Eurovision 2009 Superlatives

We have warm memories of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.  It’s a high water mark for the Contest, chock full of great songs and amazing performances (and also whatever the hell it was that Belgium and Czech Republic sent). Plus, it was also the first time we hosted a Eurovision party. We’ve been getting our friends hooked on it ever since.

We did a Superlatives post for the 2009 Semifinal, but for some reason we never followed up with one for the Final. Let’s rectify that now.

  • Best Alicia Keys impression: Lithuania (Sasha Son – “Love”)
  • Most genuine plea for peace, love, and understanding: Israel (Noa and Mira Awad – “There Must Be Another Way”)
  • “Move and let me show you how it’s done” award: France (Patricia Kaas – “Et s’il fallait le faire”)
  • Singer who is clearly the most happy to be there: Sweden (Malena Ernman – “La voix”)
  • Weirdly oiliest performance: Croatia (Igor Cukrov – “Lijepa Tena”)
  • Most joyful acid trip: Portugal (Flor-de-Lis – “Todas as ruas do amor”)
  • “And then there’s a dolphin” award for most random background image: Iceland (Yohanna – “Is It True?”)
  • Least necessary shirt: Greece (Sakis Rouvas – “This Is Our Night”)
  • Best Armenians with frickin’ laser beams: Armenia (Inga and Anush – “Jan Jan” )
  • Staging that best captures how we feel watching the performance (see, because it gets old fast): Russia (Anastasiya Prikhodko – “Mamo”)
  • Most eyerolls: Azerbaijan – seven (AySel – “Always”)
  • Best mash-up of American, Russian and French Revolution iconography: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Regina “Bistra voda”)
  • Least utilized guy with a staff: Moldova (Nelly Ciobanu – “Hora din Moldova”)
  • Most intergalactic: Malta (Chiara – “What If We”)
  • Most planetary: Estonia (Urban Symphony – “Rändajad”)
  • The Eric Saade Award for most palpable sense of relief at the end of the song: Denmark (Niels Brinck – “Believe Again”)
  • Best reason to completely reevaluate what you want from the Eurovision Song Contest: Germany (Alex Swings Oscar Sings! – “Miss Kiss Kiss Bang”)
  • Tina Karol Award for best Shakira impression: Turkey (Hadise – “Düm Tek Tek”)
  • Kejsi Tola Award for best Disco Gumby: Albania (Kejsi Tola – “Carry Me in Your Dreams”)
  • Most foregone conclusion: Norway (Alexander Rybak – “Fairytale”)
  • The Svetlana Loboda Award for least subtle sexual innuendo: Ukraine (Svetlana Loboda –  “Be My Valentine”)
  • The Other Svetlana Loboda Award for “more is more” staging: Ukraine
  • Best performance by wood nymphs on a hen do: Romania (Elena – “The Balkan Girls”)
  • Best audition for Sugababes: United Kingdom (Jade Ewen – “It’s My Time”)
  • Most schlagerrifc urban blight: Finland (Waldo’s People – “Lose Control”)
  • Best cover of the 2005 Macedonian entry: Spain (Soraya Arnelas – “La noche es para mí”)
  • Most likely to get there, popular: Norway

Originally published 30 September 2015

Eurovision 2008 Superlatives

The 2008 Eurovision Song Contest seems to have been the last gasp of the properly jokey entries, at least in the Final. Some may lament how serious Eurovision has gotten, but we say, watch “Wolves of the Sea” and tell us that is something that’s missing from the Song Contest.

