Eurovision is a song competition about which I knew nothing before I met my European wife. And that’s not hugely surprising, since almost nothing that vies for victory in Eurovision ever makes it over to this side of the pond…and perhaps rightly so, since a lot of it is kind of generic. On the count of being generic, I suppose I would probably say that Russia’s entry this year at least avoids that. But at the same time, the fact that this pack of warbling octogenarians took second place and hundreds more points than some entries that were actually decent, makes me think this may be one of the most successful Eurovision trollings by any country ever.

But you be the judge:

Generally speaking, it’s kind of of weird to me that so many ex-Soviet countries still feel compelled to vote for Russia–does anybody actually like the Russians? Yup…I went there. I maligned an entire nation of people.

In other news, I actually sort of enjoyed the submission from my wife’s native land, Moldova (a Romanian country in Eastern Europe). Hell–I’m going to be honest…I haven’t been able to get this damned song out of my head for the past day. One thing for which I’ll give Moldova credit is that they rarely send anything grossly ordinary.

Though I’m mentioning it primarily because I had no idea that the actor Edward Norton had moved to Moldova in order to portray the front man for a folk rock band.* It’s a curious career choice, but he’s surprisingly decent. Though I’m not quire sure he has the accent down, because my wife sounds nothing like that. Keep working at it, Ed!

Pasha Parfeny. Heh. Good one.

Italy’s entry was curious. Watch this video and tell me that this singer, Nina Zilli, isn’t (a) attempting to do an Amy Winehouse impression and (b) attempting to look like Gwen Stefani. What’s weirder, however, is that for the final competition, she just gave up the ghost entirely of originality and rocked a look that was pure Amy Winehouse with a big pompadour hairdo. Apart from that, I liked it.

And last thing I’ll say about Eurovision is that ultimately, Eurovision is a pretty strange beast of a competition and seems in part like a popularity contest (for example, a country like Iceland is geographically isolated, so they have no neighbors that feel obligated to vote for them) and in another part like every country met up before hand in order to rig the victor, because there’s always one country that totally runs away with it for little discernible reason. I had no problem with Sweden’s entry, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why it was the top vote receiver by almost every country that voted. Was it really that awesome?

I don’t know, maybe it was. It didn’t interest me terribly much (no offense intended to my readers from Sweden!), but it’s all right, I guess.

* I’m kidding about the Edward Norton thing. The singer’s name is Pasha Parfeny. He just happens to look a lot like Edward Norton to me. I realized how confusing this paragraph was (if you don’t know who Edward Norton is) only after my mother reported to me that she had to Google it up to see if I was telling the truth or not.