Or is it ‘why her’? Call it poetic liberty then. It’s the essence of the question that matters because with Linda Martin’s victory we only get the confirmation that the direction the Contest has taken is irreversible. Light bubblegum pop and corny ballads have put Eurovision in a corner of its own and despite some interesting attempts the juries (as always) manage to single out the songs that are irrelevant in the ’90s music scene. Nirvana, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Massive Attack all released some legendary albums the year before and yet everyone insists on fishing in the same Eurovision pond as all years before – it’s frustrating to witness. And yet it’s part of Eurovision’s charm I guess, what a love/hate relationship this is!
The Eurovision Bubble landed in Malmö in ’92 and the Swedes made sure we wouldn’t mistake their homeground for any other place in Europe, what with that glittered up version of a Viking ship serving as the backdrop for this edition. Hosts Harald Treutiger & Lydia Capolicchio were clearly briefed not to go down the Toto Cutugno road and gave us, how fitting, an icy attitude throughout the evening. The entire thing comes across rather moody actually, which is a nice change from all the happy go lucky stuff we usually get – not to mention the difference with the year before, a comparison that could deem this edition as a bit boring perhaps.
I’m a bit bored on a musical level as well sadly, in case my introduction wasn’t indicating it clearly enough. Only my top three (!) manages to create a spark of excitement, the rest falls under the W of What-ever. Starting down at the bottom (wooden spoon excluded) of the largest field up till now where we find the Siegelshit from Germany, Anne-Lie Rydé‘s sister strangling a half decent song for Switzerland, the large handed – helium voiced – soon to be MF megalomaniacal defender of the host’s honour Christer Björkman and the ever continuing yamma-ing from Finland. Not to mention the Maltese drivel that made it to third place and which I absolutely do not get: Mary Spiteri looks old, sounds old, has got the fugliest dress EVER on (with, admitedly, a cleavage that would make Trinny & Susannah proud) and the cliché of it all makes me run for the nearest toilet bowl. That could also have been due the exaggerated performance by Michael Ball for the UK who resembles a cliché salesman that goes over the top to get his beige song sold (the pointing, the pointing!). Who’ll say?
In the middle of the playing field we first met up with our own representative, the teenager in teenager outfit that is Morgane. Moi je voudrais des violons également, and the violins set a great mood (once they finally get a chance to be heard) but the atmosphere is ruined by that – is it a synthesized organ? It’s ghastly anyhow, whatever it is. The Israelic attempt is, despite its nice flow, a bit empty as well – I think the subject could’ve been chosen more carefully. And the tropical street artist from France brought a whole new colour (in sound…) to the Contest but forgot to inject some excitement into his little number. It stands in great contrast to the Turkish entry, which tries to go full on Eurovision and ends up being a complete farce. The only two to almost convince me of giving them a spot in my top ten are the Portuguese KD Lang and the slightly boring but well singing blind dude from Spain. If only they’d packed more interesting songs!
So let’s take a look who got lucky – here are the points of the Dimivision jury:
1 point: Denmark – Alt det som ingen ser
The caveman and the maiden, a story as old as the streets that’s been reinvented for Eurovision so of course it Bubbles with a capital B. At times I’m worried he’s going to attack her in all his madness but all madness aside this is just a happy piece of pop, not all too relevant but harmless anyhow. A bit too chaotic though to do better…
2 points: Yugoslavia – Ljubim te pesmama
Again with the glittery fabric, but put to use far more effectively than we’ve seen earlier in the show with Portugal and – shiver alert – Switzerland. Extra Nena does her name proud and treats us to a particular atmosphere, not in the least thanks to her colurful voice and presence. A bit of a schlagertastic chorus there, but a nice vibe anyway – a painful contrast to the painful situation the country went through at the time. I’m sad to say goodbye to Yugoslavia in the Contest as I loved their diversity…
3 points: Iceland – Nei eða já
Stock, Aitken & Waterman seem to have moved to Reykjavík to lend a helping hand to Heart 2 Heart with this bouncy little number. Not the most original one in the field, but it boulds up quite nicely and I admire the two blonde elves in their M&M’s mood (red-yellow-get it?) for their endurance – that’s quite the tempo!! But still a bit too Bubblegum to convince me.
