OK, last Sunday (as previously mentioned) I stayed up to watch Europe’s premier kitsch-fest – the Eurovision Song Contest. As I do every year I kept notes with the aim of writing up a review, and this year have actually managed to do so within a reasonable amount of time (it’s only taken me all weekend). So here I am proud to present the Wyrm’s round up of Eurovision 2006!
(Oh, by the way I tend to take the same attitude to Eurovision that the Wogun does – it’s an excuse to be extremely nasty and vicious about people who are only trying their best. This is slightly uncharitable, but lots of fun – if you want a balanced and resonable review please go elsewhere 🙂
So, this year the competition was held in Athens – Greece having won last year. It was apparently held in the Olympic basketball stadium, which seems as good a place as any. The competition logo seems to have been based on the Phaistos Disc, which was a nice touch.
The opening was as strange as any Eurovision opening, involving a large, hovering golden sphere with dancers in winged constumes glued to the outside. This wobbled around above the stage for a bit while more dancers cavorted around dressed as various types of sea life (the dophin costumes were particularly good). Last year’s winner appeared and did some wailing that might in fact have been a reprise of her winning song – I’m not sure because frankly it was fairly unmemorable and I didn’t waste any neurons putting it into long term storage. Then finally the hosts flew in on wires and after saying ‘amazing’ a lot introduced the first country – Switzerland.
Artist: six4one Song: If We All Give A Little Language: English
Switzerland’s effort was a fairly banal “why can’t we all get along” type song, sung line by line by different group members in a fashion not unlike a boy band. It was vaguely reminiscent of We Are the World and really didn’t have much to recommend it at all. The singers set a trend by being dressed all in white, something that would occur again and again as the evening progressed.
My Rating: nul points
Artist: Arsenium feat. Natalia Gordienko & Connect-R Song: Loca (Crazy) Language: English
Moldova’s act consisted of a Britney Spears impersonator who kept changing her costume, some general people trying to act all ‘urban’ (and failing badly) and a Rasta-rapper on a razor scooter. Toktru, it was all rather dull, repetative and unmemorable. Next!
My Rating: nul points
Artist: Eddie Butler Song: Together We Are One Language: English/Hebrew
At last someone singing in their native language! With English bits. Well, it was a start at least. The song started out like sub-par Lighthouse Family, and then ended up as sub-par Whitney Houston. They even tried the “cut the music – make everyone clap their hands” trick, which didn’t really seem to work. Naturally they were all dressed in white.
My Rating: 1 Point for linguistic integrity
Artist: Cosmos Song: I Hear Your Heart Language: English
Now this was interesting, because the entire song was done a capella. Unfortunately that’s as interesting as it got. It kind of sounded like a Back Street Boys attempt at hip-hop, and was every bit as mediocre as that sounds. Towards the end one of the singers (all of whom were in white) produced a sort of bizzare miniature robot thing and started walking it around the stage. Possibly this meant something to any Latvians in the audience, but I just found it rather confusing.
My Rating: 1 Point for doing something different, -1 Point for involving a hand operated robot-man
Artist: Christine Guldbrandsen Song: Alvedansen (The Elf Dance) Language: Norwegian
Norway’s effort was actually fairly good. There was spooky violin mixed with electronic base and it was all in Norwegian. There was an uneccesary violin solo in the middle, and they were all dressed in white, but overall it was a quite listenable performance.
My Rating: 6 Points
Artist: Las Ketchup Song: Bloody Mary Language: Spanish
This entry was in Spanish. That’s the only good thing about it. It consisted of 4 rather annoyed looking girls dressed in red, dancing with office chairs and screetching at the audience while two men in black danced around aimlessly. The screetching was nasal and off tune and the whole thing sounded like dull 80’s pop. As the Wogun said “I don’t think Spain cares anymore!”
My Rating: 1 Point because it was in Spanish – understanding the words would have probably made it worse.
Artist: Fabrizio Faniello Song: I do Language: English
Fabrizio Faniello’s song was techo influenced drum-machine-pop. It was mildly listenable in an inoffensive way, even if it did rip off every sucessful pop/dance track of the 90’s. He was a bit off tune in parts, but it can’t be easy having eyebrows like that so we can probably forgive him.
My Rating: 3 Points
Artist: Texas Lightning Song: No No Never Language: English
OK, I have an embarrasing revelation to make. I don’t mind a little bit of country music. Now, I hasten to add that you won’t find me out buying Conway Twitty records or anything, but I find the occasional well written country song with a good beat somewhat enjoyable. Like this entry. Exactly why Germany decided to enter a country song I will never comprehend, but it was a quite good effort and the band went all out with stetson hats and those suit-things that aren’t quite suits that Texans wear when they want to dress up. So I actualy quite liked this act, even it was about as German as George Bush.
My Rating: 6 Points
Artist: Sidsel Ben Semmane Song: Twist of Love Language: English
This sounded like a 1980’s cover of a 1950’s rock song, so actually wasn’t too bad. The performers were all in white, and there was a break dancing non-guitar player in a waistcoat, and the tune was reminiscent of Abba’s Ring Ring. I didn’t mind this.
My Rating: 5 Points
Artist: Dima Bilan Song: Never Let You Go Language: English
Mullet Alert! It’s well known that Russia fell into a sort of fashion black hole around 1987 and never climbed out, but do they really have to send a guy in a (white) singlet with a mullet to Eurovision? And then do they have to make him sing like Justin Timberlake doing an angsty Backstreet Boys cover? There was a grand piano (white) on stage that didn’t do anything until right at the end when a woman’s torso emerged from it, turning it into a sort of ineffectual piano-centaur – this was as interesting as the performance got.
My Rating: 1 Point for creating a new entry for the AD&D Monsterous Manual
F.Y.R. of Macedonia
Artist: Elena Risteska Song: Ninanajna Language: English/Macedonian
Well, obviously the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia thought they were entering a Jennifer Lopez impersonator contest rather than Eurovision. How else to explain this act? I could carry on about the dancers and such, but ‘J-Lo’ is all you really need to know.
My Rating: 1 Point for singing in (Former Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonian
Artist: Mihai Traistariu Song: Torner