Love it or hate it, Eurovision showcases everything that is so right and so very wrong with Europe. There is simply nothing like it anywhere in the world. The nearest to it we have over this part of the world is PopAsia on Sunday afternoons on SBS although it would be that much better if it was live and rotating around Asia like PSY’s hips going Gangnam Style. Anyway, here are some of the highlights and lowlights from Eurovision 2013:
Greece – Alcohol Is Free by Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis– Having recently teetered near bankruptcy, Greece found a novel way to both attract tourism and ensure they would not win and be forced to host it next year. Seeing the success of using the older generation working so well for Russia last year, Greece went with a greying moustached front man and what appeared to be a 5-a-side football team in skirts. Highly energised and enjoyable.
Iceland – Ég Á Líf by Eythor Ingi – What sounds like a cross between Hallelujah and the Titanic theme tune sung by the most Icelandic viking looking man you will ever see. Dull song helped along by the always-enjoyable key change.
UK – Believe In Me by Bonnie Tyler – While she has never really had great taste in music videos, this one truly excels at showing off the grey, soggy beaches of the UK in winter (she starts to literally sink into the wet sand). She also appears to be using the same confused plastic surgeon as Olivia Newton John and Meg Ryan. As for the song, I can’t believe I’m saying this but it would have benefited from a key change or a big crescendo of her gravely voice rather than the wet sand she went for.
Hungary – Kedvesem (Zoohacker Remix) by ByeAlex – A quiet number sung by a group which should have been called “Hungary Hipsters” with a lead singer that may benefit from clearing his throat. Thank you Zoohacker because god knows how boring this track would have been had it not been remixed.
Romania – It’s My Life by Cezar – Seriously the strangest operatic change in pitch I have ever heard a grown man produce while singing. It sounds as if the writer of the song had initially planned it as a male and female duet and they cut costs and decided to go with the love child of Liberace and Mrs Doubtfire instead (see feature photo). Did I mention the dubstep section in the middle?
Finland – Marry Me by Krista Siegfrids – What starts off as a kitsch Katy Perry style track with words that take feminism back 50 years, somehow ends as the unexpected new theme to gay marriage. My favourite line – “I don’t think there are no ladies who will give you cuter babies. Isn’t that amazing?”. Can Hallmark please put that on a greeting card?
Last place: Ireland – Only Love Survives by Ryan Dolan – A dance number sung by Slater from Saved By The Bell (showing my age) came last in the competition this year. Even the half-naked male dancers beating drums couldn’t save him. I don’t understand it. He was good enough to support Jedward on tour?
Winner: Denmark Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest – A barefoot danish Shakira who looked like she might like to blow the hot piccolo player’s piccolo at one stage. Sounds like something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. And I’m not talking about the piccolo here.