4 points: Luxembourg – Sou fräi
I know, I don’t understand how this ended up here either – but somehow I got hypnotized by the musical flow in this one. A bit anonymous perhaps, and definitely stuck in the ’80s as well but it’s got that je ne sais quoi about it that’s good enough for the bottom half of the top ten. Or perhaps it’s just that vest that enthralled me for 3 minutes. I want it.
5 points: Ireland – Why me?
I don’t get it either, honey – I wouldn’t have picked you for the trophee, rest assured. After being my douze in ’84 I’m only semi enthusiastic about Linda Martin‘s new attempt although she worked with the same composer, some chap named Johnny Logan. Even though she does a marvellous job in vocal rendition and stage presence it’s all down to the composition for me, which is too standard and definitely Logan’s weakest entry for me. But I like the sadness obviously.
6 points: Norway – Visjoner
I should slap her troll face where she stands. This might not be the most modern of songs, nor the most innovative, but it’s got a decent build-up and some killer opportunities to sweep the crowd of their feet. And then you get the dwarf on speed that is Merethe Trøan, ruining the atmosphere with giggles and pointing and a poor excuse for strutting – Tyra Banks would die. I’m not even mentionning the hair. Cow.
7 points: Netherlands – Wijs me de weg
Now why would you go and ruin this richly instrumentated song by giving the lead to… the accordeon??? Such an odd choice, and not the best one at that! I’d even opt for the electric guitar, imagine!! Luckily we’ve got Humphrey Campbell and his two compagnons to distract us with their exotic colour of voice and warm interpretation which turns this half modern song into a nice vibe – a nice closure to a mediocre Contest.
8 points: Greece – Olu tu kosmou i Elpitha
Full of atmosphere, Drama and gusto – that’s the way we like it, Cleopatra! Thanks! Wouldn’t hurt to do your hair though. Or leave out the electric guitar solo. But the vibe is instantly right (and the shot of the fake dragon on the Viking ship breathing steam at the start of the song doesn’t hurt) and is kept up nicely throughout the entire thing. A bit out of the Eurovision box and I love it.
10 points: Cyprus – Teriazume
So lucious, so James Bond! Best dress, not only this year but since ’56 – although that doesn’t win a Contest it doesn’t hurt either. Again a lot of Drama and it works, except for the clumsy false ending which casts a bit of a shadow on the entire thing. Evridiki is such a class act, keeping it soft in the verses and belting out the chorus – many a drag is based on her, I imagine!
12 points: Italy – Rapsodia
Time can be cruel, can it not. Mia Martini has come a long way since we saw her in ’77 and it has been a bumpy ride it seems. The pack of cigarettes that is hiding in her throat only adds to the already dramatic vibe and the combination of all elements just sends shivers down my spine. So raw, so beautiful, so sad at the same time – it’s highly unusual for a Eurovision song to make me so emotional and I absolutely adore it – even with that electric guitar solo in it. May she rest in peace.
A mediocre year with an unexpected highlight. I’m not talking about my wooden spoon obviously, this time awarded to the man that made me long for the FFWD button so badly I could feel it ache – the bleak Tony Wegas from Austria.
So a fourth victory for Italy, the only country managing to bag a douze in every single decade – a feat nobody has done before and will never do again. Cyprus doubles its number of points but firmly remains last (out of your sight) and we sadly say goodbye to Yugoslavia. I’ll be redistributing their points to their descendants based on the languages their rewarded entries were sung in. In the meantime it’s still France at the top of the all time top ten:
1 France 159 (1960 – 1977 – 1991)
2 Netherlands 158 (1970 – 1971)
3 Belgium 157 (1968 – 1983 – 1986-1990)
4 Finland 145 (1962 – 1979 – 1985 – 1988 – 1989)
5 Italy 137 (1958 – 1964 – 1978 – 1992)
6 Portugal 124 (1972)
7 Germany 116 (1959 – 1975)
8 United Kingdom 115 (1961 – 1965)
9 Spain 110 (1973)
10 Luxembourg 107 (1956 – 1967)
Hm, do I smell horses or am I losing my marbles?