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Belgium’s 2015 Eurovision Entry

May 12, 2015

belgium

This won’t win it.  I mean, insofar as I cannot rid myself of the predictive instinct, I will exercise my right to say that this won’t win it.

(Mind you, you’re talking to a man who thought that Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine were destined to become the biggest band of the 1990s.)

This is neither the quintessential Eurovision Big Ballad nor the quintessential subversion of the Eurovision Big Ballad.  To win Eurovision you need to be very conventionally serious or spectacularly silly (Finnish Troll Monsters).  But you mustn’t look the wrong version of silly – you mustn’t look as though you’re pissing on the contest itself (Dustin the Turkey).

This song is merely quirky.  Play it.  Walk away.  Set an egg timer for three minutes.  Now try and hum any part of it.  Can’t be done – can it?  It’s a disjointed collage of anti-eurovision devices – giving it all the predictability of a transparently contrarian strategy. Belgium is clearly hoping that jurors will think it’s “cool” and “trendy” to vote for something that is so obviously (too obviously) unEurovision.  Such hopes are, I think, severely misplaced.

If this song is about anything (always a questionable assumption when judging Eurovision), then it’s about being true to one’s individual rhythm, defying norms of gender and beauty and being true to one’s own authentic existential rhythm.

It’s a work of gloomy electropop that reminded me that Ultravox once were.  A geeky looking character begins to sing at us while various characters are juxtaposed against type in the background.  Everything is in black and white – just so that the eventual introduction of red will have a stronger impact.  We also have a deal of clockwork as well, heart-shaped clockwork.

Paging Dr Haraway – we’re in a land of cyborgs.  Meanwhile at some point the singer starts to get very wet.  He’s standing underneath a gutter or something but the stage manager has told him to remain on his spot.  So he does so.  Doggedly.

One final point – if these people are planning to replicate any part of the red paint orgy that concludes this video, then it’s going to be a bit unfair on whoever has to come on stage after them.  I’ll look up the running order.  Let’s see – hmmm – The Netherlands.  Is this a bit of (un)neighbourly gamesmanship?  Are they planning to make a mess of the stage in the hope that their Dutch cousins slip up?  Hmmmm.

But by all means watch it.  Make up your own mind why don’t you…

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