A quick word of explanation. We watch the entire Eurovision finals, which is kind of a hybrid of American Idol and the Olympics for Europe, but older than both. No, not older than the Olympics. But it is in Greece this year. The point being, rock. Something like 24 countries enter a national champion, and this year Finland entered a metal band called Lordi, sort of like Kiss, which sings about the Arockolypse. People wanted the government to ban them, and boycott the event, but they won by a landslide. It’s genuinely controversial. Which, that’s just great. Here’s our live blogging of the event, as each act performs:\
Switzerland. Cher involved somehow. Also the only sort of black guy in Switzerland. They got this one from some church youth group’s sort-of-hip hymnal. If we just give a little…
Moldova. I think it’s sort of a tango, about Chewbacca and his locka’ . It’s sort of hip-hop. But not really. Skirt comes off. Alright Chewie! Now a scooter. Not really sure about that. The scooter guy with dreadlocks is rapping, sort of. It just kind of ends without an end. I still think it’s about Chewbacca.
More Greek commercials for Greece.
Israel. Is this Europe? It’s Hebrew, but they both seem to be black. I would totally buy Maxwell House coffee from these guys. A little english. Rhymes True-it’s only me and you. … True love has finally come. We can make it if we try. The low-cut cleavage on this is suddenly really distracting. And confusing, this is the Internet, we can’t really tell if that was a Janet Jackson moment.
Latvia â€“ it’s like barber-shop glitch-hop. They lost the hop and the glitch, but somebody’s definitely beatboxing. Can they even do that in the Baltics? FOOTWORK! Also the little head snakey thing. Beatbox trumpet! Highest soprano ever on a man, plus robot. The robot is dancing. They’re happy. I like them.
Norway â€“ She’s blond. Really? Apparently they all are. AND THEY LOOK THE SAME! HELP! It’s not English, I can’t understand, so it sounds weirdly profound. The fiddle helps. They sway instead of dance. And there’s wind. They might be witches. Fiddle solo, of course. I’m a little scared to vote against them.
Spain. Has to be good, the group is called Las Ketchup. What? They’re flexible. Four women in red with two guys in black rolling around in front of them. It’s very Spanish-spice. Maybe whats-her-name, the spice married to what’s his name, coached them. The office chairs make it… less andalay. But c’mon, I’d dance to this. If I had an office chair. They’re happy too, like the Latvians. I’m still scared of the Norwegians, tho.
Malta! — small country, so of course it’s in English. It’s perfect dance floor pop. I love you like a fool. One guy, four dancers. I feel for him. He’s got the white shirt, unbuttoned in just the right way. No voice. Fireworks, but not really a voice. Or moves. But it doesn’t matter, he’s like the hugest thing in Malta, ever. Which, c’mon.
Germany! Texas cowboys! What? This is incredible. Banjo! uh…. cactus. On the stage. And cowboy hats. Love is strong. If indie rockers did this song, it might not actually be bad. I’d cover it. But…. cactus. What? This may be the strangest thing that’s ever happened in the history of the human race. They ALL KEEP TIME WITH THE SAME FOOT! This song has nothing to do with cowboys. There shouldn’t be a banjo in it. He just jumped and did the splits, except he’s really not very flexy. Germany is really, really, really, really weird
Denmark â€“ there seems to be a Scandinavia blond thing. Do people know about this? If Elvis sang this song, fine. Three hundred, or maybe 6 blond women, is confusing. Their boots blend in with the floor. It makes me dizzy. Is twisting big in Denmark, Aimee asks. The answer on screen? Breakdancing. Which, I’m not sure that’s an answer. This is the least break-dancy song ever. And yet.
Ok, commercial, we’re gonna go to Greece again. It’s beautiful. Alright!
Russia: Mullet-orific! Number 10, baby. He’s alone, no dancers. That’s bold. Flesh on my flesh, bone on my bone. I know this song! He totally downloaded this. Wait, dancers. Ballarinas, no less. Um… He kinda did the jumpy thing too. Makes me want to see that youtube russian kung fu guy. UNDERPANTS! Naked girl out of the piano! No…, but mostly. That can’t be comfortable. Sorta goth, but more just strange. He’s not pretty, Aimee sez. Poor thing. But c’mon, it’s Russia. He’s enormous!
Since when did Greece have swamps?
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia! Ohh! Aimee knows this way too well. She knows the outfits. Hotpants. She’s from Florida, don’t give me that. HUMPING! Does the “former” refer to the Republic or the Yugoslav part? Acrobatics. It’s kinda soulful, and they dance like they mean it. Or at least 70 percent mean it, which is better than most. The choreography is a little ragged, i fear. But yay! Macedonia! Give them independence! If they don’t have if already, I kind of lost track. I’m sorry. My bad.
