Eurovision Song Contest
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Bonjour Europe! Bienvenue à cette prévision exclusive au concours de chanson Eurovision de cette année, ici sur le site Web merveilleux du Uncyclopedia!
In the forthcoming sections, we will introduce you to some of this year's competitors from all over Europe, and Israel. We will also explore our beautiful (and safe!) Balkan host nation.
Dans les prochaines sections, nous vous présenterons à certains des concurrents de cette année partout d'Europe, et d'Israel. Nous explorerons également notre beau pays d'accueil balkanique. Ce ne sont pas mes mots. Je déteste Eurovision.
So without further ado, let's get on with the show!!
The show this year will be held in the newly rebuilt National Peace Stadium in the newly rebuilt capital. Eurovision has come to the country at the perfect time to christen the new version of the arena. It will be the second event to be held in the building, after the European Tank and Armoured Vehicle Exhibition in early April.
The hosts, guiding us safely through proceedings will be Slobodan Popyvic and the beautiful Varenka. Of course, Varenka is last year's winner and the reason for everyone to be here. She may lack any broadcasting experience, but her English lessons are going very well, or "amazingly" as she has assured us. No doubt, come competition night, she will be handling 42 simultaneous live satellite feeds like an old pro.
While Varenka may be inexperienced, her co-host certainly makes up for it. Newsreader, quiz-show host, actor, children's puppeteer, local television magnate: the country's "Mr. Television," Slobodan Popyvic, is all of these things and so much more. He is probably best known as host of "Karaoke Time," a hard-hitting, topical debate programme, where the country's political heavyweights (who also happen to be Slobodan's close personal friends) discuss the vital issues of the day, before treating their electorate to a song. Slobodan is admired everywhere for his even-handed and unbiased approach, even occasionally allowing opposition politicians onto his programme. "They can't sing though," as he likes to remind us.
Switzerland1-World 6 are a five-piece pop group (original member, Tommi, left in 2006 to join the army) who have been taken to the hearts of the Eurovision faithful. They are one of the early favourites to take the title, with their song "Take a piece of our peace, with love". Stephan, Willi, Anna, Hanna and Jana won a landslide victory in their national qualifier, with their rivals giving them a standing ovation. It is this spirit of harmony which they hope to spread across the continent. "There's a lot of hatred and fighting in the world today," says Willi, "And so our song aims to promote a world without guns or nationalistic squabbles. That's why we decided to dress as cavemen."
They are the men whose laid back grooves look set to take the continent by storm. Continuing the fine tradition of German reggae-pop are this year's big Bavarian hope, Der EZ Herrs. The boys met while they were at university and spent the summers cutting grass. While back then they dutifully abided by EU directives limiting decibel levels for lawnmowers, these days they are out to make some noise.
Their entry has created much controversy, with allegations that their song, "Nein Fraulein, Nein schrei", has been plagiarised. The band have declined to comment on the issue, as they are currently locked in a legal battle with one of Germany's leading oom-pah bands. However, luckily for them, the song does meet Eurovision's stringent standards of quality and they will be there on the night, teaching the world how to chill.
Lithuanian transvestite, Ronalda, will be supplying glamour by the bucketful this May and looks set to be one of the performance highlights of the competition. "Well, thank you, darling," he says, "but of course, I think I may have some stiff competition on my hands! Those boys from Switzerland are fabulous. I'd like to have a piece of their peace, if you know what I mean."
This young lady is quite a character and he has wowed audiences across our host nation with his big hair and even bigger shoes. "You know what they say about girls with big feet, don't you, darling? Oh wait, shit, that doesn't quite work. Let's start again. I bet you have big feet, don't you darling? Mmm hmm, you know what I'm talking about. Gimme a kiss. Mwah!"
And now we're on the river, which gently snakes it's way through our host city, majestically rising downstream towards our venue. It's just there, next to that pile of rubble. Ooh and here's a jet ski. The locals love their jet skis, as I'm sure anyone would who visits this wonderful country. This demonstration of man and machine working together seamlessly in tandem with mother nature, brings warmth to the soul, as well as bringing us to the next country in our musical journey.
MoldovaMoldova may be the smallest of the Eastern European countries, but they have the biggest hearts. Top agrarian boyband, Schezyny, will be singing "I wanna flock my sheep ('til the sun goes down)". This is one entry that everyone is looking forward to, not least the band's ovine mascot, Sergei. He will be the very first sheep to take to the Eurovision stage. "It's about time, is it not?" says Stefan, who will play a charming Moldovan variant of the bagpipes on the night. "I don't know why nobody brought sheep on stage before. Prejudice, I guess. The sheep is such a loving creature. Sergei deserves his moment in the spotlight."
But what of the animal rights worries? Lead kettle-drummer, Costin, is not concerned. "When I ride him on stage, he like it. It's a big party. Sergei like to party".
And now we come to Eurovision's most successful country, who are being represented this year by the beautiful Lana. So what part of Ireland's rich and diverse musical spectrum are we going to be treated to this year? "I'll be singing a ballad", says Lana, "It's about loving someone and leaving them, but it's only when you leave that you realise how much you love them, so you start to wonder whether to leave or not, because you're in love. It's a long title, I know."
Eurovision success runs in Lana's family. Her mother won the contest three years running in the 1980s, the first Irishwoman to achieve such a feat since the 70s. "Also, my father was a judge for the British jury, so Eurovision is in my blood."
