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idk. is gamesbids passe? is that what the mod was telling us by deleting my (hilarious) screenplay? maybe it's time to let it die like zaha.

although i did have a bitchin kelly clarkson joke and a new love interest for laura afoot.

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I don't exactly need to know, but it was rather tantalising ...

yeah, mhm, real convincing. your punishment is that you have to sit through this slog of an expository scene.

FADE IN:

INT. ERICSSON THEATRE BACKSTAGE - DAY

A haggard Laura in a chartreuse tracksuit is shuffling through a line past a buffet table. She lazily takes a poppy seed bagel from an assorted pile and some jam. She seems dazed. An arm reaches across hers to grab a danish. It belongs to JOHANNES NYMARK, sexy boybander from Danish pop group Lighthouse X. He looks at Laura and her plate.

JOHANNES

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow…

Laura stares at him blankly, impatiently.

The bagel, the poppy seeds from the poem. You’re from Flanders?

Laura nods, in something resembling acknowledgement. Johannes moves to shake her hand. She takes it.

I’m Johannes ... Nymark. From Lighthouse Ten? We’re the Danish group this year.

Laura recognizes him and nods sympathetically.

LAURA

Yes, yes, of course, Hi. Laura Tesoro from Belgium.

(smiles)

I guess you already knew that.

JOHANNES

I recognized you from your video. I love the song. Great voice.

LAURA

(distantly)

Thanks. You too.

They finish in line and head to a nearby group of tables.

JOHANNES

So. You hear about Jamala from Ukraine?

Laura blanches and looks at him, frozen in fear. She shakes her head quickly.

She caught her scarf in a doorway. Hurt her neck and had to go to hospital. She might not even perform.

LAURA

(blankly)

Oh, no. Is she OK? I didn’t hear her. -- I didn’t hear about her, I mean.

JOHANNES

And then there’s poor Michał Spzak on life support. The tabloids are saying drugs; his family is saying allergic reaction. My band is covering Candle in the Wind as a tribute to him. Sad Eurovision this year.

Laura looks away and nods.

Hey, so my band left to go Snapchat some sympathy shots for Jamala and Michal. Do you want to grab a seat? I did mine earlier.

LAURA

Yeah, that sounds...

Sebastian suddenly approaches clutching a bottle of water and squeezes himself between Johannes and Laura. He looks at the poppy seed bagel on Laura’s plate.

SEBASTIAN

Carbs, Laura? I know you’re in the middle of a breakdown but I didn’t think you were going full Kelly Clarkson on me.

Sebastian takes the bagel and puts it on Johannes’ plate and touches him on the arm.

(to Johannes)

Hey, Queen of Denmark. Treat yourself.

Laura rolls her eyes and puts her now-empty plate on a table. She turns to Johannes.

LAURA

Sorry, I have to go.

Johannes moves to shake Sebastian’s hand. He doesn’t take it.

JOHANNES

(to Sebastian)

Johannes Nymark… Light--

SEBASTIAN

Yeah yeah, I know, Lighthouse X.

Sebastian crosses his index fingers together to make an X.

JOHANNES

It’s ten actually -- Lighthouse Ten.

SEBASTIAN

(shakes head)

Mmm, no. I'm pretty sure that's not it.

Johannes’ face falls.

JOHANNES

(to Laura)

Well nice to meet you, Laura. Maybe later we can vlog something….

Laura's face lights up a little. Sebastian rolls his eyes and steps between Laura and Johannes. He links arms with Laura and puts his palm up near Johannes’ face.

SEBASTIAN

Yeah, listen Danish Girl, you want Laura time, make an appointment like everyone else. How’s three weeks from never?

Sebastian leads Laura away and starts walking through the backstage area, rolling his eyes.

LAURA

I wasn’t hungry anyway.

SEBASTIAN

(glancing back to Johannes)

No, but you were looking awfully thirsty. Get it together.

He tries to hand the water to Laura.

Speaking of, you do need to drink up. Mandatory drug tests for all contestants in two hours.

LAURA

Drug tests?!

SEBASTIAN

Yes, but you’re clean, don’t worry. They’re only looking for opiates.

(sighs)

Eurovision’s taking it pretty serious after someone leaked to tabloids that you saw Michał Spzak and Samra tying up their arms at the Pussy Riot party. It’s hit all the blogs.

Sebastian hands Laura a smartphone with a tabloid headline: Source: Drugs to Blame in Polish Eurovision Singer Collapse.

LAURA

(incredulous)

You told them I saw this?

SEBASTIAN

Guaranteed anonymity. I needed your name for the convicer. You were seen at the party along with Samra. It can be fact checked.

LAURA

(angry)

How could you put my name anywhere near this mess? This is all your fault, you and your stupid Jamala.

(mocking)

Oh Laura, we have to go meet Jamala.

It’s bad enough two people are in the hospital, now you want the press asking questions about drugs and who knows what else? You’re supposed to be helping me. Are you trying to destroy me?

SEBASTIAN

(shrugging)

Earth to Laura: If the papers keep harping on the whole crab angle they’re going to start to wonder how he got the crab in his mouth in the first place. And if they knew you were sucking down more than crab cakes with Michał it won’t be such a big leap to wondering what other sexploits you’re getting up to with your fellow contestants.

