Not Only Conchita Wurst: How Good Is Dana International’s New Single?

The Israeli transgender singer’s new song, called 'Down On Me,’ of all things, is rich in sexual innuendo.

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Israel's Dana International was the first transgender to win the European Song Contest.
Israel's Dana International was the first transgender to win the European Song Contest.Credit: Eitan Tal
Ben Shalev
Ben Shalev

A few days after the Eurovision victory of Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, Israeli winner of the same competition Dana International issues her new single. This is the first song that the singer has issued since her failure at the Eurovision contest four years ago, with the song “Ding Dong.”

Dana International, who was the first transgender to win the contest 16 years ago with the international hit “Diva,” decided once again to choose provocative lyrics for her new song. After the song “Love Boy,” which was about gigolos, and “Ding Dong,” with its sexual innuendoes, the singer’s new song is called “Down On Me,” of all things.

It’s a good thing that the singer doesn’t sing the song in Hebrew, since oral sex is not one of the favorite subjects of the censorship police of local radio stations. This in spite of the fact that “Love Boy” was the biggest hit on Israeli radio the year it came out, maybe because some of the listeners didn’t understand the content.

In English the cheeky words get by somehow, although the unashamed sexuality, the insistent beat and the absence of clear signs of a standard pop song make this single a track for nightclubs and the Internet more than a potential radio hit. The single will probably be popular in jazz clubs, and not only there, for all the reasons that it won’t be played on the radio. I particularly enjoyed the parts where she sang in Spanish and sounds like a partying Chiquita.

In general, in this song she doesn’t sound exactly like herself − and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In any case, this week it’s good to recall Dana International, who made history and paved the way for Conchita Wurst and her big win.

Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst won this year's Eurovision Song Contest.Credit: AP

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