Sometimes, there are moments in Eurovision national final season that make us stare at the TV screen like Alec from The Bosshoss trying to comprend Mizgebonez. Here’s our collection of the weird, wonderful, and offbeat moments from this year’s national final season.
Latvia. The Riga Beaver. Ah, the magic of live television. Only when you sit in a studio audience do you realize all the tricks that make a live show run seamlessly. The video packages, pre-taped live acts in studio, and interval entertainment to keep up the crowd energy. About that last one… During Supernova, Latvian audience members were kept entertained during the ad breaks by a guy in a beaver costume. The devout Eurovision fans that experienced Supernova online got to enjoy this as well. The Riga Beaver saved his best for last. At the national final, the Beaver revealed that he could speak English. He danced, he rapped, and he announced to the world that he wanted to be a symbol for European culture. If the Riga Beaver does not read out the results of the Latvian vote at Eurovision this year, we will be bitterly disappointed.
Cyprus. Nearchos Evangelou & Charis Savva,”Deila den agape.” Do you know what really drives home an overwrought duet? Dancing condoms.
Iceland. In the second Semi at Söngvakeppnin, after the first three songs were presented, Icelandic TV station RÚV launched into an innocous five-minute segment where two performers are making a large nacho platter in a comical fashion. Then suddenly, the segment took this disturbing turn:
Finland. Angelo de Nile, “All for Victory.” It took a lot to be the campiest entry at UMK 2015. We had Indian cultural appropriation, Cezar-influenced techno-opera, and interstitials perpetuating Austrian stereotypes. Only Angelo de Nile managed to make our eyes widen, with his epic impression of Freddie Mercury as Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar. He was backed by centurions and visuals from The Bone Collector.
Moldova. Irina Kitoroagă, “I’m Gonna Get You.” Whoa, what decade is this song from? What decade is that dress from? At no point in her performance did Irina string togther two notes in tune. And then she rapped. Oh dear.
Romania. Ovidiu Anton, “Still Alive.” For your consideration: Ukrainian Eurovision winner Ruslana’s epic, neverending interval performance was not the most bonkers thing that happened at the Romanian national final. That’s how much WTFery happened in Romania. For example, here’s Ovidiu Anton. He was saddled with a lame, overwrought ballad, so to spice things up, he went the epic metal route. His outfit screamed Judas Priest cover band singer. The backup singers were dressed up like the chorus from Seventh Seal: The Musical! And there is a surprise appearance by a guest vocalist dressed in angelic white with her boobs and her flowers and her hair, as one does. Spinal Tap would be proud.
Romania. Cristina Vasiu, “Nowhere.” All other camp moments at the Romanian national final were child’s play once Cristina Vasiu hit the stage. Her back-up dancers were in nude suits and metal masks with chain mail visors. Yet that’s nothing compared to what Cristina had decked herself out in. She was not wearing a shirt so much as two deflated punching bags. Then there was the skirt that looked like a cracked mirror. Then came the moment when the dancers backed way the hell away from Cristina and her dress shot out sparks. A LOT of sparks. We’re happy Voltaj is representing Romania at Eurovision this year, but we can’t help but think Cristina would have brought a unique flair to Vienna.
Norway. Tor & Bettan, “All Over the World.” At first we thought this was a parody of message songs. But, no, regrettably there is no self-aware parody here. And we’re pretty sure that their children’s choir violates the six people on stage rule. But to look on the bright side, Bettan from Bobbysocks has got a Norwegian Helen Mirren kind of hotness going on. As an added bonus, you can pretend the chorus contains the lyric “sing for your manatee.”
Sweden. Tommy Krångh, sign language interpreter extraordinaire. This is the sixth year that SVT has simulcasted Melodifestivalen in Swedish Sign Language for the hearing impaired, but it’s the first year where Tommy Krångh’s work went viral. Krångh communicates not just the words sung, but the spirit of the songs. The most delightful example was on Magnus Carlsson’s Swedish schlager number “Möt mig i Gamla stan.” Tommy Krångh is a hero of our time. He is clearly not dancing with the demons in his mind.