Blog : Posts tagged with 'Eurovision'


Trans-Europe Express

In which FP is out of step with Europe

The Eurovision Song Contest rolled round again, last night. We fell into watching it, mostly because we had nothing else to do on a Saturday night, but partly because we knew the UK wasn’t going to win and we wanted to see just how much we wouldn’t win by.

We couldn’t do as badly as last year, of course; well, at least, we couldn’t do any worse. We were surprised, though, just how well the UK did in the end. I mean, it wasn’t exactly a very good song. It was the sort of song that would fit in well at the end of the second act of a second-rate West End musical,* which I suppose isn’t that surprising given who wrote it. It didn’t have any rhythm to it, no memorable tune either, and the lyrics sounded as if they belonged elsewhere: as if we were hearing them entirely out of context.

Then again: I am no good at spotting why a song might win the Eurovision Song Contest. Graham Norton, commentating, seemed baffled why Britain had given Germany a relatively high vote; I was surprised it wasn’t higher, as I thought it was the sort of song that would go down well.** I don’t understand why Norway were a runaway success, but all the other songs with vaguely-folkish melodies and violins didn’t get very far. Next year, no doubt, the rest of the world will be watching and know where to get excited; and I’ll be watching feeling slightly bemused once more.

* assuming three acts in total. And the traditional sort of West End musical, not the lazy modern sort where someone tries to string already-popular songs together with a badly-fitting plot.

** Although I wasn’t sure why Dita von Teese was on stage, lounging around with a riding crop doing absolutely nothing, including appearing on camera.

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In which we can guess how things are going to turn out

The Eurovision Song Contest has left me in a sulk. Not because it’s silly (that’s a given), but because it’s almost too predictable. As Diamond Cartographer Geezer’s map shows, the results are based more on geography than writing or performance. It makes me wonder: what’s the point in scoring? What’s the point in having a winner when being the winner is effectively meaningless? Next year, why don’t we just have thirty top-quality songs and forget about all that expensive* premium-rate phone voting? Oh.

For what it’s worth: France and Georgia had the best songs. Sweden put on the best performance, and probably would have won if it wasn’t for nationalism. The proof of this: I haven’t been able to get the French chorus out of my head all day even though I don’t know what any of the words are. Now that’s proof it’s a good song.

* for the callers, not the EBU

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Had me over a barrel

In which we miss the Eurovision

The plan was to have a nice relaxing evening in, watch The Doctor defeat the Cybermen; and then sit down, watch the Eurovision, and blog about it, sarcastically. A good plan, I thought. For one thing, W and P are coming up to visit next weekend. As they’re both glued to the Eurovision every year,* it would be handy to be able to discuss it with them.

Things didn’t quite go to plan, though. Just as The Doctor was making the Cybermen go all emo, my messenger window went pling! “Are you going out tonight?”

“No,” I replied, “I’m staying in. Definitely. Staying in and watching the Eurovision. There’s no way you’re going to persuade me to go out even if it is to the N&W.”**

I’m a very stubborn, stick-to-my-guns kind of person. Which doesn’t really explain why, a couple of hours later, I was listening to the Eurovision on the radio, whilst zooming along the motorway counting down the numbers to the Wooldale exit. With immaculate timing, the songs themselves finished just as I pulled up in the club’s car park.

So, I had no idea how the scores went, or who won. Not until I got back into my car at the end of the evening, and realised I had a text message from my friend Owen. It said just one word: “ROCKTORY!” – which was all I needed to guess the result. Owen likes his hard rock.

* in fact, they first met at a Eurovision theme night in a bar just off the Strand. And now they’re married. All together now: awwwww.

** The Netherthong And Wooldale Theatrical And Social Club (Not Its Real Name), of course. I really hope the people there don’t mind me mentioning it like that.

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