living through, I gotta say... if you go through all of that to become a woman, it is something you REALLY have to NEED to do. Because NOBODY in Hell would do it otherwise. It seemed to be just an incredibly masochistic experience to put yourself through otherwise.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:09 AM on April 2, 2007


Yes, I should probably have a sign on the inside of the front door that says "Reality is more complex than you think", it would help a lot. It could go between the one that says "Keys!!!" and the one that says "Are you wearing trousers?"

Actually, it would be useful to remind everybody of that (the reality thing, not the trousers thing).
posted by Grangousier at 11:36 AM on April 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's obviously the theme song for Histrionic Personality Disorder.
posted by nickyskye at 11:44 AM on April 2, 2007


So this post got me curious to see what else is up for the ol' Eurovision this year. And now I get why they're so upset about the Ukrainian entry... it looks like Denmark already has the drag queen vote covered. I kinda dig Israel's entry I have to admit... kind of a French chanson thing mixed with the Beastie Boys or something. (Although I still don't quite get how Israel gets an entry in a contest called EUROvision.) Apparently Switzerland is having some vampire problems. Belgium is going a bit disco/Earth Wind & Fire-ish this year. Germany went from last year's Dixie Chicks thing to some kind of Frank Sinatra/Robbie Williams impersonator. And I am intrigued by the pipe-as-prop and six lead singer approach used by Romania, but I'm pretty sure they have no chance.

A lot of the other countries' songs seem to be the usual pretty people slathered in hair gel & singing crappy pop under overdone stagelights. Here are a few clips of the finalists I found:  Andorra. Poland. Iceland. Bulgaria (featuring mouth harp solos). Spain. Turkey. Portugal. Croatia. Greece. Armenia. Lithuania. Sweden. Macedonia. Finland. Bosnia. Belarus. Cyprus. Estonia. Ireland (featuring obligatory flute). Latvia. Malta. Czech Republic. And England (as linked above).
posted by miss lynnster at 12:43 PM on April 2, 2007


Jesus Christ that was one scary fucking drag queen.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:36 PM on April 2, 2007


"Serdyuchka" is issued in three versions: "Classical", "Citric" and "Pepper tincture".
I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I've finally found my drag name.
posted by rob511 at 3:00 PM on April 2, 2007


Oh, and a (very) rough translation of "Verka Sedyuchka": Ardent Truthiness
posted by rob511 at 3:01 PM on April 2, 2007


After Azis in 2006, is anything really a surprise?
posted by mykescipark at 5:09 PM on April 2, 2007


Oh, uh, I see what you mean.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:16 PM on April 2, 2007


Hey, miss lynnster, thanks for your tireless efforts in linkery! That's a lot of contestants you dug up there! The Bulgaria entry, while still not abandoning the tacky/kitsch factor, is at least refreshingly Bulgaria-rootsy in it's melodic style, and she sings in Bulgarian, too. And anything with a jaw harp is OK by me. I notice you made special mention of the fact that a mouth harp appears in the song. Interested in the instrument? Did you happen to see my jaw harp FPP from awhile back? Here's a link to it: full of juicy jew's harpery!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:28 PM on April 2, 2007


Digging up links helps me actively avoid doing work. :)
And I did remember that post, actually.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:31 PM on April 2, 2007


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