Eurovision 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Eurovision – there are definitely no turkeys here

Happy Thanksgiving Eurovision. Photo : Contactnumbers.com

Happy Thanksgiving Eurovision. Photo : Contactnumbers.com

Happy Thanksgiving Eurovision. Over the years, “Europe’s favourite TV” show hasn’t just been the preserve of people from Europe.  You may be aware that people from all over have tried to get in on the act.  Some were born abroad to European parents, whilst others just came over here to join the party, and their only connection with the continent might have been eating pasta in a faux Italian restaurant.

Mention the USA to a European and what do you think of?  Fast food?  Bad dress sense?  Teeth?  Well at this time of Thanksgiving across the pond, maybe we should give thanks for what our American interloper friends have done down the years.

First, we have a trio who took part four (yes, four) times for a particular country.  Two were natives of it and one was a good old Yankee.  They even demonstrated their versatility by singing in a different language each time.  Yes, Sue Schell was born in New York in 1950, but soon saw sense and moved to the better side of the Atlantic (admittedly she is half-Swiss).  She and her cohorts never managed to win, but did achieve two fourth places.  This is arguably the best song from Peter, Sue and Marc.

 

 

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Next, we have a very understated ballad from those heady 1970s.  Big collars and masses of hair lacquer (what ozone layer?) and Farrah Fawcett flicks were very in, and Eurovision was heading to places never thought possible a few years earlier.  Cleveland-born Jeane Manson, who’s apparently half-French, represented Luxembourg in 1979.  Not only that, our racy little songstress was the Playboy Centrefold for August 1974 – photographed by Dwight Hooker (snigger, snigger).  Before her three minutes of fame in Jerusalem she’d even been the subject of an American comic.  I expect she kept her clothes on for this one.

But she can sing, and to prove it here’s her song from Jerusalem, J’ai déjà vu ça dans tes yeux.

 

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Also for the Grand Duchy, an interesting experiment took place in 1985.  If you’ve got six singers that all demand equal billing, then why not list all of them.  That’s what happened in Göteborg.  Amongst these was another American who was already a big name.  Brunette-permed Diane Solomon (on the right hand end of this ‘collective’) moved to the UK from her stamping ground in Oregon.  She was discovered singing and playing her guitar at a party in London and even got her own TV show.  Not a series, but just a Christmas Eve one-off special in 1974.  Her 1975 album made the top 30 in the UK.

Here’s Diane Solomon fighting to be heard over her Luxembourgeois brethren on the stage of the Scandinavium.

 

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Moving west, even the UK hasn’t been averse to hiring Uncle Sam to help them along.  In 1997, in Dublin’s fair city, some obscure band who’d had a hit 14 years earlier won the ticket in the days when the BBC held a final.  Headed by Katrina Leskanich who’d moved from Topeka 21 years earlier, the Waves stormed to the biggest victory the Contest had seen at the time.  She’s cropped up on other Eurovision events since, most notably co-hosting the Congratulations 50th anniversary special with Renars Kaupers in 2005.

Here’s the contest winning performance from 1997 of what has become a classic Eurovision song, often being the last song at those crazy Eurovision fan club discos many of us have been to.

 

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Finally, we must finish on the most impressive teeth to appear on any stage – ever.  The setting was during a confluence of sound.  Tamara Diane ‘Isis’ Wimer was born in Seattle in 1972 and was once a warm-up act for the legendary Tony Bennett.  In 2004 she married Adam Gołębiowski, thankfully shortened her stage name to Isis Gee, and moved to Poland.  Remember them?  She took part in a national final (remember them?) and won the ticket all the way to glamorous Belgrade (where being alone is simply not an option apparently).

Sadly, this brilliant ballad finished at the bottom of the scoreboard (tied with the UK and Germany).  Maybe it was the teeth.

 

 

 

So if you’re mocking people in the 50 states for eating turkey and pumpkin pie, just remember that, even though they might have different taste, those Americans will keep coming back to Eurovision, and may just win again sometime soon.

Author/Editor : John Stanton

Source : Eurovision Ireland

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