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A Song for Europe
May 15, 2009 1:27 AM   Subscribe

It's Eurovision week, everyone! The last of the semi-finals was last night, and the twenty-five entries are now set for this Saturday's extravaganza in Moscow, the most expensive and flashy yet. After last year's controversy over votes motivated by regional politics and entries that detracted from the, er, dignity of the event, the Eurovision voting mechanism has changed. Western countries in particular have brought in the heavy musical muscle, with Andrew Lloyd Webber writing the UK song, the amazing Patricia Kaas singing for France, and Dita von Teese performing on stage with the German entry. You can't vote from outside of Europe, and you might struggle to watch the contest live from outside Europe. But you can have your very own Mefi Eurovision experience right here! Get some snacks and lots of booze, settle in, view the twenty-five entries here, and decide for yourselves. (MLYT warning)

Official videos for the pre-qualifiers:

UK
France
Spain
Russia
Germany

And the semi-final performances:

Sweden
Norway
Iceland
Finland
Malta
Portugal
Israel
Turkey
Greece
Lithuania
Croatia
Romania
Armenia
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Moldova
Estonia
Denmark
Albania
Ukraine
posted by Grrlscout (106 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ooops! Forgot Azerbaijan
posted by Grrlscout at 1:33 AM on May 15, 2009


This is one of my favorite times of the year.

Eurovision is insanity. God bless it.

And nothing can beat Lordi. NOTHING.
posted by winna at 1:35 AM on May 15, 2009


This is when I revert back to my teenage years.... SQUEEEEEE! EUROVISION!

Seriously, I love the special gaudiness that is Eurovision and seeing as it introduced me to Sex Bomb last year I will always, always watch. It even inspired a facebook group (hint: search "Evgeni Plushenko is God" and see what pops up!)

Love, love, love it.

Semi-Finals are on tonight Australia!
7.30 on SBS. Must see television!!
posted by latch24 at 2:09 AM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having Dita von Teese strip during your song is like bringing a nuke to a knife fight. It ain't sporting.

I do love me some Eurovision. It's especially great if you can manage to watch it all with subtitles and translations for the songs: most of them have lyrics that read like a diary entry from a 12 year old with a crush. We've made several drinking games around the even over the past years. The alcohol helps a lot. And by god do I miss Terry Wogan's borderline racist commentary.

I couldn't sit through the Finnish entry, it's absolutely hideous. National pride be damned. We peaked with Lordi.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:11 AM on May 15, 2009


*Introduced me to Sex Bomb via the Russian Entry and THAT nose!
posted by latch24 at 2:11 AM on May 15, 2009


> And nothing can beat Lordi. NOTHING.

You are so wrong. That year Lithuania should have won with We Are the Winners of Eurovision. It's in the name of the song!
posted by bjrn at 2:14 AM on May 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


After last year's controversy over votes motivated by regional politics...
Isn't that the case every year since the competition started?
posted by PenDevil at 2:51 AM on May 15, 2009


Basic Eurovision party: randomly assign each guest a country beforehand. Guests must bring to the party some food and some drink from the country assigned. Those who draw somewhere like "Malta" or "Albania" are offered a little sympathy and some latitude for cheating. During the moment when each country's song plays all guests are offered the matching food and drink.

Since there are 25 countries involved and most of the drinks end up being alcoholic encourage guests not to plan anything too strenuous for the following morning.
posted by rongorongo at 3:56 AM on May 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the introduction to Patricia Kaas! I have her on now, through the magic of Spotify.

We peaked with Lordi.

Artistic expression as a whole peaked with Lordi.

Myself, I'm struggling to see the upside in Andrew Lloyd Webber having written the UK entry. His songs only really work when they're being covered by punk bands.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:40 AM on May 15, 2009


There is no melody in Euorvision, most of the songs (Iceland being an exception) this year are generic shouty affairs with too much hair and bad chorography.
posted by mattoxic at 4:46 AM on May 15, 2009


Eurovision, as befits a spectacle of camp kitsch, has a huge gay audience. Meanwhile Russia, where it's being held, has little tolerance for gay and lesbian lifestyles. The Mayor of Moscow has banned gay-pride parades, denouncing them as "Satanic", and the authorities rarely prosecute homophobic violent crimes. Can you see where this is heading?
posted by acb at 4:47 AM on May 15, 2009


We peaked with Lordi.

