Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Eurovision 2010: France Was Robbed

Actually, that headline could just as easily have read, "Spain Was Robbed," or "Denmark was Robbed," or "Turkey Was Robbed," or "Greece Was Robbed." The only way it could not have read was "The UK Was Robbed."

Sorry, UK.

Last week I found myself in Europe, trapped in France and Spain for a fun vacation of avoiding street scammers, pickpockets, street toughs, and herpes. All the things you do when you go on vacation. It so happened that this was Eurovision time, and if you've never been in Europe during Eurovision, you're missing out.

Eurovision time is when Europe really comes alive.

If you're in America, you're probably not sophisticated or worldly enough to know what Eurovision is. It's sort of like "Song for Europe," from the great show "Father Ted," in which the title character and his dim-witted sidekick, Father Dougal McGuire, appeared to perform their song, "My Lovely Horse."

Basically, the European countries that are members of the European Broadcasting Union submit one song to be performed live during the show. Other countries then vote on their favorites (they can't vote for their own)! The songs are apparently chosen for their kitsch value.

Anyway, last Saturday night I was in Spain where I watched a couple of hypnotic hours of this year's "Eurovision." The winner was something from Germany called "Satellite," performed by someone called Lena.

Her dancing was awkward, her English (for some reason she sung the song in English) sounded about as good as my French, and the song was ridiculous. But not really in a good way. But her backstory, as presented on Eurovision's official site, is kind of irresistible:
Pretty much out of nowhere – apart from the homemade dance videos and a few attempts with the school band – she conquered the audience’s heart. “I didn’t tell my friends about my first casting, so there wouldn’t be any stupid comments if I got kicked out straight away,” she says, thinking of her terrible stage fright. Even though Lena danced regularly during her childhood – from Ballet to Jazz and Hip Hop – she made her way to music without piano lessons or vocal training. But she got her chance, grabbed it and developed rapidly.
She's just an adorable high school student with only a little performance background. So someone gave her a lame song to sing and she did her best!

(Unfortunately, I can't find the Eurovision performances on YouTube, so I'm going to have to embed what I can to give you some idea of what happened over the weekend.)



Knowing that Lena isn't a professional, and still in high school, I guess I find the awkwardness charming. But that song. Ohmygosh is that a bad song.

I went everywhere for you
I even did my hair for you
I bought new underwear that’s blue
And I wore it just the other day
Love you know I'd fight for you
I left on the porch light for you
Whether you are sweet or cool
I’m gonna love you either way...

Love, Oh, Love
I gotta tell you how I feel about you
Cause I, Oh, I
Can't go a minute without your love
Like a satellite I'm in orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can't go a minute without your love

Love I got it bad for you
I saved the best I have for you
You sometimes make me sad and blue
Wouldn't have it any other way
Love my aim is straight and true
Cupid's arrow is just for you
I even painted my toenails for you
I did it just the other day…

Love, Oh, Love
I gotta tell you how I feel about you
Cause I , Oh, I
Can’t go a minute without your love
Like a satellite I'm in orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can't go a minute without your love

Love oh love
I gotta tell you how I feel about you
Cause I oh I
Can’t go a minute without your love

Where you go, I follow
You set the pace we take it fast or slow
I follow in your wake

Oh oh oh

You got me, you got me
A force more powerful than gravity
It’s physics... there’s no escape

Love my aim is straight and true
Cupid's arrow is just for you
I even painted my toenails for you
I did it just the other day

Love, Oh, Love
I gotta tell you how I feel about you
Cause I, Oh, I
Can't go a minute without your love
Like a satellite I'm in orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can't go a minute without your love

Love, Oh, Love
I gotta tell you how I feel about you
Cause I, Oh, I
Can’t go a minute without your love

Love Love Love
Love
Love
Love

This is a song about female disempowerment sung by a high school girl as the official German entry in a contest that stretches across the entire European Union. And this was the winning song. The viewers watched all the songs and thought, "That's the best one. The one about the teenage girl who can't resist a man who makes her sad, and buys new underwear. That she wore just the other day."

Whatthehell? No wonder the Euro is doing so badly right now.

Watching it I just felt bad for her. I wanted her off the stage, not to win the damn thing.

Denmark, I think, got it right. Or righter. Their entry, "In a Moment Like This" (also in English for some reason) by two people called Chanée and n'evergreen, was like some glorious outtake from 1987:



That's a cheesy song, full of forced uplift, with that "oooh-I-can't-believe-how-sad-I-am-since-you-left-but-not-really-because-it's-a-duet-forcyringoutloud-and-we're-singing-to-each-other-so-you-know-we'll-get-back-together-anyway" sort of way.

The man and woman are on equal footing in this one. Apparently, they both left each other, and they regret it. If the lyrics can be believed.

In a moment like this-- wanna know, wanna know, wanna know how you feel about losing to an inferior song and performance?

Then, there was Spain. Oh, Spain.



Algo Pequeñito? Something Tiny? A sad song sung with a smile. And in Spanish. A language you'd expect to hear in Spain (that and Catalan). Of course it's unfortunate to hear a grown man singing about "something tiny," and doesn't inspire much confidence (and those dancing marionettes at the circus or whatever the hell were in the video and on stage with him at Eurovision didn't help); but in fairness yo tengo solamente un poco español, so let's check out the English language lyrics from the Eurovision website:
Something tiny
Something really little
A white rose, a caress
A sweet kiss and an apology

Something tiny
Something really little
A tender gesture, a look
An embrace, a flower.