LAURA

Oh god, you know about Jamala too?

SEBASTIAN

Does a frantic 4 a.m. briefing with Robyn’s people count? Don’t worry. They’re concerned about a scandal as much as we are. The official Jamala story is that her scarf got caught in a door Isadora Duncan style. Fortunately, she’s only suffered some vocal chord bruising. She’s sipping O.J. through a feed tube right now, but she’ll live.

LAURA

But Michal, he will be OK?

SEBASTIAN

Well, he’s off to the great Eurovision in the sky where only the angels have to listen to him suck. Although, as a PR professional, I'm not sure I can technically equate brain dead to actually being dead.

Laura begins to sob as they reach her backstage dressing area, surrounded on all sides by grey curtains. Inside a handful of people are waiting. One, a middleaged man, looks like he’s just stepped off the Eurotrash express with scraggly long-brown hair. This is BRECHT, Laura’s choreographer and the director of her upcoming performance.

LAURA

(as entering)

I did this. I ruined them both, put Jamala in the hospital. Killed Michal.

(scoffs)

I probably just destroyed that guy Johannes out there in two minutes of talking. I’m a monster. I’ve ruined everything.

BRECHT

Where have you been? We have to review second chorus lighting changes.

ANNOUNCER (V.O)

Laura Tesoro to the main stage in ten. Laura Tesoro in ten.

LAURA

Oh, I don’t think I can do it.

SEBASTIAN

Laura, listen to me: of course you can. Those were accidents. You didn’t do anything wrong. Michal assaulted you. He’s a creep. And you’re not Jamala with the weird asphyxiation fetish who forgot the simple safeword. Who can’t say Azerbaijan? In my book you’ve done everything right.

A STYLIST unzips Laura’s tracksuit and helps her into a sequined jacket. A SECOND STYLIST works on her hair.

LAURA

Oh yeah. How do you figure that? I did them both a favor?

BRECHT

Laura, we really have to go...

SEBASTIAN

Yeah, David Guetta, thank you, we get it.

(to Laura)

Laura, you did yourself a favor for once. They were both in your semi-final. Have you seen the stinkers they have for backups? You can go out there and win this now.

Laura cracks a smile.

LAURA

Yeah, to think of all the months I’ve wasted worrying about singing and dancing when all I needed to do was pick them off one by one.

Brecht begins leading a willing Laura out of the room.

SEBASTIAN

(stammering)

Ah yeah Laur, one more thing. Back to ah Jamala. She wasn’t a uh. You know, a.

LAURA

(shrugging)

Dunno. Never really checked.

Laura and Brecht continue walking out.

SEBASTIAN

Ah, and the uh, little piggies?

Laura turns over her shoulder. She gives a brief pause, looks at the ceiling, then turns around and crosses her index fingers into an X as she backs out of the room.

LAURA

Ten. She had all ten toes.

FADE OUT:

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it's just christmas come early around here for my 2 fans.

INT. EUROVISION MAIN STAGE GLOBE THEATER - DAY


Dress rehearsal has arrived: The grand Eurovision stage at the Globe is dark and quiet until the familiar funky bass line of What’s the Pressure fills the air and fog smothers the stage. Five male and five female ethnically diverse dancers, a mix of black, hispanic and southeast Asian, enter. The men are well built and shirtless. The women are scantily clad with cleavage showing. All the dancers are wearing iron-looking chains around their wrists. The final three men are carrying a plinth. On it rests Laura, wearing a sexy sequined toga cinched at the waist with Roman jewelry. She is holding grapes. They set her down as she begins singing and starts following the careful choreography with the dancers behind her.


LAURA

(singing)

Don’t ask me why the sun is shining, long after the day is done. The evening falls the bright lights...


CUT TO:

INT. EUROVISION GLOBE THEATER BACKSTAGE - DAY


Brecht looks elated as he and Sebastian view the performance from a flat-screen TV backstage. Sebastian looks on wide-eyed in near disbelief, mouth agape in horror.


SEBASTIAN

(grimacing)

You don't think it's .... a bit much?


BRECHT

(shakes head)

Nah.


SEBASTIAN

I mean, the chains though?


BRECHT

It's a ... how do you say, a metaphor for pressure. Laura is freeing them from pressure.


Laura, onstage and visible on the flat screen, sings the chorus lyric "What's the pressure" while she karate chops a MALE DANCER's chains, then chops the chains from a SECOND MALE DANCER. They fall off onto the floor and the two dancers begin a synchronized, choreographed pop dance behind laura. Sebastian slowly nods, wide-eyed, then buries his face in his hands, shaking his head. The song finally ends. Everyone on stage is happy and begins making their way O.S.


BRECHT

Wow, just wow. Extraordinary.


SEBASTIAN

And the dancers, they don't mind?


BRECHT

The dancers? About what?


SEBASTIAN

The chains. They don’t mind about being chained up across the stage?


BRECHT

Oh, well, I’m sure they don’t. Everyone says they love the choreography.


SEBASTIAN

Everyone... white?


A male dancer walks past.