Artistic expression as a whole peaked with Lordi.


Life, the Universe, and everything peaked with Lordi.
posted by Skeptic at 5:13 AM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


After last year's controversy over votes motivated by regional politics...
Isn't that the case every year since the competition started?


It's all been rigged, ever since that "My Lovely Horse" fiasco.
posted by Spatch at 5:14 AM on May 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


I love Eurovison. It's so bad yet good yet bad. It's ridiculous to think that it's only gay people who love it. It's for everyone who loves kitsch. Many gay people hate kitsch. I would march because I'm a dag and that's what Eurovision is about. Dags unite! Gay dags, hetero dags, bi-dags. Who would admit to being a dag though, right? I would! I'm from Ipswich. I don't wear ugh boots or a flannel shirt but I am a dag regardless so what it comes down to is, like what you want to like for any reason that you like. Eurovision is for all and you get a say, regardless of what you identify as. Lots and lots of people think it's a pile of shit. Hooray for piles of shit! If you hate it, don't watch, because it will make you angry. Don't watch something that will make you angry! If you like watching people singing crap songs in a daggy way because it's a hoot, watch! You will love it.
posted by h00py at 5:29 AM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


For me the word 'Eurovisie' is still associated with the opening fanfare that would play before watching jeu sans frontières. Do they still play that fanfare before eurovision broadcasts?
posted by jouke at 5:29 AM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I feel very Amero-centric for never having heard of Eurovision. Thank you, MetaFilter, for introducing me to it. This rocks completely.

GO SWEDEN!
posted by Shohn at 5:52 AM on May 15, 2009


Andrew Lloyd Weber appears to be drowning in a sea of self-parody. My god, what happened to that guy?
posted by Optamystic at 5:56 AM on May 15, 2009


Since I'm not from Europe, I just wanted to confirm my suspicions here...

Eurovision is a gay house music contest, right?!

If so, Germany seems to have paid the most attention to proper homosexual body grooming, but Greece has a strong entry with what apparently appears to be a young, pre-alcoholic David Hasselhoff clone... but you've got to love Norway's twinkish innocence, with the least convincing heterosexual performance ever.

Really, this thing is close. It could be decided based on the smallest of factors.(NSFW.)
posted by markkraft at 5:58 AM on May 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


I would love to be in Europe during this to get a sense of what's happening. From where I'm sitting in the States it's a lot of crappy songs, but I know at least a few people that should know better that get giddy around Eurovision. I'm just paying attention to the songs, which I think is wrong. It's the whole circus around it, right?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:58 AM on May 15, 2009


I can no longer remember whether I watch this thing through an even or odd number of layers of irony, and consequently can no longer work out whether I actually like it or not.
posted by Phanx at 6:07 AM on May 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


I love to hate the EuroVision, especially since it's eastern extension. Since then the slavic fake blonde titty bouncing has overtaken the show. The EV was never blessed with constant genius, but at least there were not that many bad ones to listen too.

In recent years there was hardly a group or song that made an impact all over Europe. Many old winners at least made it into the charts of the participating countries and some singer become household names. That is all gone ...

I am all for celebrating cultural diversity, but so far most songs in recent years show the same crappy attitude and craftsmanship. Europe is becoming one in it's tastelessness ...
posted by homodigitalis at 6:08 AM on May 15, 2009


ENGAGE CAMPFEST.
posted by flippant at 6:44 AM on May 15, 2009


I am completely obsessed with Eurovision, probably because it is such tantalizing, unreachable fruit. Why? With all the crap on my 200 channels of DirectTV why can't someone step up and show this? Logo, I'm looking at you here.

I was first introduced to Eurovision by "Father Ted" and did not find out it was real until several years later.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:45 AM on May 15, 2009


I had heard of Eurovision for most of my life but like most Americans had never seen anything of it, but now thanks to the magic of the internet! I was able to experience the glory and horror first hand. I imagine it was very different 45 years ago with each country singing folk songs in their own language while wearing native costumes but now it is all big hair, spandex and flames as bleached blondes with well-toned arms writhe around on stage singing pop songs in English. The first round of semi-finals had a few stand-outs such as the zaftig secretary from Malta and the opera singer from Sweden and the lovely teenager from Iceland, but most of the countries were horrifically mediocre, yet I'm looking forward to watching the second round of semi-finals tonight.

