Tuesday, April 22, 2008


There are some things - and some people - in life that defy logic. A case in point is Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, the foxy cantante you see to the left. Or more accurately, a case in point is the character of Rodolfo Chikilicuatre created by Spanish comedian David Fernández Ortiz.

Among his other talents, Ortiz is credited with the invention of the vibrator-guitar. I have no clue what that is exactly.

It is pretty much impossible to watch TV here for more than 22 minutes without seeing his smooth moves grace the screen. "Rodolfo" has become a household name in Spain after he performed a little ditty called the Baila el Chiki-Chiki (Dance the Chiki-Chiki) on a Spanish late night television show. The appeal of the song - a politically-charged parody of reggaeton, a Latin American type of urban music - is astounding on several levels. First of all, look at him. Now wait until you hear the song. The host of the late night show - so smitten with the song - nominated it for Spain's official entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 which will be held in the 3rd week of May.

Unlike other countries, Spain attempted to level the playing field for Eurovision hopefuls this year by creating a MySpace page from which anyone could vote for their favourite song. The site logged in over 8 million hits and rather inexplicably Baila el Chiki-Chiki bitch-slapped the other 530 entries, winning hands down.

It's status as official Eurovision entry has caused a bit of a scandal in these parts - highbrows in the music biz are rightfully appalled that such a gimicky song could beat out presumably more worthy selections. Compared to the Macarena - and people have drawn comparisons - the Chiki-Chiki is downright cerebral. It is a veritable Bach chorale. But Spain has voted and the Chiki-Chiki it is. To make it more palatable to the Eurovision judges, some contentious and obscure allusions - to the King, for example and the Prime Minister - were removed and replaced with references to Javier Bardem, Antonio Banderas, and Pedro Almodóvar.

The Baila el Chiki-Chiki is currently the number 1 downloaded song in Spain.

Now remember when I said that some things defy logic? I invite you to experience the song here (with English subtitles and partly in English) or here (the extended official Eurovision entry). Truly you have to watch the video to get the full effect.
The greatest shame in this of course, is that I can't stop singing the freaking thing - or the few Spanish words of it I know and/or understand. Odds are that if I don't stop walking around the house singing "Baila el chikichiki, baila el chikichiki", Chris will call an attorney who specializes in divorce. Having said that, I have no doubt in my mind that you'll be doing el brikindans (breakdancing) or the maiquelyason (the Michael Jackson) in no time at all. Of course I'm just saying that so I won't feel like such a loser.

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