Eurovision Liveblog (finished)
May 18, 2013 § Leave a comment
12:03—After a year of waiting, Eurovision is finally here. The cheesiest of pop songs and passive aggressive EU politics, what could be more fun? This will take the better part of a day, so let’s all hunker down.
12:06—Ok, the performers are gathering, with their flags, in front of a drooling crowd of thousands in Malmo, Sweden, over a rote uplifting choral lilt about harmony and blah blah blah. Give me the shitty disco already, kthx. “This is like the Olympics, only way weirder,” says Mariah. Couldn’t have summed it up any better myself.
12:10—Good evening, I am Pietra Mshfeoislskfdhfil, says our Swedish host in an outrageous pink dress. Look at all the gay men in the front row soaking it up. Do us proud.
12:14—For those unfamiliar with the format, Eurovision is split into two parts, twice. The first part of the first parts is the semifinals, which have already happened. Today is the finals, and we’ll hear the selected pop song and performance routine from 26 proud European countries, interspersed by a palette cleanse/tourism commercial for the host country (the country who won last year). Then, each country votes for their favorites, but they can’t vote for themselves. Got all that? Good, ’cause France just started the first song.
12:17—France’s song is actually really good… for horrendous pop music. Nice minor key modality and moody sort of enveloping of the song, and the singer is very, very French. Tons of energy. Good shit. Also, most countries sing in English, ’cause that’s what the voters will understand. France, of course, sticks to their guns. A couple years ago they even sent an opera singer singing Corsican.
12:19—Ok, Lithuania kicks off the format proper. Driving, poppy back beat, actually guitar heavy. handsome young man in a black leather jacket singing straight at the camera, alone, and WTFFFFF MOTION BLUR! While he points at the camera with both hands what what whyyyy??!
(It’s moments like this that I watch Eurovision for at all)
12:22—That (Lithuania) was the worst song ever. If they get any points at all, I’m going to be pissed. Need I remind her that this song made it to Eurovision in 2008? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dNB4g0AcH8
12:24—So, after sending Zdob si Zdub in 2011, Moldova has quickly become one of my favorite countries in the world. Here we’ve got a ridiculously skinny girl with this weird ass judy Jetson pompadour haircut and a dress that is eating the rest of the stage. The dancers are the leotarded fabulousness I expect from eurovision.
12:25—Ok, here’s the swell to the song….. Lightning effects across the stage, fire, and she’s….growing? Seriously, she’s getting taller and taller, like a pyramid under that gigantic dress. Just…wow. Finland next. Their tourism commercial tells me it is very cold so party and christmas lights???
12:27—I have no idea what’s going on here. Dancers in domino masks, wedding dress, backup singers in aprons. Ah-ah, ah-ah a-ding-dong. This is the Eurovision brain worms we’re supposed to get for the next like 4 goddamn hours. The dancers in masks, actually, are incredible. “I’m your slave and you’re my master”: actual lyrics.
Oh, wtf, robot brakdown now. And a giant wedding veil from nowhere. This is I don’t even know.
12:30—OH SHIT! The big reveal: the song “Marry Me” by Finland ended with her kissing a lady. This was wholly unexpected from their music video preview. Which yes, I watched. Well played, Finland.
12:31—Spain’s song starts with bagpipes, of course. Because when I think Spain, I think bagpipes.
12:33—Fun fact about Eurovision… the performers don’t have to play their instruments on stage, but they do have to at least represent every instrument in the song, as per the rules. So you get cute boy-tie spanish boy basically playing air guitar with a real guitar around his neck. But even weird floating jewel lantern things can’t save Spain from the letdown of having to follow Finland’s bubblegum overload.
12:35—Belgiums video, Mariah says, “Oh my god, what’s with the eye contact? He’s like that creepy guy at the bar who thinks his intense eye contact will make you fall in love with him.” apparently, his serial killer gaze worked on his doting backup dancers.
12:36—Mariah: “Is it too soon to start drinking?”
12:37—The best Eurovision drinking game, of course, is during the voting. Countries can’t vote for themselves, so you take a drink every time a country gives their highest vote (douze points) to their direct geographic neighbor. Drink a small amount, though, or you’ll get fuuuuuuuucked up.
12:38—Belgium’s song was redeemed by some fantastic dancing, and creepy Belgian death stare dude cried a bit into his hands at the end, so Mariah considers him redeemed.
12:39—Mariah: “Why is Estonia’s song in black and white?” Me: “So they can switch to color later and it’ll be fuuuucking crazy.