The entry for Portugal was sweet and a nice break from the more outlandish entries, but the singer wasn't very good; she sounded flat and tunelesss.

The Isreali duo may have been "The most Politically Correct" (according to the Russian Host) but their song was very dull.

The costumes and the staging of the Bosnia-Herzegovina group had me convinced they had wandered off from a performance of Les Miserable.

I particularly loved the cheesy Russian host and hostess. They delivered their English lines with enormous, vacuous smiles and a level of ineptitude that I have not seen since high school. Their farfing around with The Button after the voting was finished was excruciating to watch-- I could only imagine the tension in the green room as the singers waited for the results.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:48 AM on May 15, 2009


His songs only really work when they're being covered by punk bands.

Are you thinking of the Afghan Whigs version of Everything's Alright?
posted by jonp72 at 6:50 AM on May 15, 2009


Germany seems to have given up on using country music for their entrants. For shame.
posted by smackfu at 6:53 AM on May 15, 2009


The entry for Portugal was sweet and a nice break from the more outlandish entries, but the singer wasn't very good; she sounded flat and tunelesss.

That description pretty much fits every single participant we've sent to this thing. That's why we never win... (also, usually only Spain awards us any substantial points; that's what we get from only bordering one country and being down there away from everybody)
posted by lucia__is__dada at 7:12 AM on May 15, 2009


Oh, and yay for Eurocheese!
posted by lucia__is__dada at 7:13 AM on May 15, 2009


most of the countries were horrifically mediocre, yet I'm looking forward to watching the second round of semi-finals tonight

That paradox is what's kept everyone tuning in for years!

Tim Moore's travelogue in which he visits various contestants who scored Nul Points is a fun read on the subject.
posted by rory at 7:25 AM on May 15, 2009


I'm just paying attention to the songs, which I think is wrong. It's the whole circus around it, right?

Some people like the songs, and they're different every year so there are as many reasons as there are songs for that. They work best for me when they don't work at all but everyone's mileage differs.

I prefer the international hatreds and resentments expressed through the voting that follows the songs. This is all the more interesting since former Warsaw Pact countries joined in the fun. It used to be that you'd get nil points for either being shit, English or, in recent years, both. Now you can get nil points for inventing a style of bread in the middle ages that your neighbours have been taking personally ever since.
posted by vbfg at 7:29 AM on May 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Grrrlscout. I thank you with all my heart for leaving the Irish semi-final entry off the list. It is rare and touching to witness such an act of human kindness.
posted by Elmore at 7:33 AM on May 15, 2009


But will it be any good without Terry Wogan commentating?
posted by BigCalm at 7:39 AM on May 15, 2009


But will it be any good without Terry Wogan commentating?

Frankly, I'm extraordinarily happy that braying arsehole isn't commenting this year - or ever again. I hated him trying to conspire with the normal people watching him to laugh at the freaks.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:45 AM on May 15, 2009


To be fair, Terry could be pretty funny as the night wore on and he'd downed more Scotch.
posted by Elmore at 7:51 AM on May 15, 2009


The best way to watch and comment the final is via Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#search?q=Eurovision
posted by homodigitalis at 8:05 AM on May 15, 2009


Drunken and bitter Terry was one of the great parts of Eurovision, I'm not at all convinced that Graham Norton is an improvement.
posted by bjrn at 8:08 AM on May 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


ACK! My planned productivity will grind to a halt...

I'm convinced Finland tries to punk the competition every year... lordi their crown success, but this year... Bad House Rap while someone twiddles flaming batons should win on just sheer cheese alone... Its awesome... its awesomely bad... its horrific... and yet I can't stop listening to it...
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:24 AM on May 15, 2009


The best way to watch and comment the final is via Twitter

Me, I'm digging the intellectual ferment and rapier-like wit over here.

My, my!
posted by Kinbote at 8:28 AM on May 15, 2009


The French bird is practically doing porn in the pre-qualifier youtube!!

