Say what you want about political voting, but I personally believe that if you manage to secure Evgeni Plushenko as a back-up dancer, you should win Eurovision.
For those of you playing along at home, Eurovision is an annual song contest/festival of the absurd that is sort of the grandfather to things like "American Idol." Representatives from 43 European (a) countries perform original songs ranging from predictable pop to the delightfully absurd. Indeed, it is the really strange element that people have come to love about Eurovision.
In recent years, some Western European countries have resorted to sending representatives that are either deliberately shit or deeply ironic in response to their feeling that it is impossible for them to win because of various countries' tendency to vote politically. Britain particularly hates this situation because it often results in no one voting for them, save Ireland -- who I think vote pro-Britain more out of Euro-cynicism than anything else.
In Britain, Eurovision is linked with the snarky commentary of Sir Terry Wogan, who has now suggested he may give up on the thing out of exasperation with voting trends. But I think he really missed a key element in last night's Russian win, namely Evegeni.
For our friends in the Home Nations, Evgeni Plushenko is a big-name figure skating champion. We even know who he is in the United States. We know about his long rivalry with Alexei Yagudin and that he always has some odd toy animal with him in the kiss-and-cry area.
Sir Terry, though, clearly had no idea who he was, referring to him as "the ice-skating Michael Flatley." Related to this, Sir Terry was also clueless as to the fame of Serbian (b) national Vlade Divac. My guess is he was clueless on these because Britain is shit in both figure skating and basketball.
But my point is, if you put forward a spastic bisexual Russian chap and back him up with Evgeni Plushenko, you are cranking the camp dial to 11 and you blatantly deserve to take the prize. Good on you, Russia. See, you can make friends without poisoning people.
(a) Israel is in Europe, apparently.
(b) This year's Eurovision was held in Belgrade, Serbia -- "the city where being alone is unacceptable," according to one of the local presenters.