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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Eurovision: Celebrate, let’s celebrate

posted by on May 7 at 9:59 AM

As a nice intermezzo in the doom and gloom that is -generally speaking- this second semi, I present you with the fantastic promo video for Iceland (thanks, Abby). What do you mean “Quit plugging Iceland”? Check it out.

Right, now that’s over and done with: For Switzerland, Paolo Meneguzzi sings Era Stupendo. When Switzerland does well in Eurovison, it’s usually because they’re sending someone who’s not actually Swiss. The most famous example of this is Celine Dion who won in 1988 with “Ne partez pas sans moi (laissez moi vous suuuuuuiiiiiiivre)”. In 2005 they got another rare decent result when they sent an Estonian girlband singing about their friendship with a caged tiger (Vanilla Ninja – Cool vibes). Sending people from other (preferably European) nationalities is one of the many desperate vote-grabbing measures that exist in Eurovision. In 2006 Switzerland outdid themselves by sending Six4One, six singers from six different nationalities with the nausea-inducing song “If we all give a little”. The title alone says it all, doesn’t it.
The Swiss have not had much luck in recent Eurovision years, mainly because they’ve been sending utter crap. How else can we describe Six4One, or the unintentionally hilarious “Piero and the Musicstars” (how’s that for a band name!) with the amazing “Celebrate”. Wait for the moment where the Musicstars keep chanting “celebrate, let’s celebrate” while they’re out of breath. Oh, and let’s not forget DJ Bobo! Worldfamous in er… Europe (or just Switzerland and the Benelux?) who threw a tantrum when he didn’t qualify from the semi-final with “Vampires are alive” last year. I’m sure many a vampire was disappointed.
Era Stupendo is the third ballad in a row, so one of these will probably cancel the others out. This year Switzerland chose a singer from San Remo who will charm the ladies and men. Just look at that earnest face. The funny thing is that at one point a totally unrelated powerdance class seems to start behind Paolo, but he –ever the professional - doesn’t mind, he just keeps singing. I wonder if the choreographer just re-used parts of DJ Bobo’s Vampires dance. It does look that way.

Czech Republic sends a girl named Tereza Kerndlova with the song “have some fun”. Oh I detest songtitles that immediately tell me what to do. No, I will not have fun, unless I very well *want* to, ok, Tereza? As you can tell my hackles were raised before poor Tereza could start singing and I can’t say I reviewed my opinion once she did. Ugh. This girl looks good, as do her backing dancers (her backing singers look good as well, but they’ve been camouflaged in black, like all backing singers), but their outfits come straight from Sluts-R-us. I think it’s the same shop Poland’s representatives from last year (the Jet Set, a bunch of 16-year-olds dancing in a cage, shouting “let’s party, you’ve got the right to party”. Oh, I’ll party, just not with you) went to. And don’t get me started on the quality of the song, let alone the singing. I hope she took some singing lessons, if not… well, if not this could become pretty damned funny.

Representing Belarus is Ruslan Alenho with Hasta La Vista. Ukraine debuted in Eurovision with that very same title back in 2003. Their act consisted of a rocket, a couple of ballerinas and mock rock-opera. If that isn’t promising, I don’t know what is. I don’t know why this seems to be such a common song title, Terminator must be pretty hot over in Belarus/Ukraine. Belarus has only been taking part in Eurovision since 2004 with the hilarious “My Galileo”. The fun lay mostly in trying to figure out what they were singing about (I actually quite liked it), the year after they sent the high camp (Baroque gay boys) of Angelica Agurbash and last year they sent a Princess Diana lookalike with a Bond-esque song. This year it’s the perfect son-in-law singing a run of the mill song about a girl. The “live” videos I found all show him on his own standing on the stage. Er.. if that’s the performance they’ll be doing in Belgrade it’s not going to do much, he really doesn’t have the charisma to just stand there, sway a little and get votes. His official video however, was a better idea, because there we see Ruslan in the middle of an orgy/bal masqué practically having to fight off gorgeous women (why, did someone spike their drinks?). Bring the girls to Eurovision, Ruslan.

Next time:Latvia, Croatia and Bulgaria

RSS icon Comments


I think this was mentioned about Ukraine, but Belarus is just so Soviet that it's kind of awesome. Just unironically, terrifically awful. They were like that last year too. Hopefully he'll pull out something interesting, like magnetic boards or something.

Does Swizterland rotate its language groups like Belgium does? This is Italian, last year seemed to be German-based. Or maybe I just think that because it was about vampires.

Funny for the Czechs is good. Song makes absolutely no sense. So something going on would be good...

Posted by Abby | May 7, 2008 2:10 PM

@Abby: as far as I know Switzerland doesn't rotate its languages. I think they're just happy someone *wants* to sing for them. "Sing in Swahili, I don't care, just represent us!"
A lot of countries (well, a few) are singing in Italian in recent years and it's mainly seen as an attempt to lure the Italians back to Eurovision. We had Latvia two years ago (or was that last year?), Romania last year sang part of their song in Italian, and so on and so on.

Posted by Griet | May 7, 2008 10:43 PM

I don’t know why you keep calling Ukraine/Belarus performances “Soviet” when they are as far removed from anything Soviet as humanly possible.
I don’t think any of you really understand what “Soviet” was. Nothing remotely similar would be sent to compete in an international competition during Soviet times.

I think you mixed up singing a mediocre pop song with an accent (Hello! Sweden!!!) with a major political policy. It kinda makes you sound dumb to people who actually know what Soviet (or any other term in Easter European politics) really means.

Posted by Ex-Soviet Canadian | May 8, 2008 9:29 PM

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