Eurovision Tomorrow

Tomorrow marks one of my favorite days of the whole year: the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest.  Since 1954, the countries of Europe have competed annually for dominance through the power of campy spectacle.  Eurovision is where many classic tunes were first performed, including “Volare,” “Waterloo,” and “Ooh Ahh (Just A Little Bit).”

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This year the finals are going to be held in Russia. A look at some of my favorite entrants after the jump:

Nelly Ciobanu comes from Moldova, which is probably the European country you’re most likely to have never heard of.  Her song’s actually about Moldova and it sounds like if Shakira and a klezmer band tried to cover an Army of Lovers song. In other words, it’s fabulous.

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My other favorite, which probably has a better chance of winning, is Turkish entrant Hadise, whose song is called Dum Tek Tek:

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The Norwegian Alexander Rybak is also kind of growing on me.  I’m generally opposed to fiddling Norwegians, because they’re the worst, but the song “Fairytale” is surprisingly catchy and if I suddenly became a twelve-year old girl I’d totally have a crush on him.

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Speaking of strings, check out Estonia’s awfully-named Urban Symphony. This Estonian-language one didn’t really stand out for me at first, but now I really like the song.  And the singer’s bangs:

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Next there’s France.  France doesn’t put much effort into Eurovision, because the French insist on being above campy spectacle–which is odd, considering French history and all–so their entry this year comes via Patricia Kaas.  It’s more for the Leonard Cohen crowd than your typical Eurovision voter, but it’s actually a very lovely song:

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Finally, here’s the video from Hungary’s Zoli Ádok. It was eliminated during the semi-finals, but notable because it’s possibly the single gayest thing I have ever seen in my gay, gay life.

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Seriously, it’s like Rupert Everett and Madonna had a Marc Jacobs baby. Which I mention because in addition to Eurovision there’s also a Gay Pride parade scheduled in Moscow tomorrow. The government wants to shut the parade down–homosexuality was classified as a mental ilness in Russia until 1999–but organizers of the parade say they won’t back down. Whether or not the event will be suppressed with gay eye from every country in Europe watching remains to be seen.

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