In the year when Love Shined a Light, Iceland decided to show us a diferent side of love. Leathered, fetishised love.
1997 was a very modern year for Eurovision. The Orchestra was fading out, televoting was in its early stages and Ireland were on the top of their Eurovision domination. Katrina and the Waves blew Dublin and Europe away, but something else came along, hiding at the back, and blew everyone away for a very different reason all together. Enter Paul Oscar.
Paul had been bumbling about the music scene in Iceland for a short time before Eurovision, as well as donning the dress as a drag queen, but when he came to Eurovision in 1997 he really had came, and he wanted everyone to know about it. "Minn Hinsti Dans" will be remembered for a while as a violently upbeat, heavy trance classic. Classic, with a hint (or a bucketful) of pure, hedonistic sex. The audience were simply blown away, although I am sure some audience members felt a little more than that after watching his performance. You know, if you are into that sort of thing.
It wasn't really to be for Iceland, after reaching a mere 20th position and only gaining 20 points to its name. Nevertheless, it has propelled Paul into the icelandic music industry (I hear he is very popular on the DJing circuit nowadays) and his song will go down as one hell of a "eurotrash" hit. Playing it safe really wasn't Iceland's intention, although if this song is promoting what I think its promoting, safety is still a very important message. As well as good leather care. The more you know.
But what on earth did the 12points jury make of this saucy little number?
This song may be in cool icelandic, but damn is this song hot! Even the name "Minn Hinsti Dans" is mysterious enough. This is obviously a dance number, but the first thing that hits you is that dance beat, so much that it practically punches you in the face. In all honesty it is quite catchy, and I can imagine it being played in clubs (no, not those kind of clubs, although now that I think about it). It isn't really a jumpy number, but it is certainly atmospheric. Given the performance though, this is an atmosphere that belongs in a back room on the red light district.
The lyrics are, well, they dont hold back if I am putting it lightly. Oscar sings about an indulgent, hedonistic lifestyle. To quote the lover boy himself, he sings about "crystal champagne, pearls, diamonds for dinner, love for dessert" and that despite this life of excess and sex with anything that moves, he doesn't regret a single thing. Given the nature of the song, he might regret a few things if he thinks diamonds are part of a balanced diet, not to mention a few other things.
I don't think I have ever seen a more sexualised performance in my entire Eurovision history, and we have all seen what Cezar can come up with! Even Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for Germany in 2009 didn't live up to it, and they had a renowned burlesque dancer with a bull whip prancing around the stage (although they had much better taste in furniture). This was practically a sex show, not to mention a PVC lovers dream! It looked like he was enjoying himself far too much, given his hands were rubbing his crotch at a very unhealthy level. This performance does exactly what the song is saying, living it up in a wild, money fuelled orgy. How very modern. I do feel bad for all those dancers though (if you can call them dancers), whoever thought that the tiny sofa they had would fit them all was an idiot. The sofa itself looked like a bargain sale at the local furniture store, or found in the back of an alley. A little bit of febreeze and it will be right as rain (that could probably be said about Paul and his back up dancers as well).
Choreography (including Hair-ography and Arm-ography): 6/12
Choreography, is that what they are calling it nowadays? There was about as much dancing in this performance as there was abstinance. I mean sure there was the odd little routine but if you gave it a minute they slowly went back to divulging themselves on Paul Oscars sofa spread (and no, that was not a euphamism). To be perfectly honest, if Paul Oscar didn't have any limits to what he could do onstage he would consider humping to be a suitable dance solo. This song lacked a good routine, although like I said, it's not that type of music. Still, rubbing yourself and moving your hands around inappropriate body parts of your backing dancers can't be classed as dancing surely. Although the dancers really do know how to get there leg over.
Sorry, I really couldn't help it.
Key Change Effectiveness: 4/12
Again, this song isn't the kind of number to need a key change. If it did, it would really be excessive (in a song where excess is glorified, that is saying something) and I don't think the song needs it. That being said, it's a very straight song. It just doesn't change all the way through and it gets rather dull. The allure of sexual fantasy does in fact wear off half way through as a gimmick, and his vocals are nothing to rave about. The song just needed less sex, more singing.
Camp Factor: 8/12
Could you call this song camp? I mean, it's definitely eccentric, almost certainly out there, but for the right reasons? It seems like what makes this song tick is the fact that he is screaming about how much sex he is having whilst having a caviar overdose and a champagne shower. Is it really something that audiences can get excited about (not that kind of excited! You are so dirty minded!)? It does definitely scream in your face, drawing you in with the promise of on-stage fetish and a good time, but anything different wouldn't be up Paul Oscar's street. This is what makes him who he is!
Total: 33/60: So in the end, despite leaving Dublin with quite the image in their heads (amongst other things perhaps? They should probably get that checked), it didn't live up as a stand out Eurovision hit! Nevertheless, this tale of hedonistic, fetishist pleasure certainly got heads turning, and always will whenever people think of our leather clad friend. To quote Aqua's seminal classic "Barbie Girl", life in plastic, truly is fantastic.
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