I had an exciting Saturday night. Instead of going out to enjoy a beautiful Saturday evening in Paris, or take advantage of La Nuit des Musees as I did last year, I stayed in, sat on my couch with a bottle of rosé, and made Alex watch the Eurovision Song Contest.
If you've never heard of the Eurovision Song Contest, you're really missing something special. It's a Europe-wide singing contest (with an absolutely outrageous production value) that's been going on for 56 years. It's a big deal. Little European kids with songs in their hearts aspire to one day represent their country at Eurovision. I won't go into details of how it works -- all you need to know to enjoy Eurovision is each country comes with a song, a singer, and a dream.
I've been hearing the hype for weeks now. Everyone agreed this was France's year. France hasn't won in 34 years, but this time they had an adorable classically trained tenor named Amaury Vasili who sings like an angel. This year, the competition was France's to lose. (spoiler alert -- they lost.)
I knew we were in for something special during the pre-show show, which featured the hosts talking to this lady in a French flag dress --
I must have it
They were pretty much saying over and over that France was definitely going to win. (spoiler -- nope) and if they didn't win, the U.K. was going to win (spoiler -- nope again).
The first contender was this adorable young warbly man from Finland, who sang a song about saving the planet. He was so cute and environmentally conscious, he made me want to have another baby, but only if it was him:
Bosnia and Herzegovina then stole my heart from Finland, primarily because one of their members spent the first half of the song skipping around the stage. I love skipping; it's so carefree, just like Bosnia.
Then we had these psychotic characters:
Something's gone horribly wrong in Ireland
Guess where this guy was from?
Be careful or he'll smolder you to death with his Greekness:
It's France's turn! France! France! France!
Forget the Finnish kid. I want to birth an Amaury and raise him as my very own --
But something went wrong for Amaury. The beginning was a little shaky. Err... maybe next year, France?
At least he stuck the landing
It was about this time Alex went to bed, declaring me "nuts" for wanting to stay up and watch the whole thing when we've both been so sleep deprived of late. For the record, Alex is correct.
The U.K. brought a solid boy band. I don't like boy bands, but this band was all man.
Then I got distracted playing Angry Birds and missed a few countries.
When I looked up again, there was a boring though pretty tune being sung by two hot people from Azerbaejan? Azerbagean? Azerbaigean? How the hell do you spell that?
Pity. They're beautiful (and they made it rain fire on stage) but they don't stand a chance because nobody knows how to spell their country.
And then the question of the evening -- what the hell is going on in Moldova? When Moldova hit the stage, it was like a goddamn European free-for-all.
My God, they have a woman on a unicycle. Someone call my travel agent.
Looks like they got the good stuff in Moldova
Then, finally, with the call-in and judge points tallied, the moment of truth --
Really? Damn, guess I better figure out how to spell their country.
So Azerbaythingamajig won, but the best part of the results portion was when the cutie frontman of the group from Denmark told the representative from The Netherlands he wanted to f*ck her. In English. On live TV.
Thankfully, some astute observer already posted a video of it on YouTube --
This is the best show ever.
(Our beloved France placed a very painful 15th. Ouch.)
I've decided we're going to throw an annual Eurovision party when we move back home*. We will assign everyone a European country. They must show up in that country's native dress, and bearing the country's native alcoholic beverage. We will then force them to watch the Eurovision Song Contest until they have seizures and/or their ears bleed. This is just one of the many significant ways our lives will be changed for the better from having lived in Europe.
*Alex is less enthusiastic about the idea than I am. He wants that on the record.
If you want to participate in the joy and cheesetasticness that is Eurovision 2011, I've embedded way too many videos below of some of the contenders. Most of them sing in English. You should watch them, if just to see what a real talent show should look like. Eurovision makes American Idol look like it's filmed in Simon Cowell's basement. (Really? He's not on the show anymore? Then what's the point?)
Who would you have voted for? I think we can all agree Moldova got robbed. God Bless Europe and goodnight.
My cutie pie but off-key Finnish boy who's out to save the world --
Bosnia and Herzegovina with Mr. Skippy --
Denmark. He wants to f*ck you. And he can sing while running. That's hard.
Ireland. This one is just psychotic. Do not watch if you have epilepsy.
Greece. My God it's bad. It's very bad.
Russia. It was like Ah-Ha came back from the 80s to woo me all over again. (I realize Ah-Ha was from Norway, so that's weird...) "DO YOU FEEL MY HEARTBEAT, EUROPE???"
France! France! France! France!
The United Kingdom. I especially like the naked mug shots in the beginning. I'm embarrassed to admit how much I liked this performance -- I am, after all, an obsessive Arcade Fire fan for years now, years and years before they won Best Album at the Grammys and everyone was like, "Who the hell is Arcade Fire?" I swear I'm cool, but I liked this man band. I'm feeling defensive now so just watch the video and feel my shame.
Sweden. He wants to be popular. This is horrible. And unfortunately very catchy.
Ukraine. Best part is the Ukrainian sand artist doing her thing behind her.
Molodova. I love you. You guys are probably a lot of fun at parties.
There are more, but I just realized I'm neglecting my life to embed a million videos no one is going to watch. Bye.