The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

If aliens came to earth who couldn’t speak our language and we wanted to explain ‘gay’ to them, one phenomenon could sum it up in a nutshell: The Eurovision Song Contest. I’ve been watching this on British TV since I was a kid. In fact, you could say that Eurovision turned me gay at the age of eight and set up a lifetime’s fetish for older women in blue eyeshadow and glitzy outfits, when Abba took out the top spot in 1974 for ‘Waterloo’. Eurovision is so big in the UK that parties are held, and since public tele-voting was introduced in 1998, you get to really feel a part of the whole fantabulous event. I’m pleased to report that me, my girlfriend Tracie, and a bunch of queens at our friend Bernie’s place in Brighton personally ensured Dana International’s victory nine years ago, by using the landline and our mobiles over and over to cast our votes for the Israeli trans woman.

So it was that I sat happily glued to the TV on Saturday night for the Eurovision semi-finals, and then again for three hours on Sunday night for the final. As well as indulging my inner dancing queen, the Eurovision spectacular also offered a chance for some anthropological study. The following are some observations:

Firstly, people who live in cold countries are depressed and weird. Finland’s entry, sung by a goth chick, included the lyrics, ‘Leave me alone, I feel like dying’; and they have ‘computer assembly festivals’. I kid you not. Second, feminism is alive and well at Eurovision – in addition to youthful pop bimbettes, women in their thirties and forties are encouraged to don mini-skirts and follow their dreams. Third, wind machine manufacturers make a packet out of Eurovision. Fourth, relying on just a singer or song will not win you the competition nowadays – backing dancers are essential. Nowhere was this more evident than this year’s winner, Maria Serifovic from Serbia, a rather tortured butch lass in a suit who sang about prayer and lost love in ‘Molitva’.

Maria was diplomatically described by commentator Terry Wogan as a “homely-looking girl”, while one gay blogger wrote, “She might be a lesbian.” Um … hullo? The phrase, ‘if it walks like duck, talks like a duck…’ springs to mind. If Maria’s not a dyke, she’s got to be the only one who doesn’t know it, bless her. Serbia’s director of performance sensibly decided to offset Maria’s ‘homely’ look with a bunch of high-femme gals with 1970s hair flicks that rivalled Charlie’s Angels, who danced around and touched Maria as if they were starring in a softcore lesbian porn film. The result was gorgeous. Equally stunning was the runner-up from Ukraine – a drag queen in a screaming silver outfit à la tin man from The Wizard of Oz, singing a high-energy euro-pop rave number. If that doesn’t ram home the concept of gay with the aliens, nothing will.

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