Monday, May 18, 2009

Europe's Bad Taste on Display at Eurovision

In the UK, representing the country for Eurovision is considered career suicide. It gets an ok following, but the last few years people got bored of the political voting and stopped watching. Hey, no one likes being reminded that the whole playground thinks you're a bully and won't play with you.

In Greece though, Eurovision is such a big deal that the chat shows dedicate blanket coverage to the goings on of the contest in the two weeks running up to the finals. Even my favourite chat show "Κοιτάω μπροστά" (Looking Ahead) sacrificed an afternoon to Eurovision, which I was most disappointed about. More on Κοιτάω μπροστά another time, it's the daytime TV equivalent of cocaine.

When our dear superstar Sakis picked his song, I was doubtful. It didn't sound Eurovisiony enough to me. But oh well, Eurovision's biggest audience is women and gay men, so Sakis was sure to bring the votes in. I'm crazy about Eurovision and missed out on attending it when it was held in Greece because it was too close to an important exam. But I thought never mind, Sakis is totally selling the whole Next-Year-Eurovision-On-A-Greek-Island thing. Who could possible resist that?

And then along came some Norwegian guy who still hasn't gotten over some girl he went out with and moaned about it to all of Europe. And Europe in a display of terrible taste gave him a landslide victory. Why am I surprised? Last year's Russian entry was equally shit and only won because of political voting.

I have things to say to the following parties about this heinous miscarriage of justice:

1. Now, Europe. Obviously you're all sentimental fools nursing broken hearts. I get that. We've all been there - the one that got away, the one I was so in love with, blah blah blah. But JESUS!! GET OVER IT! Couldn't you have just got some therapy instead of ruining my Eurovision dreams, and those of Sakis and all of Greece?? Don't you know who Sakis is? He's like a god here! I hope you're satisfied with what you've done. Go freeze your asses off in Norway next year and think of this as your extremeties loose sensation:

"I could have been in Greece right now if I'd voted for Sakis."

2. Northern Europe, who voted so shabbily for Greece - thanks for nothing. You all come here in flocks in the summer, stealing our jobs and our women and our sunloungers and forcing us to see your pasty white bodies turn red under the Greek sun. You come here all the time, year after year, and we're nice to you. The least you could have done was voted for Greece, how bloody ungrateful can you get?!

3. Sweden - I hear your Eurovision presenters has some rather nasty things to say about Sakis and his enthusiastic shirt ripping. I'd like to see you sing and dance like that at the same time with not even a wobble in your voice. Not even big international stars can dance like that and sing live, including Madonna who always mimes when doing yoga onstage. Furthermore, take notes of subclause a and b below:

a) You sent some terrifying manwoman to represent your country.

b) If it's going out of fashion for the Greek boys to chase the Swedish girls on holiday, that's not Sakis's fault.

4. Sakis, it was with a heavy heart that I watched your unnecessary apology to Greece. It's not your fault that Europe has bad taste in music. My tip for next time is: when shirt ripping is in progress, accidental or otherwise, go for it and rip it right off. That would have at least doubled your votes.

5. Russian cameramen - you didn't do too good a job. Don't you know who Dita Von Tees is?

6. Finally, Norwegian winner. Thanks to you we will have to listen to everyone else's miserable love stories next year.

On merrier notes, I thought it was a really good contest this year. I was sure the competition was going to be very tight. Landslide victories are no fun to watch. I thought Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan all had fun songs and I was happy to see my cheesey pal Arash again.

We were watching the contest with some friends and the disappointment in the air was tangible. When the last vote came in, with Greece about 300 points off winning, a member of the gang said "That's it guys, we lost"

You gotta admire that sort of optimism, not losing hope till the last moment.


sunflower said...