Note: It’s a good thing we accidentally got the whole liter of wine.
Romania: Splitsorific! Smoke. Dance beat. Our heads are bobbing. Where’s the lip-sync kid? Romanian is a beautiful language for crappy dance pop. They’re sort of doing the gypsy Spanish tango thing, but really not. Hedwig as a child! Dancing! Up a key. Makes me want to go wait in line for my coat! I’d totally dance to this too.
Uh… Beethoven for the commercial? Explaining how they built stuff. A million slaves created this from stone, wait, no, lights! Scantily clad computer engineers! Makeup artists. It all came together so well, I kind of want to cry.
Halfway through. The hosts are back. We’re being screwed here. They’re not showing us the number we have to call. We can’t vote. We’re being disenfranchised.
Bosnia and Herzogovenia â€“ kinda minor key and guitar. Not so bad. A little soundtracky. Is he singing in Italian? It’s a pretty language, who knew? Aimee did, she says. Whatever. These guys are hot. It’s a little, shall we say, melodramatic. But in present company… Anyway, it’s Bosnia. I’d boost the drum. A little dance hall beat, ba-bum… Alright! Barely any style, and they didn’t rock. But we liked ’em.
Lithuania. Singing: We are the winners â€“ of Eurovision. This is probably funny in the original language. It’s meta, but with a bad melody, and a bad beat. Hmm. How did this happen? I totally respect this. They totally thought of this at the audition. They had no idea it would get this far. These are just some guys from a bar. I would so hang out with them.
England. C’mon, guys. Well, it’s not exactly Swervedriver. The rapper might be tongue in cheek. But, probably not. The Streets guy is awesome. This guy does wear a yellow jacket well, and schoolgirls, how can you really go wrong? Let me count the ways. I love the accent, tho. But really, I have to say. There is so much good music in Britain. Wait. Breathe. Breathe. Ok. They should have got some guys from a pub here too.
Greece. The home team. Piano. A lot of smoke. People are coughing. Is the reigning champion? It sounds like Queen, Aimee sez. She has no dancers or choreography. English. Again. Nice flowy bits on her sleeves. That’s the Greek part. ‘Cause this song was written on Wilshire Ave somewhere. Even her accent. What’s up with Greek women singers and their Los Angeles accents? Did I mention the flowy bits? Fireworks! She almost fell over! This is great! The crowd loves her.
Finland. The big one. RAWK. It’s devil masks. Something AROCKOLYPSE! Oh, the boots are better than Gene’s. They actually are pretending to play instruments. Chick on keyboards! Oh, Lordi! Rock and roll angels. WINGS! HARD ROCK HALLELUJA Battle axe! He’s waving his battle axe to the crowd! That was the greatest eurovision performance ever.
Ukraine. Hi, Baby. Here I come. Pop doesn’t work after metal. I feel sorry for these guys. How can you follow a battle axe. It’s like offering somebody a piece of celery after they just had a jalapeÃ±o pepper. JUMP ROPES! Still… Ukrainian dancing. A little balalaika. I’d hang out with her. I think she’s embarrassed. But probably not. I think they got the dancers from some bar in the Ukraine. Which, frankly, I’d be scared to ask. Hey man, want to put on a skirt and dance in front of a billion people? Ow. No, I didn’t think so.
France: Cellomatic. France is serious. Of course it’s in French. It’s the law. It’s kinda pretty. It might be a real song. Except for the rattlesnake. I mean shaker thingeys. No, it’s 30 seconds of a real song. The chorus blows it. But ok, I’m taking it seriously. That’s because it’s boring. Like the EU referendum, Aimee sez. Not a bad analogy. Didn’t the French vote that down? They should investigate metal. Even Estonia has metal with cellos. Maybe especially Estonia. Or only Estonia. NEXT! Not bad. Not good.
The commercials keep showing the Greek metro system and highways.
Croatia â€“ It’s real Croatian, and weird. They’re doing the funny dance. Even she looks surprised. WTF is happening, is what she’s saying. They’re dressed like pirates. Which, cultural sensitivity, hello! I frankly love this one. It has nothing to do with anything else. Deep knee bends in heels, that’s hot, Aimee sez. We’re clapping along. You HAVE to. SKIRTS GONE! That’s hot, Aimee sez. Yay, Croatia, i’d totally vote for them, if it wasn’t for Finland. And Norway. What’s up with the northerners. HILFE!
