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Friday, May 25, 2012

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Five Songs That Should Have Made It to the Eurovision Song Contest Finals

Every year since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest has united an entire continent with the power of music and the beauty of poorly translated English. This year’s competition, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, is no different. Each country submits a song, and viewers voting by phone or text select a winner. In grand Eurovision tradition, their choices include a few folk songs, a few rock songs, a few dance-pop songs, and innumerable sappy ballads. Oh, and a Romanian entry that’s inexplicably in Spanish.

If you tune into the finals on Saturday, you’ll get to see a lot of amazing performances, but you’ll miss out on the songs that have already been eliminated. For those of you who would like to see some of those eliminated entries but don’t have the fortitude to comb through the archives, I’ve compiled a list of the five songs that should have made it to the finals but totally got robbed. (ZERO sappy ballads allowed.)

5. Latvia: Anmary, “Beautiful Song”

Why it’s amazing: It’s an upbeat, inspirational Eurovision song about creating an upbeat, inspirational Eurovision song. The video starts with the singer’s friends telling her not to worry, because everything about her performance will go great — and what do you know, it does! Except for the backup dancers at 2:23. 


4. Georgia: Anri Jokhadze, “I’m A Joker”

Why it’s amazing: A poor man’s Eddie Izzard proclaims himself, among other things, a joker, a rocker, a shocker, a poker, a broker, and an evil-blocker. Evidently, those words all rhyme in Georgia. He also tells us, “I’m just a womanizer / Let me be your supervisor.” Let’s hope that’s not how job applications work in Georgia.


3. Montenegro: Rambo Amadeus, “Euro Neuro”

Why it’s amazing: The backing track is actually super cool — a funky bass line in shifting time signatures. Unfortunately, the singer (whose name, by the way, is Rambo Amadeus) seems to be trapped in a different song, one that involves gathering all the words from an English rhyming dictionary into a little pile and then tunelessly chanting them one by one: “Hermetic, pathetic, analphabetic / Forget all cosmetic, you need new poetic / Esthetic, ecletic, dialectic.” The weird thing is, his accent somehow makes it all work.


2. Austria: Trackshittaz, “Woki mit Deim Popo”

Why it’s amazing: The group is called Trackshittaz, I guess because they … well, they shit tracks. Trackshittaz. According to Wikipedia, their albums have titles like It’s Gotta Pump, Dude and Back to Them Turnips, the latter of which includes their Eurovision entry, “Woki mit Deim Popo.” That title translates to something like “Shake Your Booty,” but when they yell it in their Austrian accents from under their Yankees caps, it sounds like they’re saying, “Fucking with the popo.” I don’t speak German, but I feel confident in saying that the rest of the lyrics are just as affecting.


1. San Marino: Valentina Monetta, “The Social Network Song (OH OH – Uh – OH OH)”

Why it’s amazing: The random capitalization and variety of dashes in the song’s title are the least of our worries. Apparently, in San Marino, Facebook isn’t used for keeping track of what your relatives are up to or reconnecting with middle school classmates. It’s just a limitless online hookup palace. That’s literally the only use for Facebook that the song mentions: “Do you wanna play cybersex again?” “The sin is right for a socialite.” “Do you really like politics / When I talk about dirty tricks?” And — my god — “Everybody is calling out for more / Everybody is cybering / Knocking on your door.” Is the Internet just different over there? Is that why they can describe it as “Googling, giggling, gaggling” and “beeping around the bend”? Regardless, it’s clear that the day this song was eliminated from the competition was a dark day for Europe.

Previously: Meditations on 13 Bits of Graffiti in the Ladies' Room at My Local Pub Trivia Bar.

Lauren O'Neal lives in Austin, Texas.

78 Comments / Post A Comment

redheaded&crazy

I'm so glad I held out for the backup dancers at 2:23.

boysplz

@redheaded&crazie I'm glad I held out for the second round of backup dancers at 2:55, that was magical.

MissCellaneous

Just commenting to say I frikkin love Eurovision and I've been bothering everyone on my Facebook feed by posting videos. First up: The Social Network Song of course.

nina

@LavenderGooms me too (the facebook thing and everything)! and since i moved to nyc i have noone to watch it with. i haven't decided whether to go to a gay bar alone or just watch it online and drink whenever there's a key change or costume reveal. i'm SO glad the hairpin is covering it.

