Malena Ernman – La Voix
Prior to 2009, it’s probably fair to say that not many people had wondered what it would sound like if you welded together Can’t Get You Out of My Head and Madame Butterfly. But then Sweden came along and answered the question no-one was asking with their entry to that year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
All I can say is: thank goodness for that, because the result is extremely fabulous, so fabulous that I think this should be tune that greets you as you ascend to heaven (for me heaven will obviously be a really good disco.) Performed by coloratura mezzo-soprano Malena Ernman, here is La Voix in all it’s so-bombastic-you-may-need-a-lie-down-after glory:
Of course the great thing about all Eurovision songs is that they are limited to lasting no more than three minutes, so they have to make their point very quickly and generally not waste time on fading out at the end – this is the kind of discipline a lot of pop stars could benefit from. La Voix is no exception, finishing so dramatically that it gives you the urge to set off a glitter cannon, which isn’t something you can say of most songs. You really can’t help but laugh as it builds to ever more impossible heights, but as a joyous rush of giddy theatrical pop I’m not sure there’s anything out there to beat it. During the actual show Malena performed it with five Michelle Visages swooping around her with bejewelled masks and managed to keep a straight face and in tune. What a pro.
I had this down as the winner from the second I heard it, but inexplicably it came 21st on the night, resoundingly beaten by Alexander Rybak with the admittedly brilliant Fairytale, but also by a song called Beautiful Tena which I don’t think was about sanitary pads but might well have been. Had Sweden done something to piss off the rest of Europe that I’m not aware of? Or was the continent just not feeling especially camp that night? Who knows. But by rights this should have become an anthem, and when those pearly gates open up I will expect to hear La Voix blasting out while the angels dance around me.
Who could sing this today and have a hit? Does anyone have the range? Ooh, maybe Nicole Scherzinger.