(I don't normally sound like Michael Caine. I'm a blameless UK expat , female, feminist and a married parent in Long Island! It's the Eurovision effect! Total joy here at your post Grrlscout!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:35 AM on May 15, 2009


Some indispensible Eurovisionista links:

Nul Points!, a celebration of pointless wonders

my favorite Eurovision performance ever, Norway's 1968 entry Odd Børre

and the great 1980 Belgian entry Telex with a song called 'Eurovision', thwarted by Portugal in their (deliberate) attempt to achieve nul point greatness.
posted by grounded at 9:06 AM on May 15, 2009


Not even Dita von Teese can save that awful, awful piece of stinkende, ranzige German scheiße.
posted by Decimask at 9:12 AM on May 15, 2009


Non-EBU MeFites, after a little plugin hassle you can watch online.
posted by 7segment at 9:19 AM on May 15, 2009


Ahem, My Lovely Horse.

"..and bring you tooo the horse deeeeeeentist."
posted by The Whelk at 9:20 AM on May 15, 2009


As usual, Romania's entry sucks. Why can't they just compose in Romanian?
posted by kldickson at 9:28 AM on May 15, 2009


Nothing will ever be better than this...so, in honor of Eurovision, my all-time favorite Eurovision winner.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:43 AM on May 15, 2009


(Just to counterbalance this thread a bit ;) I'm normally a big fan of so bad it's good, but I can honestly say that while Eurovision sounds SBIG, and might even look like it it's SBIG when sliced up into the odd YouTube moment, in real life it's always awful. It goes on for hours, Wogan drones on like a boring old Uncle, and there's no sense of drama because the voting is both tediously drawn out and obvious. Like beauty pageants, it's baffling that it still exists in this day and age, and that it gets such a lot (relatively speaking) of MSM coverage.

Yeah yeah, it's not really worth getting bitter over, I know...
posted by Sifter at 10:01 AM on May 15, 2009


Nothing will ever be better than this...so, in honor of Eurovision, my all-time favorite Eurovision winner.

Good grief, bitter-girl.com.
I wonder what they're doing now?

No I don't:)

Like beauty pageants, it's baffling that it still exists in this day and age, and that it gets such a lot (relatively speaking) of MSM coverage.

Sifter,
Yours is a totally reasonable point of view, of course.
Personally, I think it allows me to feel ethnically superior to a people that don't exist - the nation of Eurovision. (I actually wished last year's went on longer...)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:50 AM on May 15, 2009


Eurovision, in my experience, is a mixed bag. I didn't grow up with it, so the first time I saw, in 2000, I reacted with utter disbelief. An international singing contest, every single act horribly, horribly bad? I was astounded people got so excited about it.

As time went on, though, I realized most Eurovision fans around me were in it to relish the pure ridiculousness of the acts on stage, the G-rated kitsch-o-rama turned into a reason to gather your friends and cheer on your favorite country. That Eurovision experience I find thoroughly enjoyable. What I don't like is some of the uglier, xenophobic chest-beating that arises, but I guess that's the case with just about any international competition.

From all I've seen, my favorite Eurovision song would have to be from Monaco in 2006. But in terms of performance, I'd have to say nothing beats the majesty of Ukraine's performance in 2007, not even Lordi.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:35 AM on May 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


hey grounded "Odd Børre" is pretty good! I wonder if they made that orchestra available to all the performers back then?
posted by rongorongo at 11:51 AM on May 15, 2009


hey grounded "Odd Børre" is pretty good! I wonder if they made that orchestra available to all the performers back then?

Indeed they did rongorongo!

But for some reason [in 1968] not even that orchestra plus little Cliff Richard wearing his adorable jabot plus his catchy tiddly-pom song "Congratulations" were enough for the correct (i.e. UK) win. Spain sneaked it!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:19 PM on May 15, 2009


Whoa, the opera singer from Sweden sounds great when she's in opera voice, but her non-opera-style singing is terrible. Also, she lost me hen she started channeling the blue lady from The Fifth Element.

Cheezy, I know, but I think I like Norway the best. He's just so darn adorable.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:25 PM on May 15, 2009


I wonder if they made that orchestra available to all the performers back then

Yes. This was back in the days of live orchestras. The Euro channels (RTL, Radio France, RTB) all had in-house orchestras and lots of rules governing how music is played on TV. I think the Eurovision had a live orchestra present well into the 1990s, although many acts played backing tracks.

The 1968 Eurovision was at the Royal Albert Hall, so no surprise the orchestra is that good (and they are good, play the Odd Borre clip for a musician and that's the first thing they'll say).