BRECHT

What’s that? Oh, here one comes now. Let’s ask him. Excuse me, dancer. Oh dancer. Over here, dancer!


Sebastian closes his eyes and inhales.


SEBASTIAN

Oh boy.



CUT TO:

Laura is walking backstage, in the opposite direction from Brecht and Sebastian. An ASSISTANT hands her water and a towel. She surveys the room. She sees Brecht and Sebastian talking to a dancer. In another part of the room, she spies Johannes. He notices her and motions for her to come over to where he is talking to a dark-haired British woman, aged 30 something. This is the infamous SABRINA RIBBON.


JOHANNES

Laura, great show out there. Your dancing is amazing. Please let me introduce you to Sabrina Ribbon. Sabrina is a writer.


Sabrina and Laura shake hands.


SABRINA

Laura Tesoro. I’ve been hearing a lot about you lately.


LAURA

(smiling)

Oh, wow. Everything good, I hope.


SABRINA

Johannes here has been telling me all about wonderful you are. And I can see why. You clearly don’t get so hung up on the whole beauty and looks song-and-dance like most popstars. And you’re so modest. Why, I doubt anyone’s ever even heard of you before this week. So refreshing.


LAURA

Gee, thanks.


JOHANNES

What Sabrina means to say is that we all find you so charming and….


SABRINA

(interrupting)

Oh, there he goes again. He simply can’t get enough of you. I can’t believe you’ve never met before today. Me, I’ve known Johannes for positively ages. We go way back to when he was starring in the Viggo Mortensen tribute musical, Lord of the Road, in Copenhagen. Closed after three performances, but what a ride, right Johnny-cakes?


JOHANNES

Yes, Sabrina is such a great supporter of my music. Say, you should do a story about Laura here.


Sabrina waves her hand in a circle near Laura.


SABRINA

I’d love to do a story on Laura. I’m just not sure where I’d even begin with all this.


A GERMAN SUIT along with a GERMAN ASSISTANT approach the trio.


GERMAN SUIT

(to Johannes)

Excuse me, Mr. Nymark. Can I please ask you for a word? It’s urgent.


JOHANNES

(laughing nervously)

Uh-oh. I hope I’m not in trouble. Ladies, please excuse me.


Johannes departs O.S. with the suits.


SABRINA

(arches eyebrows)

That sounded dire. So, Laura Tesoro from Flanders, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself. What have you been up to the last few days? Met any interesting people?


LAURA

Hm, not really, I’ve been so busy rehearsing. Although I was at a party last night. Actually, nevermind. It wasn’t that interesting.


SABRINA

Oh, no, do go on. I don’t kiss and tell. It can be just between us girls.


LAURA

Well, I did get to meet Robyn.


SABRINA

Ah, right, the infamous Pussy Riot party. Tell me, is Robyn as much of a mynx as everyone says?


Suddenly Sebastian is seen running at full sprint to where Sabrina and Laura are talking. He is out of breath when he arrives.


SEBASTIAN

(panting)

Laura, don’t say another word. Sabrina, if you’re looking for the Bottom-feeder’s Anonymous meeting, I’m pretty sure it’s over wherever Lighthouse Ex is.


SABRINA

Sebastian, what a nice surprise. I heard you were working with Laura here, although I thought they’d kicked you off of all the civilized continents ages ago. But here you are, back like a bad case of herpes -- to use an analogy I’m sure is familiar.


SEBASTIAN

That’s funny, ‘Rina, considering I’d thought you’d been kicked off of all the civilized newspapers on planet Earth. Didn’t you lose your U.K. press card for that Daily Mail story about Prince Charles getting fisted by a pig?


SABRINA

Actually, I’m helping launch a new English language site for Ekstra Bladet in Denmark. It’s so adorable to see you at Eurovision considering it’s where music comes to die, much like your career since being permanently blacklisted from figure skating.


SEBASTIAN

Likewise, it’s great to see you getting in on the bottom floor of a newspaper, considering how much time you’ve spent down there with editors on your knees.


SABRINA

(sighs)

Tell me, Sebastian. Does it still sting that you can’t legally come within 50 meters of any ISU-certified skating rink?


SEBASTIAN

Sabrina, for the last time, those Rolexes were not bribes. They were tokens of appreciation for attending Johnny Weir’s vodka launch. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go and do literally anything other than stand here talking to you.


SABRINA

Oh what a shame, when I was just about to catch Laura up with the most bizarre rumors I’ve been hearing all morning. Did you hear the real story about Jamala?


Sebastian begins leading Laura away in a hurry.


SEBASTIAN

Pack of lies, everything you’ve heard. Toodlepip.


Sebastian waves and leads Laura to where they are safely away from Sabrina.


SEBASTIAN

Those are positively my very last words to that noxious, limey Brenda Starr wannabe. Do you believe she once had the gumption to infer that I need a crash course in ethics? You didn’t tell her anything, right?


LAURA

No. Just stupid little talk about Eurovision. She was I think trying to make me jealous in front of Johannes.


SEBASTIAN

Oh, that’s a relief. Like most journalists, Sabrina can never get past thinking about herself long enough to do any real probing. But you’re sure you said nothing? I just need to know. She seemed to have some ideas about Jamala, but that was all bluster I’m sure.


