Hussyville

Attempting optimistic misanthropy

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Eurovision 2010: Liveblog

Posted by Hussyville on May 29, 2010

Eurovision Song Contest LogoCometh the hour, cometh the kitsch. Eurovision marks the beginning of my summer season, and I welcome it back tonight with open arms and a happy heart. To follow the sappy PR spin, this is a chance for the European family to come together under the banner of song… and then decide which cousins would be most likely to star in the rejects’ reel on [Insert country here]’s Got Talent.

If anything else, Eurovision is the perfect chance to wallow in your feelings of superiority as 29 songs you would never normally allow to grace your iPod are peformed for your delectation. But the sneering stops there. I don’t care that the Baltic states all award each other maximum points; at least they’re not fighting. So what if some of the countries taking part have only the most tenuous link to Europe? The more the merrier! And the reason the UK will never win again is not because of a conspiracy, but because other countries take their entries seriously, while the British entry is inevitably some sub-Butlins fiasco (this year with added Pete Waterman!) that would never normally trouble the charts. So I don’t listen to the naysayers. I watch for the camp, the histrionics, the ill-advised costumes, and the sheer whatthefuckery of some of the songs.

So tonight, the men have been banished, the booze is plentiful, and we Eurovisionistas are playing drinking games. I’ll try to stay sober enough to blog and Tweet my impressions, but please forgive me if it gets a little incoherent towards the end. Onwards and upwards to three-and-a-half hours of cultural diversity!

1900 Excellent! Before the fun starts, I get to get my juices flowing with an episode of Doctor Who. God, I love the BBC!

1951 Just under ten minutes to go. Idiot tax draw is being done. Get it over with.

1955 Looking at a search for Eurovision on Twitter, things seem to be hotting up nicely. Hang on, on the telly: Bucks Fizz have reformed and re-released their material as a series of acoustic songs? Fuck me, they must be desperate for the cash.

1959 And we sign off with a “Good luck to Josh!” Don’t be silly. He’s not going to win. Not unless the other 29 countries decide to forfeit.

2000 120 million people are watching apparently. Opening montage was of some sort of retro 1950’s family settling down to watch. Oh, I see: it’s Eurovision through the ages showing off notable winnners as this year’s magic orbs skip around Europe. Did Turkey really win in 2004? I can’t remember.

2002 And now we’re in the stadium. This year’s theme is “sharing the moment.” They’re not doing much sharing if there’s only 18,000 people in the stadium. Seems a bit stingy. Black market tickets must have cost the same as a deposit on a house.

2006 Last year’s winner is playing us in, as is tradition. I didn’t like him last year, and I don’t like him now. Apparently we can email Graham Norton during the ceremony. He’s jazzed up his performance since last year, had decided to go heavy on the dancers and less on actually singing his song. I reckon he only did one verse. Good riddance.

2008 Christ! Apparently NRK, the Norwegian state broadcaster, has spent so much money on Eurovision this year that they’re not going to be able to show the World Cup. I can only imagine what football fans in the country said when that came out. The hosts seem OK; nothing terribly offensive from them yet, and not as hyperactive as previous hosts. They actuallly seem almost down to earth.

2010 Azerbaijan! They spent $3 million on promoting this and got Beyonce’s choreographer in to help out. Interesting lets see how it goes. Oh dear, seems to be a bit of a power ballad. Still, she’s a very pretty girl, only 17 years old. There’s not much you can do with a song title like “Drip Drop” is there? Ah, here comes the love interest: long male ballet dancer spinning  uselessly the stage.

2014 Spain! Their song title translates as “Something Tiny.” Fuck me! He looks like a Spanish Art Garfunkel. The song itslef isn’t too bad, but anyone with a fear of clowns and circus folk will be hiding behind their sofa. I thought someone else did a similar set last year. I’ll have to check my notes (what? I made notes. Don’t judge me). His backup singer looks a tad constipated. No, I don’t think this one’s a winner.

2018 Norway! Ooh, he’s handsome! Aren’t they all, though? Really, if I could cope with the booze prices and the winters, I’d have moved to a Scandi country years ago. Ah, it’s one of those “I love you really, darling” type of ballads. It might be a fairly ballad-heavy night, unless this is getting the boring stuff out of the way early. I hope all the fans in the crowd filled their lighters before hand. Eek! Maybe he isn’t so good-looking when he opens his mouth really wide to hit a note. Put him in the “as a drunken fling” pile.