  • Best unintentional musical representation of the premise for The War of the Roses: Romania (Nico and Vlad – “Pe-o margine de lume”)
  • Andy Abraham award for entry least deserving of its fate: United Kingdom (Andy Abraham – “Even If”)
  • Act most in need of back-up singers: Albania (Olta Boka – “Zemrën e lamë peng”)
  • Dervish Award for tone-deaf vocals: Germany (No Angels – “Disappear”)
  • Best casting choice for Elaine in the Armenian remake of Seinfeld: Armenia (Sirusho – “Qélé, Qélé” )
  • Most Dadaist Eurovision entry ever: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Laka – “Pokušaj”)
  • Best use of silver lamé to accentuate chiseled biceps: Israel (Boaz Ma’uda – “The Fire in Your Eyes”)
  • Best reminder that Finland won with Lordi: Finland (Teräsbetoni – “Missä miehet ratsastaa”)
  • This award goes out to a gang-bangin’ player who ain’t with us no more: 75 Cents, Croatia (Kraljevi Ulice and 75 cents – “Romanca”)
  • Best tan: Poland (Isis Gee – “For Life”)
  • Most anthemic anthem: Iceland (Euroband – “This Is My Life”)
  • Must not make “Deli” Turkey joke award: Turkey (Mor ve Ötesi – “Deli”)
  • Award for telling that hurricane who’s boss: Portugal (Vânia Fernandes – “Senhora do mar (Negras águas)”)
  • Best reason to walk the plank: Latvia (Pirates of the Sea – “Wolves of the Sea”)
  • Best drag impersonation of Charlotte Perrelli: Sweden (Charlotte Perrelli – “Hero”)
  • Pushiest demand to celebrate good times: Denmark (Simon Mathew – “All Night Long”)
  • Best costume change: Georgia (Diana Gurtskaya – “Peace Will Come”)
  • Best song that didn’t win Eurovision: Ukraine (Ani Lorak – “Shady Lady”)
  • Annual award for most successful theft of France’s thunder: The cameraman (Sébastien Tellier – “Divine”)
  • Best recap of a Dan Brown novel: Azerbaijan (Elnur and Samir “Day After Day”)
  • Perkiest call for abstinence: Greece (Kalomira – “Secret Combination”)
  • Best dance tutorial: Spain (Rodolfo Chikilicuatre – “Baila el Chiki-chiki”)
  • Best attempt to not win Eurovision while not embarrassing themselves in the process: Serbia (Jelena Tomašević – “Oro” )
  • The platinum medal for best strategic Plushy deployment: Russia (Dima Bilan – “Believe”)
  • Worst lyric ever, not just in Eurovision history but in the history of all music: “Love can be hard sometimes/Yes, it can catch you off guard like bad crimes”, Norway (Maria Haukaas Storeng – “Hold On Be Strong”)
  • Most likely to get there, popular: Russia

Originally published 28 September 2015

Eurovision 2007 Superlatives

I have vivid memories of live-blogging the 2007 Semifinal in a library carrel. Yet even with a small video screen open in one window of my tiny laptop so I could post on Blogger in another window, I could still tell those mannequins onstage during “Vampires Are Alive” looked completely stupid. On with the awards.

  • Best lullaby: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Marija Šestić – “Rijeka bez imena”)
  • Most engaging way to learn the English pronunciation of vowels: Spain (D’NASH – “I Love You Mi Vida”)
  • Least likely to fool Penn & Teller: Belarus (Dmitry Koldun – “Work Your Magic”)
  • The Dervish Award for tone-deaf vocals: Ireland (Dervish – “They Can’t Stop the Spring”)
  • Best goth tribute to Greta Garbo: Finland (Hanna Pakarinen – “Leave Me Alone”)
  • The “Did She Say ‘Douche’?” Award for non-English lyrics that turn us into 12 year olds: Macedonia (Karolina – “Mojot svet”)
  • Most exuberant plea to talk to the hand: Slovenia (Alenka Gotar – “Cvet z juga”)
  • Best prequel to Thelma and Louise: Hungary (Magdi Rúzsa – “Unsubstantial Blues”)
  • Best song on the soundtrack of a Red Shoe Diaries episode: Lithuania (4Fun – “Love or Leave”)
  • Smallest arsenal of dance moves: Greece (Sarbel – “Yassou Maria”)
  • Best debut (because Jesus Christ, just look at what Azerbaijan sends in 2008): Georgia (Sopho – “Visionary Dream”)
  • Best attempt to hypnotize the audience into voting for them: Sweden (The Ark – “The Worrying Kind”)
  • Annual award for most successful theft of France’s thunder: Les Fatals Picards for coming off as kind of douchey when they lifted a bit of Verka Serduchka’s staging and sampled the opening riff of “Work Your Magic”
  • Best PBS pledge drive by hobos: Latvia (Bonaparti.lv – “Questa notte”)
  • Most sultry Wednesday Addams impersonators: Russia (Serebro – “Song #1”)
  • Best display of shameless self-promotion: Germany (Roger Cicero – “Frauen regier’n die Welt”)
  • Best one-two punch in Eurovision history: Serbia followed up Ukraine (Marija Šerifović – “Molitva” and Verka Serduchka – “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”)
  • The LT United Award for most self-aware entry: United Kingdom (Scooch – “Flying the Flag (For You)”)
  • Best 30 second idea stretched out to the worst three minute song: Romania (Todomondo – “Liubi, Liubi, I Love You”)
  • Best musical representation of the premise for The Perfect Storm: Bulgaria (Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov – “Water”)
  • Worst advice to give to a şekerim holding a can of Diet Coke: Turkey (Kenan Doğulu – “Shake It Up Şekerim”)
  • Best song between the Turkish and Moldovan entries at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest: Armenia (Hayko – “Anytime You Need”)
  • Best audition for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Moldova (Natalia Barbu – “Fight”)
  • Most likely to get there, popular: Serbia

