I had the privilege of watching the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest direct from Helsinki at Peter, Cansin and Micheal Can’s place Saturday night. I don’t know if privilege is the correct word because on the whole the acts were painful. Yes, the Eurovision performances are usually bad but this year they took badness to another extreme. The performances also oozed more camp than a tent display but this did not make up for the mediocrity. This year the event was held in Finland as their contestant, LORDI, won last year.
Here is a partially tongue-in-cheek and highly critical review based on my recollections:
Spain – Backstreet Boy clone jobs were big years ago – it’s about time you tried something remotely original
Georgia – not the diva’s singing was horrible but the beat and music made me wish for a nightclub. I thought this song was a dark horse and I was wrong, although the random country (can’t remember which) giving Georgia 12 points (top marks) also recognised the song’s potential.
United Kingdom – Either the Brits don’t get Europe or the Europeans don’t get the Brits. The best evidence for those who think the UK is not European comes from the Eurovision contest. Year after year, despite the hype, the Brits receive very few points; this is similar to their (lack of) success at Wimbledon. Oddly, Malta gave them 12 this year.
Ukraine – the pre-contest favourite got what Eurovision is all about – over the top kitsch, ugly and awful enough to be enjoyable. Came second.
Germany – should have remained in the smoky cellar-level Reeperbahn club they likely came from.
Turkey – ‘Shake it up Sekerim’ (Shake it up ‘my sugar’) by Kenan Dogulu was average and bland – what one gets for trying too hard. Turkey needs to go back to the drawing-board and find a lesser-known act with edge, preferably one that hasn’t recorded Turkcell ads. Came fourth, helped by the top points from ex pat-heavy Germany, Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom.
Greece – song style and lyrics similar to Turkey’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if the songwriters swapped notes. Again, back to the drawing-board.
Slovenia – opera? Ouch, hurt the ears.
Bulgaria – a singer who can drum – at least this song was better than anything by Phil Collins solo.
France – yawn.
Ireland – Trad Irish music went out when the plastic Paddys (fake Irish pubs) started hosting salsa dance nights. Verdict: less trad and more rebelliousness required. Came stone cold last.
Serbia – How this song won I will never know. Serbia not only won but thrashed the pants off the competition. I guess they made a big public relations tour of the region prior to Eurovision.
Russia – stuck to the beautiful young ladies singing a pop song formula – better than average. Well, at least the ladies were decent. Came third.
Please do not buy me this year’s Eurovision DVD or CD for I already have enough beer coasters 🙂
A note about voting: if Eurovision brought in a rule restricting the points swapped between neighbouring countries the contest would be more interesting and less predictable. Have Greece and Cyprus ever not awarded each other top points? Likewise with the former Yugoslav and Soviet countries.