Ireland — Everybody loves this dude. I hate him, Aimee sez. Apparently she’s been doing some RESEARCH! People are standing in the background. I think he got zombie dancers. Every song is a cry for love. What? He got the children’s hymnal again. If every song is a cry for love, what about Hard Rock Hallelujah? That was a cry for something, I’ll say that. Where’s Shane McGoweighgogn? Whatever, shut up. A cry for ass, Aimee sez. YOU CANT PRINT THAT!
Sweden â€“ Uh oh. OK, first, her dress is 1000 feet long. I think the audience might drown. Smother. Whatever. She’s channeling ABBA, but the station isn’t totally tuned in right. She’s using big words, in English. Invincible. Love is like a miracle. Hold on, what happened to the dress? Now it’s like gold lame frontier outfit. Dancers. Insatiable. Waving. Hello! Hello! I wouldn’t dance to this one, not even if I had a liter of wine. Which, gotta go. No comment. If I had to guess, I’d say Finland and Norway were both just about to invade Sweden. Based on the evidence. EVIDENCE!
Busts of famous philosophers. With rave music. Rad.
Turkey. This is big one. Turkish, that’s good. The real Sibel is better. Too much blond. That’s not really a turkey thing. It’s better than the Turkish rap we heard. Hip shakey! Human pyramid. Or square, maybe. Let’s feel the rhythm tonight. Kinda disco. Not in the good way. I am your superstar. No, very disco. I am not ready, thank you. If the Turks did metal they would rule the world.
They go through this fast. So much better than the oscargrammys.
Armenia: last one. This is great. Guy in headdress. Persian melodies. He’s in a brown cheese. Maybe that’s just the Internet talking. I need to learn how to play these scales. Not this particular song. They sorta dance, but not really. Give ’em a year. Solo of that weird screechy instrument. I love it! Stringy things. As part of the dancing. Or their belts are undone. But they meant it! C’mon. Too good to be bad, and not really that good. PUPPETMASTER! It all comes together at the end. -ish.
And now we vote. The commentary is all in English Ten minutes to vote. But the Internet can’t vote! This is awful. We’re disenfranchised. %@^@#$##$#$@%^@#. I’m going to vote with my mind. Mental telepathy. THE FINNS WILL WIN!
This poor woman is speaking in English too. Why? Can’t there be other languages? Not that I’m complaining. The hourglass begins. And then starts over. Oops. Whatever.
And the winner is: Wait. Isn’t it lovely. It’s all lovely. It’s not long. Now we’re going to vote. No. Now we’re going to count the votes. Wait. Ok, more waiting.
People in furry robes. Obviously Greek. It’s the Elusian mysteries. Mystery: Why am I so hot? Why is there Riverdancing happening? Answer: Don’t ask questions. FIRE! I have wings! My peeps have green and red wings, like parrots. But they’re kinda weird looking. Hip-hop parrots. A new genre. With cellos. I think they’re all wearing Green Lantern shirts. Or panties, as Aimee points out. This is very avant. Also, yellow knee guards. In case, well, Pele comes on and kicks someone in the knee. Which could totally happen.
Uhoh, robes. I hope there’s not an albino there. Cause, Tom Hanks would be in trouble. Some kind of freaky space violin. And circus music. This is like being insane. Traditional Greek dancing now, I guess, which makes total sense after the parrot-people. Line dancing.
How long does it take to count 1,000,000,000 SMS messages. Are there really 38 countries in Europe?
This math makes no sense at all.
Votes: Croatia votes for Bosnia. WORLD PEACE!
This point system makes less sense than the SAT.
Norway is not getting any points. They frightened people. Sweden getting too many. Maybe they should be invaded.
SWEDEN VOTES FOR Finland! They rule! Finland in the lead! Germany getting no points. A truism: Belgium likes underdogs. Duh.
Germans are getting trashed.
METAL RULES !
The Irish voted for Lithuania, the bar band. That’s the greatest thing ever.
Everyone has beautiful people. Except the Netherlands. He’s kinda chubby and bald. “I like your blouse,” he says. “Are you ready Turkey!”
It’s still light in iceland. It’s 11:49. Is this background real? The guy asks. Damn straight. 12 points to Finland.
Pic of israel. Doesn’t include the West bank. Not that this is political or anything.
THE BATTLE AXE TAKES IT! METAL RULEZ! The metal sign is being flashed everywhere! The cheering is… underwhelming. Yes. The monsters get the flowers. Let’s hear the winning song. The trophy presentation is a mess. Everyone is angry. There will be headlines.
IT’S THE AROCKOLYPSE! We just bought Lordi Tshirts.