IsraelAre you ready to rock? Well, the Israelis were certainly ready for some banging guitars when they selected Oyvey! as their representatives for this year's show. Scott, Jack, Charlie and Aaron (he's the shy one) are here to amp up the volume and pop-rock our socks off, with their song "Crashed the Bat Mitzvah".
"Eurovision's so cool," says Scott (lead guitar, vocals) thoughtfully, "We thought that, like, because we play our own instruments, people might think that was a bit like, you know, but everyone's been really great, so, you know, that's cool." Of course, Scott is the sensitive wordsmith of the group and writes all the songs. Jack (lead guitar, vocals), the little, cute one, tells us how supportive all the other bands have been. "They've been really cool." Charlie (lead guitar, vocals), the punky one, agrees. "We love you Europe!!!! We love you Uncyclopedia!!!!! Yeahh!!!"
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The perennial crowd-pleasers of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are back again and this year, they're bringing fire, that being the name of their song, as sung by Alexander Srnjovic. "There is a lot of fire in my performance. I eat fire, my dancers breathe fire and then afterwards, we go out back and roast a pig." The show that Alexander puts on is very impressive, not least for the bravery he has often shown when forced to sing the last chorus with a burned mouth. And what about the song itself? "The song is a love song. I love my woman so much that it burns. I wrote it after I went on a trip to Singapore."
And now we're up in the beautiful mountains of the region. You could easily forget yourself and spend all day up here enjoying the scenery as you look down on the hills below. This fellow has been up here for a little while too. Oh dear, it seems he is wandering towards one of the country's many historic minefields. He'll have plenty of time to take in the wondrous natural beauty of the area if he walks much further. Luckily, here comes a soldier to tackle him to the ground before he endangers himself. It turns out that it's a lady soldier. And so, they fall in love.
UkraineUkraine is one of the most successful Eurovision countries of recent years. This Balkan nation with political links to the former Soviet Bloc, hopes once again to supply a hugely popular song. How they do it, nobody knows. This year they are being represented by Kalyna and her dramatic rock feast of a song, "The Drums of Chernobyl". Kalyna and her dancers command the stage like a pro-Russia riot squad armed with tear-gas commands respect (as her website puts it).
"It's a very passionate, powerful, catchy song," says Kalyna, "When my dancers lift me up and I hit that high yodel, I look at the lights and all the people watching me and I take in this overwhelmingly positive atmosphere and I think to myself "wow". But I think the best bit of the song is when the music slows down and I appeal to the world to look after the environment. That's when I take off my skirt."
He has 5 number one albums in 6 different countries, 15 top ten singles, a record 22 MTV Greece music awards and one highly-lucrative series of Cypriot toothpaste commercials, but Therakos has yet to add a Eurovision title to his impressive CV. Greece's greatest musical export has already appeared in the contest once before and finished in second place. Is he now looking to win? "Eurovision's not about that. Eurovision, for me, is about stepping out on a stage in front of millions of my fans and sharing my gift with a whole continent. Then, hopefully I'll make more fans. Did you know there are some women in Belgium who have never seen Therakos shake his hips?" Therakos demonstrates this, prompting wild screams from the huddle of girls that follow his every move.
Therakos's song is called Destiny. "It's about that one moment when a man grabs his chance to seize his dream. It's a song about hope and victory. But I'm not worried about winning on Saturday. I come to Eurovision, not for trophies or pan-European recording deals. I come here to meet new people, to hear new music, to discover new experiences. Before this week, I'd never slept with a Lithuanian woman before."
Cecilia is no ordinary French Eurovision entrant. She will start off alone on stage, singing a ballad in French in the spotlight, musing upon why salmon must struggle upstream only to be snatched cruelly from this tributary on their journey of life by the grizzly bear of destiny. Then she will be joined by men on stilts acting out the absurdity of living for living's sake. According to Cecilia, the performance is heavily motivated by Sartre and Nietzsche, her favourite philosophers (aren't they everybody's?).
So what makes Cecilia different from the ordinary French Eurovision entrant? Well, she isn't French. She's Canadian.
United KingdomAnd so to Eurovision's most prolific runners up who are looking to relive past glories. Can this year's representatives, the all-female pop quartet Girl Thang, lead the Brits to the top of the table once more? Well, they certainly are an experienced bunch of girls, having notched several top 40 smash hits in the 1990s. After breaking up, both from each other and from their footballing boyfriends, they're back and determined to spread their "thang" onto a continental stage.
The girls wowed audiences in their qualifier with their song, "Britain is great!", whilst dancing around ten-foot Big Bens and London Eyes. So, how do they rate their chances? "I think we've got as good a chance as anyone," says Jenna, "John Barrowman liked us, so that's got to be a good sign." Her Union Jack-toting bandmates, Kerri, Sammi and Shantella are just as confident. "We're going to win, Europe!! Woooo!!!" And really, who can argue with them?
Countdown to lift off!
With every passing hour the spectacular international extravaganza that is the Eurovision Song Contest draws ever closer. Rehearsals will be rehearsed, stages will be built, costumes will be fitted with velcro. Throughout all this build up, the eyes, and hopefully ears, of the world will be paying close attention. Questions will be asked and questions will be answered. Is the honour of repesenting one's country just totally amazing? How great is the atmosphere backstage? Will as many new stars be born as last year? Will Greece vote for Cyprus? Will this be the best Eurovision ever?
Whatever happens on that crisp Balkan spring night, one thing is guaranteed. Music.