Eurovision Freak Show Winner: Moldova or Ireland

If you don't know what Eurovision is, I'm sorry. It's a delightful song competition between participating members of the European Broadcasting Union (which does include nations in Asia and Africa) where a panel of judges and home viewers vote for who wrote and performed the best original song. There's good music and bad music, wacky hi-jinks and dull visuals. While the winner certain deserves recognition,

the public discourse almost always surrounds the freak show entries. These are countries who put style over substance, create a bizarre stage spectacle, and somehow make the finals regardless of the quality of the song.

The two nations singled out the most for this dubious honor this year are Ireland and Moldova. Ireland peaked during the broadcast, trending in three ways on Twitter--Ireland, Lipstick (the name of the song), and Jedward (the twin singers performing the song). Moldova didn't pick up momentum until some bloggers began spreading the video of their elfin performance all over the world wide webiverse. Who wins in the freak show battle royale?

Ireland: "Lipstick" performed by Jedward

Pros:

  • That hair. It's spectacular and trashy. Well done
  • The Mad Max-esque quasi-military pleather jackets.
  • The military choreography. That marching sequence at the end is scary and ridiculous at the same time.
  • The ADD effect. These two can't control themselves. The choreographer had to add in moments where they could freestyle jumps and spins.
  • The face pulling. The one on the right is particularly sassy.
  • The background. That's...scary.

Cons:

  • They became the oddsmakers' favorite right before the broadcast.
  • The song is blandly pretty dance pop that could see international airplay.
  • The back-up dancers are wearing black suits and sheath dresses. Boring.
  • They aren't drag queens performing this song. That's always worth copious bonus points.
  • Ireland did not shove Celtic instruments in to make the audience weep. It's probably why they lost in the end.

Moldova: "So Lucky" performed by Zdob si Zdob

Pros:

  • This song is incomprehensible. That's big points right there.
  • Their pants look like upside-down sweaters.
  • Their hats are inspired by gnomes.
  • The singer can't sing.
  • There's a fairy on a unicycle.
  • They randomly have a gigantic trumpet breakdown in the middle of the song.
  • Moldova submitted a grunge-ska song as its entry in 2011. Copious bonus points.

Cons:

  • It feels like something is lacking. The band just stands there and the novelty wears off fast.
  • Why only one unicyclist?
  • Song is boring.
  • Background graphics are blandly pretty.
  • Lighting used to poor effect.
  • Very low energy for all the wacky costumes and atypical song style.

So who comes out on top? I think Ireland takes it, but I've heard strong arguments for Moldova. I think the real answer is we all win for being able, in 2011, to see all the Eurovision entries before the finale even happens and discuss them to our hearts content.

Or, if you want the truth: Ireland. No contest. Now spread "Lipstick" around like a virus. You'll promote "Friday" but not "Lipstick?" What's wrong with you? Use your mad YouTube skills for good and share share share.