Sunday, 25 May 2008

'Confluence of Sound'

I'll just go ahead and say it - I love the Eurovision song contest. It just makes me happy. Nothing is more guaranteed to provide something that will make your jaw hit the floor, or will make you want to marry Terry Wogan. As the piercing lady presenter said, it was full of unforgeddable moments.

Did Russia deserve to win? Well, skaters and violinists with large noses don't really do it for me, but that's hardly the point. I did enjoy the Shakira-esque stylings of Greece, Armenia and the Ukraine - particularly the Ukrainian lady's 'strike a pose' moments in front of her lightboxes.

And then of course there's the special stuff. France thought they were being weird with Sebastian Tellier's golf cart and bearded backing ladies, but then Bosnia came and blew them out of the water. I have no idea what a song requiring 4 brides, one washing line, a woman with a birds nest on her head and a skirt covered in apples and a man with more blusher than i have ever seen could be about, but it was oddly compelling. Honorable mentions must go to Finland's hair metal (3 drummers, one with a furry cape); Croatia's muppet-style grumpy pensioner in a white hat (could he be described as a rapper? Was he in fact 75 cents as advertised??); Icelands happy house track; Turkeys almost-indie rock & roll (note to cameraman, the long haired one you ignored was the cutest); the Latvian pirates with their total lack of credibility; and the really quite tasteful Norwegian track.

The worst entries? Well lets be honest, Poland and Germany deserved to be at the bottom more than we did - for sunbed abuse and in Germany's case a total inability to sing in tune (with the music, with one another, with the nearest cat - anything). But I am still reeling from Spain's miniature Elvis with his bollywood moves - it wasn't e even so bad it was funny - it was just horrible.

With Terry, I was somewhat mystified by the success of Azerbaijan's operatic angels (and devil with his glass of 'blood') - and by the way it was all too clear in the green room that coloured contacts and special hair have a highly transformative effect - could you see any angels there? Thought not.

Some themes of the evening - cross-dressing, starting with the dancers for last year's winner in the opening number who wore half & half male & female evening dress. Women who all have the same tan, teeth, legs, lips and eyeshadow - Poland and Norway opted for the ironed hair, the rest for curly, Sweden's eyeshadow made her (?) look like an alien, and then of course there was the presenter of the Russian votes who had plaits, a trilby and a lace cravat.

All that can be said about the band who came on during the scoring, and their red and blue painted dancers, was said by Terry - 'you either get buried or married to this.' He also had the last word on the green room shenanigans - 'Is that man taking a photo of the camera?'

On the scoring - 'London calling' still sounds more impressive than when anywhere else tries it; rimless glasses are scary (yes I mean you, France and Albania); Moldova you should read your Fairy Tales before offering the presenters a shiny red apple; Thomas in Germany did you really love Azerbaijan so much that you had to steal their angel wings?; The Czech republic, it's understandable to confuse Azerbaijan and Armenia, but golden haired Bjorn from Sweden, if you can't say Bosnia Herzegovina it's time to back away from the bottle and the autocue.

Altogether now, with Terry - 'Now might be a good time to make yourself a stiff drink.'

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