And the 1968 edition was notable in other ways -- like the vote-rigging allegations that came to light in 2008. The UK's entrant, who placed 12th, just one slot above Odd Borre, was the inimitable Cliff Richard.

But getting back to Odd Borre, it's not so much the song because I don't understand a word of it. It's the total picture of the incongruous, permanently-out-of-step-with-the-times (this was 1968!), we'll-sing-in-Norwegian Eurovision-ness of it that gets to me.
posted by grounded at 12:29 PM on May 15, 2009


I so very, deeply enjoy Eurovision. It's in the Top 10 Internet Contributions to the World. It's like, I begin to wonder if globalization is making the world too much the same, and then I see it and say, nope, no way. Europe is still Europe and no amount of McDonald's intrusion has been able to change that yet.

It's deliciously baffling that people in Norway, Turkey, Albania, and Finland (made. of win. this year) saw those acts and decided that that was exactly the version of themselves they wanted to present to the world. I love the senseless combination of hideous, screamy pop music, tarted up national costumes, generic dance beats, and acrobats twirling fire, jumping through the air, and humping the vocalists. The whole thing just fills me with glee. Particularly the Mega Queer Trojan dancers accompanying Ukraine.

Also, Patricia Kass was lovely and a real pleasure to hear, but obviously violating the spirit of the contest.
posted by mostlymartha at 12:38 PM on May 15, 2009


Oh god, Marisa Stole The Precious Thing, you are entirely right about Verka. I throw an annual Eurovision party and my house erupted at that entry. She was robbed, I tell you.

Another favourite is Russia's 2006 entry, what with all the ballerinas and mimes and piano shenanigans. Any other year and it would have been no contest at all.
posted by Jilder at 2:09 PM on May 15, 2009


Dang, what happened to the NSFW warning? Apparently the contest title includes "vision" instead of "sound" because the singing is just an excuse to strip.
posted by inkyroom at 3:22 PM on May 15, 2009


Although Malena Ernman is fab (the song not so much), even if I could vote for her this swedish vote is going to - Bosnia Herzegovina!

But I still think the norwegian ventriloquist dummy fiddler have a great chance of winning this.
posted by mr.marx at 4:23 PM on May 15, 2009


Personal favourite of recent years: Romania, 2006, "Tornero"
posted by mr.marx at 4:29 PM on May 15, 2009


My personal favorite is still Todomondo. The lyrics are shit, but six different languages?

Also, no discussion of Eurovision should forget Dustin the Turkey.
posted by kldickson at 4:39 PM on May 15, 2009


Bosnia Herzegovina's entry is the perfect combination of mustig balkanskröna, stad i ljus och frans i fireside.
posted by mr.marx at 4:41 PM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Let's not forget the original wardrobe malfunction in 1985.
posted by racingjs at 6:00 PM on May 15, 2009


Every year I'm gobsmacked at the painful horribleness that some countries bring - apparently as their A game (looking at you, Bulgaria) - and the fact that the 80's were clearly so big in Europe that they've never moved on. Generally I only see that amount of giant hair, glitter, spandex and camp at the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Will Metafilter be following the finals somewhere? I want to settle in with plenty of booze and let the snark wash over me...
posted by ninazer0 at 6:32 PM on May 15, 2009


The German entry is way too "Harry Connick Jnr/Michael Buble does Minnie the Moocher very very badly" for my liking.

I'm not entirely convinced that even teh utterly fab Dita stripping along can save it.
posted by the.carol.baxter.experience at 7:53 PM on May 15, 2009


Dramatic Eurovision camerawork
The resulting shot
posted by Busy Old Fool at 8:46 PM on May 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Every year I'm gobsmacked at the painful horribleness that some countries bring - apparently as their A game

I think you're missing the subversive undercurrent of eurovision. If you live in a more traditional culture, forcing your fellow countrymen to publicly and whole heartedly support a group of men in spandex and high heels playing techno-accordion music is deliciously fun. Everywhere I've been most people under the age of 40 gleefully vote for the most insane entrant they can, as many times as they can (except the UK, where they seem to be trying to actually win).
posted by fshgrl at 9:19 PM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Oh god, Marisa Stole The Precious Thing, you are entirely right about Verka. I throw an annual Eurovision party and my house erupted at that entry. She was robbed, I tell you."

I love Verka, who is the gayest, campest thing ever... but she wasn't robbed.