12:40—Yup, I called it. Except for the “fuuuucking crazy” part. Estonia, how did you make the finals? Snoozefest.
12:42—Belarus, I am now expecting a monkey, don’t disappoint.
12:43—The singer emerged from a giant disco ball wearing ANOTHER DISCO BALL as a dress. This is a perfect eurovision song.
12:44—Slight balkan inflection to this pop song but really this is just dudes in white dancing with disco ball girl shaking her groove thang. Backflip, whoa!
12:45—OHHH SHIT! The bottom of the drums on stage is ANOTHER DISCO BALL!
12:50—Sorry, I missed Malta with a phone call. I didn’t miss much.
12:51—Now Russia has the unenviable task of fielding any song that isn’t Party for Everybody.
12:52—Russia’s song is a power ballad about your usual political unity. Moon globes, nobody dancing. C’mon, wtf. “Bury our guns?” Eurovision is supposed to be about European politcal squabbles!
12:53—Just remembered that the music video preview for Russia’s song featured the audience to be spontaneously moved to tears. Uhm, sure. Next: Germany.
12:55—Compared to Belarus’s disco ball, Germany gets….stairs. Wow, guys.. Not even your American Idol throwback song with its generic electropop beat and nondescript lyrics can save you. “Please fall down”—Mariah.
12:58—Next is Armenia: improbably, like Israel, a contestant in EUROvision. The singer looks like somebody from Deep Purple decided to make the transition to a pop star. Sorry dude, the wind effect through your scarf is not helping you. Neither is the denim overdose. Neither is your John Goodman-lookalike keyboardist.
1:00—Seriously, this is like one of those cheesy dad-rock theme bands in the Blues Brothers movies that the Blues Brothers just destroy.
1:02—The worst thing you can say about Armenia’s song: it wasn’t even bad enough to hate.
1:06—I love that we acknowledge who the Eurovision fans are. Host (with a wink and a nod): “You just haven’t met the right girl yet.” Holland’s tourism commercial is shot in the rain. Great job, guys.
1:09—Ignoring the Netherlands’s awful entry to pour one out for Montenegro, who made the best music video in the history of anything and didn’t even make the finals.
1:11—But now we have Romania, starring the amazing contra-tenor, Cezar!
1:12—The dancers are naked and the singer is dracula sans testicles. And now, glitch beats. This may be the best worst song of the year.
1:14—This year’s plastic surgery disaster from the UK is Bonnie Tyler. I guess that means something to some people.
1:19—Sweden last year won by disputing the fact that they are only the whitest of white people. Now, playing to the home crowd, their costumes are made of bleach.
1:21—Ok, I needed an explosion of sparks and UFO spotlights sooner or later. Was getting worried.
1:23—Mariah: “Hungary’s entry I think is basically dubstep for eurovision. What’s the weird dude’s name? Skittles, or whatever?”
1:24—Except how it’s basically opposite. I didn’t know they had hipsters in Budapest. Way to remember things, MARIAH!
1:25—Next is Denmark, the odds-on favorite for those who bet on Eurovision (and they do!)
1:27—My problem with Denmark, with expectations of a favorite, isn’t the cute “I just woke up from bed and clawed my way out of a jungle simultaneously” singer, nor the snare drums and recorder breakdown. It’s that we only have like 2 crazy swelling hooks. On the plus side, there’s sparks flying and pyrotechnic insanity every single second of the song.
1:30—Iceland’s song is Eg a Lif, performed by an extra from the new Thor movie who wandered into a Sigur Ros concert.
1:33—Check that. Wandered into a Raffi concert.
1:35—Azerbaijan does it right. Dancer in a glass case, is UPSIDE DOWN, mirroring the singer.
1:36—Seriously, this is the best thing ever.
1:37—So the dude trapped his shadow in a glass box and now he’s destroying it because he fell in love with a girl in a 50 yard dress? Incredible.
1:38—”Too bad it’s a shit song” says Didi, via text message. We don’t care about these things. It’s Eurovision.
1:39—Cute old greek men! And ska! Douze points for Greece!!!!!!
1:40—Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol is free!
1:41—Glow in the dark guitars!
1:42—Old greek singer man wipes off his mustache triumphantly. What a boss.
1:43—Ukraine singer carried to the stage by a giant, and now there’s a snowy theme and shadow people. Is this Game of Thrones?