Originally published 25 September 2015

Eurovision 2006 Superlatives

We started doing our Superlatives posts in earnest back in 2011 (although, randomly, we did a Semifinals superlatives post in 2009). As we look back at our 10 years of Eurovision blogging, we decided it would be fun to write up Superlatives posts for 2006-2010. Plus it gives us an excuse to watch the Eurovision Finals from 2006-2010 yet again.

  • Least persuasive call to give a little: Switzerland (six4one – “If We All Give a Little”)
  • Best Razr scooter product placement: Moldova (Arsenium feat. Natalia Gordienko – “Loca”)
  • Least inspirational gospel breakdown: Israel (Eddie Butler – “Together We Are One”)
  • Most tonal shifts… literally: Latvia (Vocal Group Cosmos – “I Hear Your Heart”)
  • Best display of spoils that Vikings looted from Ireland: Norway (Christine Guldbrandsen – “Alvedansen”)
  • Most compelling reason to put mustard on hot dogs: Spain (Las Ketchup – “Un Blodymary”)
  • Most emphatic response to the question “Do you schlager?”: Malta (Fabrizio Faniello – “I Do”)
  • Most in need of a Nudie suit: Germany (Texas Lightning – “No No Never”)
  • Most likely to force Chubby Checker to reevaluate his place in music history: Denmark (Sidsel Ben Semmane – “Twist of Love”)
  • Most practical ballerina storage solution: Russia (Dima Bilan – “Never Let You Go”)
  • Most blatant rip-off of the previous winning entry: Macedonia (Elena Risteska – “Ninanajna” )
  • Best manifestation of Plato’s Theory of Eurovision Song Forms: Romania (Mihai Trăistariu – “Tornerò”)
  • Most unexpected tribute to Norway’s 1976 Eurovision entry: Hari Mata Hari from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Hari Mata Hari – “Lejla”)
  • The LT United Award for most self-aware entry: Lithuania (LT United – “We Are the Winners”)
  • Best hip hop from the streets of Knightsbridge: United Kingdom (Daz Sampson – “Teenage Life”)
  • Most desperate ode to co-dependence: Greece (Anna Vissi – “Everything”)
  • Most… just the most: Finland (Lordi – “Hard Rock Hallelujah”)
  • Best Shakira impression: Ukraine (Tina Karol – “Show Me Your Love”)
  • Worst throwback to when it was just a Song Contest: France (Virginie Pouchain – “Il était temps”)
  • Jauntiest Balkan entry: Croatia (Severina – “Moja štikla”)
  • Song whose premise is most easily disproved: Ireland (Brian Kennedy – “Every Song Is a Cry for Love”)
  • Best mash-up of ABBA and Wicked: Sweden (Carola – “Invincible”)
  • Best throwback to Studio 54: Turkey (Sibel Tüzün – “Süper Star”)
  • Best re-purposing of office furniture: Armenia (André – “Without Your Love”)
  • Most likely to get there, popular: Finland

Originally published 23 September 2015