OK OK I know I’ve admitted to many fatal flaws before today so this one won’t entirely surprise anyone who reads my diary (well, no-one who knows what the hell I’m on about anyway).
So, this is it, my big revelation………
I LOVE the Eurovision Song Contest with a passion. I really do. Not because it’s full of glittering and fantastic songs by marvellous artists from across Europe, quite the reverse. In fact, the show’s musical content is dire mostly. There are a couple of little gems pop up each year but by and large the standard (for anyone who isn’t familiar with this great European tradition) is …..well, think reasonable standard karaoke with spandex, lurex and lycra abound. It’s quite remarkable if for no more than its total embrace of the cheesy tacky pop that we all hate.
Anyhow. I love it. It’s something I look forward to from the day I go back to work after Christmas to the day of the event. This year it is today. It’s going on behind me as I type this out to you. Of the first seven songs I’d place my money on Norway….a dapper little chap (young) – really clear boy band looks and an inoffensive little number. No 7 is Holland who are a bit too serious to be in with much of a chance but I quite like the song in a funny, self-flagellating way.
BUT each year I get totally behind the country of my birth, Cyprus. I shout and holler for them as they perform their song which (I'm sorry to say) is usually among the worst of the competition. One thing they can always be certain of though is they will never suffer the ignominy of ending the contest with ‘nil points’ because Cyprus has a strong ally – Greece, who unerringly award Cyprus ‘douze points’ and of course Cyprus reciprocate with ‘douze points’ for Greece. It’s a wonderful element of the voting that this always happens.
That’s what gave me my idea for my pic today – a very long chat with Jeanne last night covering all sorts of subjects (most too naughty to reveal here) including discussing tactical voting. So, here is my tactical vote for that gorgeous island in the sun, birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love, where 43 years ago I came into the world albeit on British Sovereign Territory so I have a UK passport. I hope Polyvios doesn’t object to me claiming a little stake on the land of his home.
I haven’t heard the UK entry yet this year. I’m told the singer is a failed ‘Pop Idol’ (or some such) entrant so I have to say that doesn’t fill me with excitement or indeed much hope of the UK doing OK. Still, he’d have to go some to beat last year’s UK entry – Jemini – they were so bad (the female singer sang off key throughout) they picked up the contest’s only second ever ‘nil points’!!! Boy that must be tough to live with for the two singers.
I’m now being treated to the Ukraine’s entry. They look like they are extras from Mad Max and are singing something you might expect in the ‘gypsy scene’ from any one of about 20 James Bond films. Not one of this year’s better entries, I must say. Terry Wogan (an Irish institution) who compares this event for the BBC each year has the most acerbic wit when describing the contestants. He has just described this act as ‘needing some strong alcohol to endure’. Hee hee.
David wandered in a few minutes ago moaning about one of the artists and I said ‘come on you love it really’ and he said ‘yep, I warm to it towards the end of the second bottle of wine!’-
So, I leave you now, to tuck into my Cypriot food (Halloumi, hummus and olives), washed down with a bottle of Keo beer to await the voting…….
UPDATE - the songs are over, (shame) the voting's not yet begun. My money is on Sweden - a beautiful woman and a catchy song. Cyprus? A 16 year old girl from Gillingham in Kent (with a Cypriot surname) doing quite a good song. The UK? Well, surprisingly good really - I doubt we'll see a 'nil points' tonight somehow. As for Simon's tip, Turkey well I must say I thought they were terrible! See, one man's meat! As for Romania - well, she buys her outfits from Honour.co.uk that's for sure!!!
2nd Update - Cyprus have some points already and UK still have none!
Last update - Ukraine have (quite amazingly) won the competition, by a clear margin. There's no accounting for taste. I agreed with Terry Wogan's observations about them and I can't wait to see his commentary next year. (One of the glorious prizes from the show is that the winning nation hosts the following year's contest.)