It’s kitsch, it’s tacky, and it’s a whole lot of fun. It’s Eurovision of course. Uber-fans Daniel Kilby and Katie Purvis share what it is they love about glitzy and famous song competition
Nothing says camp as much as the Eurovision Song Contest, and this year it promises to be camper than ever, given Sweden, the spiritual home of Eurovision (at least since ABBA won it back in 1974 with ‘Waterloo’), is hosting again after Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ won last year.
For Daniel Kilby and Katie Purvis, it’s one of the year’s highlights. Well, for devoted Daniel mostly, who fell in love with its sequins and white-panted glory back in 2000, ironically when Sweden last hosted the contest. He also used it as inspiration for his Melbourne Fringe Festival show, Eurotrashed: Europe’s Living a Celebration, last year.
As for Katie, “The first thing I loved about it was Terry Wogan’s commentary, and now I love Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang’s. They try to be snarky but they can’t, and they get caught up in the enthusiasm when they’re there. And Julia’s such a spunk.”
“I love pop music,” she says. “I don’t like every song at Eurovision, but occasionally there’ll be a song like ‘Euphoria’ that overcomes the kitschness.” Daniel also loves the music, but in a different way. “For me, it’s the variety. It’s all pop music, but you can have pub rock and then you can have something completely different, and you can never predict who can win. And I love the voting! It’s hilarious.”
When is Eurovision at its best? “It depends on your definition of ‘best’," admits Daniel. "It can be amazing when it’s a simple song done simply, or it can be amazing when it’s a big production number, with a water feature. But even terrible songs can be good, like Turkey’s entry last year (Can Bonomo’s ‘Love Me Back’), which was horrible and appallingly done, but hilarious.”
And when is Eurovision at its worst? “When it tries too hard,” says Katie, “and tries to tick all the boxes.”
Daniel interjects with “It’s the novelty acts, like the Russian grannies a few years ago; they’re exploitative of both the artists and the audience.”
Along with other like-minded Euro lovers, both Katie and Daniel enjoy a Eurovision drinking game (drink for a keychange, an all-white outfit, a cheeky wink to the camera). In the olden days they'd just dress up. These days, they'll tweet a live commentary. Follow them here: @katiemelb and @euro_trashed.
The Eurovision Song Contest Final will be broadcast on SBS1 at 7.30pm, Sunday 19 May. Watch it on the big screen at the GH Hotel from 7pm for a very gay experience. And JOY 94.9 will also have live phone updates leading up to the final from their man in Malmo: Michael Pohl.
Five Gayest Eurovision Moments since 2000
This sexy Greek pop star (pictured) has sung twice in the Eurovision contest, once in 2004 with ‘Shake It’ and again in 2009 where he came out on stage in lunchy white trousers on an enormous white stapler singing ‘This Is Our Night’. Now that’s camp.
This cute Russian singer (known to pose naked for the camera) had a ballerina come out of a grand piano in 2006 for ‘Never Let You Go’ and then won in 2008 with ‘Believe'. He also wore white. There’s a theme here…
The Serbian lesbian who won in 2007 with ‘Molitva’ was a revelation, channelling kd lang with her short dyke haircut, suit and glasses. Oh and her loved-up all-female backing singers.
Iceland’s 2006 entry was a fictional character and satirised the whole competition with her song ‘Congratulations’. She also caused some controversy by releasing the song well before the competition.
Michael von der Heide
In 2010, this was the Swiss entry, a sexy and seductive boy resplendent in a golden jacket singing ‘Il pleut de l’or’, which translates as ‘It’s Raining Gold’ – and can be seen as a metaphor for golden showers. Unless we're mistaken...