Over in the United States, people generally respond to the fervour, hype and controversy of The Eurovision Song Contest with the same kind of bemusement that European people feel towards the World Series. However, Eurovision appeared in the US media yesterday for a segment on HBO’s popular satirical news show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
The former Daily Show correspondent, who frequently goes viral for his sharp takedowns and unexpected stunts, described Eurovision as “like America’s got talent but minus the America and frequently, the talent.” However, he gleefully highlighted Hatari’s performance, calling them “magnificent,” and saying “I’d love to spend all night talking about Hatari.”
Oliver moved on to talking about Donald Trump’s ill-conceived trade war with China. He ended the segment by describing Trump’s apparent misunderstanding of tariffs, saying: “this leaves us in the frankly ridiculous position where the current President of the United States may have a genuinely less informed take on global economics than a leather-wrapped Iceland dystopian techno band.” There was also a two-minute video montage of Hatari making various satirical statements of their own in the break.
Oliver must have—quite understandably—fallen sleep before the final section of the show, in which Hatari controversially unravelled banners bearing the flag of Palestine. He also declined to mention the widely-discussed controversy of the contest being held in Israel, instead focussing on Hatari’s overtly anti-capitalist message and BDSM outfits.
It seems that despite the current storm of criticism and praise that is whirling around the band’s Eurovision run, they’ve won at least one prominent new fan.
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