TOMMY ZANE REPORTS: HELSINKI, Finland — Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the gayest of them all: a.) A drag queen lip-synching “It’s Raining Men”; b.) Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” or c.) A stripper at Woody’s gyrating to Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”? Well, the answer is obviously d.) none of the above, because I’m here in Helsinki for the gayest show on earth, the Eurovision Song Contest. And child, every queen on the continent is here. By Saturday night, 100 million people from Istanbul to Copenhagen will be tuned in to root for their respective faves in the annual song contest. Thousands of journalists, fans and straight-up freaks are lining up just to see sold-out rehearsals! It’s such a mess. When an old queen stops going to the clubs, they queue up to come here — and why not? From 50ish Norwegian women singing and stripping, to salsa, to “schlager” (cheesy pop ala “Barbie Girl” from The U.K.), to lite “metal” from the Czech Republic, it’s a carnival freakshow that makes “American Idol”‘s tryout episodes seem like a walk in the park. There’s a semi-final round, where 10 out of 28 countries qualify for the final. After today’s dress rehearsal, here’s what’s hot and what’s definitely NOT…
HOT: Operatic disco from Slovenia, ambient tech pop from the Republic of Georgia, gothy-ethnic techno from Bulgaria and the Andorran pop-punk band Anonymous.
Anonymous, pop-punk from Andorra
NOT: Total cheeseball Il Divo-type singing from Latvia; utterly flat, hideously styled Portuguese pop; and laughably bad 90s-style dance from Poland. C + C Stupid Factory from Poland-are they really serious?