LAURA

No. Only that. Oh, it’s nothing.


SEBASTIAN

What?


LAURA

It’s nothing, like I said.


SEBASTIAN

Laur. You’re scaring me.


LAURA

Well, it’s just that she asked if I had met anyone and so I told her we went to a party and I met Robyn. And she said, Oh the famous Pussy Riot party. That’s all.


SEBASTIAN

Hum. That’s not so bad. I told a few tabloids you were at the Pussy Riot party. There’s a chance she already knew that.

(sighs)

Now for some real talk, and boy this is not easy for me. How wedded are you to that whole chain routine?


LAURA

Hey, Sebastian?


SEBASTIAN

Hm?


LAURA

What’s a mynx?


SEBASTIAN

An absolute baller in the sack. Total freak-a-deek. Would go down on you standing up without a second thought. Uh. Why’dyou ask?


LAURA

It’s just that, well Sabrina asked if Robyn was a mynx like everyone says.


SEBASTIAN

Wait, Sabrina said that? What…


The hall door that just moments before Johannes had gone through with the suits bursts open. Once again, Johannes is with them, only now there are many more suits with them. They are walking briskly toward the other end of the backstage area.


JOHANNES

There must be some mistake. I don’t understand. I’m not on drugs. The test must be wrong. I need to speak to my advocate.


Everyone in the room is staring at Johannes as he makes his way right past Laura and Sebastian. He grabs Laura’s arm in desperation.


Laura, you have to tell them. I’m not on drugs. I don’t understand what’s happening. Laura, please.


SEBASTIAN

(pulling Laura and Johannes apart)

Hey, Hands Christian Anderson. Don’t touch the talent. It’s not going to rub off on you.


Johannes is all but dragged away O.S.


Well, well, well. Looks like Lighthouse is more like Lighthorse.


Laura stares blankly.


That was a heroin joke, dear, please do keep up.


LAURA

Heroin? Johannes? No, there must be some mistake. Johannes is not on heroin.


SEBASTIAN

Oh, my sweet summer child. Drug tests don’t lie, unlike closet-case Danish singers, and man, Eurovision is not playing around this year.


LAURA

Wait. You said before it was an opiate test.


SEBASTIAN

Yeah?


LAURA

Well was it testing for opiates or rather opioids -- which include semi-synthetics derived from opiates, like heroin, as well as discrete synthetics like fentanyl and methodone? Opiates are more limited to the natural alkaloids found in the opium poppy. Besides, Johannes doesn’t exhibit any of the classic signs of heroin use: flushed skin, drowsiness, dry mouth, skin irritation.


Sebastian stares back blankly.


Uh. My parents are doctors of pharmacology.


SEBASTIAN

Well, that’s great that you have a fallback in case this whole pop music thing doesn’t pan out, but I fail to see the significance. Six to one, half a junkie the other.


LAURA

What if … oh my god, of course. The poppy seed bagel. What if the poppy seed bagel you gave to Johannes this morning was what caused him to fail the opiate test?


SEBASTIAN

(wincing)

Oh... Laura. Don’t be silly. That’s ridiculous.


Sebastian takes out his phone and begins thumbing through it.


Honestly, Laura. You’ve been watching too much Seinfeld. How would that even work?


Sebastian places the phone to his ear, making a call. He gives Laura the “just a sec” finger.


LAURA

What is it? Who are you calling?


SEBASTIAN

(pauses)

Sabrina? It’s Sebastian, and do I have a scoop for you.

FADE OUT:

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hmm i've literally never read or seen harry potter and had to google for that reference. actually, i just saw sliding doors the other day and thought what if a character had gwyneth's accent and jeanne tripplehorn's sass.

i guess your press has a certain....reputation, which lets lazy writers like myself and JKR boil down british journalists into easy stereotypes: bitchy and utterly without scruples.

oh well, not the first time my writing has been compared with one of the best-selling authors on earth, and i doubt it will be the last. critique just comes with the genius.

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  • 3 weeks later...

*seeing as how we're rapidly approaching laura's complete irrelevance i might as well wrap this up. finale to come after laura kills it in the finals tomorrow.*

FADE IN:


INT. TV STUDIO - SKY NEWS


A SKY NEWS ANCHOR WOMAN is giving a report. The lower third reads “Denmark Withdraws From Eurovision.”

SKY NEWS ANCHOR WOMAN

Danish broadcaster DR has withdrawn their country’s entry into the Eurovision song contest today following an alleged positive drug test result for one of its contestants.


CUT TO:

An abrupt cut to BBC news station.


BBC ANCHOR MAN

Lead singer Johannes Nymark of the Danish pop group Lighthouse Ten has allegedly tested positive for banned substances and will no longer compete for Denmark, which has withdrawn entirely from this year’s contest. The announcement comes on the heels of a number of crises over the past two days concerning contestants. Ukrainian singer Jamala


CUT TO:

A French news program.


