More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Eurovision Song Contest 2008

What do you get when you combine the following things:

Laser show, smoke machine, wind machine, fireworks, flames, terrible costumes, costume changes, fake tan, fake breasts, bottle blondes, bad facial hair, bad hair cuts, jumpsuits, angel wings, brides, pirates, synchronised dancing and finally singing.

A fantasy porn film I hear you say. Well, not quite, but close. You get this years Eurovision Song Contest. This contest has been going on for more than 50 years so it definitely has staying power. I love it. It's become a cult show in Australia. I don't know whether the Europeans, contestants and audiences, take the show seriously. Whether they do or not, it doesn't make it any less funny. The commentator, Terry Wogan, definitely takes it as a bit of fun. His commentary is so funny. He just says it how he sees it, which is to be a bit sarcastic.

This year's contest has been run and won. We've got a delayed telecast in Australia so I've avoided finding out the winners. I've just watched the singing part of the show and here are some of my thoughts and awards.

Best Use of the Wind Machine: There were a lot of acts that tried to utilise the wind machine, but no one could compare to Germany. The four girls with their flowing wings sang through their whole song without missing a beat, despite a gale force wind blowing at them.

Best Use of Fireworks: Many groups used fireworks to highlight their routines. But the clear winner was Finland who had fireworks going the whole time, and even the sound of the fireworks was incorporated into their song.

Best Use of Lasers: Strangely, only a couple of routines used lasers. Maybe lasers are new and some artists aren't up with the dramatic effect of them yet. Sweden were the only country to utilise green lasers to their fullest, with the lasers fanning across the stage for the end part of the song.

'Best' Hair Cut: There were many many shockers here. But I can't go past the Armenia dancer guy with his horrific mullet, despite Iceland putting up a strong fight with the guys looking like they were Vulcans from Star Trek with their awful long hair.

'Best' Costume: The competition for best costume was extremely fierce. Bosnia and Herzegovina did their best with the lead singer in a crazy apple encrusted skirt and the backup singers in bridal dresses. Finland tried too, with the guys in tight leather pants with the zips showing. Azerbaijan were really dramatic in their angel wings and devils costumes. But the prize has to go to Latvia for being so dedicated that everyone was in pirate costumes.

Best Falsetto: Strangely, it was all the guys that were using the falsetto. The Israeli guy tried his best, sounding like a girl, but his falsetto wasn't that strong. Finland, Russia and Denmark all tried their best. But the undeniable winner was the Azerbaijan angel guy, whose falsetto was so powerful that I'm sure he could crack glasses with it.

Best Display of Breasts: The category was hotly contested too. There were breasts, some most likely fake, on display wherever you looked. The German girls were out there. Poland was really out there. But the Spanish dancers were the outright winner, with all 6 of them displaying their best assets.

Best Costume Change Mid Song: There were a few costume changes, mainly the women singers ripping off their outer dresses to show a skimpier inner dress. But Georgia took it a step further. When a large piece of material was pulled over the whole group, they all managed to change from black costumes to white ones.

Best Transvestite Looking Singer: This category was an easy one. There were a few possible contenders, but hands down winner was Sweden. She looked really scary.

Weirdest Act: This was a tough tough choice. There was some truly awful strange acts. In the end, I had to go with France, with the guy singing this ultra strange song and at one stage inhaling helium from a balloon to get his chipmunk voice.

Best Synchronised Dancing: Virtually every act had some form or other of synchronised dancing. My favourite though was definitely Ukraine. The four male dancers worked well with the leading female singers. Their unison was spot on and was very good.

Best Act: Finally, we come to the all important best act category. And by best, I really mean best this time. Romania gets an honourable mention. Their song was enjoyable and the guy's voice was opera quality. However, the girl singing with him ruined the song. The Finnish group with their hard rock song was actually good too. It was an enjoyable song and the lead singer can really sing. Portugal was good too. The only large girl on stage the whole night was a really good singer. My three favourite acts were Denmark, Ukraine, Russia and Norway. Denmark, Russia and Norway were good pop songs sung by artists who actually emoted during the song. The Ukraine song was a very good dance song.

If I had to pick a winner purely from the performances, I would probably go with Denmark. However, the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most politically affected voting systems of any contest. Countries that have strong ties vote for each other as regularly as your bills arrive. However, does anyone really care who wins. I for one don't. It's all just a bit of camp fun for me.

Ok, I'm going to check out who won now. Well, I just read the telegraph report and Russia won. But the most interesting part from that report is that Terry Wogan, Mr Sarcastic himself, is disappointed that the show is so clearly biased and not fair. I thought that Terry, with his own sarcastic commentary would take the show with a grain of salt and just enjoy it for the fun that it is. It's not a competition, it's a musical stage show. A competition implies fairness, and we know this show is anything but fair. Hopefully Terry won't stop commentating on this show though, his commentary is a part of the fun of the whole thing.


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