Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Eurovision again

I seem to remember anticipating that this year's Eurovision entries would feature various anguished young men with bare midriffs. Somehow it looked as though obvious attempts to replicate previous winning formulas weren't that many, and didn't get very far either. Ukrainians flashing flesh? Romanian party girls mashing-up Balkan dances? A soulful Bosnian looking like a footnote in Krafft Ebing with an incomprehensible ballad? A plea for peace? Out of luck, all of them.

Which is not to say there weren't some distinctly familiar sounds: I didn't mind (for nostalgic reasons) Estonia's partial reprise of Reach Out, while Germany seemed to be trying to do a Tom Jones-style remake of Minnie the Moocher without Tom Jones's macho credentials, despite importing Dita von Teese, who wandered around the stage as though she'd forgotten what she was looking for (most of her clothes).

Was it a new trend to re-import some more or less traditional ethnic element? Not just Moldovan hora dancers leaping around like sugar-crazed toddlers, or Armenia's drumming and elaborate costumes: the Norwegian winning song had a touch of antique fiddle-playing too (I leave it to you to make up your own jokes about antique fiddling).

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