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A Coke and a Smile

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“Are you going to watch Eurovision tonight?” a co-worker asked yesterday as I walked out the door.

These Icelanders are nuts about Eurovision, I thought to myself. The schmaltzy song contest, held this year in Kiev, doesn’t air until Saturday. Icelanders are so eager to see Selma that they’re tuning in two nights early.

It’s understandable. Selma is Iceland’s best chance in years to win the contest. After all, in 1999, the attractive singer came in second. I remember watching that Eurovision, and as Selma kept creeping up the standings, my friends were beginning to wonder where the heck Iceland would hold the competition.

“We’ll have to build a new arena,” my friend told me.

That’s when I learned that if a singer wins Eurovision, not only does that singer bring back a really, really cool trophy, a karaoke machine, plus a 20-pound bag of bark mulch, but their country hosts the next contest.

But Eurovision did start last night, the prelims. So Iceland was gearing up for Selma’s twinkling show. All this week, certain media outlets were preaching that Selma had a chance to bring home the bark mulch, because a singer who returns to Eurovision traditionally improves on his or her previous performance.

Not Selma. She came out in some sort of red dress-like outfit that was more ridiculous than her song. Apparently, the costume designer had seen all of Selma’s silly Coke commercials leading up to Eurovision, and figured that the dress needed to match the colour of Coca Cola’s corporate logo.

I will say this about Selma; her face certainly holds a smile. With a small microphone wrapped around her head, she was dancing up a storm during her three minutes and that cheesy smile never waned. Even after Selma heard the news that she didn’t move on to the final round, her smile hadn’t retracted. Worried, her manager called a doctor.

Hey, Selma. “Have a Coke and a Smile.”

The event was sponsored by Coke, so all of the contestants wore the same smile, a grin so tight it reminded me of the day in 4th grade art class when I made a plaster of Paris mold for my face.

Come to think of it, those were also the days of the Coke jingle, “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.” Too bad the young girl who sang that jingle wasn’t in Kiev serving as a freelance voice coach.

But the worst band was Walters & Kazha from Latvia. The two young, metrosexuals strummed on acoustic guitars while they sang with a big smile: “The WAR is not over.” How bad was this band? They were trying to emulate their musical heroes the soft-rock band Extreme. Wait, there’s more. When the two put down their guitars (the music somehow continued), walked to the edge of the stage and sang while at the same time performing sign language to their lyrics, I nearly barfed.

This just in: plastic surgeons in the Ukraine are currently operating on Selma’s permagrin. All of us here wish her a speedy recovery. EW

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.