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Eric de Saade’s Swedish Leather Act

Alas, our boys in Blue didn’t quite convince enough viewers last night in Düsseldorf that they are beautiful enough to wear the Eurovision Crown, and despite their liberated lyrics they looked very, er inhibited — frozen with fear, actually.

But they did manage a much better showing than the UK has done in years. Even managing to occupy the top voting spot for a brief tantalising moment (prompting a messy snog from Lee Ryan on an alarmed camera lens that couldn’t back away in time — I of course fainted on the spot).

Eurovision 2011 ended up being a contest between warbling Azeri chintzy bridal romance and leathered up Swedish fisting. I was surprised that Sweden got as many votes as it did since even I was a bit scared by the up-your-arseness of their act.

It was reassuring, in a way, that chintzy bridal romance won the official competition in the end. After all it was silly old Eurovision. But Sweden’s ‘Popular’, a song about the irrepressibility of a young leather boy’s desire to be desired, was the one that people will actually remember:

Spread the news
I’m gonna take the fight
For the spotlight, day and night

Eric Saade nearly represented Sweden at Eurovision last year with ‘Manboy’, a song possibly even more metrosexy than ‘Popular’.

14 thoughts on “Eric de Saade’s Swedish Leather Act”

  1. Waterloo! Knowing my fate is to be with you! Whoa whoa whoa whoa waterloo . . .

    Hey, come October I may actually be persuaded to jump the pond for a NUDIE centric exhibit at the MODE Museum in Antwerp!

    Antwerp . . . sounds pretty metro to me!

  2. Also, I must thank Mark’s pieces for getting me to actually watch Eurovision for the first time. When I lived in England it was always on in the background, but I’d never sat down and just properly watched it. So what do I think? Well, the musician in me is still somewhat traumatized (?!), and the linguist in me disappointed (why do they almost all sing in English?), but apart from that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even from a musical point of view I took some pleasure in ranking the songs from the standpoint of *least* horrible… Which proved interesting… But what I liked best about it is probably the main reason most people watch it anyway–the human spectacle of it and the kinds of things people have been discussing here. I must confess though (but don’t flame me!) that Sweden actually ended up … dead last on my list!

    Oh, and those backstage pods were cool.

    For you Eurovision veterans: was this a particularly good one, do you think? The reason I ask is that the other day I watched one of the semi-finals from Moscow 2009 and it was cringe-makingly difficult to make it through… This one just seemed to work much better in terms of presentation, the light shows etc.

  3. Even though I’ve only ever been there for an afternoon, I’ll generalise wildly again as is my wont and say that Sweden is definitely in the running to be the first properly post-metro country in the world.

    Whatever else ‘state feminism’ has achieved in Sweden, it seems to have done away with the anxiety about being thought ‘gay’ – and all that goes with that.

  4. He does look rather confused most of the time. I especially liked his “is this over yet? Can I go pee pee?” face on Eurovision.

    I think they’re kind of past being metro. There’s no angle of consumptionn, for example. No real focus on being on-trend (he seems to dress like a bloke at the pub for the most part, and then adds bondage gear for going on stage. Actually…this sums up several Swedish men I know. Ahem). His videos are shamelessly budget but you don’t really notice.

  5. Lucy: Now I’m as confused as Eric should be!

    Perhaps young Eric doesn’t see himself as metrosexual, despite the Bieber-esque looks the leather boy backing band and, well, the lyrics, because for him it is… all he’s ever known and so is just ‘normal’.

    Either way, perhaps the most satisfying kind of metrosexuality is, like camp, unwitting.

  6. I’m not sure Eric *is* metrosexual in that he’s certainly not seen that way through his country’s eyes. Even back in the 90s, Western boybands had to appeal to the camp and the gay; he’s making the same kind of music and videos but seems wholly bemused that he’s perceived as anything but straight. He sings “Manboy” with a straight face (sings all of it with a straight face, actually) and translates the song as to say that he’s a boy on the edge of maturity. In England there are definite metro connotations with that (even gay ones), but in Sweden…I think our perception of him is accidental. This fascinates me.

    The Swedes are notoriously relaxed about this stuff though.

  7. One of the few good things about living in Scamerica: NO EUROVISION SCHLONG CONTEST! Bad Nam-like Bucks Fizz flashbacks assailing my tired earlymorn brain here. Must say though, the line: ‘Sometimes Gaga makes me think of Madonna knocked up, so to speak, by the set designers of 1970s Doctor Who.’ got me kind of excited, as a former Doc fan and Madonna (now Mandonna, a female impersonator) fan.

  8. So how long has Eurovision been happening? How much catching up do I have to do?

    The Hungary entry is awesome . . . what about my dreams? HUH???!!!

    So much talent in the world, and so little in my apartment, it is daunting, really.

  9. It’s hard to beat country vs. country, but here in the good U.S. of A. we have a new show called “The Voice”.

    It’s pretty awesome, and it’s pretty (inadvertently) gay and/or metro, especially when the guys have to sing mano a mano in competition.

    The duet I just witnessed isn’t on YouTube yet, but maybe tomorrow.

  10. Yes, thanks Mary L, I also enjoyed that piece and the bit about Gaga Eurovision. Sometimes Gaga makes me think of Madonna knocked up, so to speak, by the set designers of 1970s Doctor Who.

  11. Voted for Sweden among a very uninspiring bunch this year. Of course a boy wants to be popular, nothing new in that, really. I was more impressed with Flying Steps, the interval act in semi-final 2, for not being afraid to show some tummy during their whirlingly dervish headspins.

  12. It’s not ABBA, but it’s not bad. Here is Simon Doonan’s humourous take on ‘Eurovision’ (which I’ve just discovered, thanks to him and Mark S.) — I LOVE the Ukrainian of indeterminate gender (another second place performance) — enjoy!

    http://www.slate.com/id/2293517/

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