26 May 2015

Building Bridges... Eurovision Song Contest: Vienna 2015

If only for one night each year we see Europe come together, Vienna brought the power for the 60th Eurovision Song Contest! Drag sensation Conchita Wurst returned after her year of triumph to present from the green room, finding time to sing a song or two. Vienna, Austria set the stage alight with the mantra of 'Building Bridges' that would last the test of time!

Finding one rhythm divine, Conchita Wurst rose from beneath the stage to greet us graciously opening the contest. Building a bridge until it reaches across the border the main three judges joined the previous Eurovision winner in song, also proclaiming the beginning of the show. Ascending into the audience of Vienna's Wiener Stadthalle Conchita joined her fellow judges in song to a rapturous crowd of Eurovision goers! Welcoming the twenty seven nations to the stage the arena blew up with pure Eurovision mania, beckoning a movement of a different contest compared to previous years. Let's just say the term 'gimmick' was fashioned into a refined way in Vienna that May evening in 2015. Who would be the favourite? Had dear Conchita's mission of promoting solidarity, to battle the discrimination that faces the Gay community on a worldwide level, fighting the issue of Gay rights in Russia? Yes, Queen!

Ironically, the Wien Stadthalle was alive with the sound of music! The Von Trapp family were replaced with the sounds of the ORF Radio Symphonie-orchester Wien, could Maria ever of built a bridge as expansive as Vienna was promising to carry peace, love and understanding? Returning from the shadows were Serbia and Cyprus in the final as the Czech Republic didn't make it through the final stages. I have been an avid Eurovision fan since Sertab Erener snatched the trophy for Turkey in Riga, Latvia during 2003 so after Conchita's game changing victory in 2014 I was ready for more craziness and truly Eurovision moments for 2015! I was looking forward to see Russia, their a nation that are causing much heartache for the Gay community but thanks to Conchita Wurst's activism work I wanted to see change! Australia you say?! Yes, for the 60th edition of Eurovision a wildcard nation was chosen to participate, also the show was first broadcast in China! Now, let's get on with the show Wien!

Slovenia, who? Those headphones just weren't doing it for me, honey! I wouldn't forget France's deep and meaningful performance by Lisa Angell, non Je N'oubliez Pas! If someone breaks your heart then the best advice came from Israel, their 'Golden Boy' took his pain down to the dancefloor! Nadav Guedj turned up the early lull with a mash of modern R&B with a twist of Arabesque Realness! I was feeling Israel's Middle Eastern groove a little bit to much, I was intrigued by the promised charms of Tel Aviv! Yes! Each country had a very Austrian video introduction that made me fall in love with Vienna! Estonia's duo looked less than impressed with the contest, their faces really didn't show it! Skipping to Armenia for a quick second I didn't like the song but their 'Game of Thrones' get up impressed me much. I was in love with Lithuania for their 'lovely' song served one Gay, Lesbian and Hetero kiss!

Featuring ninth in the contest a formidable looking lady took to the stage, Bojana Stamenov commanded her audience with her captivating lyrics to show that 'Beauty Never Lies!' Showcasing her curves she sang 'Finally I can say, Yes I'm different and it's OK!' Embodying freedom and fearlessness Bojana had my heart and secured my ultimate favourite entry of the night! It's no secret that the Eurovision Song Contest is popular with Gay men so our Serbian sister Bojana served to the Gay gods above! Napping through Norway, Cyprus and Romania I was awoken by Guy Sebastian from Australia who represented his far off nation with a certain swagger! Belgium brought the beat with 'Rhythm Inside' by Loïc Nottet, that Belgian beauty should have made New Zealand singer Lorde quack in her boots because he was serving something fabulous! Could the country known for its meatballs and flat-pack furniture strike a second victory in three years? I'm going to get to Russia soon enough!

Aminata injected some love into the second throw of entries during the final representing Latvia, supposedly she was serving Sia but her powerful performance did her nation justice! Poland's entry proved that the Eurovision Song Contest is accessible for disabled artists compared to anyone else. Greece's Elena Kyriakou channeled some Greek Mariah Overness with 'One Last Breath' hopefully she wasn't referring to the economy of a specific Grecian nation? Russia's Polina Gagarina was greeted with a torrent of boo's as she tried to promote a feeling love and unity for the people of our continent, I have nothing against her personally but who was Russia kidding to make us think they have changed their stance on Gay rights?! No white flag was excepted even thought their white dress code pleaded for unity and peace for all people, proclaiming world peace? Go sit down with your homophobia Ru!

Spain broke the dawn with a sultry and sexy assault on our senses, Edurne had my 'corazon' from the very beginning! Commanding the stage with her blood red matador like cloak she revealed a slinky number that didn't leave much to the imagination! Amanecer se rompió! Hungary took a political edge on their song but I was still reeling from Russia's attempt at solidarity, Boggie was no Miss World! Georgia's Nina Sublatti fought with her 'Warrior' Overness that she served that night! The half time performance took shape in the form of a percussion based spectacle that I appreciated but loved Conchita's performance too much to care! A winner had to be announced in time, Måns Zelmerlöw proved that we are the 'Heroes' of our time but we dance with the demons in our minds! That dance tune resonated a 'Swedish House Mafia' like beat as he scored 365 points to bring Eurovision pride back to Sweden after Loreen's euphoric victory in 2012! Oh, another Smörgåsbord?

Golden Boy! Now, Show Me Tel Aviv!

Joseph Harrison

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