2022 Oh, thank fuckety fuck! Moldova are here to provide some trashy Euro-disco. The female singer has a smear of blue eyeshadow across the top of her face and is wearing what looks like a PVC tutu with fluffly blue suspenders. I’ll never consider my fashion sense outre again. Ouch! The male singer seems to be straining to get his word out. Hope he doesn’t pull a muscle. This would almost be OK if they’d get rid of that squeaky fake saxophone. Still, that is the best one so far.

2025 Scandal! Apparently Cyprus’s entry is a Welsh ringer. That has to be against the rules, though with free roaming across borders these days, I don’t know. But this song is fairly insipid and not actually that inspiring. It’s nothing that you wouldn’t hear on night drivetime on regional radio. Meh.

2029 Bosnia! This is going to be a rocky number, according to Graham. Oh, it’s like a gayer-looking version of Chris Martin. And the song is a very MOR number that middle-aged dads dropping their kids off to football practice can safely fist-pump too. Not impressed. But he did show some good skills with hair gel.

2033 The Belgian song is “Me and My Guitar.” Well, I suppose it’s honest. Something about getting a nine-to-five. Again, this is the sort of thing I can imagine playing in the company of my mother and her not complaining. My mother is over 60. I do not need to share the same taste in music with her. Stilll, the audience seem to like it. And he’s got a sweetish face, and is up there on his own, so he’ll probably get quite a few points. One to watch.

2038 Serbia! Hahahaha! Surname Spankovic! Yes, my inner child in charge right now. Oh Jesus, what does he look like? Try to imagine a male Bratz doll. The number’s quite poppy and upbeat, though. Gayer than a pink tent at a scout jamboree, but there’s butt-shaking ladies and hip-thrusting Smurfs to keep us happy. This might do well. Either that or I’m getting drunk.

2041 Belarus are performing “Butterflies” and are going to do something ace with costumes, says Graham. I hope it isn’t too dramatic, or I’ll have to drain my glass. The song is nothing to write home about. Wings pop out of their dresses in the final chorus. If they really want to impress me, they should be zipping round the stadium on wires.

2046 Here’s Ireland, the perennial favourites. She seems like a nice lass. I automatically like redheads, so I might be slightly biased. I have to say I’m bored with the ballads. Oh hey! She has someone playing a…. penny whistle? traditional Irish pipe? Who knows what to call it, but she’s smiling and she looks like she’s having a good time. Not sure about the purple dress, though.

2049 Greece are doing a dance number, “Opa!” Oh, this looks fun. Turkish belly-dancing for twinks is my impression from the opening bars. Sweet Zeus, but it’s camp! It’s the kind of thing that should be on a float going down Castro in San Francisco, all tight white clothing and hip-thrusty beats. This is music that you can fuck through glory holes through. It is obscenely cheesy and I love it. Please let it win.

2054 And here’s the UK entry. Clean-cut young man sings cookie-cutter pop. It is automatically “meh,” even without the malevolent force that is Pete Waterman behind the lyrics. Poor thing, I bet he’s thrilled to be here, but doesn’t realise that this is the height of his fame. This time next week, he’ll have been forgotten, and forced to return to his day job as a barista. Still, let’s allow him his moment in the limelight. It’s not his fault after all.

2059 Georgia! Lissome young woman in a red dress with a surfeit of backing dancers. Oh shit, it’s another ballad. Props for doing your dancing barefoot, though. Always best to compromise, if you’re worried you can’t cope with heels. Something has gone horribly wrong with the backing track; it’s way too busy and not condusive to a live performance. But at least she appears to be singing loud. Jesus, but there’s too much going on with this track! Calm down, dear. Less is more and all that. If this wins, I’ll ride a Russian tank into Georgia myself.

2103 Turkey are bringing the Manga. The lead singer seems a bit cartoonish. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. Oh, how utterly adorable! They are doing Linkin Park-esque rapping and have a backing dancer dressed up as an early-era Cylon. New favourite track. Vote for them. It’s not a ballad and is more fun that any of the other acts so far.

2108 Oh, hold up. Albania have been breeding a musically-talented Madonna clone in a lab somewhere and have chosen tonight to unleash her with a bouncy dance number. Girl’s got a good set of lungs on her. And her top looks similar to one I have in my wardrobe at the moment, so I’m feeling kind-hearted towards her. I can actually imagine this playing in a club. Gold star, Albania. Top marks for effort.

