It sure ain’t ABBA

Korey says that he wants to read about more German culture in this blog. No more tasty restaurants and cute boys. (Or is that cute restaurants and tasty boys?)

How about satanic rockers?

The 51st annual Eurovision contest is on, and Martin and I are kicked back, drinking beers and eating nachos. What is Eurovision? Think “American Idol” writ large but without Simon.

I had almost forgotten about the event, but catch notice of it in Der Tagespiegel. And Steve writes from the U.K. with a reminder

Get that telly switched on. A live event like no other. It’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy about being a European.

Martin and I are hootin’ and hollerin’ like simpletons. (But European simpletons, thank you very much.) Eurovision is flash and flair, high-heel strutting for the girls and cheesy please-love me crooning by the boys. There are some notable exceptions: Bosnia-Herzegovina has a great chance with Hari Mata Hari’s performance of “Lejla” and, new-resident pride aside, Deutschland’s entry of Texas Lightning with “No No Never” is very good. (Er, yeah, Germany’s top contender is a country western band singing with a cactus tucked here and there on the stage…) Even Lithuania’s UT Limited with “We Are the Winners” is a humorous, albeit pointless, relief. Most of the rest I scratch in my notebook as the competition’s “low points.”

Among my list of low points is Lordi, Finland’s, er, noteworthy entry. Lordi is a metal band dressed head to toe in “ghoul.” Where most of the contestants are dressed in flowing whites, Lordi is metal studs and leather black. They are the un-dead / in-your-face / up-yours reply to Eurovision’s sequins and slick hair. Still, I tell Martin that my vote for Best Costumes doesn’t raise their offering, “Hard Rock Hallelujah,” above “mediocre.”

Turkey closes out the final performance, and Martin and I use the ten-minute intermission to dash to the Imbiss next door for something more substantive than chips and beer. The phone lines are open and each nation is quickly tallying votes. We’re back just in time for the counts, with famous actors and comedians calling in votes from each nation’s capital.

Martin points out that even though you can’t vote for your own country, the votes fall along predictable lines. (z.B. Germany’s Turkish community casts votes for Turkey.) But Martin and I are screaming as the votes come in. No way!

Who wins Eurovision?

Ladies and gentlemen, Lordi with Hard Rock Hallelujah:

I feel so warm and fuzzy.

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