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THE ZEROES OF OUR TIME – AUSTRIA AND THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2015

And you may find yourself in another part of the world…And you may ask yourself. Well…How did I get here? – Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime

What you need to know before you read this: my best friend is Australian and sadly for us, she lives where the kangaroos are actually animals and not cars. What you also need to know, she usually has very good taste. But no one’s perfect.

 Best friend with questionable music taste: Getting ready for Eurovision Grand Final?! I’ll call you in (our wee morning) [two dancers pictured + fireworks or something that looks like an exploding piece of pizza.] Hope you’re covering it.

No. In fact. I had been gracefully ignoring it. All week. Stubbornly. Even through the steady stream of music flowing from the Eurovision Village through my open work window every single day. For hours on end.

Me: [non-committal smiley].

Didn’t want to rain on her parade — after all I heard somewhere (there was no avoiding news of the big event all week) that the Aussies were Eurovision Contest virgins which could partially excuse their oh-so-pink, squeaking giddiness.

Best friend with questionable music taste: [More smileys] [Equally stubborn]. Are you excited?

Me: I’ll be excited when it’s over [speak-no-evil monkey emoticon] You guys are nuts.

Eurovision Village - Rathaus Vienna 2015

Eurovision Village – Rathaus Vienna 2015

And then…

Before I could exclaim, “My God! What have I done? How did I get here?” I found myself in a room with a bunch of Eurovision song contest enthusiasts at midnight on Friday night, weighing in on the ill-placed shoulder pads of one country’s jury announcer, the unfortunate on-coming traffic background image of another’s (don’t they have better sites to show off to the world in Georgia?) and the all-too frequent navel-line (as opposed to neckline) trend in many of the dresses. Oh yeah – and let’s not forget Miss Poland’s bird-nest-in-hair-accessory.

Fate has a cruel sense of humor. When it comes to fashion. When it comes to me.

Twenty-seven countries. Two-hundred and fifty artists and 200 million people watching! 

I think I must have been the 200 millionth person to join in.

Me: U watching. I was forced… [see-no-evil monkey emoticon]

Best friend with questionable music taste: Isn’t it fantastic! [smiley] We got up at 4:45 am!! We can even vote this year [more smiley, martini glass].

Me: It’s horrible

Best friend with questionable music taste: Haha. 30 secs left. Are we ready !!!! (sic) [lots of icons that look like exploding dancing pizza slices]

Two minutes in and I digress to white-knuckling it with the Austrians. “Come on! 12 points for Austria!”

Ten minutes in and we are all in consensus that Austria needs just a point or two. “Slovenia! They like Austria! They’re bound to give us points!”

Twenty minutes in and it’s all about Austria at least getting a point more than Germany.

Me: No pts 4 AT. You guys are Austria’s only hope! [Help us, Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope]

Best friend with questionable music taste: [two icons – no longer smiling – one looking more distraught than the next] What were we thinking? Poor Austria.

After an hour, entire room pleads with TV and we make a diplomatic concession. “Fine! No points. But none for Germany either. Ja?”

Vienna Subway Song Contest Map

Vienna Subway Song Contest Map

Best friend with questionable music taste: We have Conchita.

Me: Conchita Unstoppable! What is she doing?

Best friend with questionable music taste: Standing with that silver thing over her jumpsuit – why do people wear jumpsuits?

At 2 am, the buzz of Eurovision contest slowly waning, the roomful of Austrians and I evaluate the wreckage. After Conchita’s mind-boggling victory last year,  Austria’s anthem has diminuendoed into Estonia’s song entry: “Good-bye Yesterday.”

Zilch for Austria. Not one of the 27 countries voting gave Austria’s Makemakes a single point.

But Austria can proudly boast it now tops some other lists: Not only as the only country to achieve no points the most times in the 60 year history of the song contest, but also as the first host country ever to receive zero points from any of its guests. But Viennese are renown for their golden hearts and no doubt in an effort to save face for their guests, simply noted, “As good hosts, we didn’t want to take anyone else’s points away.”

Ahhh. Aren’t they as sweet as a Lebkuchen Herzerl?

And the Aussies? A not-too-shabby 5th place with 196 points! So deserved for ruffling themselves out of the hay to voluntarily (!) be inundated with glitter, glam and bubble gum music. Heaps of fun, eh Matey? And my friend deserved it – a point for every exclamation mark she texted me in the past week.

And the winning entry? Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlöw with the song “Heroes” with the lyrics “We are the heroes of our time.”

Austria slung herself back up onto the winning stage in my book, though. While Mans was no doubt nursing his hangover from a night of victory celebrations, Dodo, Markus and Flo were busy putting together their next video, which is destined to go viral: “We are the Zeroes of our time.”

How can you not love those guys?

All’s well that ends well.

Austria may have not gotten a single point but neither did Germany.

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