I’m going to hold myself back from applying the cheesy title “It is two!” or some variation thereof to the post, although I truly have to restrain myself – because as many of you will already know, Niceland took second place in the Eurovision Song Contest last night with the song “Is it True“. And yes, it is THE best possible result because, well, it means we’re ALMOST at the top but we won’t have to spend gazillions of crowns to host the thing next year, thereby digging ourselves even deeper into the debt hole.
My sister Ásdís and her hubby Stefán [takkfyrirsíðast!] already had a party planned last night to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary and when it transpired that Eurovision was on the same evening, it quickly morphed into a Eurovision party. Wery wery convenient for EPI and myself because AAH was holding a party of her own at our place [a belated birthday celebration] so we had to make ourselves scarce.
The actual airing of the songs was the usual camp-fest accompanied by the armchair critiques of those in attendance – the operating word being ‘critiques’, although there were also surges of enthusiasm for the occasional song [Norway, Moldova, Portugal spring to mind]. About halfway through the scoring it became clear that Norway would win by a wide margin. For a while Iceland and Turkey battled it out for second place, then Azerbaijan replaced Turkey as our main rival for the spot. The last country to vote – Norway – gave Azerbaijan ten points, which placed them above Iceland, and for a few brief seconds it looked as though they’d take second place. Those lovely Norwegians, however, ended the evening by giving us “douze points”, meaning the order was once again reversed and Niceland landed in second place – to nationwide jubilation.
It was actually quite amazing to see how Jóhanna [who goes by the name of Yohanna abroad, bleh] rose to the test. The truth is that before she got on that stage last Thursday [for the preliminaries – which, incidentally, Iceland was the winner of, having received the highest number of votes that night] most of us knew her as a rather dull performer, fairly lacking in charisma. Yes, it’s true! [Just check out the video to the song.] Last Thursday in the preliminaries was the first time many of us had witnessed the sort of radiant, self-assured stage presence that she quite obviously possesses. Even in interviews she seems fairly muted and lacking in charisma. So it was a very pleasant surprise.
The Norwegian song that won was totally charming. It got my vote. It was this little ditty with the word “fairytale” in the title, sung by this young guy who seems like an absolute sweetheart and who clearly won over most of Europe, irrespective of borders or cultures. As someone remarked last night, this should put to rest all allegations of vote-swapping and behind-the-scenes wrangling. Although this year a decision was made to have a jury give points alongside the televoting [50-50, I believe] in response to the nepotism that has prevailed in the past. I think that made for a much more fair result. EPI remarked that the two top songs bore witness to the current state of the world – both were light, charming and sincere, suggestive of innocence and simpler times, which is probably what the world [or Europe, at least] hankers after right now.
Just one more tid-bit before I go: much was made of the fact that Germany had Dita von Teese doing a little burlesque act in the background during their song [has that girl had ribs removed?? her waist is minuscule] and predictably many of us were curious to know just what she’d get up to. However, when Germany’s song was performed the camera seems to totally avoid old Dita, panning away from her at every available opportunity, and having a close-up on the singer and two dancers. All of us were, like, WTF! – don’t they realize this is Germany’s big trump card?? – Later that evening I read that there had been all this controversy about old Dita’s act over at Eurovision headquarters – apparently she’d been flashing a bit too much flesh for the comfort of the conservatives in the crowd. Good old Germans – they’re so blasé about nudity. Clearly much of the rest of Europe is slightly more hung up.
AND NOW I MUST GO AND TAKE ADVANTAGE
Of this stunning weather!! It’s beautiful outside, hardly a cloud in the sky. The kind of weather one has to take full advantage of because these days are so rare here in Iceland. Right now a sweltering 16°C [61F]. Sunrise at 4.06 am, sunset at 10.44.
PS – I damn well hope Jóhanna gets the Order of the Falcon when she comes home, just like the handball team after they took silver at the Olympics. Although once I found out a couple of days ago that Sigurður Einarsson, former CEO of freaking Kaupthing bank [who ran the thing into the ground] got the Order of the Falcon from the prezident I’ve totally lost all respect for that stupid medal.