May 292012
 

At 11.30 pm in the UK the Eurovision Song Contest has just finished, and the favourite, Sweden, romped home with a rather lumpen and tuneless disco dirge that somehow captivated the hearts of the 42 competing nations. At least we didn’t have to stay up until 3.30 am, which is what it is in the host country of Azerbaijan, where the annual festival of cheese didn’t start until midnight their time.

Engelbert Humperdinck kicked off proceedings for the UK with an inoffensive ballad which didn’t really do anything, and garnered just enough votes to put him second to last, fractionally ahead of Norway, whose song I can’t remember either.

The Russian Grannies ended up over a hundred points behind but still in second place, and put in an exuberant performance having added the presence of a great big oven from which they produced a large tray of biscuits just ahead of the final chorus, which must have been glued down given the enthusiasm with which the eldest of their number was dancing around with them. The clip I posted before now has very nearly three and a half MILLION hits, this live version has almost half a million already. They were robbed.

Serbia came in third with a rather serious sounding ballad, which translated as something like “Love Is Not a Thing,” if memory serves, delivered in a stentorian baritone by a man in a suit.

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  18 Responses to “Good Evening, Europe! It’s Douze Points to…Sweden!”

  1. The faux-Kate Bush who won needs a tailor. Her act would have been a lot better with a little tapering here and there.

    Although the Russian Grannies delivered as expected, I think the woman with the rope hair and the extended note should have won. She reminded me of the Vulcan Princess whom Spock fell for and battled Kirk over.

    You are a brave man, Happiness Stan. Maybe it’s nothing special on your side of the pond, but I think your efforts in watching this stuff and reporting on it deserve a Rock Badge of Courage!

  2. ladymisskirroyale

    Stan, once again you deliver the goods! I so appreciate your keeping us up to date on happenings on the other side of the pond. I found the clips highly entertaining, but suspect that Mr. Royale, who walked in and out periodically and pulled various faces, did not. Here are my thoughts:
    – Russia: The grannies should have taken first solely based on their ability to provide intergenerational assurance that the works of Abba will continue. Just listen to this early Abba track that also includes nonsense syllables:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtu-LeUJ1Kk
    – Ireland: Mr. Royale correctly pointed out that the boys clearly ripped off the chorus of a classic Tony Orlando number:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9_gV4fV5r8
    Jedward also seemed to gather inspiration in the matching outfits.
    – Albania: Continuing with the futuristic look (is there a correlation between how futuristic the look and the economic need of the represented country?) with a combination of Lady Bird Johnson and Spock’s mother. My money for the next Bjork – she certainly shares the wacky clothes
    – Spain: To completely refute the economic indicator cited above, Spain goes for a retro look best described as the walk of shame wearing a last year’s bridesmaid dress.
    – Turkey: A nationalistic take on “Titanic”! Mr. Royale, transfixed and wrinkling his nose, added, “Turkey is establishing a good niche for Sid and Marty Croft.”
    – Sweden: The Homeless Mariah Carey. Or Enya Gone Bad.

    This is making me ready to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies, which I hope will include Jedward!

    • The Spanish entrant seems to be channeling Gloria Estefan circa 1989.

    • Happiness Stan

      Thanks LadyM, and indeed to anyone else who has taken the time to share these magical moments. I’ve been lying down in a darkened space since, and have only just resurfaced.

      Unfortunately Jedward aren’t likely to be present at the opening ceremony of the Olympics as they are from the republic of Ireland. They may, though have been the one act which would have made me think about breaking my self-imposed two and a half week media blackout which I will be observing during the games, just as I will not be hanging out the bunting for the Royal Diamond Jubilee next week.

      But then, as the family H know too well, I am actually the most grumpy man alive.

      • ladymisskirroyale

        Whew! I was worried they were from Belfast or something!

        Although it is unlikely that Jedward will appear at the Diamond Jubilee, any word on whether Princess Kate is a fan? Is she following in the tracks of Diana by being a music groupie? All the news that we get over here is that she is making her style more sophisticated. We don’t get the fandom information that inquiring minds need to know.

  3. Faux Kate Bush *sounds* more like faux Laura Branigan.

  4. hrrundivbakshi

    I am still fascinated by this phenomenon. Quick question: do the entrants sing their songs only once, in one evening’s worth of fine entertainment, or is the final voting/performance process held on a final night, after, say, a week’s worth of quarter- and semi-finals?

    • Happiness Stan

      They used to all sing them only once, but after one year when it went on until practically beyond daybreak they now have two semi-finals, on the Tuesday and Thursday before the event if memory serves, when all but the five who get through automatically (UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, France – again, if I remember correctly) are whittled down from about 45 less those who are boycotting the competition that year to the final 24, so that they’re all over within 2 hours (all songs have to be less than three minutes).

      There is then about half an hour of recapping the songs and some local act with a bouzouki or a crossover ballet thing while the votes are being cast and calculated, and then all nations who have submitted a song present their votes. At the end the winner sings it again, and everyone goes home.

 
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