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May 22, 2006

Fugovision Song Contest

Every year at about this time, all of Europe goes insane for the Eurovision song contest, cheering for each country's entry into what could be termed a one-night international American Idol marathon with more language barriers, loud and drunken reveling, culture clashes, crazy clothes, and camp value.

What happens is, the participating countries hold their own national contests to determine what musical act will represent them at Eurovision, and then (as of 2004, anyway) there is first a semi-final and then a final hosted by the country that last won. There is some sort of voting process that I believe is viewer-driven. Famous past winners: ABBA with "Waterloo," and Celine Dion, singing for Switzerland for some reason. Although the genius of the contest is better examplified by the Belgian act that came in second in 2003 by singing a song in an imaginary language. It's awesome. Just try and imagine Katharine McPhee getting anywhere by standing before Simon Cowell and crooning in tongues.

The reason for my rambling: I am devastated that nobody in the U.S., not even BBC America, televises any of Eurovision. Because that is why I missed the live display -- as opposed to the welcome yet not-quite-the-same blurry YouTube version -- from this year's Finnish winner, Lordi:

Lordi dresses itself -- primarily with the aid of reindeer fur -- as different monsters from different eras. Although presumably even the undead have an enduring sense of patriotic pride, as evidenced by the zombie whose face is rotting off, yet whose head is adorned with a kicky little Finland top hat, as if he is threatening here to break into a series of cabaret-style high kicks before he flosses his teeth with your intestines. And Mummy Of The Bride over there just seems so endearingly thrilled to be clutching that bouquet of spring life in his decaying arms. Fantastic.

Crushingly, iTunes hasn't figured out how to let me buy things in Euros (please, iTunes, get on that immediately), or else I'd be all over Lordi's album -- titled, of course, The Arockalypse, and filled with kicky death metal songs entitled "The Night Of The Loving Dead," "Chainsaw Buffet," "Bringing Back The Balls To Rock," "It Snows In Hell," and of course the Eurovision-winning tune, "Hard Rock Hallelujah." And Finland is going insane for these guys -- four different versions of "Hard Rock Hallelujah" are in the Finnish iTunes Top 10 Songs list. I absolutely cherish the idea that the Finnish people want the world to see five huge guys dressed up as punk Skeletors and think, "Oh, man, that is so Finland." I secretly -- okay, not so secretly -- love Lordi deeply even though they look completely insane.

By contrast, here is what contestant Jane Comerford from Germany wore:

She is Glinda the Good Witch as portrayed by the ghost of Tammy Wynette (which, if that were true, would at least give her something to talk about with Lordi: death). Jane is part of a band called Texas Lightning singing a country song. She is actually Australian, too, which just makes me love that fug hotspot even more. I'm unclear on why exactly she is representing the Germans, but that's the best thing about Eurovision: Who cares? All I know is, I never trust a woman with marabou straps unless her name is Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan and she is threatening to take away my South China Sea oil leases.

Severina, the Croatian entry, opted for a marginally less modest ensemble.

Lil' Kim would be proud. Then she'd be hopping mad, having been beaten at her own game by a randy brunette singing with four members of a Croatian boys' choir. Then she'd punch the wall of her cell, and then she'd sit through a few weeks of prison-sponsored rage therapy, wherein she would learn to conquer her rising bile not through violence, but by vowing to call Severina's stylist as soon as she is sprung from the slammer and hire her to create a wardrobe for the Lil' Kim freedom tour.

The point of my rambling entry is, I suppose, that whatever your particular tastes are in fug, Eurovision will cater to them. And that is precisely why it's so upsetting that we don't get to see it ourselves in the beautiful clarity of broadcast TV. Sorry, but broadband video snippets aren't quite the same. Where are the random, barely programmable cable stations when you need them? Snap to it, MTV9! Come on, VH-2! I can TiVo it if you burn it off in the wee hours. Just please don't deny us a place at the fug feast.

I think that says it all, don't you?

I wonder if they do weddings. Brangelina, any interest?

Posted by Heather at 12:36 PM | Permalink


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