Amphora

@nina I could watch these for hours! Where else can you see little old ladies singing to choreographed pop music?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=WKNRGc71hjc#t=7s

Anna Jayne@twitter

@nina I hope you found someone to watch with! I wish I'd seen this earlier so we could be watching buddies!

nina

@LavenderGooms i found a gay bar in the west village screening it! I just got home quite drunk and happy

Hot Doom

I shouldn't really be proud, but I compiled an almost identical list this morning as I was going through finalists who didn't make it through, but I had missed out on Latvia's entry. But yes, Euro Neuro's line 'I'm Euro Neuro, I don't like snow peas' should have won him the prize there and then, but obviously those judges don't know what the fuck they're doing.
For the ones who did make it through, there is always Joan Franka, The Netherlands' finalist, whose get-up is culturally sensitive and relevant to the interests of the song. http://youtu.be/UqlJaubki0o

Decca

@LolaLaBalc Oh oops, didn't see your post! I posted about Ms Franka downthread.

bearpope

@LolaLaBalc True story: a few years ago I was invited to do a "let's share our favourite funny ha-ha youtube videos with an audience, in a bar" thing and I just played my version of this list from that year's Eurovision contest. It was not as well-appreciated as it should have been.

Tragically Ludicrous

@LolaLaBalc One of my flatmates is friends with Joan's sister, apparently! (It's a small country.) It was better than most Dutch entries, but well, the Dutch are pretty terrible at music. Still, I'm sad they didn't make it because this country has been good to me and I'd like to have seen my friends happy.

Bearpope- try Vampires Are Alive next time. All-time classic of the hilarious Youtube video selection.

bearpope

All I have wanted to do for the last two months is talk about the Social Network Song.

applestoapples

@bearpope Who needs David Fincher's shitty movie after seeing that masterpiece?

elysian fields

@bearpope MEET YA AT THE INTERNET!

redheaded&crazy

@bearpope can we talk about the extremely slicked back ponytail with scrunchie style? I just want to know if it would be a good look for me. For when i'm cybersexing. On the facebook.

bearpope

@redheaded&crazie It only works when accompanied by as many unrelated stock photos as possible. Because, duh.

Decca

@bearpope The official video is great, but you all need to see the actual Eurovision performance from the night. There's (female) homoeroticism and an actual laptop on stage that she keeps pretending to log in to.

redheaded&crazy

@bearpope thanks for steering me straight on that one!

bearpope

@Decca Oh my goodness. Pilot guy and non-functional bass lady are the best.

Decca

@bearpope "Who's he supposed to be?" "Oh, you know, the pilot. From the internet? The internet pilot? Maybe you don't have them in America."

Also, the population of San Marino is 30,000.

stuffisthings

@Decca Yeah it must be awkward to walk by all the people you've been cybering with on the palazzo every day.

boysplz

@Decca Did I spy that she bedazzled the angel laptop from the video? She was robbed! Robbed I say!

stuffisthings

@stuffisthings Also, [insert "most serene republic" joke here]

Lauren_O'Neal

@stuffisthings I almost included a line about how even though they were the most serene republic, they had declared war on good music.

LornaLoo

@kellyskittles, I thought you would be all over this one!

WhiskeySour

In my opinion the best (fictional) song that didn't make it to Eurovision is the musical feast "My Lovely Horse

But honestly, I've always felt deprived not having something as great as the Eurovision Song Contest in the U.S. It's just such a great combination of optimism and camp that can't be replicated here. And it brought ABBA to the world.

Lila Fowler

@WhiskeySour Yes! That would be so great. Based on these clips, Eurovision is vastly superior to American Idol.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@WhiskeySour Oh. My. God.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Lila Fowler Idol is absolutely nothing like Eurovision, really, except that it's a singing competition. Eurovision is unlike anything else, really.

Prostitute Robot From The Future

@WhiskeySour My Lovely Horse FTW!

OhMarie

@WhiskeySour I know. We could do states maybe? But it wouldn't be the same. I can't decide if I like the foreign language songs more or the Google Translate English songs.

redheaded&crazy

also, the Thumper rule was created for Anri Jokhadze. Wow. Just wow.

Decca

I feel so strongly about this I can't even.

