Greece certainly weren't clowning around with their 1988 Eurovision entry, but this wacky performance certainly didn't tickle any funny bones.
Ireland 1988; the year that Eurovision turned hip. A funky revamp of the voting, a stage that took up most of the venue, and who can forget that nail biting battle between the UK and Switzerland? Yes 1988 was loud and proud! Nothing however was more loud and proud than Greece's Afroditi Frida, who obviously didn't have the word "understated" in her vocabulary. "Clown" was full of surprises, from random laughing fits to very violent kicks, and thats before we even talk about the costume choices! In the end, this clown fell flat on it's face, only managing to scrape a mere 17th place. One thing is for certain, this act will not be something Greece will look back and laugh about.
The 12points jury had this to say, and definitely milked the clown puns:
The song is very odd indeed. It is sometimes passionate, then its fast and energetic, then it just gets weird. It never seems to keep still, rather like the backing dancers despite how much you wish they would. It tries it's best to get the audience moving, but instead it made me want to walk away, rather ironically like a bad clown act. However the lyrics themselves are really sweet. Telling the story of a clown who enjoys making people laugh, but under the positive face is a depressed and sad person. At a push it is endearing, but the random outbursts of laughter in the chorus tend to spoil the mood. It does beg the question however, what are they laughing at? The lyrics, the huge hair, themselves? I know the song is laughable but this is absurd!
I warned you about the puns...
I dont know what it is about Eurovision in the 80's, but it seems like you couldn't go a year without seeing staggered running! Afroditi was certainly a fan.
So I am just going to come out and say it. What the hell was up with the tap-dancing clown?! It looked like something from a low budget version of the Rocky Horror Picture show, I mean when you finally figured out what the song meant, a clown comes on, everyone freezes and starts tap dancing. What even is the metaphor behind that? Perhaps we should "tap" into the mindset of these choreographers! The costumes however did scream 80's, but it screamed so loud you were partially deaf for a little while. The peformance of "Clown" having a clown in it however is a firm warning that just because you can put something in a number, doesn't mean you should. Wow!
Choreography (Including Hair-ography and Arm-ography): 6/12
Thank God there wasn't any hair-ography, with the size of Afroditi's hair she could have nearly killed someone! Ok, I was really apprehensive about all that kicking from the backing dancers (if you can call it dancing and not violent Greeks struggling to harmonise), the man in the middle was a centimetre short of giving one of those women a swift kick in the shins, and that definitely wouldn't be something to laugh at (well you would try not to, but I don't think it would last long). The dancing was just really robotic, confusing, and generally uncomfortable to watch (you guessed it, like a really bad clowning act!).
Key Change Effectiveness: 2/12
My oh my, Afroditi really needs to work on her key change. It didn't work at all, much like the rest of the song. The one thing that really does not work for Afroditi's favour is the fact that she couldn't look more uninterested! Rather like me, she couldnt wait for the song to be over.
Camp Factor: 11/12
Probably the only category this song is going to score highly on, this song screams camp! With the bright costumes, the very bright choreography and the cliche 80's style song, you would be mad to think this wasn't camp.
Total: 31/60: Despite a good effort from Afroditi (although you wouldnt guess it looking at her face throughout the performance), this song really left the audience more loathing than laughing, and the only comedy you are going to get from this clown is of how dreadfully bad it is. Greece usually has something up their sleeve, but in 1988 they just treat it like a big joke.
I really couldnt resist with the clown puns. HA HA HA HA.
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