Friday, June 04, 1999

Event: Eurovision Song Contest 1999

As someone desperate to rediscover that big lost part of his life called his youth, I feel compelled to catch any up-to-the-minute, groovy, funky 'ewef' music program that I can. To that end, I sat with a bottle Sunny D. and a packet of cheesy Wotsits, to watch this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Eurovision is the French for a specific type of cheese that never quite matures.

Last year, the contest was won by a woman who was not born a woman, by a country that is not actually in Europe. I was looking forward to this year's prize being taken by Tit Cock Too, Thailand's premier lady-boy, singing "Three Times a Lady, Four Times a Bloke." Thailand is still too far outside of Europe to enter.

This year's event was a night of surprises, none the less. What was not a surprise was the winning by the Abbaesque Swedish entry by Baaps, or whatever they were called. What wads a surprise, was the German entry. They looked highly Arabic and sang in Arabic (or other similarly rooted language) about returning to Jerusalem (where the event was being held). They were so very not German in a deliberate and obvious way. But then, I expect the Germans, when selecting their representatives in the event, were conscious of their country's standing in Israel. Four strapping, young, blond men, chanting "Deutschland Über Alles" would not have won any prises for tact. In fact, the German entry was far more a peace offering than it was a serious attempt to enter the event. They came third.

The surprise at the end was the return of last year's winner, the intergendered, intercontinental Ms Dana International. She came on to hand over the prize behaving for all her worth like a drag queen, which someone should tell her she no longer is, she's a woman now. But the pièce de résistance was when she fell head-over-heals, over her heals. My first thought was, "Oh my god, she's been shot by religious fundamentalists opposed to the programme's (a) rehearsals occurring on the Sabbath, (b) irreligious frivolity, or (c) innate papness.

But, no, she had just fallen over in her high-healed shoes. We should not scoff, she has had less time to perfect the difficult task in them. Most women have from the time they reach their teens onwards, Dana was a boy during hers and thus could only practice high-heal wearing in his own time. The Sabbath, probably, but then I know of know holy tenet against heal-wearing amongst men on this day.

She got up again, tarted around the stage for a bit more before she was ushered off having probably done as much for Israel's political standing in the world as she had done for her own standing on that stage.

One thing did impress me, and that was that Israel has really gone for the angle that Eurovision, here in the UK at least, has a real gay following. The program has a camp kitsch about it that is hard to fake. Last year Israel fielded a Transsexual, this year they proffered a boy band that was comprised of four men that, if they were not gay, definitely had some other connection with the media. Next year, they will be entering two butch dykes.

Which brings me to the Irish entry.

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