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The 11 Year Eurovision Showdown

№130
~12 minutes
InEntertainment

    In which I look back at the 11 years of Eurovision rivalry that’s been between Finland and the UK.

    With only 2 days left until the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 finals in Malmö and the fact that I already spent time last week familiarizing myself with the whole Eurovision “thing” I thought I would go ever further — too far, some might say — and take a look back at the last 11 years of Eurovision, comparing — what else? — Finland’s entries to those of United Kingdom of course. Join me, why don’t you? It’ll be fun. Not funny “Haha” but more like that sad kind of funny.

    So, the ideas is this; We’ll go back to the wonderful year 2003 and from there move forward back to 2013, all the while looking at and comparing the various entries by Finland and United Kingdom. I’m thought I would continue to be judgemental because well, why not? By giving out a point to whichever country had the best contribution. And contrary to what you might be thinking I am not patriotic enough to give Finland points when their entries are clearly stinky poo-poo’s. As some of the more astute of you might notice, I’ll be judging 11 years instead of 10 and this is simply to avoid a tie between these two glorious nations.

    2003

    The year is 2003. Earlier that year, the Human Genome Project is finally completed, with 99% of the human genome sequenced mapped, to an accuracy of 99.99%. The first cloned deer, named Dewey, is born the day before the finals of Eurovision Song Contest 2003. Turkey takes its first victory but what about our two rivalling countries Finland and United Kingdom? A rivalry that I just made up, for the purpose of this post.

    Well, United Kingdom’s entry is a sad middle aged woman and her weirdly young boyfriend singing out of tune together whilst dancing provocatively in that way that only old people dance provocatively. The song screams “Sad, sad, sad”. The only saving grace for United Kingdom is that Finland sucked so badly the year before, that they don’t even get to play with the other children this year. So first point goes to United Kingdom. But don’t think for a second that you’ve earned it.

    Finland, 0 points. England, 1 point.

    2004

    As both countries send in their best men. Best? The voters decide and well… Ukraine wins the entire competition. Finland sends in one of its most famous singers. Sadly no one outside of Finland has heard of him before and after his “passionate” song about tango, no one wants to hear from him again. Least of all, yours truly included. United Kingdom on the other hand send in James Fox, their own Bryan Adams look-a-like, who goes all country on everyone’s asses and remind us to hold onto our love. A boring and predictable ballad that is nonetheless saved by its performer. Well done United Kingdom, have another point!

    Finland, 0 points. England, 2 points.

    2005

    In 2005, Pope Johnny the Great dies and is succeeded by Pope Palpatine the Evil. Youtube is launched and people upload videos of cats, of which there are now about 35 million. Finland decide to send an old guy — again — who’s actually Norweigan to sing a song clearly meant for a black guy. Despite this he actually does it really well. United Kingdom, doing what it does best, steals another country’s culture and tries to pass it of as its own with their Beyoncé look-a-like singing about touching fire, playing with fire… I forget, because despite their best efforts this song is just really forgettable. Less forgettable is her noticeable Diastema but it’s not enough and with that Finland gets its first point.

    Finland, 1 point. England, 2 points.

    2006

    2006 is the year something unimaginable happens, Finland wins Eurovision Song Contest. To put some sort of context for how unlikely that was, there are numerous jokes about hell freezing over before Finland would ever win Eurovision. Meanwhile, United Kingdom has their first case of Avian Flu. Coincidence? Maybe not. Finland send the Monster Squad rejects to represent them with a song that some countries find so offensive that they refuse to air the entry. Ridiculously over-the-top but also catchy and well produced. United Kingdom on the other hand thought it would be a good idea to send in Daz Sampson, a guy over his thirties, to sing about his “Teenage Life”, which is creepy in more ways than one. Despite a catchy chorus, a song with uncomfortable undertones of paedophilia is no way to win the crowd — or me — over. One point, Finland.

    Finland, 2 points. England, 2 points.

    2007

    2007 seems like a year I’d rather forget. Finland, thinking it’s finally found the winning formula, sends in another “hard rock” song. Expect, this time it’s a semi-attractive angry woman singing about how she wants to be left alone. United Kingdom on the other hand tries to replicate a certain popular pop annoyance from 1997 with Scooch and “Flying the Flag (for You)”. With such a strong and memorable theme it’s a real shame that the theme is; Delayed flights, horrible food and invasive security checks. I know I said I was going to give a point to one country every year but I’m having difficulties deciding, both of these contributions are terrible and I don’t like either of them. So, you know what? No point for either of you. Shame on you. Now go in a corner — both of you — and think about what you did.

    Hungary, 1 point.
    In a surprising turn of events, Hungary gets its first point.

    2008

    I’m glad to see that United Kingdom has learned from last years mistake when they in 2008 send in a senior citizen with Alopecia. What, no? Not Alopecia? Oh, well you have to admit that it kind of looks like it. I — on the other hand — have to admit that despite its hairlessness I kind of like “Even If”. Sure it sounds like a rejected Jackson 5 song but it’s a hell of a lot better than Finland’s entry, who again — to absolutely no one’s surprise — sends in rock song. Whoever thought sending Teräsbetoni with “Missä miehet ratsastaa” — which roughly translates to “Where the men ride” — was a good idea should be shot in the face. Angry Finnish men, singing in a language that sounds like complete gibberish. Point to United Kingdom.

