So you know how I’ve spent the last few posts trying to build Eurovision up as this dignified contest in which countries put their absolute most earnest foot forward to impress a well-informed and intellectual body of voters?
Well…………let’s look at a brilliant piece of work from Ukraine in 2007, “Dancing Lasha Tumbai.”
From around 1997 until 2008, Eurovision was decided exclusively by a body of televoters as opposed to the 50-50 system we all know and love. As a result, there were a whole host of entries designed almost exclusively for spectacle. These entries tend to be polarizing, and when you can’t anti-vote, being polarizing was a perfect way to rack up points. There isn’t really much to say about these songs as songs; you just kind of know them when you hear and, more importantly in this case, see them. Ironically, the lyrics to “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” have an actual message with some strength to it, talking about turning dance into something fun and accessible instead of pretentious and stodgy.
The wild spectacles of Eurovision, while they may not be the meatiest of songs, bring much needed fun and levity to the contest. Maybe they’ll be the ones that people who hate Eurovision will point to, but they hold a special place in my heart and keep us Eurovision fans from taking this little song contest too seriously.
(A few other weird ‘uns: