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The Eurovision song contest: some thoughts

Posted on May 14, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Well, I'm here in Miami. I've unpacked the Carusometer from its lovingly filigreed portmanteau. Temperature yesterday was about 32?Ǭ?C. Nice.

Normally, it being a Monday, I'd have reviewed Saturday's episode of Doctor Who by now. But I can't, because the Eurovision Song Contest was on instead. So I've decided to scribble down a few thoughts on that instead.

Russia
Russia is, of course, famous for many things. Chiefly though, it's now best known as the world's leading provider of nasty Internet porn. This has now steeped far into Russian musical culture, as evidenced by the country's entry this week. Obviously, t.A.T.u. was busy on Saturday so their slightly less dodgy, slightly less exploited sister act got the job. All the same, I actually felt dirty after listening to them: it's like I accidentally surfed to the wrong web site and got 1,500 unpleasant pop-up ads on my screen. Yuck. Probably the first Euro-mention of the phrases “my bitches” and “bad ass” and I defy anyone to tell me what the song was really about it. Run it past a translator next time, guys.

Ukraine
Only had five lines, was very silly and I kind of liked it. I'm sure the lead singer or perhaps even the entire group is immensely famous in the Ukraine and we're missing a lot of the cultural references though. Maybe it's their equivalent of Brian Eno's Ambience albums, and just the last in a long sequence of projects.

Terry Wogan
Obviously crazy bats mental. He's actually a very interesting example of a conspiracy theorist's mindset. Tel believes that everyone's conspiring to ensure the UK and Western Europe don't win, with all sorts of voting blocs. Whenever evidence supports his theory, he embraces it; whenever something comes along to disprove it (which happens a lot), he dismisses it as a freak occurrence. And when the same thing happens in our favour (eg Malta and Ireland voting for us), he just counts that as their being friendly. I don't know Tel, but is it just possible that people from neighbouring countries with similar cultures might like the same kinds of music, and that all our tunes have just been absolute rubbish? Just a thought.

Ferne Cotton
Is it my imagination or is she on every single TV programme now? And she looked like she'd been “Euro-fied” to look like all the other countries' presenters, too, didn't she? Oh dear.

France
I quite liked this one. I'm still humming it. Is that wrong? But mixing French and English like that probably only goes down well with the Swiss, because my brain can't code-switch that quickly. Messed my head up, anyway. Je cours, je cours...!

Serbia
Bit of a dirge, but fair dos, they won. Terry seemed to think she looked a bit odd (he was actually less charitable than that), but unless my East European gaydar is faulty, I think she's gay, Tel. Have a look at those backing singers again and think about it.

United Kingdom
We deserved to lose. We should have got zero. It's like we spotted five years ago that UK-centric tunes weren't going down well so decided to switch to Euro-pop just as most countries were moving away from it. And then, rather than giving them some actual Euro-pop, we gave them Steps crossed with Carry On. Steps is for eight-year-olds: don't you think the rest of Europe might have been insulted by that? Plus “Flying the flag, all over the world”? What's that supposed to mean? We're coming to take over your countries to recreate our Empire, armed only with camp air stewards?

Interactive TV
Press the red button! The experience is so much better. Not only do you get English translations, you also get the original lyrics in their proper script (albeit with the occasional typo), right down to “a a a a a”, which apparently translates into English as “a a a a a”. Nothing was too hard for these guys. We were entranced by the Armenian alphabet which looked like it had come out Lord of the Rings.

Ireland
What were you thinking guys?

Finnish interviewing woman
I'm with Tel. What were you thinking, Finland? Were you trying to prove what a bunch of funny people you are by employing the sugar-plum fairy from Scrooged, a film now 20 years old? Humour has moved on, my friends. Doh!

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