Here it is again – that gorgeous big glittering day-glo all-singing all-dancing Euro party that’s camper than Julian Clary wearing pink knickers serving up afternoon tea in a caravan parked on Brighton beach! We love it!
In past years you had to wait – like a kid at Christmas – for the jaunty opening bars of Te Deum to creak out from your telly-set as the clock struck eight – it was then – and only then – that you were able to see and hear all the weird and wonderful and sometimes brilliant pop offerings from that exotic land beyond The Channel called ‘The Continent’. How things have changed – now anyone can join the week-long run-up party via your chosen form of soash meedja on your chosen device. And forget about your drunken house parties and deliberating in Sainsburys about what kind of snack could represent Lithuania – that went out the window years ago. Instead get texting, tweeting, emailing your Euro pals and if you don’t have any – make some!
Quick observations so far:
The undoubted star of the show is Conchita Wurst for Austria. Calm down, calm down! Conchita isn’t a bearded lady he/she is a drag queen pure and simple. She does have a lot of class with a good strong voice and the song is a grower… weirdly it strikes me as something that could have come from Jesus Christ Superstar. And Conchita definitely has that look – even down to the simple robe-like gown (just take away the make-up and the jewellery) – and of course there’s the whole theme of resurrection – Rise like a Phoenix. Conchita as a messiah for gay rights? Marvelous!
The real controversy is going to be political (reale) of course: Russia v Ukraine. Now I like a bit of pol con at major international events and it’s good that people can get their point across (remember ‘we don’t want (to) Put(it)in’?) but I have to admit I did feel sorry for the two young Russian lassies as the announcement of their place in Saturday’s final was greeted with boos. On the other hand Ukraine – typical to form – has a good strong female who this year has a man going through his paces on a giant hamster wheel. Go girl! Both songs aren’t bad at all with the Russian one having a big-Bond-theme edge but the chance of them picking up many (or any?) points is as likely as Rolf Harris getting his community service with Barnardo’s.
France are expectedly wacky, in an expectedly hip-hoppy kind of way; Poland are trying to be ironic (feminist, I think) with busty women doing household chores in a suggestive manner: girls – I can see what you’re getting at but it really doesn’t work; Holland have gone all country and it’s been mooted as a potential winner – but it’s not Eurovision in my book; Hungary has an interesting anti domestic violence theme sung by a fine young man on loan from the US – it has an electrifying L A Confidential feel to it; Greece has bags of energy with the other big prop (see hamster wheel as above) of the evening in the form of a trampoline, the song’s all right as well – but they surely don’t want to win, do they?
Finally – what about our own wee Molly? It’s fine – she’s a strong woman – she’s written the theme toon – sung the theme toon… It doesn’t sound like a British entry so that might work in a our favour. Max points for expressing the sentiment we should all keep after the streamers, Sambuca and cheesy footballs remains have been tidied away – ‘We are children of the universe‘ or Europe at least! Join us!
Update: Congratulations and jubilation to the magnificent Conchita who triumphed last night – wonderful that she’s continuing to keep the whole issue of gay rights very definitely on the front burner. And to all those cynics who dismiss Eurovision as a piece of meaningless fluff – think again. There was a lengthy discussion on Russian TV last night regarding the major issues touched upon as above, with the writer of the Russian entry calling for more tolerance across the board. You don’t get that with The X-Factor!