Song Of The Day 5/9/2016: Serhat – “I Didn’t Know” (San Marino)

I'm Ovision – Eurovision! 2016 – This, friendly reader, is the closest I could come to a camp favorite in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. It's from San Marino, a city-state landlocked in the middle of Italy. It's about the physical size of Olympia, Washington with about 10,000 less people and a very hilly terrain. It's so small that Serhat, the singer of San Marino's official entry "I Didn't Know," isn't even from there. He's from Istanbul. Serhat started out as a dentist before he turned to showbiz. His credits include producing and hosting Riziko!, the Turkish version of Jeopardy! He also produced some other game shows, when without much warning he started pursuing music in 1997. To be honest he's turned in some enjoyable music: "Chocolate Flavour," "Total Disguise," "Je M'adore," other works of gently continental modern music delivered in an unthreatening but consistent Leonard Cohen drawl. I like him. How he got connected to San Marino I have no idea, since his bio says he splits his time these days between France and Germany. The Telegraph calls him the "Leicester City of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest," thereby officially launching the interminable use of Leicester City as a metaphor for all European long shots for the next five years, easy.

"I Didn't Know" isn't half-bad as a Eurovision number, but if you have a few moments watch the "official video" above very closely. Bring it to full screen if you can. Everybody seems to be dancing in time, but watching Serhat's lips and other tells reveals that they're not performing "I Didn't Know" in the video. They're not syncing anywhere. Somebody just assembled clips of Serhat performing something else in concert and almost pulled off the illusion that they're all performing "I Didn't Know." This is the "official video"? (Note: Kate pointed out that he could be performing "I Didn't Know" in another language, but we both agree that there's still something off about the whole thing.)

I'm not sure why they didn't use the actual music video for this song and chop it to fit the three-minute limit, because it's far superior, and contains the best use of a monocle attached to a vaguely S&M-looking headstrap in music video history:

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