    Finland, 2 points. England, 3 points.

    2009

    The year both countries actually bring their A game… well, B+ at least. Finland realise that rock isn’t getting them any votes and sends in an upbeat and cheerful song. Catchy song, good hook. Ruined a bit by the mandatory rapping sections. United Kingdom — unhappy with not winning since Katrina And The Waves — decide to step up their game even more with “It’s My Time”, a song written by no other than Andrew Lloyd Webber, a person whom I only recognise because he looks like an extra from the Harry Potter franchise. What I’m trying to say is that he looks a bit like a goblin. But he’s not singing now is he? No, for that we have Jade Ewen who looks like the stepped out from a Disney movie singing repetitively that it’s her time in a super breathy voice. Not a bad song or a bad singer but mind numbingly boring and repetitive, so point to Finland.

    Finland, 3 points. England, 3 points.

    2010

    Finland, what the fuck? No, no, no. I thought we had an understanding. No more songs in gibberish. The only that springs to mind is the saying “You can’t polish a turd”, which as we all know — thanks to MythBusters — isn’t true. You can polish a turd. But it’s still going to be a turd. Okay, United Kingdom, let’s take a look at your entry because it can’t possibly be worse than the Finland’s bowel movement. Great. A “Please hold, there’s 12 people before you in the queue” -song. Atleast this elevator background song is better than Finland’s entry, so point to you United Kingdom.

    Finland, 3 points. England, 4 points.

    2011

    United Kingdom brings back one of those lesser known boy bands from the 90’s in this “Let’s get together” bullshit song with a high pitched bridge and an extra layer of cheese. No thank you, there’s a reason everyone stopped listening to this 15 or so years ago. With last years entry from Finland still haunting me, at least the bar hasn’t been… what? What the fuck is this? This… is really good. A catchy song sung by a reasonably attractive man-boy without that ridiculous accent many Finnish people are plagued by. Wow. I’m honestly stunned. Have your well earned point, Finland.

    Finland, 4 points. England, 4 points.

    2012

    Johnny Cash, is that you? No, then what is your name? Engelbert Humper… very funny, no seriously, what’s your name? Oh… I’m so sorry. United Kingdom, what’s wrong with you? Why do you take such a clearly talented singer and give him the most boring song in the world? Finland on the other hand sends in a woman singing in dialect of Swedish only understood by 300,000 people, proving once and for all that we really have no idea what this “Song” and “Contest” part in “Eurovision Song Contest” stands for. Countries like Iceland can — clearly — sing in their native language and still have it sound sexy. Finland, sadly not so much. I think we can blame that on Moomin though, there is really nothing sexy about Moomin. Mr. Humpersnick gets United Kingdom another point this round.

    Finland, 4 points. England, 5 points.

    2013

    And so we have finally come to 2013. This has been quite a — not so great — journey for me. Given more time I might have gone back further than just 10 years but then again, who am I kidding? It was excruciating enough to molest my own ears with songs like United Kingdoms entry from 2003. Or Finland’s from 2010.

    But enough about the awful songs, let’s take a look at this years entries from Finland and United Kingdom. It seems like Finland has finally taken a good, hard look at Sweden and realised what a good song looks like. Pretty blonde girl? Check. Catchy pop/punk song? Check. Memorable — albeit enforcing unhealthy stereotypes — theme? Check, with a hint of hesitation.

    So, what about United Kingdom, have they also been taking lessons from Sweden when it comes to this years entry? Pretty blonde girl? Check, senior citizen pretty is still pretty. Sleep inducing pop ballad… check, I suppose. No theme to speak of, unless you count “Flailing arms in empty room” as a theme… so, maybe no check on that last one? Remember what I said about Mr. Pumpledinck’s song being the most boring song in the world? Is it too late to change it to the second most boring song in the world? Point to Finland.

    Which gives us a total… No! Fucking crap. You have got to be fucking kidding me!

    Finland, 5 points. England, 5 points.

    God damn it United Kingdom, why did you have to send in such a shitty song back in 2007? If it hadn’t been for Scooch you totally would have won Finland. Well, this is a fucking disappointment. No, I’ve wasted my time listening to all of these entries without a conclusive winner.

    You know what? I’m calling a tie-breaker. Since Eurovision Song Contest 2013 is only two days from now — and I’ve already planned a post for this Saturday — I’m deciding that whichever country beats the other one in terms of points scored in the actual Eurovision contest, will be the country to get an extra point from me and thus be crowned the winner with all the glory that entail. Which is none. So not a great loss, but still.

    Damn it. I had really hoped I would have been done with Eurovision thing. I feel like I’ve grown to understand and know more than I would have liked to. Stay tuned, I guess. Damn it.

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