I’m a fan of Julia Zemiro, host of SBS’s RocKwiz, so it was a sublime pleasure to see her play the “beautiful and beguiling” co-host Bronya, “the face of modern Bosnia-Herzegovina,” in the Eurovision send-up stage show Eürobeat on Thursday night.
Julia is Bronya and, with the delightfully self-conscious Sergei (Jason Geary), brings us the the stilted, tacky presentation we come to know and love from the “real” contest. The rest of the cast captures perfectly the gamut of eurotrash — from the UK’s cheesey duo Rayne & Sheiner’s I Love To Love To Love (Love) and Russian boy-band KGBoys with Ice Queen (“She’s frozen my heart.”) to Iceland’s Björk-esque Gert Grollmersdetter and Love Ballad #3A.
Many good words have already been written about this show, including an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. And I agree, this is all great fun. Yes, plenty of jokes about goats, and turnips. But this is Eurovision: cliché is compulsory.
There’s merchandise to be bought, and the value-for-money $7 programme even includes useful Bosnian phrases. “Here’s one for you, Stilgherrian,” said my accomplice for the night. “I want to rent a goat: Zelin da iznajmin koza.” Ta muchly.
Eürobeat is a perfect vehicle for Julia Zermiro. Her superbly-timed ad libs in RocKwiz are the best I’ve seen, and she uses to skills again as Bronya handles the sometimes-rowdy audience. If Eürobeat does end up touring internationally — and apparently there were overseas producers in the audience on Thursday night — I’m hoping she’ll continue in the role.