Quite the opposite, actually.
posted by markkraft at 10:04 PM on May 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


My enthusiasm is tempered by the Russian authorities approach to Gay Pride. But we'll be having a party nonetheless....
posted by fcummins at 5:13 AM on May 16, 2009


So if we want, for example, to boo and hiss at the likes of Andrew Lloyd Weber and Graham Norton for not saying "we won't go on", would this be the right thread to do it?
posted by crataegus at 7:48 AM on May 16, 2009


Dramatic Eurovision camerawork
The resulting shot


That is awesome. I love the way he just runs off the segway moving at full tilt onto a waiting ramp. And some poor PA runs up to grab it before it crashes.
posted by smackfu at 9:51 AM on May 16, 2009


I'm explaining stuff to confused Canadians watching at an international student centre in the US. We're far from the Old World, but Eurovision is still with us.

And oh, god, it's dire this year. I didn't get to hear any of the semis this year, but a quick perusal of some videos finds lots of pop, and even more divas, but not much else. Armenia is pretty good though.
posted by jb at 12:21 PM on May 16, 2009


Oh - they got a REAL singer for Sweden - apparently she is operatically trained.
posted by jb at 12:28 PM on May 16, 2009


I am loving both Sweden AND Portugal so far!
posted by triggerfinger at 12:35 PM on May 16, 2009


OMG When did Greece get so FAAAAABULOUS!! Look at those moves!!!!!!
posted by like_neon at 12:42 PM on May 16, 2009


Not so sure about Russia's entry this year.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:50 PM on May 16, 2009


I liked Iceland's song the best so far but honestly that dress was just awful. Horrible horrible 80's nightmare awful.
posted by like_neon at 12:57 PM on May 16, 2009


Armenia's song is really quite good (English lyrics aside), but their poor presentation (costumes too dark) will hurt them. They should have just played their own preview video of all sorts of people (really ordinary looking) dancing in the streets behind them - it's such a joyful "dance, dance" type song.
posted by jb at 12:59 PM on May 16, 2009


I was yawning at the beginning of Malta's song (no flashy dance production) but she won me over by the end.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:08 PM on May 16, 2009


Who else is impressed by the massive circular moving screens suspended above the stage?
posted by yoz420 at 1:12 PM on May 16, 2009


I AM! That theater is MASSIVE.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:15 PM on May 16, 2009


It's all in a big stadium. But now it's Germany for the WIN for sure!
posted by yoz420 at 1:17 PM on May 16, 2009


His silver glitter pants stole the show!
posted by triggerfinger at 1:19 PM on May 16, 2009


BBC didn't show very much of Dita von Teese, though. Color me disappointed.
posted by yoz420 at 1:20 PM on May 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, Germany. That couldn't have been more Eurovision and I have to admit to loving it.

I'm liking Norton's commentary more than I thought I would, despite his offensive wrongness about Germany. He gives the impression of getting Eurovision in a way embarrassing uncle Wogan never did.
posted by terpsichoria at 1:21 PM on May 16, 2009


I also think Dita got shafted (as it were) - not enough footage - as it were - of her on the Euro TV stream either. Swizz!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:27 PM on May 16, 2009


Norton's commentary: "He has a face I'd like to slap" ?!?! Harsh
posted by yoz420 at 1:28 PM on May 16, 2009


I always like Ukraine. They're so camp!
posted by like_neon at 1:34 PM on May 16, 2009


I think I love Ukraine.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:37 PM on May 16, 2009


Hurrah! It's the UK entry! Which sounds like Lloyd Webber is parodying himself.

God, it's awful.

it's my hat, it's my hat! I'm not gonna let go of it! It's my hat!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:41 PM on May 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


When did Eminem move to Finland?!?! And then get shit?
posted by like_neon at 1:44 PM on May 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can see they didn't save the best for last.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:51 PM on May 16, 2009


I'm missing Wogan - first year without him. But I'm still voting for Armenia, for the goodness of their song, followed by Denmark for sending non-pop.
posted by jb at 1:58 PM on May 16, 2009


Is Norton as snarky as Wogan? And why did they switch?
posted by jb at 2:00 PM on May 16, 2009


Norway won.
posted by iviken at 2:59 PM on May 16, 2009


Is it a record score?
posted by jb at 3:03 PM on May 16, 2009


I think I'm already sick of Norway's song. I'm happy for Iceland though. And well done UK.
posted by like_neon at 3:12 PM on May 16, 2009


Germany was ROBBED!
posted by yoz420 at 3:12 PM on May 16, 2009


Sucks. Moldova was good.
posted by kldickson at 4:25 PM on May 16, 2009


Eurovision makes this American expat happy to be living on a continent that can have such a good time. Personal faves: Moldova! Ukraine! Germany! Turkey!
posted by mdonley at 5:26 PM on May 16, 2009


Eurovision contest sets stage for gay protests.
posted by ericb at 6:13 PM on May 16, 2009


Is Norton as snarky as Wogan? And why did they switch?

