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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gird your loins - it's nearly here!!

The Eurovision Song Contest, live from Belgrade, Serbia, May 24

There's no middle ground as far as the Eurovision is concerned. You either love it or you hate it. Those who hate it look at you as if you're mad. Lighten up, I cry: it's a bit of a laugh! It's irony incarnate. It's kitsch. It's the only thing that unites everyone in Europe (and a few others like Israel).

So what's in store on May 24? And before that, in the two semi-finals? (April 20 and 22).

Well, UK doesn't have to compete in the semi-finals. Thank goodness! Because we'd never make it to the final. Along with Germany, France and Spain we fund it so we get a wild card or a free bus pass or whatever you like to call it.

What I don't understand is why we (the UK) are not allowed to vote in the first semi-final. I had already promised Kurt I would cast a solitary vote for Belgium, and then what happens? Belgium are in the first semi. I can't believe it's because Ireland are in the first semi. I mean, come on!! They never give us all their points and we only give them a few. It's not like the Swedes giving the Danes 12 every time, or Georgia giving Russia 12, or Croatia giving Serbia (need I go on about the nuances of the voting system?). We and the Irish have a bit of dignity and pride!

Anyway, down to the matter of form. This year it's all about the novelty act. There are several! Ireland has Dustin the turkey, a puppet singing "Irelande douze pointe". Clearly the Irish invested a lot in the lyrics. We're talking Lennon McCartney in their prime:
Hello Abba, hello Bono, hello Helsinki,
Hola Prague, hello sailor, c’est la vie,
Auf wiedersehen, mamma mia and God save the Queen
G’day Austria, bonjour Serbia, you know what I mean

Other novelty acts include Latvia with Pirates of the Sea singing Wolves of the Sea (I think there may be a theme going on here), and Croatia, fielding an elderly gentleman doing some rapping.

As for "Royaume Uni" (that's us), we have no chance whatsoever. We never do these days, with the Baltic bloc vote, but the trouble is this year we have a fairly decent song and a fairly decent singer, but it's all a bit...well, fairly decent and average. Not a nil pointe but it won't be giving Terry Wogan palpitations either.

The official Eurovision site, by the way, is worth checking out...not only can you see each participant and hear their song, you can see the lyrics too!

Stay tooned to this blog - there's more to come I'm afraid.

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