Earlier today I spent about an hour downtown, checking out all the Eurovision happenings. For my American readers, who probably have no idea even what Eurovision is, go here. While I normally don’t have a big problem with crowds, today I just couldn’t deal with it. Too many touts, too many streets blocked off, weather was just a touch too humid. This Ukraine-based blog failed in its unstated mission to provide you, the valued reader, with a first hand account of happenings in Ukraine
However, in order to make this up to you, my loyal readers; I shall instead undertake a task that I assume to be unprecedented and perhaps Herculean in content. I shall live-blog the telecast of the 50th Annual Eurovision song contest.
Refresh regularly for updates. New content will appear at the end of the post.
God help us all.
9:45 PM – I’m gathering provisions to get me through this undertaking, and in the spirit of the occasion, they’re Ukrainian in nature. Three 1 liter bottles of Chernigiev Beer, three bags of sukariki (I don’t know if the jellied meat and horseradish flavor was a good call here though), and I’ve downloaded Ruslana’s “Dance with the Wolves” ringtone to my Kievstar mobile phone. If I don’t hear that song enough tonight, I’ll get my fix this way.
9:57 PM – The show hasn’t even started yet and I think Kanal 1 has shown their official Eurovision Station ID 9 times in the past 10 minutes. I’m already sick of it. This isn’t a good sign.
10:03 PM – Only Ruslana could pull off wearing a costume that consists of both sequins and goat hair.
10:07 PM – Seven minutes in and I’m already sick of the overdubbing…this doesn’t bode well for the rest of the evening.
10:13 PM – After watching some bald guys do a lord of the dance routine during the Hungarian entrant’s performance, I’m now watching some Brit perform a number to an Arabic beat. Her lyrics actually include the line “Can you feel the heat?” and there are no references to “Boogie Nights.” I am thoroughly confused, on multiple levels.
10:17 PM – If the expression is “It ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings,” why is the Maltese entrant third in the line-up?
10:28 PM – I have my favorite contestant. Norwegian entry “Wig-Wam.” The reference to The Sweet alone is enough for me. If we’re going to going to quibble about Norwegian metal acts, TurboNegro makes these guys look like the pussies that they are, but Wig-Wam is beating The Darkness at their own game.
10:33 PM – Then again, I can root for these Moldavian guys to win, just so they have to hold Eurovision in Chisinau, or better yet, Tiraspol, next year. Plus I love how the lead singer manages to combine what I assume to be elements of Moldavian folk costume with Adidas track pants.
10:42 PM – The jellied meat and horseradish flavored sukariki – not bad. The contestants from CyprusGod Awful.
10:48 PM – Israel!!?? Israel is allowed to participate in EUROvision? Does this competition have a sense of geography? Maybe this chick has an ace in the hole…the Kiev Synagogue is across the street from Palats Sportu. This chick’s name is Shiri. I knew an Israeli chick in college named Shira. One time she got drunk and started talking about how hot all the IDF guys looked carrying their Uzis. I think we got two and a half years of jokes out of that episode.
10:53 PM – The Serbia and Montenegro entrant came out with a KFOR escort and then the Montenegrin members of the group left to start their own band. I kid, I kid.
I think I’m seeing a pattern here though; your entry has to have either live drumming happening on stage or an opening that contains a pan flute.
Commercial break. Thank God. I need another beer.
11:02 PM – Well, if I ever want a pinstriped navy blazer with pink piping, I guess I need to go to Copenhagen.
11:05 PM – The Swedish entry is a song called “Las Vegas.” I guess that sounds more musically appealing than “Göteburg.”
11:11 PM – You know, I actually like “Razom Nas Bagato.” I’ll always remember kids dancing to this in front of Tsum when no one really knew if the militsia were going to start shooting people or not.
I do have to say though that “Greenjolly” has to be one of the most ill-considered band names of all times.
And what kind of idiot wears a T-Shirt with Che Guevera on it when he’s singing a song about freedom?
11:16 PM – The German entrant is really freaking boring. Seriously. The song is so unmemorable I can’t even snarkily comment on it.
11:20 PM – Is it a coincidence that dogs started howling in my dvor after the Croatian entrant’s song was over? I think not.
There is someone else out there that has decided to liveblog this.