FRENCH ANCHOR WOMAN

(in French)

Ukrainian singer Jamala has released a statement saying she is being flown to Paris to continue recuperating from a neck injury sustained when she caught a scarf

CUT TO:

An Australian news program. Lower third reads Eurovision in Crisis


AUSTRALIAN ANCHOR MAN

In other Eurovision News, Polish contestant Michal Szpak is still on life support after a near fatal collapse. His family has recently posted on Instagram thanking fans for their prayers and support, saying some quote tough choices lie ahead. The cause of Szpak’s collapse is unknown but several European newspapers have reported


CUT TO:

A Netherlands roundtable show. Several panelists are seated.


DUTCH MALE PANELIST (HANS)

(in Dutch)

As for the semi-final, now that Poland and Ukraine are out, I’m liking Belgium’s chances here.


DUTCH FEMALE PANELIST

I agree with Hans. Laura Tesoro’s funky little song is different. This is someone we weren’t even thinking about a few days ago. But now the upbeat message is much more relevant. It’s a much stronger contender. I could easily see this slipping into the final and then a top five finish.


SECOND MALE PANELIST

I could see this one going all the way. Not to spoil anything, but early word is that the choreography is fantastic.


DUTCH FEMALE PANELIST

I’ve heard the same thing. Very cutting edge.


FADE OUT:

FADE IN:


INT. GLOBEN HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT


Laura standing inside her large hotel room holding the remote out to a now-off TV. The room is crowded with people. Some are helping Laura dress for her semifinal performance, helping her into her sequined jacket, doing hair and makeup. Brecht is lost in his iPad. Laura takes a last look in the mirror. She looks strong and confident. Determined. She gathers up her purse and heads out the door with Brecht and her team.


LAURA

(in English to save on, ugh, subtitles)

OK. Showtime.


BRECHT

(in motion)

I don’t know, Laura. Maybe Sebastian is right.


LAURA

Please don’t ever say that.


BRECHT

Metal chains are the obvious metaphor. I’ve been so blind. We have to cut them out.


LAURA

I go on stage in 45 minutes. I’m already supposed to be down there already. I really--


BRECHT

(interrupting)

The choreography won’t change, but I can’t use the chains. The art, the passion, the pressure. Metal is cold and unforgiving. We need the soft power statement of leather.


LAURA

Maybe we should just use the metal chains we practiced with. A change right now could be confusing to the dancers.


BRECHT

(irate)

Forget the dancers! I’m thinking of you, Laura. You cannot break pressure. It does not break. You must bend it to your will. Imagine the smooth, well-oiled texture of leather against taut skin, bending and stretching until the final snap. It’s genius. I must find those leather chains.


The group reaches the elevator bank. Brecht pushes the down arrow.


LAURA

You mean you don’t have them?


BRECHT

Laura, this brainstorm -- this brain-vision -- has only just flowered from a seed carefully watered and percolated. Now, I will save the day and find the straps.


(to everyone)

Everyone, can I have your attention. Does anyone know where we can find fifteen leather straps in less than an hour?


There is a general silence and shrugging.


You failures. Do you mean to ruin me?


Laura sighs and reaches into her purse. She takes out a Globen hotel key card and thumbs it over.


LAURA

(nods)

Wait. I have an idea.

She takes out her Apple iPhone® 6 and starts typing. She sends a text and it pops up: “Meet me ASAP. I need your help.” The elevator dings and slides open.


FADE OUT:

INT. GLOBEN THEATRE MAIN STAGE


A clip plays introducing the semi-final plays, showing various Eurovision contestants, including Michal, Laura, and Jamala, singing, plus fans waving flags and various opening-ceremony glamour shots.


CUT TO:

ANNOUNCER (V.O)

Ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et messieurs, please give a warm welcome for the hosts of Eurovision 2016, Anijika and Hakim.


There is wild cheering inside the packed stadium. Sabrina is seen in the press section. Selah Sue is in attendance. So are various Eurovision has-beens. ANIJIKA, a tall 40-something modelesque woman well over six feet with a well-botoxed face enters with HAKIM, a late-20s Mideastern gay man about 5’6 wearing a white sportscoat and trendy European clothes.


ANIJIKA

(through thick, inscrutable accent)

Welcome everyone to the semi-final of Eurovision 2016.


HAKIM

Tonight we’ll find out which ten of our fourteen contestants will make it through to the final where they’ll be competing for Eurovision glory.


ANIJIKA

(pausing for applause)

We won’t deny it’s been a long difficult journey this year. And we’ve lost several from the Eurovision family who can’t be with us here tonight.


HAKIM

As a special tribute we have most of the Gdansk Boys Choir here tonight to perform a tribute to Michal--


Applause drowns Hakim out.


ANIJIKA

But first. Introducing from all over Europe, the contestants of the Eurovision 2016 semi-final. Featuring: Australia. Belarus. Belgium.


The teams start shuffling in from the back toward the stage, contestants with their managers and minders and assorted staff, all holding battery candles and waving flags. Laura and Brecht are among the Belgian team. Laura looks nervous as she files onto the stage with only the other contestants as they form a semicircle. There is some general swaying as the Gdansk boys choir file onto the stage. Sabrina Ribbon is seen in the press box rolling her eyes. She shimmies out of her seat and exits.


