Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mr. Lava Reports - Eurovision Performers Arrive

I am in Düsseldorf ("Dull Village") to cover the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. The Eurovison Press Centre opens on Saturday, an event seen by many as the unofficial start of the Eurovision Song Contest. Rehearsals begin the following day.

So the first Eurovision performers are arriving! I spent an amusing half-hour watching the unpacking of Eric Saade (Sweden) from his crate. Even with a few loose packing peanuts stuck in his hair he looks more life-like than Madame Tussaud's best work. His blank stare is unsettling, but once he is animated by the talented Euro Disney Imagineers he will "come to life" and thrill an estimated 125 million people around the world.

I wanted to take the Maja Keuc animatronic out to the Günnewig Rheinturm Restaurant. She is a simulation of an 18 year-old Slovenian female (though in fact she has been in development since the Tito era). She is abundantly attractive and, the Eurovision site says, programmed to be "a self-critical girl, with both feet on the ground and a firm belief in the good in this world."

Sadly, Belarus's crate, which contained Anastasiya Vinnikova, arrived damaged, and rats appear to have gnawed off one-third of Ms. Vinnikova's "living skin," revealing the Terminator-like hydraulics underneath. While it is doubtful she will look herself during the first round of rehearsals, Belarus believes the biologically-engineered flesh-like substance will grow back in time for the semi-finals. More worrying than these cosmetic issues, however, is the damage done to her singing voice, which is now a deep, metallic gonging sound. A new voice-box will arrive from Minsk soon.

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