The most recent Les Miserables was a baffling film for many reasons. Anne Hathaway pulled off an amazing live singing performance that resonated with everyone — and then ruined it with an Oscar speech. There was no explanation for how Jean Valjean could ever be that jacked. (Did he eat all of France’s protein?) Most of all, though, Russell Crowe shouldn’t have sung live.
They should’ve followed Eurovision‘s lead and got great singers, like the one who sings for Rachel McAdams in the comedy.
OK, I get that the whole point of Les Miserables was to not get backing tracks and actually record the actors’ singing. But, you know, get people who could actually sing. And since Eurovision is all about singing, thankfully David Dobkin got legitimate singers — and specifically former Eurovision contestants to participate in the movie.
What is ‘Eurovision,’ anyway?
If you’ve never seen the wonderful, European song competition, then holy crap are you in for a treat. It’s like American Idol had a threesome with a Pride Parade and Fat Tuesday, and then the United Nations knocked on the door and they let them in the bed. It’s gaudy, cheesy, televised mayhem with some ingenuous rules to help decide who the Eurovision song winner will be.
It’s basically a song competition that features musical acts from all over Europe.
On a country level, specific acts compete to be granted the honor to represent their country in the annual Eurovision song contest. Instrumentals are usually not performed live, however, all of the singing must be performed live no matter what.
Also, when it comes to voting, countries are able to text in their vote. But here’s the neat part: You cannot vote for your own country. This helps to ensure people aren’t stanning their own nation’s musical acts just because.
This is why you need to vote through a phone number; any vote with an area code or number from that country is automatically discounted from the voting results.
There have been some absolutely incredible, meme-able moments from Eurovision, most notable of them is Epic Sax Guy. If you aren’t familiar, well, take a gander. You won’t regret it.
There are also some other unintentionally hilarious songs and performances that you will only ever find in a Eurovision song contest, which is probably why comedian Will Ferrell became obsessed with the spectacle. It’s right up to his particular brand of comedy where he will perpetuate situations with an almost even-handed amount of seriousness and absurdity.
Remember that Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee story where Will almost took the stage to accept an award as Prince when the musician wasn’t present? That’s a pretty good “nucleus” for what his comedy is all about.
So when word spread out that a while back Will Ferrell was attending the Eurovision song competition live, I just knew a movie had to be in the works about it. And here we are.
Who sings for Rachel McAdams in ‘Eurovision’?
Swedish pop singer Molly Saden does the honor of providing the singing voice for Sigrit, Rachel’s character in the new Netflix comedy.
Interestingly enough, Molly had dreams of winning Eurovision and performed four times on the teenage version of the show. She didn’t win and was “heartbroken,” but she found it happily ironic that she received a call out of nowhere one morning after a night of drinking to record a song for the film.
She discussed the opportunity with Vanity Fair:
“It felt like a rematch for 14-year-old Molly, to finally get somewhere in the Eurovision. And it’s ironic because I lived in L.A. for almost two years, and my big dream was to be successful in the States … to have an opportunity like this. But when I gave up my dream and moved back to Sweden, that’s when I kind of got this call and this opportunity. For me it was kind of the opposite. Just let go, and then you might get a phone call one early morning when you’re hungover,” she laughed.
In fact, the first song Molly ever wrote was for a Eurovision song contest. So even though the Swedish teen didn’t win the competition, she got to have her work featured in a major motion picture with two high-profile stars. That’s pretty darn cool.
Netflix also claims that Rachel’s voice was mixed in with Molly’s, but the singer doesn’t think that the producers put much of the actress’ voice in the music. “If they say so, maybe that’s the truth,” Molly said. “But I just know that I didn’t really hear [McAdams] in the soundtrack … maybe it’s mixed in somewhere.”