Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) (02/19/09)
TITLE: European Idol 2009 - The Audition
By Christine Dunn
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France: The first entrant presented herself as a confident individual, greeting the judges with a kiss on each cheek. Her whole being exuded an enchanting scent of lavender.
Upon questioning, France informed us with soft rolling ‘r’s, of her beautiful artwork and creative temperament. Perhaps most surprising was the sheer volume of queries this candidate ricocheted off the judges. Boldly, she probed each of us, rather sceptically about our purposes and the aims of the show, before laughing about being a true existentialist.
Spain: Glancing cheekily over the Pyrenees mountains which separated her from France, her neighbour, Spain began clicking castanets as she danced her way towards us. We warmed instantly to her lively staccato speech, while she filled the room with the delicious smell of oranges.
Her stunning red dress fell just below the knee, and was trimmed with triangles of fabric resembling melted candle-wax. This, was apparently inspired by the spires on Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church.
Italy: Italy whizzed into the audition room in a flashy yellow Ferrari. Opening the door coolly, out stepped this dark haired Adonis. He was dressed in designer clothes mostly, until we glanced at his feet, which were adorned by a pair of century old gladiator sandals.
As we tried to stifle sniggers about this contrast, Italy reminded us of the great Roman Empire which had shaped the Europe of today. He enthralled us with his stories of chariot races at Circus Maximus, and gladiator fights in the Colosseum.
Russia: Not to be outdone by Italy’s entrance, Russia took us all by surprise by landing in the Vostok 2 space rocket. After some time a huge, imposing and powerful figure disembarked. He trudged through some deep snow which had not been there some seconds ago.
When he spoke, it sounded like many rivers flowing, and forests of trees rustling in the wind. He told us of the many resources he owned, including oil and natural gas, before leaving us in a cloud of smoke, as he blasted off again.
Ireland: Ireland was a stocky little fellow, with a weather-beaten face. He walked in playing the uilleann pipes, then offered each of us ‘a wee taste’ of Irish whisky. He was certainly a charmer in a modest, down-to-earth sense, joking that his hopes of winning the competition lay with the fact that he had kissed the Blarney stone that morning.
He chatted for quite some time, tracing some of our family ancestors back to his. He then enlightened us about the many writers and poets he had nurtured, before leaving some lucky charms on our desk.
On comparing each contestant’s notes, we deliberated for almost three hours. Each country had shown many merits in historical, geographical and cultural contexts. In the end, we came to the conclusion that we needed to gather more information on each competitor in order to crown our European Idol. The hidden camera we had installed in the waiting area enabled us to watch each of them, shedding light on their true personality.
From our plasma screen, we could see plenty of negative body language displayed by every participant. Ireland stood back, pointing and laughing at Spain’s dress, whilst Spain shooed him ‘back home to the leprechauns’. Russia, who watched the scene unfolding gave both countries a Siberian stare, and told them that they were both insignificant little land masses. Italy, upon hearing this folded his arms and pouted, chastising Russia for his pride, by reacquainting him with the eminent Roman Empire. France turned her back upon them, then threatened to go on strike over the head of it all.
It did not take long for us to form a decision. Michael called each competitor back in. Gabriel slowly called out the names on our list, when they had formed a row.
“Italy, step forward. Spain, step forward also. Ireland, move one space ahead. France and Russia - join the others in the front row.”
The contestants looked bewildered.
“Each of you have fallen short of competition rules.” Gabriel announced. “Our producer, the King of this world, has written that a winning contestant must humbly recognise their weaknesses. They must rely on his grace alone to win a crown, and attribute any strengths to him. Let me read this for you. ‘Rule number 1 - All nations will serve him*.’ Therefore I would advise each of you to turn to the King, asking for forgiveness before entering next year.”
* Psalm 72:11
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