2112 Well, if Iceland have managed to bring the goods this year, I don’t see how other countries have an excuse for pulling out. It is another Valkyrie, as per tradition, but rather than a ballad, this time it is a dance number. Not sure about hearing this one in a club, but nothing’s impossible. At least it’s not slow and mushy. I do like her coordinated backup singers, though. Their hand movements during the chorus are great. Thank you for playing Iceland.

2115 The Ukrainian singer is under a hood; this is a good side. She pulls it back to unveil a pretty blonde singing about impending peril. But it looks like it’s going to be another ballad. A power ballad with heavy guitar chords, but a ballad all the same. And gratuitious use of the wind machine. Shame.

2119 France have doubled up and this song is also going to be their World Cup anthem. It is pure Euro-pop, of the sort where you only dance to it on an 18-30 holiday to Benidorm and are deeply embarassed by it once you get back home. But by God, it’s catchy! And they look like they’re having fun. There is much booty-shakin’ going on. Ah, go on! France get to be in the top three at least. That was loads of fun.

2123 Romania are playing with fire, and a double piano. I need to down my drink. The typing is going to get a lot more erratic from here on in. Evil cider. This is a boppy number, good honest pop, though I can’t be sure if they’re actually playing the pianos. Fuck! That high note the lady just reached caused the window panes to rattle. Maybe I should turn the volume down a bit. This is another high mark from me. Useless choreography, but at least it wasn’t a ballad, and it was something different.

2127 Russia have recruited some… vagrants to do a heartfelt ballad amid some fake snowflakes. They obviously don’t want to win this year. It’s a bit of a folky-rocky ballad about being lost and forgotten. Quite frankly, if you’re going to sing a song that makes you out to be a psychotic ex-boyfriend who is going to hunt me down and cut me into tiny pieces before weeping into a pool of my blood, you don’t deserve to win. Ballads are creepy.

2132 Hello Armenia! This could step up, and it has! Yay! We have the kind of ethno-pop that I find irresistible. Something about apricots, but we get to shake our hips and molest our backing dancers while we witter on about them. Win-win! I don’t know what’s up with her costume though. It’s like a T-shirt with the back end of a full-length skirt attached. Lots of cramming notes into a bar. Somebody is a fan of Mariah.

2136 Germany’s entry has already been a hit, and is supposed to redeem previous recent failure. Seems like a pretty little thing. And on first impressions, this is waaaay better than any recent German offerings, at least in the last couple of years. The danger though, is that people already familiar with the song might decide not to vote for it because they want something different. Wouldn’t it be funny if the Germans ended up winning on the strength of British votes? Sorry, I’m jumping too far ahead.

2139 The Portuguese entry lives in London and studies music… and has gone with another bloody ballad. Sorry love, but that is automatically a read mar by this point in the evening for me. This sounds like the sort of thing they’d use in a mid-1990s Disney animated movie. Schlocky, too much emotion and far too much vocal showing off. Do. Not. Want.

2143 Israel! The constant “Really?!” entrant of the Eurovision song contest. Ugh, it sounds like another ballad. Seriously, is there a correlation between economic strife and melancholy songs? Because I thought punk came about while Thatcher was fucking the British economy. Oh, this song is very overwrought and far too earnest for the lump of coal that substitutes for my heart. I would tell him to grow a pair, but as he’s probably done military service, he could kill me without blinking. Nevertheless, this is several different flavours of “Blah.”

2147 Denmark’s performers have never worked together before. This should be interesting. Graham said that fans of the Police might enjoy it. And it does put me in mind of “Every Breath You Take;” the chord structure is similar. Whoops! The chorus has now put me in mind of Scandi-duo Roxette, they of the Pretty Woman soundtrack and various other sins against music. Cripes, there goes the wind machine. Big, booming chorus that could only be make more excessive with a gospel choir. That can’t possibly win, can it?

2151 Oh! And Spain get another chance to perform because they had a stage invasion the first time round. I shall use the opportunity to eat something, smoke a ciggie, and check in on the Guardian, which has been moving threads around like a magpie with OCD.

2156 Oh, here comes the run-through of all the songs. Just 15 minutes before the points start rolling in. Seriously, we need to ban ballads next year. It’s for all our sakes.

