Do you remember it? I do. Monaco. 2006. Severine Ferrer… Eugh…
I’m the sort who wants to see the ‘little guys’ do well. But “La Coco-Dance”—a 3-minute repetition of ‘eey-ooh’ and pseudo-tropical exotic dancing—was both baffling and upsetting. The whole song and presentation was void of anything remotely Monegasque. And, adding insult to injury, the presentation ended with what sounded like a heavy expulsion of phlegm from Severine’s oesophagus. Charming.
Monaco’s folly—ending its Eurovision career with that—raises plenty of questions…and not only about the dodgy costumes. Is there any hope for microstates at Eurovision?
These small nations, no matter how (little) they try, have been the underdogs of the contest ever since the addition of the Eastern Bloc and the semi-finals. Poor Valentina and San Marino just missed the final of this year’s show. Now there’s optimism that her participation AGAIN next year might bring about a trip to the final for the Republic. But there is always a bit of sadness and despair from people like me.
Yet, I think there is hope. There can be hope – but only if these nations follow these helpful suggestions. I think we can learn a lesson from Monaco’s terrible copy of Bombularina’s Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini in 2006 and the progress and determination shown by San Marino’s delegation to push for a qualification.
Malta is obviously an exception to this. We expect them to come out every year either with something like a large busty (literally) Chiara number or a smooth dance song. They are no longer an underdog. One can learn from them too!
1) Realise that if you don’t have a music industry, at least do something with dignity. If anything ‘La Coco-Dance’ mocked a genre of music with the faint shimmer of hope that perhaps Europe would vote for something from the outside. Oooh, exotic! But really, this exposé was pathetically unprofessional – there was no context and the song had nothing that was particularly convincing. Andorra, for example, nearly qualified with something radio-friendly in 2007 (‘Salvem el mon’). But shaky vocals let it down, especially the “aaaaaah”-ing at the back. This brings me to my next point.
2) For goodness’ sake – if you can’t do anything else, sing well! Don’t make me comment on the poor vocals of Severine and her backing singers. Microstates with fan support such as Valentina’s “Crisalide” were not only potentially disadvantaged by the alleged vote-buying of their rivals, but also by the flat live vocals. The same was seen with Andorra in 2009 (‘La teva decisio’) and to a lesser extent Andorra again in 2004 (‘Jugarem a estimar-nos’). Some voters, like me, are picky. If it is openly flat, then I am hesitant to vote for it. We have to realise that if a country is generally unknown, like the microstates, the diamond has to be polished. We’ve yet to really see this.
3) Finally, give off the impression that you want it. I think this is most likely solved through a large budget. Now, I know that there is a recession, but pyrotechnics do help (just as long as you don’t do an “Identitet” and nearly give third degree burns to half of the standing fans). If you need a boost, then do it. Camera angles are also great. I don’t want to say it, but perhaps the involvement of Ralph Siegel in the San Marinese delegation is a problem (the contest has changed). But if Valentina qualifies next year, you can discard this comment.
But think about it – Monaco and Tahitian dancing? Where’s the link?!
San Marino and delicate butterflies and Italian bravado? I think there is more of a link here than anywhere else!
There’s no doubt a challenge. But I think that by really giving it one’s best, there is no reason why one shouldn’t be able to qualify.
Coco-Dances do not work. They are embarrassing. They are unrelated. They are crass. I want Monaco to come back – it’s terrible that they left us with that mess…. and, well, they can afford it.
Naturally, though, even if this doesn’t work, I’m sure we’ll be backing the little guys. Especially San Marino – you all love Valentina. Don’t deny it.
James Puchowski contributed this report from the U.K. Follow him on Twitter at @Puchowskijk and visit his web site at ESCZorgen. You can follow the team from WiwiBloggs.com on Twitter @wiwibloggs and keep up with the latest news and gossip by liking our Facebook page.