CUT TO:

INT. GLOBEN HOTEL HALLWAY


Sebastian steps off the elevator and begins hauling ass down the corridor, a Globen hotel key card in his hand, a backpack slung on one shoulder. He looks at his iPhone and puts it away. He walks briskly away, rounding the corner, then another. He walks, rounds another corner and stops abruptly. He is at suite 20115. He uses the keycard to let himself in to the suite, Robyn’s, which is still set up like the 50 Shades of Grey red room, with sex toys and various leather and metal fasteners about, and on the walls. Sebastian takes in the scene. The bathroom light is on, but through the glass it appears empty. He walks to the bed.


SEBASTIAN

(muttering)

Jesus, Laura. It’s a miracle you can still walk upright.


Sebastian begins collecting and stuffing leather straps, cuffs, and fasteners into the backpack. He has plenty to choose from, pulling them from the walls. One cuff slips out of his grasp and rolls onto the floor, under a trendy rectangular chaise.


(sucks teeth)

Christ on a laptop.


Sebastian bends over to reach for the cuff stretching his arm under the chaise. With his head low, he doesn’t notice the bathroom light go out. A shadowy figure moves through the room silently snatching a large wooden dildo from the end table. Sebastian retrieves the cuff and, still crouching, stuffs it into the backpack, zipping it up. He is about to sling it over his shoulder. The shadowy figure is right behind him, head covered with what could be a shawl. The wooden dildo goes up. Crack. It’s brought down right over Sebastian’s head. He collapses.


FADE OUT:

FADE IN:


Things are blurry as Sebastian comes to, trussed up with leather straps on the bed. The shadowy figure is standing in front of the bed holding the wooden dildo, wearing a scarf around her hair and tied around her neck.


SEBASTIAN

(dazed)

Wha--


(regaining awareness; gasps)

Impossible!


The face of Jamala is revealed as she begins to laugh. She is holding leather cuffs and chains.


JAMALA

(croaking)

Welcome to fly, said spider to web.


SEBASTIAN

But -- you’re -- you’re in Paris. In recovery. We heard it on the news!


JAMALA

I stage early release to take care of business not yet finish. I take feed tube out myself. Is nothing. In Crimea, mafia put me in feed tube four time already.


SEBASTIAN

Oh man. Why do I have the feeling this is going to start getting a whole lot more KGB?


JAMALA

Relax chatty American boy. There no violence here. It not like Crimea war where I lose litre of blood and relearn walking for two year. I let you go speck and span -- in one hour.


SEBASTIAN

I don’t know how long you lost oxygen for, Jamala, but I’ve got to get these--


JAMALA

Chains?


Jamala drops the leather cuffs. She walks over to a large laundry bag in one corner and picks it up. She turns it over and out falls metal chains clanking onto the floor.


(laughing)

And these too maybe?


SEBASTIAN

Those are Laura’s chains!


JAMALA

You miss nothing. I see why they put you in charge of ditz Belgian popstar who put me in hospital.


Jamala dramatically removes her scarf to show a bruised and swollen neck.


I cannot sing because of your Laura, so I take chains.


SEBASTIAN

Between me and you, Jams, I think you did us all a big favor. But there’s no time to adjust. Laura’s whole dance will be off!


Jamala laughs.


JAMALA

Dance will be ruin. She will make fool of self in front of all Eurovision now. And it’s too late to save.


There is a knock at the door. Jamala goes to open it.


Don’t go where.


Sebastian rolls his eyes and he struggles futilely with his straps.


SABRINA (O.S)

Yes, Jamala, I got it. But it wasn’t easy.


(pause)

What’s that?


Sabrina and Jamala walk over to the bed. Sabrina smiles deviously.


SABRINA

Ah, Sebastian. Now this is a surprise.


FADE OUT:

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without further ado, the exciting conclusion of ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

FADE IN:


The Gdansk boys are finishing up their over of We Are The World, holding plastic candles. When the song finishes, there is wild applause. The Eurovision contestants, still in their semicircle, begin exiting the stage. Laura turns from the cameras furtively. She takes out her iPhone and glances at it but is disappointed. She finds Brecht in the backstage crowd.


LAURA

Brecht, have you seen Sebastian?


BRECHT

No, Laura, I am not really thinking about that right now.

My chains have gone missing.


LAURA

I sent Sebastian to get them but he’s not back yet.

You don’t think something happened? He’s not answering

his phone. That’s really unusual.


BRECHT

Not the leather chains, Laura, but all the chains. The

metal ones are gone too! They were right here and

now they’re gone.


Laura’s eyes get wide. She purses her lips and shoves her phone back in her jacket pocket.


LAURA

I gotta go.


Laura takes off running.


BRECHT

Where are you going? You’re on stage in 20! Laura? Think

of my career!


CUT TO:


Laura is running through the backstage area.


LAURA

Sebastian! Sebastian, where are you?


She is frantic. She pulls out her phone and dials, leaving it on speaker while she looks around. There is a voicemail beep.


SEBASTIAN (V.O)

(filtered)

It’s Sebastian. Don’t leave a message. I don’t need you all

up in my mailbox. I don’t do mail and I don’t do box.


