We’re about a week into ESC Insight’s coverage of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, and we hope you’ve been enjoying our podcasts, interviews, and editorials on the goings-on so far. But we realize that a community can often develop its own individual lexicon, and we’d hate to leave our listeners and readers out of the loop!
So, courtesy of the ESC Insight Team, here’s a quick run-down of some of our favorite terms. Use them to pepper your conversations on Eurovision punditry! Impress your friends! Confuse your family!
Alt-Fodder /ˈɔlt ˈfɑdər/
(noun) The song that you surreptitiously play for your friend who hates Eurovision, just for the satisfaction of watching them awkwardly backpedal when you reveal the tune’s origin. Examples: “Siren”, “Calm After the Storm”, “Kedvesem”
(proper noun) An idealized semi-fictional Caucasian state, rife with red tape, insane drivers, and some of the best lamb kebabs this side of the Caspian. Introduced to us by EBU Spokeswoman Lynda Woodruff, Azerjibin is also referred to as Tubakoo or simply the “Glorious Republic”.
(noun) A shock non-qualifier that leaves swarms of dedicated fans rending their garments in grief. Example: “This is My Life” (obviously).
Bond Theme /ˈbɑnd ˈθiːm/
(noun) A big, brassy, dramatic song that can be easily imagined over the opening credits to a certain genre of British spy movies. High production values abound. Examples: “Rise Like a Phoenix”, “Maybe (Forse)”, “Work Your Magic”.
Cotton Candy /ˈkɑtən ˈkændiː/
(adjective) The qualities of a song, generally dance-pop, that is light, fluffy, easily-consumable and enjoyable, but lacks depth or substance, just in the way that candy floss dissolves on your tongue as you eat it. Examples: “Aphrodisiac”, “Rockefeller Street”. See “sorbet song”.
(noun) Slightly pejorative. A divisive Eurovision song, beloved by one large, vocal segment of the fan population, but pooh-poohed by another, just as large, just as vocal segment. Generally a traditional pop song, fanwanks may often underperform on the scoreboard. Examples: “Crisalide“, “Tha ‘Ne Erotas“.
(noun) An idiot, or a person who tends to run their mouth off without saying anything of actual substance. Popularized in Eurovision circles by Linda Martin during the Irish National Final, but in use for centuries.
Hot Mess /ˈhɑt ˈmes/
(noun) The explosion of activity when a delegation decides to put too many bells and whistles into their three minutes on stage, resulting in distraction and a diminished score on the leaderboard. Examples: “Social Network Song”, “Be My Guest”, “Carry Me in Your Dreams”. See “pull a Moldova”.
Lena Philippson Syndrome /ˈliːnə ˈfɪlˌlɪpsˌsən ˈsɪnˌdroʊm/
(noun) The phenomenon that occurs when an artist makes it to Eurovision after many attempts at their National Final with their weakest entry. Examples: Sanna Nielsen (7th attempt), Lena Philipsson (4th attempt), Donny Montell (6th attempt).
OGAE /ˈoʊ ˈdʒiː ə ˈiː/, also /ˈoʊ ˈgeɪ/
(noun) Acronym, from the French “Organisation Générale des Amateurs de l’Eurovision (General Organization of Eurovision Fans)”. This collection of approximately 40 fan-focused groups are made up of thousands of card-carrying superfans, many of whom can be seen in the front rows of a Eurovision audience, waving inflatable hammers, bedecked in suits the in the colors of their national flags, or bringing in woefully huge signs to cheer on their favorites.
Political Voting /pəˈlɪtɪkəl ˈvoʊtɪŋ/
(noun) The misunderstood phenomenon of voting blocs. Rather than sending or eschewing votes for political reasons (“Country X will shut off Country Y’s gas if they don’t vote for them!” “Nobody likes us because of Iraq!”), traditional voting blocs are generally more focused on more deep-seated connections, such as language, ethnic makeup, or shared cultural heritage.
Pull a Moldova /ˈpʊl ə mɑlˈdoʊvə/
(verb) The explosion of activity when a delegation somehow successfully decides to put too many bells and whistles into their three minutes on stage, resulting in an increased score on the leaderboard. Examples: “Lautar”, “Love Me Back”, “It’s My Life”. See “hot mess”.
(noun) Generally cheaper than Champagne, this Italian sparkling white wine is the perfect Eurovision libation. Just ask Dr. Eurovision.
Random Draw /ˈrændəm ˈdrɔ/
(noun) The system of determining the running order by sheer chance, rather than a producer-led draw. According to the EBU, this supposedly has no effect on the eventual results of the competition (although we here at Insight suggest otherwise…).
(noun) A generally decent, yet underrated song that defies odds, miraculously qualifies from its Semi, only to be woefully forgotten on the night of the Final. Examples: “In Love for a While”, “Only Love Survives”, “Lose Control”
(noun) A song, usually a ballad, that was completely ignored, if not panned, in the run-up to the competition, only for fans to realize later that it was actually pretty damn good. Often accompanies unexpected chills and goosebumps in the fan press that nobody likes to admit to in public. Also referred to as a “Mecha-Streisand”. Examples: “C’est ma vie”, “Korake ti znam”.
(noun) A genre of pop songs, originating primarily in Scandinavia and other areas of Northern Europe, often incorporating key changes, catchy melodies, or sweet lyrics. The genre is well-loved by many Eurovision fans, but induces eye-rolls and nausea in others. Examples: “Invincible“, “Hero“.
Skirty-Rippy-Offy /ˈskərtiː ˈrɪpiː ˈɔfiː/
Shock Qualifier /ˈʃɑk ˈkwɑləˌfaɪr/
(noun) Anything that isn’t fanwank that qualifies.
(adjective) The quality found in a generally pleasant song that, while sweet and enjoyable, is doomed to be forgotten by the time the next song is played, much like the cup of sorbet that is served between heavier plates in a multi-course dinner. Examples: “Et uus saaks alguse“, “När jag blundar“. See “cotton candy song”.
(adjective) A decently inoffensive song that racks up a smattering of points from a wide swath of the voters and juries, often resulting in a high final score and muttering of “how the heck did that do so well?” from the general populace. After all, vanilla, while bland, is the world’s most popular flavor of ice cream. Examples: “Running Scared”, “What If”, “Me and My Guitar”.
Are there any that you would add to our glossary? Expand our lexicon, and leave a comment!