"Woki Mit Deim Popo" and "The Social Network Song" have already been getting heavy rotation on my iPod the past few days. Of the countries that did get to the final, I'm rooting for Sweden (of course), Turkey (those adorable gay pirates!) and the Ukraine. Of my country country, I'm kinda disappointed in Jedward. Their song last year was a lot poppier and catchier; this year's effort is a little lacklustre.

redheaded&crazy

@Decca I find myself confusingly and concerningly attracted to the trackshittaz boys.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Decca Last year was definitely the better Jedward song, but this time there's a water feature!

Also, I've been obsessed with Woki Mit Deim Popo since it came out. I've been pushing it to everyone I know. I'm sad I couldn't vote for it; the Dutch voted yesterday and I have a Dutch number, so. (Sweden, Ukraine, and Norway got my votes.)

Decca

@Tragically Ludicrous Yeah, I have a few friends who have the horn for Jedward and they all loved the water feature.

ETA - I just realised that this comment could be taken as me tacitly admitting to having a crush on Jedward. I do not have a crush on Jedward. I repeat, I do not have a crush on Jedward.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Decca Ahahahaha. I find Jedward fascinating. They are clearly terrible singers, but they're such fascinating...personas? I'm not sure exactly what they're good at, actually. It's very postmodern or something.

Decca

@Tragically Ludicrous Yeah I find them interesting as well. A friend of mine went to the same secondary school as them and apparently they were always doing their hyperactive performance thing and were very unpopular and bullied because of it.

It's interesting if you watch them because one (the one who stand on the right, I think) is clearly way more ADHD than the other. In the Eurvision performance, he kept jumping up and down when the other didn't. In interviews as well you can see how different they are, one keeps trying almost to compensate for his more hyper brother.

I do wonder what will happen to them in the coming years! They're idiotic, but I'm fond of them and feel oddly protective of them.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Decca Yes, I feel the same way. They're idiotic, but I'm fond of them. I think of them somehow as being both meta-pop-stars and yet totally unselfaware and completely guileless. I don't know how that works. They contain contradictions.

I saw them on Never Mind the Buzzcocks a little while ago and it was so great and totally bizarre. No one knew what to make of them. They were obnoxious and climbed all over everything. I want them to be on everything.

applestoapples

So Wikipedia says "Woki Mit Deim Popo" translates to "Waggle Your Ass," which (no offense to Lauren's translation) somehow makes the song ten times better (i.e, worse, as it were). I know what I'll be shouting out in the clurbs this weekend!
Also, I LIVE for the group ass-waggling in that video at 1:40.

stuffisthings

Hey, I'm just gonna leave this here. (It's Eurovision songs from 1958.)

frigwiggin

Oh jesus Eurovision. My heart, my soul, my favorite. I do tire of the sappy ballads but then Russian grandmothers make it all worthwhile. (One of my favorites from past years is Moldova's 2007 entry.)

frigwiggin

@frigwiggin To clarify, Moldova's entry has nothing to do with Russian grandmothers. But it does have to do with (Moldovan?) grandmothers!

Tragically Ludicrous

@frigwiggin Moldova's so great at Eurovision! Well, this year they're only okay, but last year was great so.

Ialdagorth

I will forever be in debt to Eurovision for introducing me to Lordi.
HARD
ROCK
HALLELUJAH.

nina

@Ialdagorth Mr Lordi will be announcing Finland's votes this year!

Tragically Ludicrous

@nina This news makes me very happy.

OhMarie

This is amazing.

Hot Doom

@OhMarie I went to Ozzfest the year it was free, and Lordi was an early in the afternoon opener. It was post-Eurovision, and I knew about them, but I'm not much of a metal person, so I felt out of place. But Lordi. Dude. I love Lordi. Unfortch, most of the other Southern Californian audience of dudes, young, old, and burly did not share my enthusiam, and instead started throwing trashcans FULL OF FIRE at each other.

boysplz

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't somehow finagle my way into Eurovision when it was in Athens and I was studying there. I did get to see an Anna Visi performance which was awesome but not the same.

Also, no work is getting done today. Eurovision!

Tragically Ludicrous

@boysplz I went to Düsseldorf last year! (I live in the Netherlands, and it's about 2 and a half hours away from here.) It was pretty great and silly, although it's a bit distracting the way the camera comes onto the stage all the time.