Laura passes by a room and hears something. It sounds almost vaguely like muffled cries. She creeps over to a curtain, then pulls it fast. A shocked Robyn and Samra stare back at her, blouses askew, arms entangled.


ROBYN

Damn, Double Dutch. You like to watch, dontcha?


LAURA

I -- I’m looking for Sebastian.


ROBYN

Girl, you don’t need no men to do it right and get it tight. Now come

on over here and let me relieve some-a that pressure I keep hearing ‘bout.


LAURA

No -- I sent him up to your suite. To get some leather cuffs. He’s

not back yet and--


ROBYN

Oh yeah, yeah. I gotcha. This a little bit of roleplay. Girl, you got some

kink in ya bones.


Laura starts to object. Robyn reaches into a pocket and pulls something out.


Here, take my room card. Get a little surprise action goin’ on. But yo,

I need that room back in two hours. I got that Bulgarian chick coming

who likes to get freaky with the lipstick.


Laura takes the card and mouths a thanks. She hauls it out of the backstage area and into the hotel.


CUT TO:


Sebastian is still strung up on the bed. Sabrina and Jamala are over him. Sabrina is holding the wooden sex toy.


SEBASTIAN

Ugh, Sabrina. I thought I smelled musk of desperation and career

failure. I just thought it was the fact that Samra had been on these sheets.


SABRINA

Oh Sebastian. So quick with the quips. I have half a mind to shove this right

up your arse if I wasn’t so sure it was trained enough to take it.


SEBASTIAN

You’re making a big mistake. Laura knows where I am. She has probably

called security by now. And Sabrina, you can’t afford another stint in jail, or

do you think the police won’t find out about the time you got caught hacking

George Michael’s phone to ambush him at park bathrooms.


SABRINA

Oh yes, we’ve been naughty girls. But so have you. Breaking into

Robyn’s suite? No, Laura won’t risk it. She’ll come directly and

when she does we’ll be waiting.


Jamala and Sabrina begin to laugh.


CUT TO:


Laura is in the Globen hotel corridor, nervous, when she approaches suite 20115. She prepares to open the door with the keycard when something catches her eye. It’s an exit at the end of corridor labeled EMERGENCY FIRE in Swedish. Her eyes trail over to it, pensively.


CUT TO:


Inside the suite, Jamala and Sabrina are now next to the bed where Sebastian is.



JAMALA

Shut up. American talk too much. In Ukraine, you say seven words

a day. More is dangerous to family.


SEBASTIAN

Jamala, don’t think we don’t know why you have the strength of a

bodybuilder. Your little surgery--


Jamala and Sabrina take a long leather belt and begin tying it around Sebastian’s mouth, muffling his cries. Just then the door beeps and opens. Sabrina smiles deviously and she glances at Jamala. Sebastian can’t speak. Jamala and Sabrina grab menacing and dangerous sex toys and look toward the door. Suddenly, out of the shadows, Laura appears and she’s holding a fire extinguisher. She quickly approaches and sprays it violently at Jamala and Sabrina.


SABRINA

What the bloody?


JAMALA

Ah, no, scarf is almost Hermes!


Jamala and Sabrina are stunned. They back up, their hands trying to shield their eyes and take off foam. Laura runs up to them and thrusts the canister in Sabrina’s stomach, dropping it. She doubles over. Then Laura recreates her What’s the Pressure choreography. She spins, fluffs out her jacket and does a flourishing kick right in Jamala’s stomach. She disco points her fingers up to the ceiling and arches her back, throwing another kick at Jamala’s backside. She grabs a dildo and whacks Sabrina on the head, then rushes to help Sebastian, removing the belt from his face.


SEBASTIAN

Laura, you came. But where did you get the strength? Have you

been eating again?


LAURA

Sebastian, maybe now is not the time seeing how you’re tied up

and I’m right next to a whip.


Sebastian smiles. Laura helps him out of his straps.


SEBASTIAN

You’re right, of course. I’m eternally grateful. Maybe I should have

been working out with you instead of playing Candy Crush ten hours

a day while you danced.


Sebastian glances at Jamala and Sabrina.


But what do we do with these two?


Laura grabs some straps and steps on Jamala’s back as she ties her up.


LAURA

Don’t worry, Robyn will be back in two hours. For all I know

they’ll end up in a foursome.


Laura and Sebastian finish tying them up and begin running out of the room. Sebastian double backs to scoop up the leather cuffs. He stops over Jamala and bends down.


SEBASTIAN

You know while we’re here, maybe I’ll just check something.


LAURA

Sebastian! Let’s go!


SEBASTIAN

Sorry, sorry.


He stands up and runs to Laura and then out of the room.


CUT TO:


Sebastian and Laura are sprinting down the backstage area to where Brecht is in a Chariots-of-Fire slow-mo moment. Sebastian stops, doubling over in exhaustion. Laura grabs him and drags him along to the front of the stage. Brecht is frantic. Things still appear slow-mo for Laura, out of breath with foam in her hair and on her sleeves.


BRECHT

Laura, you’re on stage now! You’re up!


Laura shakes off the foam and nods. She grabs the cuffs from Sebastian and starts walking to the stage. A MINDER is there with a headset guiding her on. Sebastian stops her.