Seriously, this post almost managed to offended me, as a pasty white bodied Norwegian. Therefore I would like to make some counter arguments:

Firstly, the song was not a sad song, if you listen to the lyrics, it is a hopeful song about rediscovering love, which probably appeals to the economic state of affairs throughout Europe right now.
Secondly, the Greek god thing is so out of fashion right now, and it was not only Sweden's commentator that commented on the size of Sakis' shirt.
Thirdly, if you look at the weather reports from Scandinavia these days it has hit the 20 degrees on many an occasion throughout April and May.
And as a final point, at least our little boy, Alexander, wrote, composed, as well as sang the song. For someone unknown I think the 20-year old kid deserves a break.

All this said (and my nationalism expressed), I have to make the point that Norway is probably the only country in Europe that can actually afford to host the Eurovision next year, so I am convinced (however adorable the song and boy in my view) that political/economical voting took place.

bollybutton said...

You know sunflower, I didn't even think of that. You probably have a good point about Norway being the only country who can afford Eurovision. As much as I would have loved to go to Eurovision on my doorstep, Greece certainly can't afford it. Hmmm......interesting....

jinjir minjir said...


Anonymous said...

Ouf, I completely agree with you about the cameramen. I was so looking forward to seeing Dita in action. But I've heard a rumour she was already asked to cover up more as Eurovision is a family event (yeah, right), so that is probably why.

And yeah, following Eurovision is a heavy internal fight between patriotism, liking certain countries and actually having a taste in music :)

Anonymous said...

Well first of all, I am Greek so here is my two cents:

Firstly, the UK need to drop the whole "no-one votes for us due to politics" bull. They have submitted some really bad songs before this year which contributed to them getting nil points.

Sakis did OK but his song and performance was nothing special to be fair. He was no better or worse than a lot of the other countries.

Norway though rocked, the guy seemed genuine. Unlike Sakis, he didn't expect victory to be handed to him on a plate. He wrote his song, played the violin and sang WELL!

Sakis hasn't done too badly out of this. His main market is Greece and the public (as you've just proved) still love him.

Anonymous said...

double the hotel rates
for all norwegians
and scandinavians
when they come to greece.
there i said it !

Sesi said...

Dita is a sex goddess. Most of us could take pointers on feminity and sexuality from her. What sensual movement she possesses, I envy her!
Although Sakis remains hot after all these years, the song he sang was crap, and the show last year. Actually, so many last years.
I don't understand this contest: what do any of these songs have to do with promoting national cultures of the European countries? Its all crap pop songs written in English..

Other than that, the Swedish singer was a shemale, I am convinced. The voice was playback, to give us the impression its a woman.

The song Cyprus sent to the festival was a really sweet song, but the girl really couldnt sing.

Ukraine has really toyed with its reputation by sending that "lady" to perform (not sing, my god).

I really liked the costumes of Armenia. Also, the choreography. The song itself sucked.

Esthonia really had a decent appearance. The song was nice, and the lady singing was looking like an angel.

Young Alexander was so refreshing, and so was his song and his performance. Really a sunshine.

Everyone else but those last two, EVERYONE else, should be thrown into the gutter for subjecting our ears to the "songs".

bollybutton said...

Let me make it clear - my one and only reason for wanting Greece to win was because I want to go to Eurovision.

That there were better songs that night and that Alexander was refreshing are facts that I would acknowledge if I weren't throwing a tantrum. Hmph!

Sesi said...

Oh oh I forgot.
Alexander's opening lyrics are "Years ago, when I was younger..blahblah"
When I first heard that I stopped whatever I was doing and stared at him, thinking, hum...when was that? when he was, like, 10? Thats not even young, thats a child, plain.
Did that sound weird to anyone else or was it just me?:S

And Bolly, yeah it would be fun to go to Eurovision, waving flags frantically. We should volunteer though and do crowd control backstage to front stage. Should be fun!

Blackbird said...

Haha, I'm so relieved to find I'm not the only one who saw it... I think I have the brit attitude towards the event - I'll scoff at the whole thing but secretly watch it and root for my favourites.

