When word whooshed around my native land that we’d been invited to the ultimate pop party, Aussies were agog. For years we’ve sniggered from the sidelines as bearded divas named after a sausage and Finnish Goth metal bands who could be ahead of their time… or maybe just late… warbled and gyrated their way onto our screens from the other side of the globe. We’ve guffawed at the Romanian “rap” artist, so called because it goes with his sheet.
We’ve sniggered at the Russian rock singer who looked as though she’d just crawled out from under a rolling stone… most probably Keith. We’ve sneered at the outfits. Contestants obviously suffer from severe clothestrophobia. The Eurovision Song Contest is clearly the place a girl goes when she has nothing to wear. Literally. We’ve cackled at the terrible songs – you keep thinking it’ll turn into a tune… but it doesn’t.
But now that we Aussies have been invited to the party to celebrate Eurovision’s 60th birthday, it suddenly doesn’t look so silly. Now, most Brits presume that an Australian’s record collection is criminal, not classical, but we actually attend more cultural events per head of population than any other country. Consequently we’re sending a very credible artist. Guy Sebastian (far right) was the first winner of the talent show Australian Idol and is a judge on our version of The X Factor.
He’s an award-winning, top-selling performer. But if he wants to triumph at Eurovision and Australia on the European map, he’s going to have to embrace the camp exuberance of the competition and lower his tone. Millions of us Aussies will be tuning in to Guy’s tune, Tonight Again. Like the Brits, we’ve always held parties where each guest is given a nation to represent in costume, with instructions to bring a traditional dish and alcohol. We take bets on who our designated country will vote for and who will vote for them.
If you want to dress in Aussie-style (“Aussies? Style?” I hear you scoff) it has to be tongue-in-chic because we are world-class masters at self deprecation. Therefore, boys should don a pair of budgie-smugglers, girls a bikini. Both should whack on some thongs (footwear, not underwear!), smear sunblock across your schnozz and tilt an Akubra at a rakish Errol Flynn angle. The traditional “tucker” comprises a seafood platter and a herd of cows for the barbie (short for barbecue – it’s too hot to say whole words). For dessert it’s gotta be a lamington (lammie) and pavlova (pav).
For drinks, cabernet sauvignon blanc (cab sav) and chardonnay (pronounced Kardonnay). So, will Guy boomerang back Down Under with the Eurovision trophy? Well, as the winning nation gets to host the next event, I rate our chances very highly. To all Europeans, I say this – just think of all that frivolous fun in the Aussie sun, then cast your votes.