11:24 PM – “You’re a fire/My desire/When I kiss your lips/It makes me higher.” Wow. I had heard lots of talk about how Greece was the favorite in this. If there was a contest for insipid lyrics…maybe.
11:31 PM – I think Russia really just needs to keep entering T.A.T.U. every year. I mean seriously; how, as a nation, are they ever going to top that? Instead of talking about creating a “Common European Space” with the EU, they need to talk about this. Someone call Jose Barraso.
11:33 PM – The Bosnian entrant is a girl-group called “Feminem.” Get it? Oh those wacky Bosnians.
11:36 PM – OK, the Swiss entrant is a German produced, all girl, Estonian band called “Vanilla Ninja.” I’m confused again.
11:46 PM – And we end the performance section with the French…too many jokes…head hurts…writing…like Shatner…speaks.
11:55 PM – Shockingly enough, the Ukrainian phone network seems to be overloaded and unable to process my vote for Wig Wam. I get another beer in an act of personal protest.
12:02 AM – Instead of showing all these little video clips of tourist attractions in Kiev, hohols in folk costumes, the Carpathian Mountains, and Ukrainian industry in the East and kids dancing ballet they need to have video clips showing the REAL Ukraine. You know, people waiting in line at some government office to get a pchat on some spravka, some drunk sovok stinking up a subway car, someone selling bootleg firme at a market, a group of kids drinking in a random podyezd when it’s -15 out, oligarchs trying to throw an election, or militsia pulling your car over and hitting you up for a bribe.
12:07 AM – My god, voting is going to take forever. We’re gonna have to sit through over thirty countries reading their top 12 vote getters.
12:17 AM – If I ever get a call and hear someone say on the other end “Good evening Mike, this is Minsk calling” I’m hanging up the phone.
12:25 AM – Finland just bumped their Scandanavian neighbors into the top 5. I don’t think I’m pioneering any new ground in Eurovision commentary here, but there seems to be a definite pattern in neighborhood voting. This does make me wonder how Israel is in the top 5.
12:31 AM – The Irish just thoroughly confused DJ Pasha by speaking a small amount of Gaelic. They also thoroughly confused me by giving all of their votes to the Latvian Extreme rip-offs. These guys are now in the lead.
12:35 AM – Wow. Did I just catch a Bucks Fizz reference from the limey broad? They also gave the Greek chick 12 points. Brits should have better musical taste than that.
12:49 AM – The top two vote getting acts were probably the two most banal in the entire competition. I dare some Euro to try to lecture me about how Americans have no taste. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought that the German act was boring. They’re currently in last place.
12:51 AM – The Spanish chick reading off her country’s votes has a gap in her front teeth that would make Alfred E. Newman jealous.
12:59 AM – The most unintentionally funny part about this whole voting thing is when the presenter comes on from each country and prefaces their statement by saying how great of a job Ukraine did hosting Eurovision this year. It almost always comes across as a backhanded compliment like “Wow, congratulations, you guys didn’t fuck it up!”
1:02 AM – Never mind. The Ukrainian presenter fucked up reading Ukraine’s votes. Twice. The Greek chick with the insipid lyrics is starting to run away with it. She’s in first place and has a 40 some point lead. My boys from Wig Wam are fading, but still in the top 10. My dreams of a Chisinau hosted Eurovision also seem unlikely of coming true.
1:10 AM – Russia gave two points to Ukraine. I guess that’s payback for the Orange Revolution. They also gave their twelve to the large Maltese chick, who’s creeping up in second. It’s a shame I already made my fat lady singing joke.
1:26 AM – Now Viktor Yushenko has come out on stage to give a special prize (that resembles some odd alien artifact) to the insipid Greek chick that just won the contest. It’s some weird looking metal thing that fits in his hand that he says is a gift from “the people of Ukraine.”
Can someone explain to me what a head of state is doing involving himself in this crap?
I can't believe I’ve stayed up this freaking late to watch the boring Greek chick win. Her name (and could it be more steroypically Greek?) is Helena Poparizou. Her completely boring song is called “The One.”
More sample lyrics:
You’re my lover/under cover/You’re my sacred passion/I have no other.
Thanks Europe! Have fun in Athens next year.