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Eurovision Song Contest 2007

Published by marco on

The annual chance for Europeans to embarass themselves in a no-holds-barred music contest finished up on Saturday evening. Ukraine and France were clearly having the most fun, with France entering a band singing French in a horrible British accent and English in a horrible French accent while a very bald guy ran around with a stuffed cat attached to his neck. The Ukraine was led by a transvestite in mirrored silver with awesome Boogie Nights sunglasses who sang in several languages—though mostly in German and English— and sent his background dancers into jerking spasms with shrieks of “Tanzen!”.

Switzerland didn’t make it to the finals, having spun out in the semifinal round earlier in the week, mostly because no one in Switzerland cares enough to actually vote for their band—unlike the hordes of people clearly willing to do so from all of the bands from the former Soviet republics and Eastern Bloc nations that did move on. Beni Thurnheer, a shocking racist/nationalist TV personality who somehow gets to announce everything in Switzerland (from this shindig to the Olympics to the World Cup of Soccer) wasted no time bitching that Switzerland would never have a chance again because it’s not big enough. That Latvia and Estonia somehow overcame their small populations to move on didn’t occur to him. He showed up for the final with a humongous chip on his shoulder and let fly with pithy comments, noting that the entry for Serbia gave you goosebumps with her singing “though she would never win a beauty contest.”

He wasn’t alone in his scorn for her, as the commuter newspaper in kanton Zürich wasted no time in running a lead story, characterizing the contest as a “freakshow”, with a “lesbian, a transvestite and a trio of sluts” taking the top three spots. Calling the ladies from Russia “sluts” is only recognizing the hard work that they themselves put into their image—if that wasn’t the look/impression they were going for, they should fire their publicist. The silvery group from the Ukraine were also over the top, with a lead singer that would likely revel in the “freakshow” description. The group from Serbia, however, was composed of only women, dressed in tuxedos, all of whom were quite feminine, save the lead singer, who was considerably less so. It was not clear whether the newspaper simply assumed that she was a lesbian because she looked “butch”, but characterizing the lot as a freakshow is nothing other than anti-gay hate speech, revealing a remarkably low level of tolerance at all levels of the paper (since it made it through the editors to the front page). It’s not exactly a surprising intolerance, but sad to see nonetheless.