Before I left home to travel the world, I was very attached to my zippy little Purple Flash. I’d cruise around Sydney singing unabashedly along to my CDs, and my favourite CD to sing along to (often phonetically) was the yearly Eurovision Song Contest. So kitschy and totally cool. And each year, I used to have to order them from Dymocks. That’s dedication.
My love for the Eurovision Song Contest goes way back. I vaguely remember catching the ESC on SBS one night and being enamoured with their europop tunes, their obsession with white costumes and regionally biased voting. Some very famous performers have strutted the ESC stage over the years: ABBA won for Sweden in 1974 with “Waterloo” while our very own Olivia Newton-John sang for the UK that same year, Celine Dion won the competition in 1988 for Switzerland, and Tatu performed for Russia in 2003. It’s a highlight each year for me.
Tonight, I was feeling a little down and I thought about the joy these three-minute pop songs used to bring me when I’d go driving. And they still do. So I revisited my love of all things Eurovision and danced my butt off around my living room (ie the patch of floor that has a rug on it– it’s a space delineated by not being covered with a bed).
As you’d expect, most of the entries sound better on the studio-produced official CD than they do live. There have been numerous tragic outcomes of live performances: the UK’s Jemini takes the cake. Painful!
Here’s my top six dance songs from the Eurovision Song Contest from the last few years that are great for energy and good vibes:
1. Verka Seduchka (Ukraine) – “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”
Verka is amazing. AMAZING. I love the madness and this never fails to make me smile. “Weiter, weiter!”.
2. Scooch (UK) – “Flying the Flag”
When we lived in Ireland, I was able to vote for the first time in the Eurovision Song Contest. And surprise! I voted for this song. These guys have just the right amount sass and sauce, and super costumes.
3. Neli Ciobanu (Moldova) – “Hora Din Moldova (Dance of Moldova)”
The entry of Moldova into the competition in 2005 was fantastic. They always have great songs, and this one is one of their best. It has an interesting sound, and the perfect beat to dance around in a Moldovan circle (whatever that may be).
4. Tina Karol (Ukraine) – “Show Me Your Love”
She’s cute and feisty. I’m a sucker for accents, and she wants you to “show me chor luf”. I’m sold!
5. Sakis Rouvas (Greece) – “Shake It”
Hellllllooooo, Sakis Rouvas. Shame about the live sound (offset by the fact he presents well and is in white), but this song was memorable in my understanding of the Euros’ love for costumes under costumes.
6. Trackshittaz (Austria) – “Woki Mit Dem Popo”
Austria stopped competing in the ESC for a few years earlier in the 2000s, but I am really glad they decided to return (and I still maintain Alf Poier is perhaps the country’s greatest national treasure). If they didn’t return, we wouldn’t have europop gold like “Woki Mit Dem Popo”. You’ll be singing it long after you close this browser.
If any European country is interested in having me perform some cool, kitsch song for 2013, just holla! I’m already there!