I remember when the Eurovision Song Contest used to be hosted in a shed. The performer balanced on a rickety bar stool and pretended to strum a guitar. The official definition of glam was a tie-dyed smock with the occasional rhinestone.
The Eurovision has come a long way from All Kinds Of Everything. I’m not sure whether it is any cooler to watch the Eurovision Song Contest these days, but I don’t care. There was nothing else on the telly. And I like songs.
So here is a summary of the 25 countries that made the final, in order of appearance:-
1) Azerbaijan – Safura / ‘Drip Drop’
By far the best song in the contest, therefore didn’t stand a chance of winning. 17 year old Safura is an extraordinary singer, but the choreography was hokey. Accompanied by an outstandingly gay ballet dancer who gazed yearningly at Safura’s gown throughout the performance.
2) Spain – Daniel Diges / ‘Algo Pequeñito’
The title of the song translates as ‘Something Tiny’; unfortunately it was not an ode to Daniel Diges’ hair. Halfway through the performance, the Spaniards were joined onstage by a dude in jeans and a black t-shirt, who pulled some of the best moves of the evening. He was chased off the stage by a couple of heavies and taken down in the aisle. To Daniel Diges’ credit, he carried on as if nothing had happened, although his gormless grin took on a vaguely anxious quality. Spain were given another opportunity to perform at the end of the evening, but that only served to remind everyone how shit the song was.
3) Norway – Didrik Solli Tangen / ‘My Heart Is Yours’
The hosts had obviously tipped off their candidate as to the placement of the television cameras, with the result that Didrik Solli-Tangen’s eyes appeared to follow you around the room. Sinister effect. Fully deserved 20th place.
4) Moldova – SunStroke Project and Olia Tira / ‘Run Away’
Genuinely inspired instrumentals, particularly the saxophonist’s pelvic thrusting at 00:40. Unfortunately, the duo were out of tune and the guy looked like a freak. I’m also anxious about the fate of Cookie Monster, since Yer Wan appears to be wearing his pelt over her shoulder
5) Cyprus – John Lillygreen & The Islanders / ‘Life Looks Better In Spring’
John Lillygreen might be as cute as a furry frog, but the song was bland and borderline twee – if the border is 5000 km wide.
6) Bosnia and Herzegovina – Vukašin Brajić / ‘Thunder and Lightning’
7) Belgium – Tom Dice / ‘Me and My Guitar’
Undoubtedly the sentiments of this song would have been better expressed as a bar of chocolate.
8) Serbia – Milan Stanković / ‘Ovo je Balkan’
This was a much better song when I thought the title translated to ‘Egg of the Balkans’. In fact, it means ‘This Is The Balkans’. As it turned out, even ‘Egg of the Balkans’ could not have saved this Serbian tragedy of a song. It freaked me out – although not as much as the singer. Is it a man? Or some . . . something else?
9) Belarus – Robert Wells / ‘Butterflies’
All I remember about this song was that the three women rather unimaginatively turned into butterflies at the end, but THEY DIDN’T FLY AWAY. I don’t like to be teased like that.
10) Ireland – Niamh Kavanagh / ‘It’s For You’
If not for Niamh Kavanagh, the average age of the Eurovision contestants would have been 14. Bless her, Niamh managed to keep her stomach tucked in through the whole song. Now that’s talent. Nobody turned into a butterfly, there were no riverdancers or clowns or acrobats, the pyrotechnics were kept to a minimum. I loved how ‘Good luck Niamh!’ popped up onto the screen, and how over-protective Marty Whelan was while cheerfully slagging off the other contestants. Even when we came second-last, I was still proud to be Irish.
11) Greece – Giorgos Alkaios and Friends / OPA!
Greek tragedy, although not as bad as the Serbian tragedy (see above).
12) United Kingdom – Josh Dubovie / ‘That Sounds Good To Me’
You bring the sunshine
I’ll bring the good times
Just add your laughter
Happy ever after
I don’t know ‘bout you but
That sounds good to me
13) Georgia – Sopho Nizharadze / ‘Shine’
Sounded like something someone had jotted down fresh out of the shower with a water soluble pen. Spectacularly dodgy choreography at 00:14. Ok, now I feel bad I just singled out that moment.
14) Turkey – maNga / ‘We Could Be The Same’
I thought this song rather rocked.
15) Albania – Juliana Pasha / ‘It’s All About You’
This was a formulaic but rather catchy little tune. Trousers made her look like she had a saggy snatch, which was terribly distracting. The violinist’s hair at 1:12 is worth a look.
16) Iceland – Hera Björk / ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’
So I still haven’t figured out why Iceland’s song has a French title – they probably thought that quirky. Fabulous singer, who raised the average weight of the female contestants by about 5kg each.
17) Ukraine – Alyosha / ‘Sweet People’
Awful beyond belief – although not words, you’ll be glad to hear. This song was a horrific hectoring lecturing diatribe which would be best described as a quasi-musical rant. I would suggest that, if you have to state that The message is so true, your lyrics aren’t working hard enough for you. From Oh sweet people, what have we done? Alyosha progresses to neatly reneging on all personal culpability for the state of the world (No one but you to blame) which is a questionable ploy to earn maximum points.
18) France – Jessy Matador / “Allez Ola Olé”
19) Romania – Paula Seling and Ovi / ‘Playing with Fire’
So the guy was kinda scary, but Paula Seling was so completely hot in her rubber suit even I was attracted to her. If there was any justice in the world, the shot where the camera zooms under the piano and right up her crotch at 2:19 should have won them the Eurovision.
20) Russia – Peter Nalitch and Friends / ‘Lost And Forgotten’
Thankfully the title turned out to be prophetic. Dour.
21) Armenia – Eva Rivas / ‘Apricot Stone’
Doesn’t the title tell you all you need to know? Except that, Eva Rivas managed to display more cleavage than I thought was physically, scientifically or metaphorically possible.
22) Germany – Lena Meyer-Landrut / ‘Satellite’
The song was quirky enough to disguise the fact that Lena Meyer-Landrut can’t sing.
23) Portugal – Filipa Azevedo / ‘Há dias assim’
24) Israel – Harel Skaat / ‘Milim’
The Eurovision can be educational too. I never knew Israel was part of Europe.
25) Denmark – Chanée and N’evergreen / ‘In A Moment Like This’
Couldn’t see the point myself.