Thanks to the Digital Switchover, we now have more TV channels (but sadly not much more to watch). It’s been almost a fortnight since I’ survived’ the Eurovision Song Contest, but The Wife has since discovered ,not only can we now watch the actual contest, but insisted on watching the live semifinals on BBC3. And it ran over 2 nights! Oh joy.
While she says my reluctance to get into the spirit is down to ‘being English’ ( “You take thing SO seriously”), I counter by saying that actually, it’s more to do with the whole sad, sordid cavalcade of audio butchery is so teeth-grindingly, bum-clenchingly awful. Last year, I had a gastroenteric problem which was only mildly less distressing than watching this. Every time at this time of year, my heart sinks, as The Wife insists on taking at least 2 hours from our lives to watch this brain-atrophying madness. And now, she wants to prolong the torture. Oh joy. We even got to see previous winner, Dana International from Israel (?????) singing the charming ditty ‘Ping Pong’. AAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A little part of my soul dies each year as the parade of the camp, outrageous and the plain weird proceed to make me lose the will to live.
She’s wrong about the British – to a point. There are many in this nation, for some reason love this ‘singing’ contest ( I use the word ‘singing’ advisedly). They hold parties, analyse our chances look at every aspect of the entrants & generally get swept along with the spirit. I simply look for something else to do, or try to find a rusty spoon to gouge my eyes out.
In typical British style immediately after, there’s post-mortems & recriminations as to why the UK does so badly & should the UK still be bothered.
Having a partner who’s into this sort of thing & being subjected to this seemingly endless media brainache, I’ve noted the following:
- Pretty much EVERY country other than the UK takes the thing seriously – I mean REALLY seriously. The amount of money & schmoozing that goes on just to get various countries onside is staggering.
- Other countries are prepared to send their top artists to the Contest. Doesn’t matter that we’ve never heard of ’em, or their music is responsible for beaching whales, our European cousins send artists who are shifting bucketloads of music and/or have established track records, something the UK hasn’t done really since the 60’s. We send has-beens, reality show rejects & possibly at one point, tramps off the street. OK, the UK sent Blue this year, but really when was the last time they actually made an impression on the record-buying public here, never mind abroad?
- The song quality-irrelevant. Given some of the stuff that gets into this telethon, quality control is not really an issue. In fact (& I hate to say it), the UK has actually had the odd song that was okay (or at least, didn’t stink on ice), but given the previous point, it’s always an uphill struggle.
- The block vote – predictably, various groups will vote for each other, or not as the case may be: The Baltic States vote between each other as do the former Soviet Bloc Nations: Turkey & Cyprus would rather have Hell freeze over than vote for each other under any circumstances.
You may be saying for someone who hates the whole thing so much, you seem to know so much about it. Well firstly, it’s a bit like watching Benny Hill: a series of simple (or simplistic) gags that seem funny until your age reaches into double figures, but also I’m sick of the constant whining & finger-pointing when the UK (invariably) loses.
It ain’t genius-level IQ stuff here: Now stop moaning, bog off & let me arrange my cornflake collection in peace. Go on – ‘OPPIT!!