Sunday, May 30, 2010

Eurovision 2010

The Germans and their flags, eh? Lena, Lena over all!

Another (not very classic) Eurovison is over and has produced, shock, a German winner. It had always been thought that the days of anyone winning from the "big four" (those countries that fund most of the competition and get automatic entry to the final) of France, Germany, Spain and the UK) was long over, as block voting by Central and Eastern Europeans made this unlikely. Certainly this has been the UK's reasoning and defence for our terrible showing in the contest in the last decade. In fact, Britain has been dead last now three times since 2003. Our entry this year was written by Pete Waterman and Mike Stock and sounded exactly like a poor B side from one of their dreadful singles from the eighties. Britain has alway sneered about the fact that European music was hopelessly old fashioned but this year we had the dreadful old fashioned dance song and the Germans had a contemporary sounding pop song. In fact, poor Josh Dubovie, our singer, had the embarrassment of his song being called the UK's worst ever entry (and that is saying something) and his chances of winning were rated by the bookies as being the same as David Beckham marring Cheryl Cole or ex Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq being elected Mayor of London. But now Germany has won, our excuse has gone.

In a way, it indicates a rehabilitation of Germany in Europe, as the Second World War fades into history, with today's youngsters not carrying the baggage of the past. Agent Triple P would have thought that there would still be a lot of countries in Europe who still aren't sure about Germany and wouldn't vote for them; but we were wrong, as they got douze points after douze points (nine out of the 39 available) from many countries they had steamrollered seventy years ago. In fact, Norway gave Germany 12 points despite it being exactly 70 years since the Germans rolled across Norway (April-June 1940). It was noticeable, however, that the Germans didn't get a single point from Israel; joining a small group consisting or Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Romania who didn't vote for them.

Oddly, Belarus who languished on null points for much of the competition, and only picked up four votes altogether, leapfrogged out of last position and kicked the UK down there instead because the UK gave them douze points. What? Why? The only other countries who voted for Belarus were Bulgaria, Romania and Russia and none of them gave them more than trois points.

Armenia's lovely Eva Rivas (or Valeriya Reshetnikova-Tsaturian, to giver her her correct name)

The block voting, despite the new system, was still there and there were the usaul spats between old enemies. The very patriotic (nationalistic?) Armenian entry was taken by the Turks to refer to the massacre of Armenians by Turkey during World War 1 and has caused a right ruckus between the two. We don't care about this but give the Armenian singer, Eva Rivas, the Triple P award for most desirable performer (not that there was a lot of competition this year).

Musically, it was fairly dire as usual but we were surprised by Ireland's poor showing: they had a good singer (Niamh Kavanagh) and a good song but maybe the fact that she had won before counted against her. Still she got 150% more points than the UK (and was still third from last). The Irish, who are usually generous markers of the UK entry did give us our highest points: four. Way down on the eights, tens and twelves we usually expect.

Mordor entered Mount Doom this year

Iceland had a good entry but paid the price, we suspect, for wrecking everyone's travel plans during the spring. Indeed their singer, Hera Björk Thórhallsdóttir, looked rather frighteningly like a volcano herself.

One great disappointment this year was the singular lack of underdressed Eastern European dollies gyrating around. Perhaps in post credit-crunch Europe such things are seen as too frivolous (although we notice that Latvia (who didn't make the final) has started a blondes parade to cheer up the country as their economy dives faster than a Stuka).

So, who are Britian's friends in Europe? On the basis of Eurovision, other than Ireland, its the motley collection of Albania, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Perhaps they are all looking forward to the days when they can join the EU, come to Britain and claim benefits while still living at home. No gratitude from the Poles, however! The Turks gave Germany dix points! Next time you get invaded you're on your own, mateys!

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