Eurovision is all about the splendor of the spectacle. Beautiful people singing amusingly bad songs on big stages, surrounded by huge fireworks and massive wind machines, incredibly attractive back-up dancers going through semi-erotic dance routines while wearing next to nothing. Oh, and everything is drowned in sequins and confetti. I’m never as proud of being a European as I am during the Eurovision season.
I’ve been a massive Eurovision fan for as long as I can remember. It was always a huge event, mid-May and the Eurovision Song Contest. Me being from Finland, I guess I should have national pride and always root for Finland. However, my favorites have mostly been from foreign countries, be they Turkey, Belgium or Switzerland. My favorites never really fare too well in the contest, but that doesn’t even matter. Everyone wins in Eurovision.
After decades of watching the show at home, I finally got a chance to see all of the spectacular showmanship live at 2014’s contest, hosted by Denmark in one of my favorite cities, Copenhagen.
My inexplicable love of
bad music Eurovision had me shaking for a week before the show. I’ve never been as excited about anything in my life and I never will be. Losing your virginity, getting married, having kids… All that is nothing compared to you first Eurovision.
2014’s Eurovision Song Contest was held on an island called Refsaleøen, just off the city center. As is customary in the Nordics, the weather was gray and bleak. It actually started raining during my boat ride to the island, but not even buckets of cold water poured on me from the skies could bring down my high spirits.
The industrial chic island was already filled with Eurovision people when I got there. Eurovision nation proved to be very fun and kind and it was incredibly easy to get to know people – they would just come up to you and strike up a conversation. Very uncommon in the Nordics.
The rain had made the festival area a massive pit of mud and drunken Scandinavians, but inside a magical world of fake body parts and shiny costumes was waiting. It was all so beautiful, made even more beautiful by the fact that the Danish are so relaxed and fun, even letting people take entire bottles of wine into the audience. I downed several bottles during the show and towards the end I thought every song was the best song I had ever head…
Russia had just invaded Ukraine, and I think Ukraine’s so-so song got a lot of sympathy votes from the clamoring and liquored-up audience. Not surprisingly, Russia’s cringeworthy song about white doves and world peace was thoroughly booed, also by me.
Austria’s Conchita Wurst won in the end, with a ballad reminiscent of ’60s Bond songs. The night had gone by too fast, but the Scandinavian team spirit went on till early morning in the city’s bars and parties.
As I woke up the next morning I felt like I still have sequins lodged in places that no sequin should go. I was also still sort of moist from getting caught in a rainstorm at the end of the night. None of that mattered, because I had just had the best night ever.