The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

May 15, 2004

All Hail Xena Warrior Princess!

So Xena warrior princessTerry Wogan) won the Eurovision Song Contest. So why am I not excited, even though she may be the sexiest winner in quite a while? And will her song (requires RealPlayer), catchy as it is, ever make it to something like the Cartoonist's/IT&W's/SWR's MP3 competition in, say, 20 years? In fact, how many of the past 48 winners have not disappeared in the Great Void of history? (Surprisingly, I actually seem to be able to remember ten of the winning songs.)

And finally, my first entry in Ye Olde Phart MP3 competition: The 1970 Eurovision winner (MP3, 4.2 MB) — an incredibly sweet tune from a time when "sweet" still meant "sickly sweet", and when the whips were discreetly hidden under the bed rather than brought onto the stage.

Posted by Horst on May 15, 2004 11:59 PM to news of the world | Tell-a-friend

zed said on May 16, 2004 03:00 PM:

horst, i'd find that rather embarrassing myself. TEN ??

Horst said on May 16, 2004 03:35 PM:

Surprisingly, yes, and I *am* somewhat embarrassed. But the winner songs of 1966, 1967, 1970, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 and 2000 are somehow lodged in my mind.

I'd consider "Puppet on a string", "All kinds of everything" and "Waterloo" true classics though (sickly classics, but still classics). However, three classics out of 49 winners is still not a lot.

nora said on May 17, 2004 04:01 AM:

fancy finding the song contest on your blog!
i kinda missed it, because i was on stage myself, and when we got home, germantv's broadcast was already in full swing, we tuned in during the winning song and then the satellite sort of died on us and we had the icelandic guy frozen (sic!)on the screen for like 10 minutes. then we fell asleep during the voting. is dodo roscjijc (?) pregnant?

dieter said on May 17, 2004 09:42 AM:

I lost interest in the Song Contest again when Grissemann&Stermann stopped commenting it. So, having seen Lord of the Rings II on Video, I just came in time to see and hear the winning song. Well, Xena seems to be a good name for the winner, and at least her song had some drive.

dieter said on May 17, 2004 09:54 AM:

Horst, what did you do to me! I was so reckless to listen to that winning song from 1970, and that thing still oozes out of my left ear. Thank god, I only plugged in one earphone.

Horst said on May 17, 2004 10:43 AM:


You should know by now that I write about all sorts of things here. And I couldn't care less about Ms. Roscic (or however her name is spelt).


I hadn't even thought of watching the Song Contest, but I turned on my TV and it happened to be tuned to BBC Prime, which was broadcasting it. I just wanted to switch away when Terry Wogan, the BBC commentator, made a truly acerbic remark about one of the singers, which made me burst out laughing. So I stayed on. I thought Wogan's commentary was much better than Stermann & Grissemann, because it wasn't silly at all, just a blend of extremely dry and sarcastic humour. Actually, since Wogan has been doing this for decades (and is quite popular in the UK), I'm now pretty convinced that S & G merely copied his routine and put it into overdrive.

As for the winner - as I said, Xena, erm, Ruslana was definitely the sexiest woman on stage and certainly the one with the most intense performance. She won't ever win a lyrics contest, but she certainly has an onstage presence.

The Xena costumes reminded me of the 2000 song contest, when the Swedes didn't want to win again and sent in an old fat guy plus dancers in ridiculous pseudo-Viking costumes with absurd dance routines, whips and weird fire effects. This year the Ukrainians sent in a young attractive woman plus dancers in ridiculous pseudo-Carpathian costumes with absurd dance routines, whips and weird fire effects. Not much of a difference, but apparently it's the small details that matter. The 2000 contest was the one won by the Olsen Brothers, by the way. I must say I prefer Xena, even though I'll probably forget her song pretty soon, whereas that abominable Olsen Brothers song will probably torture me forever.

dieter said on May 17, 2004 01:03 PM:

Horst: Seems like Wogan is my man. Hope I'll remember your tip for next year...

zed said on May 17, 2004 01:17 PM:

terry wogan is ghastly, truly ghastly.

Horst said on May 17, 2004 01:22 PM:

You haven't heard the Austrian commentators yet...

Natalie said on May 17, 2004 02:01 PM:

I watched the whole thing, start to finish (have never been able to endure it before) mesmerized by the colossal crap that it was. The choreography was surely designed by the same person for every entry - he must have been busy running from one country to the next. And every song follows the same boring formula, the same kind of sound. Is it possible that there is really no original talent whatsoever anywhere in Europe? The only one that I gave the least bit of merit to was from Serbia Montenegro. At least it wasn't entirely pandering to the one-size-fits-all ethos.

Horst said on May 17, 2004 02:45 PM:

Actually, I seem to remember a few song contests that were much worse. Still, it's easy to see why music sales are declining - increasingly it's all the same fomula, over and over again.

I have to disagree with you on the choreography thing, though. I'm quite sure that Xena had a very different choreographer from the one that instructed our rather lame Austrian boygroup. They might have fared a lot better if they'd been clad in leather and cracking whips... at least they'd have made *proper* fools of themselves.

But I agree that it was utterly gruesome. That was mostly the reason why I watched it. It genuine trash, everybody knows it's trash, and yet on TV everybody pretends it's not. The two Turkish hosts alone warrant a doctoral thesis or something to be written about them. I've never seen anybody try so hard to be funny without succeeding even once in three hours.

dieter said on May 18, 2004 10:33 AM:

Serbia Montenegro? I was curious, since it ended up number two, and Serbia not having too many friends in Europe I rather discarded political voting... I admit, I only heard the tiny passage that you can play on the Song Contest Homepage, but I was und the impression that this guy was just another ideal son in law singing sugarcandy songs. On the other hand, my wife also loves Enrique Iglesias, George Michael and that bunch... ;-)

dieter said on May 18, 2004 10:36 AM:

Sorry, I forgot to click the Preview Button. The Link, of course, is:

Horst said on May 18, 2004 11:50 AM:

There are videos of all the Song Contest entries at (requires RealPlayer).

Natalie said on May 19, 2004 03:38 PM:

Dieter, it wasn't quite son-in-law-sugary-pap. What I almost liked about the Serbia Montenegro number was that it had a tiny bit of "ethnic" character. The product which currently dominates popular music is an industrial mixture of the American and British pop/rock/metal/punk/soul of the last 20 or 30 years and it doesn't matter where you are or what you want, if you turn on the radio or go into a record store or department store, that's what you get. It's exactly like the ugly homogenized buildings you see in the outskirts (and sometimes inskirts) of every city and the plastic-wrapped produce in every supermarket. It's shrink-wrapped, chemically enhanced, wholly derivative, mass-produced and the Eurovision contest is no contest at all since it all comes out of the same factory. Oops, I'm revealing my old fogeyness, right?
Ah yes, the good old days of 1967 and thereabouts.

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