Ostensibly an exercise for countries of the former Soviet Block to put some work in on their national identity (and for the British to flex our xenophobic muscles), the Eurovision song contest should, under no circumstances, be taken seriously. But one look at Romanian entrant (and FHM cover girl) Elena Gherorghe and it’s easy to see why the competition provokes such fervour.
Elena, who comes from a family of priests, was interviewed for the Romanian arm of the mag in 2007 (full, slightly embarrassing text below). Her song, The Balkan Girls, stands a not implausible chance of winning, with spirited lyrics such as “It’s time for me to unwind, I’m going to start my weekend with gin tonic and lime,” written specifically to excite the drunken hoards of voters across Europe. As a song about getting shitfaced, it’s a cunning choice.
If you’re planning on putting money on it, our resident tipster’s betting advice could go a long way to making the event a great night in. Tune in to BBC One on Saturday night for the Grand Final. Loser.
Is it true that you collect underwear? We read this on the internet.
No. I’ve never said that. In the same article they were saying that I take confession by phone. This isn’t true, either. I've started to understand how journalists work: they try to get a lot of things out of you and then they mix them together in their own way. That is why I try to speak less.
Right. So, does that mean you don't own any underwear?
No. I have a normal amount of underwear in my closet.
What’s the normal amount of underwear for a girl?
I don’t know. I didn’t even count my own pairs of underwear.
50 pairs, perhaps?
I don’t know.
Okay. Who is the best Romanian artist?
There is no such thing. There are good R&B composers, good Latino composers…
But which artist do you admire most?
Do you write your own music?
No. I only write the lyrics. Maybe I’ll try that one day.
Your father is a priest. Did you start by singing in the church choir?
Yes, and I still sing there from time to time.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I like Marc Anthony a lot. He has an amazing voice. I watch all his concerts. He’s not a handsome man, but there’s something about him.
And which female singers do you like?
Gloria Estefan. But I listen to all kinds of music; rock, pop…
Tell us a rock band that you like.
What kind of men do you like?
I would like him to be tall and to have dark hair.
All pictures: Tibi Clenci / FHM Romania