On Sunday evening I fell to temptation and watched that ultimate tribute to musical kitsch, the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s not that I enjoy it – it’s just something that has to be done. Annually. This year, disappointingly few of the songs were truly awful, but there was a satisfying surplus of hairspray, indefensible shoes, and filmy costumes billowing in a powerful airstream. Indeed, Ukrainian entrant Alyosha seemed actually to be singing in a hurricane, although her eyelashes remained glued firmly in place. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s line, “This is the time to melt the ice” was timely in the era of global warming, but Russia’s “Lost and Forgotten” seemed a bad title for a competition song.
For me the great moments of Eurovision come from the truly mystifying songs – like Greece’s effort a few years back, “Use the Password – SAGAPO” (say what?). This year, Armenia filled that category with their entry, “Apricot Stone”, which featured a beautiful girl and a giant sculpture of – you guessed it – an apricot stone. Belarus wore pop-up butterfly wings (see pic), France went all sporty and Turkey glowered in black leather. But none of them could compete with Germany’s fresh-faced, funky Lena whose song “Satellite” was just so darn catchy, it’s been in my head for two days. I’m going to YouTube to listen to it now.