1:46—Still waiting for someone, anyone, to top
1:47—Does Italy not understand that this is a pop music competition? Really abusing your free pass to the finals, there.
1:50—Warren Ellis tweets: “Get this whining Italian dolt in the suit that doesn’t fit OFF the stage, BRING BACK EUROHULK”
1:51—Yes, here we go, Norway.
1:53—Or not. Ok, Georgia, keep up the region’s run of excellence. Looks like they’re just following the formula from the last 2 winners. Male and female, individually spotlit apart, coming together.
1:56—Points for creative use of a smoke machine. And by creative, I mean excessive.
1:58—Ireland, advertising that they like meat. Mariah: “He kind of looks like he belongs on Jersey Shore”
1:59—Speaking of meat, did you see those drummers?
2:00—Ireland wins “most likely to unexpectedly show up in a nightclub and you’ll have no idea why you know the song”
2:02—Well, that’s all of our songs. Jean Paul Gaultier is here, which really means something to this audience.
2:03—Voting time. This is the point of the night where Mariah begins to look for passports she might steal so she can cast 20 votes as citizen of Liechtenstein.
2:07—Truth is, it doesn’t matter how good or bad your whole song was. All anyone is going to remember is these 15 second recap snippets.
2:11—Here we have last year’s winner. Eurovision just loves tradition. And spiky wing shoulder pads? Dancers are in fighter pilot jumpsuits, and she sings “we have the power”. Hate to break it to you, Sweden, but you don’t.
2:14—….ninjas dancing Psy?
2:15—Give the people what they want. Nobody gives a shit about your new album. Just want the hook from last year’s winning song. Euphooooriiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
2:27—Steve the Swede says this tribute is incredible. Dads, stay at home, even though you don’t have titties.
2:28—Biggest cheer of the night goes to a celebration of Swedish gay marriage. Then, dancers in meatball costumes.
2:32—Diva! oh, and abba, and Celine Dion. They insist on reminding me that Eurovision is actually terrible for the world.
2:40—San Marino goes first, since it wasn’t much of a task to count all 15 of their residents.
2:41—Douze points for Greece! San Marino knows what’s up.
2:42—Sweden gives the big prize to Norway. Drink up!
2:43—”My compliments for the energetic way you are hosting this contest.” From a Dutchman, that’s actually an insult.
2:44—Netherlands give 12 to Belgium. Drink again.
2:45—The big news is that Greece is leading, even though they’re the thorn in the thorn in the side of EU fiscal policy. Alcohol is free!
2:46—Ukraine for Belarus. Keep drinkin’
2:49—Romania for Moldova. Can you still stand?
2:52—Moldova for Ukraine. Can you still read?
2:54—Norway for Sweden. I’m sorry you’re dead.
2:56—Denmark is running away with it. With Malta’s ascendance, this is like the triumph of hipsterdom. Also, Finland for Norway. At least alcohol will preserve your body.
2:59—Belarus for Ukraine. At this point, you should probably just install a whiskey swimming pool.
3:00—Latvia for Russia. Did you think I was kidding?
3:02—The only reason I’m not telling you to drink more right now is because “I want to be popular” dude from 2 years ago is “hyping the crowd”. At least we got to see Eurohulk again.
3:03—And we lost Bulgaria. Oh, she’s back. Just needed 4 more drinks and 15 more coats of makeup.
3:05—Seriously, this Bulgarian lady must be playing our drinking game too.
3:06—Drink again. Belgium for the Netherlands.
3:07—Russia for Azerbaijan. I am getting concerned you actually can’t fit this much in your stomach at once. The fact that it’s alcohol is almost secondary.
3:08—What is this German lady doing with a British accent? And she messed up. She’s crying. Amazing.
3:10—Estonia guy is trying to make nice by speaking in Swedish, hoping nobody notices they only gave Sweden 1 point. Estonia is the first one to cop to voting for their neighbors, Russia.
3:14—Ireland gave no points to Alcohol is Free. I am so confused.
3:19—Georgia for Azerbaijan. Don’t worry, you hadn’t had a drink in 9 whole minutes, but that ends now.
3:22—Denmark is the winner. Cool effect on her dress. Cyprus for Greece. Just a couple countries left.
3:24—Switzerland for Italy. One more drink, one more country.
3:25—Voting is over. That’s 16 drinks in 45 minutes. Thank you for playing this year’s game of watch Eurovision and drink until you die. Danish Hunger Games lady sends us out with the winning anthem. See you next year.