Sunday, 23 May 2010

Eurovision Preview

The televisual event of the year is almost upon us. Forget the finale of Lost, this summer's last ever Big Brother and that seldom-watched World Cup thingy: there is only one thing that matters, and that's the Eurovision Song Contest.

Without further ado, here's the UK entry: Josh Dubovie with
That Sounds Good to Me:

Ok, I've tried to like it for patriotism's sake (long time readers will know Eurovision is the only occasion I swap the workers' standard for the red, white and blue of the union flag), but it's dull. It's duller than dull, it's bland, unimaginative, and nothing more than the aural equivalent of second hand bubble gum. Therefore, with heavy heart, I will be transferring my allegiance this year to a country that's made an effort.

It's been tough. There's
the folky, the kooky, the soggy and the awful.

Luckily there's a few stand out entries that grab the attention. Ever wondered what a German singing mockney-stylee sounds like? Then wonder no more! Jena's
Satellite firmly parks her panzers on Lily Allen's lawn.

For Lithuania, InCulto's
Eastern European Funk edges into political commentary. Check this verse out: Yes sir, we are legal we are, though we are not as legal as you/ No sir, we’re not equal no, though we are both from the EU/ We build your homes and wash your dishes, keep your hands all soft and clean/ But one of these days you’ll realise Eastern Europe is in your genes.

From up the Baltic coast hails the Estonian act, Malcolm Lincoln with
Siren. They have the competition's weirdest video, and probably the strangest song too. It reminds me of forgotten alternative '80s tracks you might have once found in a Woolies bargain bin.

In the end I've managed to get it down to four songs. Bringing up the rear of my pop picks is Denmark's Chanée & N'Evergreen's
In a Moment Like This. Now the Tories are back in power the cultural ether is resonating with an 80s vibe again - this might win the Danes a few votes on the night.

I also quite like Miro's
Angel Si Ti, one of the very few decent dancey numbers in the contest. Bulgaria have played a blinder with this one.

Seems Bosnian entrants - understandably - only ever sing about peace and reconciliation. And this year's
Thunder and Lightning, courtesy of Vukašin Brajić is no different. But it's alright and, by Eurovision standards, a bit edgy.

So who will we at AVPS towers be rooting for on the night? Assuming she gets through Tuesday's semi-final, it's this:

That's right, Albania - the so-called stepchild of Europe - receives this blog's weighty endorsement. How can it fail?

Bet tip: Comrades fancying a flutter might like to check out the number of views each video has received on YouTube. Most weigh in between the 170,000-250,000 mark, but Moldova's entry
has well over half a million, Turkey's approaching 700k, Serbia nearly 900,000, and Jena's mockney warblings has four and a quarter million views. If I was a betting man I know where I'd be putting my money.


BenSix said...

Christ, you're not wrong. I'd rather drown in dough than listen to our boy another second. On the other hand, this Jena personage rhymes "you" with "you". I'm no snob, but when you're making Bono look like Rimbaud...

Phil said...

I'm not too fussed if Germany walks away with the prize. Can anyone remember the last time they won it?

I do wonder if the powers that be deliberately enter duff songs for the UK, seeing as hosting Eurovision is a money loser. How else to explain the lack of a decent song since Gina G did the honours?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

God, I love Eurovision!

Phil said...

Daniel, did you know the Eurovision experience is immeasurably improved by tweeting along with the broadcast? ;)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Twitter sucks ass and you know it, I prefer to keep my own personal score on it and compare notes with comrades.

Phil said...

I'm going to love quoting back to you your disparaging remarks about Twitter when you finally succumb :P

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


Phil said...

Pleasingly, Albania and Bosnia have made it through. Will the other two picks - Denmark and Bulgaria - make the final?

neilcaff said...

Watch the semi-final last night. Forgotten what a great laugh it is.

Was bitterly disappointed the Croatians didn't make it through. My god they are three beautiful women! Turkey's song looks pretty useful but what was the point of that Power Ranger?

Phil said...

I'm amazed at the number of beautiful people who can actually sing. I've also seriously warmed to Romania's entry - how she was able to reach that note was fantastic. I bet her cat suit didn't do their voting figures any harm either.

Phil said...

Albania? It's dreadful - a Hi-NRG power-ballad, the bastard child of Amii Stewart and Bonnie Tyler. All it lacked was the bit where the syndrums go biddly biddly boo! Not quite as bad as Iceland, I'll grant you.

I was out last night, so I haven't watched the second semi yet. On Tuesday I was rooting for Slovakia (Katrina and the Ents) and of course Estonia, whose stage act was even better than the video - a bit like Neil Hannon, only without the macho posturing. Neither of whom got through - bah. I was slightly sorry to see Poland go out, just because their act was so deeply unpleasant - not every day you see the lead singer get one of the dancers in a headlock and pull her top off. And did anyone else notice that Derren Brown was fronting two separate acts? Justin Lee Collins, eat your heart out.

Jena's song is a former number 1 in Germany, apparently, so most of the Youtube hits probably predate Eurovision. Me, I'm rooting for Greece ("OPA!") Speaking of which, it's an unusual contest in one respect - both Greece and Iceland genuinely couldn't afford to stage it next year. It's surprising neither of them entered My Lovely Horse.