A victory against the commonplace

«A hard-rock band made up of monsters has won the Eurovision song contest,» members of the Finnish band Lordi proclaimed shortly after their victory, bringing down to earth – with a bump – all the national euphoria and passions that had been whipped up across Europe over the past week. The Finnish victors, along with the Lithuanian entry («We are the Winners of Eurovision») and the disqualified Icelanders («Congratulations») were the most faithful expressions of what Eurovision really is. Bereft of any pomposity, indeed with oodles of sarcasm, (self-deprecating) humor and «authentic» kitsch, they showed us a more laid-back form of entertainment. They appealed to our taste for low glamour and gossip and shocked those who had insisted on overly serious analysis and commentary leading up to the event. And Lordi were really quite good, boosting their eccentric stage presence with brio and attitude and projecting the grotesque instead of the stylized, glossed-over image that other countries had spent tens of thousands of euros to achieve with designer outfits. And even if the Finns’ image was the product of much effort and more expensive than one would think, they still won because they projected something different – something that disrupted the torpor of a homogenized sound and a globalized spectacle. The Finns’ victory emphasized peoples’ underlying desire for subversion, for a shake-up of established aesthetics and outlooks.