SEBASTIAN

(out of breath)

Laura, I just want you to

(pause)

Remember that

(pause)

The most important thing is to

(pause)

Go out there and

(pause)

Pretend you’re pregnant --

(pause)

-- sympathy votes

(pause)


Before he can finish, Laura embraces Sebastian quickly, then pulls away and hurries toward the stage.




FADE IN:


INT. GLOBEN MAIN STAGE - NIGHT


The stage is dark, much like it was during rehearsal. Then the What’s the Pressure bass line fills the air. Before the melody starts, it stops again. The silence is filled by cheering and yelling by the fans. Things grow tense. The music starts up again, then the stage illuminates as Laura and her backup dancers finally emerge and deliver a show-stopping rendition of What’s the Pressure, with Laura not missing a beat. Her vocals and dancing are perfect.


FADE OUT:


FADE IN:

INT. GLOBEN GREEN ROOM


TITLE OVER: Two days later


The shaky frame is blurry before it comes into focus. Laura is standing in the green room, a massive room with 24 curved couches for each of the contestants and their teams in a stark, sleek design like something out of the Hunger Games. Next to her is a EUROVISION REPORTER holding a microphone.


REPORTER

I’m here with Laura Tesoro, who just scored a top five finish in this year’s

Eurovision after mesmerizing performances in the semi-final and tonight’s

finals. Laura, how are you feeling?


LAURA

(laughing)

Tired! But I’m so thrilled by this result. It’s been an exhausting few weeks,

but I’m just so elated right now.


REPORTER

I bet. It looks like you were dancing pretty hard out there. Was that a lot of

work? Were you feeling the pressure, so to speak?


LAURA

I was. But we trained hard and I was prepared and also I felt so confident.

I was eager just to give it my all and really throw a fun party for all the fans.

And then a top five finish? I’m jubilant.


REPORTER

Now that’s it’s over, any idea what are you going to go do next?


LAURA

(smiling)

Yeah, I’m going to eat an entire plate of fried shrimp, I think.


REPORTER

(laughs)

Any regrets?


LAURA

(shakes head)

Nope.


REPORTER

Thanks so much, Laura. Congratulations.


Laura and the Reporter shake hands. The frame pulls back to reveal the cameraman as Laura walks toward Sebastian, standing to the edge, who gives her a side hug. Only a few people are still lingering in the green room. The pair walk toward the exit.


SEBASTIAN

Well, that’s the last of them, thank God. I’m so proud of you for

using all the vocabulary words on your flashcards. You didn’t

say excited once.


LAURA

You know, maybe I only said excited a lot when I actually was.


Just then, Sabrina limps over, clutching her stomach with one hand and a recorder in the other.


SABRINA

Sebastian? Laura? Can I have a -- Oof.


Sebastian and Laura keep walking. Sabrina hurries to catch up but doubles over in pain. Sebastian spins around.


SEBASTIAN

Sabrina, yikes, what happened? You take a nasty fall

or something?


SABRINA

(smiling thinly)

Something like that. I can ask a couple of ques--


SEBASTIAN

Jeez, girl. You need to be more careful around here. Make sure nothing

happens to those last two ribs. But hey. Give our love to Jamala. Heard

that feed tube’s back in -- tough break.


Sebastian and Laura exit. They pass by Australian popstar DAMI IM holding flowers. Laura stops to shake hands.


LAURA

Congratulations on winning, Dami. I’m so happy for you.


DAMI

Uh. Um, you too, Laura.


LAURA

Let’s keep in touch, yeah?


DAMI

Yeah, um, I’m actually between phones right now...


Suddenly ROBYN walks by on the arm of Bulgarian singer POLI GENOVA, wearing black lipstick. Robyn has black smudge marks all over her neck. Dami shoots them a glance. Robyn checks her out top to bottom.


ROBYN

(to Poli)

Damn, might have to take me a trip to the Down Under Seoul

train tonight.


Laura steps away from Dami and walks with Sebastian through the backstage, headed for the exit.


LAURA

Why does it seem like no one except Robyn wants to keep in

touch with me?


SEBASTIAN

Well you did put Jamala and Michal Szpak in a coma. Word is the

national juries were too scared for their contestants’ lives not give

you top points. You’re basically the rib-breaking Eurovision mafia.


LAURA

You’re not scared of me though?


SEBASTIAN

(rolls eyes)

Psh, you’re kidding right? Now c’mon. You can keep me

company while I get something to eat.


LAURA

I could really go for some shrimp right now.


SEBASTIAN

(inhales)

Mm, I was thinking more like half a lemon for you.


Laura, half smiling, raises her elbow and jabs Sebastian in the ribs. He steps away quickly and grunts, grabbing his stomach.


SEBASTIAN

(weakly)

You know, on second thought, shrimp sounds great.


Sebastian rejoins Laura and together they reach the double doors leading to the exit. They push the door bars and step out into the bright Stockholm street.

THE END

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i love that you quote that line because i think it's the best one in the entire screenplay. that scene actually is pretty good. if all my lines sang like that, i'd have a job writing in tv.

I very nearly responded with a quotation of that line myself, but decided it would be unfair to the piece as a whole, which contains a lot of pleasures.

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