2205 So that’s all of the songs over, and the last minutes of voting. And another run-through of all the songs. My favourites, in no particular order:

  • France
  • Turkey
  • Greece
  • Armenia
  • Germany
  • Albania

2212 It’s the interval number. Some kind of Norwegian urban stuff. I know I’m a brown person, but I’m not au fait with what genre this might be. Oh, but they’re videolinked to other places in Europe. Oh, that’s quite fun. I’d do that in my current inebriated state. Public dancing for everyone! Rock out, Vilnius! Get on down with your bad self! Gah, trust the UK to behave badly.

2219 And now there’s webcams of various places around Europe. I don’t know why, but it makes me well up inside. I may be drunk.

2222 Points allocation! But first the Lord of Darkness must be appeased. Yay! Svante! Give us the goods, big man!

2225 Romania are first to give their points: Turkey, Moldova and Denmark. Twelve points for Denmark? Really?

2227 Ireland give points to Germany, Belgium and Denmark. Seriously, WTF?!

2227 Germany give points to Greece (whoo!), Turkey, Belgium and that little boy’s guitar.

2228 Serbia give points to Germany, Greece, and Bosnia.

2229 Albania gives points to Turkey, Germany, and Greece

Oh, and the Greece contingent looks so happy!

2230 Turkey gives points to Bosnia, Germany, and Azerbaijan

2231 Croatia gives points to Serbia, Bosnia, and Turkey (whoo!)

2232 Poland gives points to Azerbaijan, Belgium, and Denmark. I obviously haven’t been watching the same show as most of the rest of Europe.

2233 Bosnia gives points to Germany, Turkey (whoo!), and Serbia. Really? Serbia? OK, then…

2234 Finland give points to France, Israel, Germany. And that gets a big cheer from the crowd.

2235 Slovenia gives points to Serbia (despite the haircut, they say), Germany, and Denmark.

2236 Estonia gives points to Georgia, Russia, and Germany. I really don’t think he should have sung the results.

2237 Russia gives points to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. What does that mean for Caucus geopolitics?

2238 Portugal gives points to Greece, Romania, and Spain.

2239 Azerbaijan gives points to Georgia, Ukraine, and Turkey.

2241 Greece gives points to France, Albania, and Cyprus.

2242 Iceland gives points to Greece, Belgium and Denmark.

2243 Demark gives points to Romania, Belgium, Germany. I think Lina/Lena may steal this….

2244 France gives points to Portugal, Serbia, and Turkey (whoo!)

2245 Spain gives points to Armenia, Romania, and Germany.

2249 Slovakia gives points to Israel, Belgium, and Germany. The girl has won, hasn’t she?

2250 Bulgaria gives points to Armenia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan.

2251 Ukraine gives points to Turkey, Russia, and Azerbaijan.

2253 Latvia gives points to Russia, Denmark, and Germany.

2255 Malta gives points to Denmark, Belgium and Azerbaijan.

2256 Norway gives points to Denmark, Romania, and Germany. Oh, girlie has won, surely?

2257 Cyprus gives points to Romania, Azerbaijan, and Greece.

2258 Lithuania gives points to Spain, Germany, and Georgia.

2259 Belarus gives points to Israel, Ukraine, and Russia. Oooh, lots of booing from the crowd.

2300 Switzerland gives points to Albania, Serbia, and Germany.

2301 Belgium gives points to Iceland, Germany, and Greece.

2302 The UK gives points to Romania, Turkey, and Greece (whee!).

2303 Netherlands give points to Turkey, Israel, and Armenia.

2304 Israel gives points to Romania, Russia, and Armenia.

2305 Macedonia gives points to Germany, Turkey, and Albania.

2306 Moldova gives points to Ukraine, Russia, and Romania.

2307 Georgia gives points to Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Belarus.

2308 Sweden gives points to Denmark, Romania, and Germany.

2309 Armenia gives points to Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia.

And Germany wins! Whee! At least it’s a country that can afford to put on the show next year. I wasn’t impressed, I wanted Turkey to win, but maybe Manga can enter next year? Naturally the UK didn’t do well, but that’s because they never put up any decent artists for this competition. But forget that. Well done, girl! You’ve done your country proud, and we will see you rehashing this number next year. Godspeed, young ingenue.

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