Having said that, I was disappointed (once again) in the UK. I never actually expect to like their entry but some part of me always hopes that this year they've come up with something good that has a bit of flavour... Cool Britannia, you know? We've got Queen, Depeche Mode, The Smiths and the Spice Girls but all they can come up with is a ballad that's frankly quite dull and could be from any other country. Ah, wishful thinking. I watch Eurovision for the tackiness, the outrageous outfits and the FUN. Jade's performance/song was sweet but Y A W N.

I couldn't believe Dita was asked to cover up when we were watching Ukraine's entry gyrate around a pole! I felt like I should have been throwing money at my tv or something.

Was also very amused when I heard Norway sing '... when I was younger' because what is he now - 17?!

valitsaki said...

Seriously now, your post amused me very much bolly, and it seemed we have started to infect you too :p
All these days i think like "god, am I the only one you thinks Saki's song and show was tottaly horrible or am I the only one with good taste?"

His song was indeed horrible and that cocky attitude he had and the greek media hiving him a big push in his confidence was bad for him. Ok I know he did his best, we saw it, but still a better attitude would make things better.

Alexander's song was nice, had something, a spark, and he was really shining the final night. He seemed s cared and anxious to the semi-final, but when i saw him in the finals he was somewhat glowing, i knew he'd be the winner. ( I had the same action when I heard the first words of the song as your commenders did lol)

Ukraine was like a strip show, it seemed to me as if the spartians would go on one side and there would be a lady in a wedding dress screaming and the singer would sit on the edge and be stuffed with money on her bra at the end of this song. Really amazed me that this didn't actually happen.

As for Dita, photo's leaked from the previous couple of days with Dita with no bra on and glitter or strass diamonds on her nipples, and the brief look I had on final she had a bra under her corset so yeah, surely was the covering up case.

I actually voted for UK, fan of webber and like the song the voice, the whole picture, but it really was nothing more special than the blue dressed girl, or the maltese woman.

Cyprus on semi-final was propably my favourite song if the girl had some singing training, she wasn't bad, but she sounded like me trying to sing. All she needed was a little more vocal training and the song was amazing.

Estonian song was great from every point,oneof the two I was torn between semi, estonia and lithuania on voting, finally desiding not to take part on voting.

Turkey's Hadise looked like a wannabe Sertab/shakira and Albania's a wannabe kalomoira.

i'm impressed that none says anything about french or portugese songs, the first one beeing amazing and quite dominating and the second one fresh, flowery and happy giving at least to me, a really positive feeling and beeing the one i've played the most in my player.

As for Arash, his song was nothing really special, although i like his style and his songs so far, I can't say I could be neautral, having all these guyz around having their chin bone beeing broken by hitting on the floor each time Aysel apeared on stage. Come on, she's another beyonce wannabe, with legs similar to her's, it's not like you've never seen female legs, what's so special on her and your saliva is flooding the room?


bollybutton said...

What I liked about everyone going nuts about Aysel is that she's not a skinny mini - all the male commentators in Greece went beserk over a woman with a body like a woman - thighs and ass.

My sister watching in the UK told me the Ukranian hooker remortgaged her house to pay for those stage props. I heard her performance called the porn version of 300.

Sesi if I was backstage volunteering at Eurovision I'd probably faint from joy. Going to the Olympics was a lifelong dream, I ticked that off the list, and look how my life changed. With going to Eurovision, only greatness can follow.

AL said...

Good post and interesting comments.
(from a Non Greek, Living in Greece)
Sakis - good performance - seemed to have tried his best, beyond the call of duty really. His song had no substance that was my problem with it. In my opinion Eurovision would be a good platform to either promote your cultural heritage, promote young artists, and or - sing a song that has valuable content. When a country just goes all out with only victory in mind, it is really such a bad bad immature attitude. Badmouthing other countries entries pre-show, very unprofessional. Eurovision should take some tips from the Olympics, - and have a better attitude.
Norway was my favourite entry - catchy, unique and I think fit his personality well, overall good performance. Tho in content it was a pretty simple.

Anonymous said...

"stealing our jobs and our women"

Sorry but this is what WE do to Northerners. Can you please get your stereotypes (they're true, really!) straight?? ;)