Genderbending the Eurovision Song Contest? Reporting realtime

Posted: lørdag 24 mai, 2008 by Tarald in GLBT
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve given into the pressure and decided to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. Especially since all my friends see it and nothing fun is going to happen anyway.

I was struck by the genderbending aspects of the opening show: First a person I would presume was FTM in a suit and a person I presumed was some kind of biological man in a wedding dress. Then the dress goes off and reveals a woman in a suit. For most of the song, the singer («FTMish») is surrounded by dancing women in half black suits, half white dress. It gives the impression that they are half men, half women. And the coreography makes it seem that they change – one minute female, the next male. I loved it!

Romania‘s outfit could have been used in the sixties too, and the song too. Nothing surprising there. Boring.

UK has a disco beat. Refreshing. And I definately like the male singer moving his hips! Its also positive that the singer isn’t white.

Albania is the origin of «the sworn virgins», but you couldn’t tell from the show. Female singer with beautiful black outfit, like a cape behind her. Although I don’t like the naked stomack.

Eurovision 2008 Germany – No Angels – Disappear (Live)

Germany has a all woman’s group who sings false and tries very hard to be sexy. The readhead looks really crazy! It’s really terrible!

Armenia has male dancers, wich is always a good thing. They could’ve had less clothes though. The female singer reminds me of Gina G some years back. Trying to be very sexy, but wasted on a gay guy like me.

Bosnia Herzegovina: Very strange indeed. Lots of brides, a male singer rising from the laundry, looking totally mad in a 70s kind of way. In norwegian ears it sounds like they’re singing «rumpa di» (your ass).

Eurovision 2008 Israel Boaz Mauda -Ke’ilo Kan 1st semi-final

Israel: Very good looking male singer. Unfortunately he misses some notes, but his singing improves fast. Good looking male dancers as well, even if they have too much clothes and the coreography doesn’t impress me.

Teräsbetoni (Eurovision 2008 Finnish Representative)

Finland: I watched them in the semi final. It’s definately more my kind of music! In addition I’m known for my soft spot for guys with black clothes and long hair. They would certainly appeal to the SM-people, and although I’m not into that, I do like slim leather trousers…

Croatia: Breaking the invisible ageist line with their 75 y.o. singer. I don’t have much knowledge of traditional music, but it does sound like tango. The costumes are really not bending gender in any ways, the men are too old for me and I don’t like that kind of music very much.

Poland: Following the Eurovision norm with a long dress, violins and blonde, female singer. I’m still not sure wether she sings in her nativ english/american language or polish. Ok, it might be english.

Iceland: If he’s not gay, then I’m a table. Or it could just be that Eurovision could turn the straightest guy into a flaming queen. Typically nordic looks on both of them. Despite the dance-beat, they look very gender normative. And their sining is not the best.

Turkey: Is supposed to be about expressing one’s unikeness, but they don’t look accordingly. They remind me of the norwegian DDE in a strange way, especially the one on the left, but with better music. I’d really like to see more of the guy to the right. He seems cool.

The hosts are as usual very normative, but the female reporter behind the scene shows some balls. You go girl!

Portugal: Breaks the invisible weight-limit of the show, but is otherwise very traditional. And boring. Oh my God! One of the women in the choir seems to be naked under the draperies. I can see why covering the body can be more sexy than showing.

Latvia ESC 2008, Pirates of the sea, Wolves of the sea

Latvia: Pirates looking strangely 80s. A really bad song, but nice costumes. One of the reasons I like pirates is that male pirates for some strange reason tend to wear eye make-up. Another one of my soft spots.

Sweden: Looks somehow very swedish. Is it the shortest dress of this year’s show? Also reminds me of Gina G. Very shiny. I wish they’d included male dancers with just as minimal clothing, but no. Think it’s playing with the gayness of the whole thing, with the allegories to Gloria Gaynor’s «I will survive».

