TOMMY ZANE REPORTS: HELSKINKI, FINLAND — Marija Serifovic [PICTURED, LEFT] and her big Balkan ballad, “Molitva (Prayer)”, won the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest amid stormy accusations of incestuous country voting (don’t ask) to influence the results. When questioned at the winner’s press conference how she felt about her legion of gay and lesbian fans, Serifovic was pleased to hear congratulations, but stopped short of confirming speculation of her own sexuality.
Ukrainian drag star, Verka Serduchka, came second with his rollicking accordion disco anthem, “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”, upsetting the Russian government which understood the song to mean “Russia Goodbye”. While hordes of press and fans mobbed the winner, I found myself gravitating towards Andorran pop-punk contest losers, Anonymous. The just legal cuties weren’t exactly crying, but I am a sucker for a pouting, college-aged sob story.
Helsinki threw a fabulous post-party featuring many European recording industry types, tons of paparazzi and many of the contestants. Already sloshed, Fifth placer, Bulgaria percussionist/singer, Elitsa Todorova, was the life of the party and looked stunning. Along with Stoyan Yankoulov, their entry combined ethnic Bulgarian sounds with an electronic synth beat. Expect to hear this on import at the disco soon. Spotted at the post-party were Billboard Magazine’s Fred Bronson, UK commentator Paddy O’Furniture Connell, 9th placer Hungarian blues singer Magdi Ruzsa and 6th place Belarus hottie, Dmitry Koldun.
My week in Helsinki is complete, off to Stockholm! Zane out.