Something tiny
Something really little
A simple “I love you” with sweetness,
with affection andwith passion.

That’s all I ask you, my love
My life is falling apart, you’re breaking my heart
Try to change soon
Time is really running out now.

[Chorus]

Something tiny, oh oh oh ooooh
Something really little, oh oh oh ooooh
Simple things that you’re not giving me now
I´m asking you for like crazy, if you don’t want it to end
Something tiny, oh oh oh ooooh
Something really little, oh oh oh ooooh
The choice is in your hands
Today you decide whether to love me
Or to break my heart

Something tiny
something really pretty
Your wind-blown hair entwined in the warmth of my hands
You managed to understand
That it’s the small things that keep this fire alive
Now, try to change,
The rest will sort itself out

[Chorus]

Something tiny, oh oh oh ooooh
Something really little, oh oh oh ooooh
The simple things that now you are giving me
I love you like crazy and will always love you
Something tiny, oh oh oh ooooh
Something really little, oh oh oh ooooh
The choice is in your hands
You decided to love me and not to break my heart,
Not to break my heart

Something tiny, oh oh oh ooooh
Something really little, oh oh oh ooooh
Simple things that you’re not giving me now
I´m asking you for like crazy, if you don’t want it to end
Something tiny, oh oh oh ooooh
Something really little, oh oh oh ooooh
The choice is in your hands
Today you decide whether to love me
Or to break my heart

Oh wow I liked it better when I didn't understand it. Spain, what were you thinking? A whining, emasculated man singing about how the woman he loves is breaking his heart but he'll keep holding on if... only... she... will... do... something... tiny.

Really, that's the song that Spain chose to represent itself with at Eurovision. I've been to Spain. I was just there. After five nights there I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert and I can tell you that the men don't go around dancing in circuses and whining about how their lives will make sense if only the woman who has been mistreating them for the entirety of their "relationship" will only do something tiny to prove she's not a total bitch.

How about Turkey?



Now that is a Eurovision song. It's about being true to yourself and loving others, even when those others are different. The lyrics are a silly litany that make just enough sense that you get the point. That even different people can be the same. Because that's what you want on a continent that is full of individuals from different backgrounds and cultures-- for everyone to be the same, you know? Or something like that. Also, we can still love each other, even if we're different. No matter what anyone else says.

But that beat. It's actually kind of catchy. And the band calls itself maNga, after Japanese comic books. I do like Japanese comic books.

Check out France's entry.



Upbeat, catchy, fun. And it's about SEX. That is, if the English version of the lyrics from Eurovision's site can be believed:
Every Body with me !
Beautiful People who wants to move
To let your body move all year !
Move it , move it, move it
LET'S SHARE THE MOMENT it's a nice day

(she)
Baby you need to raise et shake your booty
Danse tight for a french kiss
Take me with you and danse
Heat is on , i can feel it !

(him)

Ahhhhhhh Yehhhhh

Burden :

Allez Allez Allez
Allez Olla Olé
Allez Allez Allez
Olla Olé
Allez Allez Allez
Allez Olla Olé
Allez Allez Allez
C’est le son de l’année !

Allez Allez Allez Allez
You need to danse, every body dans with me ,badamdam …
C’est le son de l’année, danbadam badamdam
Every body, danbadam badamdam …
Let it go
Like this….
All year long

Ohhhh

Burden :

Allez Allez Allez
Allez Olla Olé
Allez Allez Allez
Olla Olé
Allez Allez Allez
Allez Olla Olé
Allez Allez Allez
C’est le son de l’année !
Let's share the moment, it's a nice day, move your booty, dance all year long. I have actually listened to this song three times now. It's a fun song.

The problem? It was France's official entry. You know who likes France? A few French people. Trust me, I was there for several days, so I'm an expert now. The only people in Europe who like France are a few very old French people who love crumbling old buildings that are built with a balcony on the second and fifth floors. (Oh-- and no elevators! Those things are an affront to France's cultural heritage!) Also, they don't like to pick up dogshit.

That is it. Even the young people in France hate France.

But that is a good song, and I don't think that Europe's natural (and, let's face it, at least partially justified) loathing of France and its people should have prevented what is actually a good song from winning.

So I say, J'aime Jessy Matador! Let's all shake our booties all year and to hell with Eurovision.

As always, congratulations to all the winners.

Postscript: From the UK, here is the last-place finisher. The voters got something right, at least. Poor Josh Dubovie. Even though, as Eurovision's website states, "Josh's song That Sounds Good To Me was masterminded by music legend Pete Waterman who produced numerous hits for e.g. Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley or Steps."

It's ironic that a song entitled "That Sounds Good To Me" could sound so bad. But it does.



How could the guy who produced hits for Rick Astley have come up with something bad? "I don't know about you, but that sounds good to me"? Way to sell yourself to a woman, dude--

check out France's entry, he can show you how it's done.

Here's hoping Eurovision 2011-- to be held in Germany!-- is even better!

1 comment:

A.Jaye said...

I watched some of this crap on the telly. The chick from Armenia was HOT.

Just to let you know Ricky - the UK's too cool for Euro trash. Vision.