THE YEAR OF THE 5 (or sometimes 4) BACK-UP SINGERS IN BLACK
THE YEAR OF THE PANTSUIT
I need to do the stats but I’m guessing this year – 2002 – is a sure winner in the ‘Most Acts Who Could Not Sing in Key’ category.
THE OFFICIAL TOP THREE
MY (inexplicable) TOP THREE
MICHALIS RAKINTZIS. S.A.G.A.P.O.
Cyberpunk sci-fi robotic militaire technopop. Brilliant. Ahead of its time. Or behind its time? Not IN its time which is the main thing. NO back-up singers – they’re all in it together – how good is that? Love that drum solo. That cheeky wink to camera. 3 possibly 4 times? So endearing I just want to give him a koala. Try doing their dance moves while singing. It’s harder than it looks. At the end of the song, the audience is stunned. They do not move. Brilliant.
PRIME MINISTER. NORTHERN GIRL.
Whoa. Love this song. Dressed in baggy white. Are they inmates somewhere? So funky. So hilarious (in a good way). Check out those dance moves. A little self-conscious? Get away. Love the way they swap lead. If only they could sing… [CD version is much better than live but seeing is believing] You’re my Northern Star, guiding star, baby…yeah!
AIVARAS. HAPPY YOU.
Happy You, Lithuania! So happy and poppy. So hoppy and pappy. 4 girls with zigzag tops and fake black plaits. Young bloke in pastels.To say any more would be, um, hard.
Special mention to:
SANDRINE FRANÇOIS. IL FAUT DU TEMPS.
She sings divinely. No pantsuits, no black leather, just her. Quality.
Award for Most Energetic Opening
CYPRUS: Five tight leather pants boys rush on from stage right. BONUS long-haired Benedict Cumberbatch. Catchy.
Award for Interesting T-shirt
AUSTRIA: Manuel Ortega. Surreal fish. Say no more.
Award for the Best Backflip
BELGIUM: Has to be bleach blonde SERGIO with the Tom Jones voice, the sunglasses and the black leather. Although possibly he is the only contender. Great crowd reaction. Go Belgium!
Award for Outstanding Special Effects
MALTA: At the word ‘reality’ – wait for it – singer Ira blows a palmful of sparkles into the air. WOT a dazzling display! POOF!
Award for Red Sparkles
SLOVENIA: Has to be Sestre. You go, sisters. And now I know ‘Flying the Flag’ was a rip-off. Or perhaps it was a pastiche.
Award for Best Lyrics
Stiff competition this year. RUSSIA is pretty damn good:
‘I hear your secret call
Cos your fortress has no wall.’
But MALTA sums up the Eurovision experience:
‘Is it good? Is it bad?
Am I simply going mad?’
Thank you, Malta.
Award for Best Costume
LITHUANIA: A stripey pastel jumper with a jaunty black beret cannot be bettered.
Award for Outstanding Drum Solo
GREECE: It lasts one bar and the performers kneel down in homage at its audacious-ness. Superb.
* Don’t like to put weak/off-key singers in my Top 3. But for 2002 I’ve made an exception. Twice.