The Eurovision Song Contest
is our very favorite event of the year. This epic clash of musical titans, each representing a specific European country and facing off in a large-scale singing bee, is like Christmas, the Oscars, America's Got Talent and a Lady Gaga concert all rolled into one.
There's probably something theoretically beautiful in divergent musical styles coming together blah blah blah, but what makes Eurovision truly special is not the talent -- or "talent" -- but the pageantry: One year a guy rapped dressed as a superhero, complete with spandex tights; another year, a band dressed as metal monsters won.
Here are our favorite costumes of 2010:
Thea Garrett, Malta
Thea, tragically, did not make it to the final round. How can that be? She's singing about bright, warm dreams coming true while a dude cavorts around behind her like Robin Williams in an ice-phoenix costume. Perhaps he's the "seagull on the waves" that her song describes, but we think he might just be a drunk fan and she doesn't know he's there. All the more reason to have voted her into the finals. We are sorely disappointed, Eurovision. And we assume Robin Williams is, too.3+2, Belarus
Never let it be said that 3+2 are overly obtuse in their artistry. In order to perform the song "Butterflies," they have dressed up ... as butterflies. We do dock them points, however, for the fact that the men in the band didn't sack up and wear wings, too. This is Eurovision. You dudes need to bring it.
Sineke, The Netherlands
We are sad that Sineke -- here performing their song, "Ik Ben Verliefd," which they claim translates to "Sha-la-lie," which isn't English, either -- did not make the finals. But we assume we can easily find them in their usual place of business: marching in and out of a clock tower, striking their instruments as the bell tolls.
Kristina Pelakova, Slovakia
Yes, that's a posse of dancing, skirt-wearing tree-men, but evidently the Eurovision semifinal judges weren't impressed with how they illustrated "Horehronie," Kristina's ode to a particular geographic region of her home country. However, if production on "The Hobbit" hasn't gotten too far along, they would make excellent extras.
We deeply appreciate this Zorro-romances–Lady Gaga aesthetic, which somehow manages to look like a goth performance of "Les Miserables" -- something we'd pay to see, by the way. In researching the band, though, we learned that maNga is named for the Japanese word for "anime," and we therefore encourage them to go even more cartoonish next year -- since their performance of "We Could Be the Same" apparently didn't impress the judges enough to bump them to the next round. The clock starts now, guys: You've got 365 days to come up with something even more awesome for next year.