Eurovision 2008 Denmark – Simon Mathew – All night long

Denmark: Definately my kind of guy. Maybe I do have to take a trip to Denmark? Certainly if he’s representative of the danish men. Unfortunately, the song is quite boring. His enthusiasm doesn’t manage to cover it up. Great stage performance.

Georgia: The blind girl that Immanuel wrote about some days ago. Really cool costumes! I like her dark voice. I wish she’d sung a better song, more suiting for her special voice.

Ukraine: Another GinaG lookalike. It’s getting tiresome. Plus for informing about HIV and AIDS offstage, but it doesn’t help when she’s on stage. And the dancers look like the guys next door.

I like the silky look of the host’s suit.

France: WOW! Women with beards! I like! Otherwise it really sucks. Minimal movement on stage, not the best looking singer (understatement). I was about to turn off the sound when it was over. I didn’t notice the helium-voice. Could be seen as a way of bending gender.

Azerbaijan: Ah! I like men with wings and glitter in their hair, singing in falsetto. This must be the country separating most from my expectations. Of course I would like the men to have a lot less clothes. It was kind of tacky anyway.

Eurovision 2008 Greece – Kalomira – Secret Combination (HQ)

Greece: Oh no. Pink dress and men in suits. I’m sure she thinks it makes her look more innocent and in line with the text. But it doesn’t. It didn’t get better when most of the pink fabric was taken off. Sorry. She’s really desperate trying to be sexy. Trashy.

Spain: It looks like the «guitar» my daughter has. Oh no! What is it about Spain producing stupid songs, perfect to acompany totally drunk norwegians on vacation in the mediterranien? I guess we can blame ourselves… And extremly gender normative, although I see the recemblance with a drag king.

Serbia: Somehow the hosting country always makes sure they won’t win again, bacause that would be too expensive. This is no exception. There was some false notes in the beginning, and not just there. It reminds me of the last time Norway won with a sensitive female voice and a violin. No attempts to bend gender in any way.

Dima Bilan – Believing

Russia: I know someone who very likely loves this song. But it’s not my cup of tea. He could practice his english some more. Plus for opening his shirt!

Norway: Maybe we could have the Eurosong in Tromsø instead of the Olympics in 2018? 9 years left to try to win this one. Cause it won’t happen this time. Boring dress, a voice that’s not stong enough and sounds kind of nervous at the beginning. I get the feeling I’ve heard this song a thousand times before. I guess I have. Sigh. On top of all the songs that sounds very similar.

Is it my false impression or am I getting more and more critical as the show goes on? I’m bored I guess.

It’s time for voting, but I won’t. I’m never in line with the majority, and spending money on it will only make me more frustrated that the song that wins isn’t one that I like. After all, I wouldn’t know wich one to vote for anyway.

Conclusion: There is some genderbending going on in the Eurovision. The most terrible songs tend to be very gender normative. That does not mean that the best songs are the most genderbending, unfortunately. The bearded women from France won the genderbending trofee, but the song did not match.

And Russia won. Very romantic. And his performance after the result was ready was an improvement. It’s a shame I’m not very romantic.

Kommentarer
  1. Bill Chapman sier:

    I can’t help thinking that they should all be singing in Esperanto./ At least that would make things fairer!

  2. Jae sier:

    Israel’s performer was particularly stunning.

  3. […] Tarald skriver en läsvärd analys av samma spektakel. Mer om att ursnygga Dima Bilan vann i Aftonbladet, samt lite patriotisk skit. Läs även andra bloggares intressanta åsikter om Eurovision Song Contest, Marija Serifovic, kön, HBT, dragshow, queer, transsexualism, utseende, könsroller, identitet […]

  4. Ryan sier:

    I’m half danish.😉

    Mebbe you should make a trip to Oz.

  5. sabot sier:

    sabot says : I absolutely agree with this !

  6. Tarald sier:

    Bill: Unfortunately, Esperanto is not very common. I really should be. I was taught english, german and french at school, in addition to norwegian, but would prefer esperanto instead of german.

    Jae: Yes, he was one of the best.

    Ryan: Maybe.😉

  7. Loaf sier:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Loaf!!

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