Norton was great, IMHO. I thought Wogan quit because he got tired of the political eastern bloc voting?
posted by gyc at 7:01 PM on May 16, 2009


Oh - they got a REAL singer for Sweden - apparently she is operatically trained.

But I think we all know what her secret is, don't we?
posted by gyc at 7:02 PM on May 16, 2009


No Eurovision thread will ever be complete without a mention of the piratical Wolves of the Sea.

I swear that somewhere around the middle, those pirates start voguing for a bit.
posted by pseudonymph at 11:28 PM on May 16, 2009


I thought Wogan quit because he got tired of the political eastern bloc voting?

That is the official version, but I thought some of his remarks this year hinted that the BBC eased him out for being pissed on duty (though you could hardly blame him). I did think last year's effort degenerated into borderline incoherence rather quickly.
posted by Phanx at 3:31 AM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Terry Wogan being a drunken whinger is part of the fun.

The telecast has just finished here and dude, wasn't it a bland year? No wonder that little Norwegian poppet won. He was one of the few acts you could differentiate. Too many black dress on black set with heartfelt, bland lyrics of blandness.

Azerbaijan was my favourite. They just get Eurovision in a way that I don't think the other nations did. Portugal gets points from me for making good use of the screenings.

And I want giant contortionist filled ceiling swimming pools at the 10th aniversary meetups.
posted by Jilder at 6:21 AM on May 17, 2009


Saying this as a Norwegian, heterosexual male:

GO GREECE!

That was proper Eurovision action; I didn't expect Norway to win after having seen that spectacle of gaiety.

Also: compared to last year, this was boring. What happened to the psychedelic wonderland of kitsch that was last year? B/W clothing and heartfelt lyrics are not what Eurovision is about.
posted by flippant at 2:27 PM on May 17, 2009


Best year of the last 3 has been 2007 - because after Lordi, a whole lot of countries tried something different. But yeah, so boring this year - and terrible costuming. There were a couple of acts with great male dancers doing mostly leg work, and it was all lost in the black trousers agt dark background thing.

I don't know that Greece was so much aimed at gay men, as at straight women; there are more of them. In fact, I think that between Greece and Ukraine, and the sudden fashion for giving the female divas long skirts, there was much more male objectification this year than female. Is this equality, or just more unnecessary sleeze?
posted by jb at 2:49 PM on May 17, 2009


Looks like I nailed it... the twink won! Norway's Alexander Rybak pulled off the win!

Here's why...!

1> The fact is, he had all the characteristics needed to win with the Eurovision audience, who are either very very homosexual, very very Eurotrash, very very traditional, very very drunk, or a combination thereof.

2> The trick to winning Eurovision isn't anything fleeting like having talent or a good song... it's crossover appeal! For instance, the Russians tend to be very drunk and very conservative. Many hate homosexuals, although many of them are, in fact, gay.

3> He's a twink at heart, but also has large, untrimmed muppet-like eyebrows, that hint at the vague possibility of John Stamos-esque aura of quasi-heterosexuality.

4> He's clearly got Mentos freshness going for him!

5> His song is heterosexual enough to be potentially credible, and yet he sings love songs about fairies.

6> He's as innocuous, inoffensive, and ambiguously gay as the Brady Bunch, which leads to appreciation from traditionalists who still watch Eurovision, while remaining an endless well of inappropriately risque jokes from everyone else.

7> Despite any occasional outward appearances, the French and British hate each other. The Russians hate Germans. So do the French. The Belgians are NATO collaborators. The Danes are too close to Germany for comfort. Italians are smelly and obnoxious. The East distrusts the West... and visa versa.

... but Norway?! Who gives a crap?!
posted by markkraft at 8:59 PM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


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