Lila Fowler

Wait can someone explain the voting process? Why are some countries voted into the finals and some preselected? (I swear I Googled this and am not being Internet lazy, just Internet dumb.)

Lauren_O'Neal

@Lila Fowler Answer: No. No one can explain the voting process.

Decca

@Lila Fowler The host country is automatically in the finals and then there's the big five (UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany) who have the most cash and contribute the most to the European Broadcasting Union, and so are also automatically included. It's kind of unfair, but then the voting is so messed up anyway because of history and geographical ties (a lot of the former Eastern Bloc will vote for each other, for example).

joythemanatee

@Lila Fowler As far as voting goes, it is 50% viewers phoning or texting it in, and the other 50% is from the judges. And who just slides on in without being voted on... something about whose won in the past?

Tragically Ludicrous

@joythemanatee Decca has it right, it's based on the cash contributions to the EBU. And the voting is sort of messed up, but it's difficult for it to NOT be messed up if you want to have public votes in it at all.

joythemanatee

I was watching this last night and neither one of my favorites made it in!! Slovakia and Slovenia (ha, funny coincidence those names) were so good!! The 80s-ish rocker was awesome, and the 16 year old had a great voice, I thought.
But man was I glad that Georgia didn't make it in, because that was all sorts of wtfish.

Decca

I am so so glad this article was written because I was determined to make everyone discuss the Eurovision in the Open Thread if it hadn't already been brought up!

Lest we forget, Ireland have won it more times than any other country (the one European area we can excel at!) and without Eurovision, there would be no Riverdance.

Nicole Cliffe

Potentially amazing works of alternate history say what?

Woman Laughing Alone With Boas

Oh my God, the third video:

"Euro neuro, don't be dogmatic / bureaucratic / you need to become pragmatic / to stop change climactical automatic / need contribution from the institution / to find solution for pollution / to save the children of the evolution"

DAMN. Step aside, all conscious rappers.

Amphora

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas I wanna go back in time and analyze him in my college linguistics class. Then have a dance party with a donkey.

Tragically Ludicrous

TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ TRACKSHITTAZ

Decca

@Tragically Ludicrous Agreed.

Also, you seem to have a similar amount of Eurovision knowledge / love to me. Let's be friends.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Decca Yes! I'm endlessly fascinated by Eurovision. I was the one explaining everything going on to actual Europeans (and one Brazilian) last night.

nina

@Tragically Ludicrous Impromptu pin-up in Azerbaijian?

Tragically Ludicrous

Also my Dutch friend doesn't want to watch the final any more because the Netherlands didn't make it through. Dutch people! They're strange. I'M watching, because Eurovision is my favorite non-soccer thing ever, so hopefully he'll come around.

TARDIStime

@Tragically Ludicrous I was skyping with my brother-in-law who is living in Rotterdam at the moment - he and his partner were getting ready to go out to a bar and watch Eurovision on the big screen locally. I just found the parallels with their pub viewing and Australian pub viewing mildly amusing: The europeans go to pubs to watch Eurovision, Aussies go to the pub to watch football.

17th Floor

#4 reminds me of Azis! If anybody doesn't the glory that is Azis, you need to get on it.

Heat Signature

Now working out a strategy to convince my husband that we should name our unborn son "Rambo Amadeus".

frigwiggin

I'm listening to the finalists right now (I didn't catch all of them before) and so far (I'm going alphabetically) my favorites are Iceland (DRAMA AND VIOLINS) and Italy (the backup dancers! The "boom boom boom"!). Will update as I proceed.

Decca

@frigwiggin Please let me know what you make of Turkey, Sweden and the Ukraine.

frigwiggin

@Decca Turkey! I love the giant coat and frantic jigging, and I never don't like a song about boats. He reminds me of an American band I've seen live before, the Petrojvic Blasting Company. The Eurovision site seems to be down (is it just me?) so I'm proceeding via Youtube.

frigwiggin

@Decca Sweden: the dancing was the 100% best part of that performance.

frigwiggin

@Decca Ukraine: HER FOOTMEN. HER FOOTMEN.

Decca

@frigwiggin I'm glad we agree on all the important things of life.

Decca

And clearly Ireland should have entered The Rubberbandits this year.

Kitekatze

I'm happy that my favourite, Sweden, won but still in shock Albania made it to 4th or something? she basically screamed loudly and not even in tune!

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