It’s Movember and men all over the world are doing one of the manliest things possible to raise money for charity. For me, it means a month of jealously admiring other men’s moustaches. I have grown beards before, but the moustache has always been by far the weakest part of my hairy arsenal. In my heart, I know that thirty days isn’t enough for me to do it justice. To celebrate instead, here is my list of Eurovision’s most glorious moustaches.
Barring the discovery of a lost moustache from the 1956 contest, Domenico is the first ever owner of a moustache in Eurovision. I’m sure it’s the record he was most proud of. But, while he broke down barriers in the 1958 contest, as he sang some song called Volare, 1959 sees Domenico’s moustache at its finest. A classic pencil style, neatly trimmed, with admirable definition.
2013 was a good moustache year. Marco Mengoni evoked the spirit of Modugno and Gor Sujyan brought a strong D’Artagnan goatee to the stage, but Agathonas stood tall above the young pretenders. Worshipped by his designer-stubbled bandmates, he set new standards for tache choreography. Like a Greek Des Lynam, Agathonas relishes the brute masculinity of his moustache. He knows how to use it.
A moustache is a versatile thing. In some hands it can be sexy, others playful, or in the hands of Stephane from Georgia’s Stephane & 3G it can be a political weapon so powerful it can draw the attention of the most powerful men in the world. With his 2009 disco stomper, We Don’t Wanna Put In, Stephane ignited a storm of protest from Russia that saw him cruelly censored from the contest. His bushy Groucho Marx style may have been banned, but he will not be forgotten.
Prima Donna (Backing singer)
A strong example of the “gay as shit” variety, this one. I’ve always found UK’s 1980 entry, Love Enough For Two, deeply hilarious. The backing singer on the right adds to the oddness of us sending the world’s tweeest love song with an unintentional subtext of threesomes. He’s got love enough for two alright: 1) For the girl next to him and 2) For his secret friend Larry out back.
This moustache spells danger. 1989′s dead-eye interval act, Guy Tell, drew strength from his tache. If you’re going to use your trusty crossbow to shoot an apple off your own head, you need the sort of self confidence you can only get from looking super sharp with an 80s mullet and moustache. Especially if your aim is as dodgy as Guy’s.
Time taking its toll on your body? Going grey? No matter. Grow a beautiful black moustache and you’ll return to being the sex machine you always were on the inside. Paul Giordimaina did just that and it got him a spot representing Malta in the 1991 contest alongside the beautiful Georgina, who could never resist his charm.
This highlights the moustache’s powers for the promotion healthy of living. Bill’s charming Ned Flanders look gave him the impetus for one of Eurovision’s more energetic onstage performances. It was musical calisthenics, with the groin stretches near the end particularly impressive. One feels that, without the moustache, the whole performance could have come across as silly.
In 1995, The UK brought Eurovision right up to date with the first hip hop moustache. This is just so street. Paul Hardy from Love City Groove could wear this snazzy little number down the streets of Compton and blend right in. Rap has had a bad time of it in Eurovision, scorewise, but this managed to achieve a credible tenth place. Maybe more ESC hip hop artistes should style themselves like this. To quote the Groove “Cos Honey… yeah.”
This is disco. Izhar Cohen may have stolen the title of Eurovision’s first disco winner, but Tommy Seebach mastered the style. 1979 saw this cheeky moustache at the peak of its powers. Tommy even matched his wardrobe to it, such was the appeal of his top lip. Sadly, Milk and Honey took the crown that year. Tommy would return, but as the 70s ended and disco gave way to new wave, Tommy’s facial hair would never hit the same heights again.
Men want to be him, women want to be near him. There’s a sleazy porn-starrish allure to Italy’s entry from 1980. Flanked by hungry-eyed ladies wielding guitars that they aren’t really concentrating on, Sorrenti belts out a powerful falsetto that puts the audience weak at the knees. With his loose-fitting canary blue suit, his luxurious hair and most of all that moustache, the performance oozes sex. He more than makes up for being called Alan.
“Hoo! Haa! Hoo! Haa! Hoo!!!” The elemental manliness of Germany 1979 cannot be underestimated. Bare-chested and hairy-faced. Dschinghis Khan were a dominant force to be reckoned with. Some might question the taste in a song glorifying a murderous 13th century tyrant, but those sideburns make it worth it.
Some dislike Russia’s 2010 entry, but these critics fail to comprehend its powerful allegorical storytelling through facial hair. Peter, centre, is struggling to come to terms with his relationship breakdown, his inner turmoil reflected by his fluffy and unremarkable tache. His pal Sergei tries to shake him out of it, urging Peter to throw his hand drawn photos into the fire. This emotional stability is reflected in Sergei’s stronger moustache, but his immature response still echoes. Really, they all want to be more like the bass player. It’s quite beautiful.
So there you have it: Thank You Europe’s official list of great Eurovision moustaches. I hope you’ve learnt something. Having had all this fun with other people’s moustaches, it would perhaps be churlish not to share my one previous attempt at a mo (grown over a much longer term than a month). My moustachioed European brothers, I salute you.