A friend of mine asked me recently where my interest in the Eurovision Song Contest came from. When I was a kid, I was an ABBA fan, and I knew that they had won Eurovision. Never mind that I had no idea what that meant. I began to figure out what it was when I got older, through sketches by Monty Python and The Young Ones. (Those clips also really capture the attitude the U.K. traditionally has had towards the ESC. And continue to have, really.)
Eurovision fell off my radar for a long time, but it captured my interest again in 1998 when Dana International won. The American press, which usually cares as much about Eurovision as it does about the Eredivisie, reported that an Israeli transsexual had won it. I don’t remember another time the U.S. reported on the Eurovision result, other than in 2006 when Lordi won.
So, Dana International was the spark that lit the fuse to the bomb that ignited my interest in Eurovision. (The Olsen Brothers would be the fuse, and Estonia is of course the bomb.) (See what I did there?)
Thus, I have to admit I was kind of excited that Dana had reentered the contest, even though I was expecting to be disappointed. And indeed, “Ding Dong” is no “Diva”:
But while I was expecting to be disappointed by the song, I was not expecting to be disappointed in the performance. Dana performs the song with such low energy that I can’t help but think that she knew that she was a lock to win and was saving herself for the big show.
There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s going to get through to the Final. She’s Eurovision royalty, and “Ding Dong” will be performed in the second Semi-Final, which is shaping up to be the weaker of the two. Either she legitimately gets enough points or she’s a jury wild card. I suppose there’s a chance that 10 other songs will break the automatic qualification points threshold ahead of “Ding Dong”, but I can’t see that happening.
UPDATED: Shimrit tweeted us the following:
Had a great time reading you at NorCal! Just one thing, check out your Israeli entry. There’s no jury wild card, combined vote!
(Yes, she’s read the rules!) Alrighty then. So she just has to land in the top 10, and I’m confident that can happen.
Still, stranger things have happened. Dana International already proved that. And by the way, when Dana International won the Kdam 2011 this week, Time reported it.