The European Rightly
August 11th, 2020

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Eastern Europe drops ‘Spandex Curtain’

May 15th, 2013

Eastern European countries have shied away from their usual extravagance and boldness. Their innovative combination of depressing eurodance and unusual English led to Eurovision’s revitalisation in the 2000s.

Moldova, once an ESC superpower, but now fallen on hard times.

Most of the entries for Malmö from post-Communist Europe are serious, somewhat soulless songs. ‘It’s a change of pace for sure,’ remarks Andrew Miller, our Eurovision expert. ‘You could say that the ‘Spandex Curtain’ has come down, and that’s a pity.’

Indeed, for a few years, it seemed the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated into a Eurovision arms race, with each country trying to upstage the other.

‘If Russia had someone emerging from a piano, Ukraine would bring a transvestite dressed in aluminium. If Russia brought us two faux-lesbian schoolgirls, Ukraine struck back with a troupe of gay centurions,’ reminisces Miller. ‘Russia had their last hurrah with a bunch of demented grandmothers shuffling around an oven, but neither country’s 2013 selection feels particularly inspired.’

Other former greats seem to have fallen on hard times, too. Moldova, once an ESC superpower, and Belarus, two-time winners of the creepy Junior Eurovision Song Contest, have both tuned it down considerably. ‘The countries from the Caucasus are in the same boat. I mean, Azerbaijan has a song that features the lyrics ‘Hold me, just unfold me’,’ groans Miller.

The Balkan countries still offer a glimmer of hope. ‘Take Serbia, for instance. If they have proven anything, it’s that even Harry Potter can win the Contest. For 2013, its former buddy Montenegro has created a genuinely awesome song. Others have tried some dubstep too because they think it’s the hip thing to do, but no one does it with as much abandon as the Montenegrins.’

Greece may be in tatters, but it still finds reasons to be optimistic. Its entry is ‘Alcohol is free!‘. Europe may break their economy, but it will never take away their precious ouzo. ‘Cyprus, Greece’s hunchbacked Igor, would have scored well with their act around 1970, but nobody really cares, because they just turn up for the Hellenic douze points anyway.’

Andrew Miller:
‘Europe may break Greece’s economy, but it will never take their precious ouzo’

Miller cycles through the rest of the entries from the region. ‘Nope, for the largest part we’ll have to wait until the Spandex Curtain lifts again, or until Albania decides to let the 1980s go.’

The semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest take place on May 14 and May 16, 2013. The grand final is scheduled for May 18. All events are held in Malmö, Sweden. This concludes The Rightly‘s ESC Special.