Where: Kyiv, Ukraine
What: Forogj Világ by Nox
Hungary is yet to really get the hang of Eurovision, but since their debut in 1994, they have had their moments. This little cracker from the 50th anniversary contest definitely qualifies as one of those moments, even though it didn’t manage to place in the top 10 in the final.
Having miraculously sourced the ’05 DVD in my nearest music store after becoming an instant ESC-addict in 2006, I remember watching the semi and having Nox hit me full on in the face (obviously not literally, although I don’t doubt the lead singer could sock me one if she wanted to. She is fierce) with the kind of up-tempo ethno-pop usually reserved for the likes of Greece, as well as some killer choreography…so killer, in fact, that I made it my mission to learn it so I could join in/look like an idiot the next time I watched the performance. Six years and many carpet burns later, I may not have totally gotten the moves down (what? It’s hard!) but I still love the entry. The year after Ruslana showed the rest of Europe how Eurovision is done, it was great to see other countries like Hungary follow her lead, even if they did give or take a pant leg in the process.
Contest: 47th –Tallinn, Estonia
Artist: Michalis Rakintzis
Result: 17th, 27 points
Greece is one of those golden, untouchable ESC countries. The ones that, no matter what they send – like, even if it was an ethno-rap song performed by a talent show winner and a man way too old to be wearing a baseball cap (as if…) – are guaranteed a place in the top ten. Right?
No. No they aren’t.
Nor are Greece always fronted by a young, hot, buff and tanned type wearing something short and tight. Sometimes, it’s an older, pastier guy wearing something that has to be seen to be believed (though I would describe it as the sartorial love child of a bin liner, and a set of knee pads, with a little tin foil thrown in for good measure – jealous much, Lady Gaga?). Sometimes, the song this Old Pasty Guy is performing is not an up-tempo pop song with added bouzouki for extra appeal, but more of a 1980s wannabe rock track with a chorus that makes most people with functioning ears want to un-function them.
Apparently, I am not most people, because S.A.G.A.P.O. is one of my guilty Eurovision pleasures. Enjoy it…or not.