The blog that brings you the real news behind the contest to save you having to listen for yourself. For indeed this occasion is not about music in any way.
Also worth beginning by saying that only the British commentary gives the contest due deference, that is, none. Terry Wogan we salute you. Hail Tel.
In between acts the Ukranians decided to show magazine footage of sad people from each competing country. The female compère did not need a microphone.
This is a contest to demonstrate the alliances, dalliances and subserviences that exist within Europe. This is the place to test a referendum. If you are a small country jammed in between France and Spain the big test is not whether you vote for them or not but who gets les douze points. Likewise Greek’s annual display of affection for Cyprus and vice-versa is applauded. Consistent voting in the face of appalling odds. Well it is in the case of the Greeks having to vote for Cyprus. The Geeks, oops sorry I mean Greeks, themselves manage to produce reasonably acceptable Euro-pop.
UK, Spain, France and Germany were voted the four most hated nations in 2005 (surprise, surprise) and will probably have to qualify next time unless they bankroll the competition again in which case they won’t.
So here’s the run down:
Hungary. Not in tune and the singer could only afford half a pair of trousers (with that much material I would opt for shorts next time, not one leg).
UK. In tune, which made a change for the UK, but otherwise unhumable two minutes later.
Malta. A cross between a Christian chorus and the theme from Titanic by Celine Dion. If this singer (a woman) had gone for’ard it might have stabilised the Titanic. Not what Chris de Burgh had in mind when he sang for his lady in red. Hell of a voice though.
Romania. Stomp with real angle grinders. Not in tune.
Norway. The pantomime Darkness.
Turkey. Tel: ‘Do stop shouting; your turn’s over.’
Moldova. Couldn’t afford costumes so they painted themselves. Ever since Ireland’s run of success in the 1990s every song has to have a tin whistle in it. Tel: ‘That’s as good a place to finish as any.’
Albania. Everything in red and white. Song an amalgam of all the previous ones.
Cyprus. Should have been disqualified for being the second song of the night to include the line ‘Touch my body; reach the fire’ even if this time it was followed by li li li li la. My partner, ‘Wasn’t the singer a girl a minute ago?’ All done with mirrors and giant cotton buds.
Spain. Fairly straight Euro stuff with skirt flourishing backed by two overweight guys in olive green T-shirts and leather waistcoats. The Spanish Shaun Ryder came on for two lines of unnecessary rap-grunting.
Israel. Nothing on stage was recycled as a drum for this song. Thought it would do well as it was a ballad sung by a singer. Who could sing. Made a change at this point. Bring back the Maltese lass. Use her dress to clothe all the other female singers.
Serbia and Montenegro. Sorry but your name is just too long to win. Welcome back to the kettle-drums and six fresh-faced boys who took turns to hit them.
Denmark. Boys singing.
Sweden. Singing in English about Las Vegas. Four of the worst Elvis impersonators I’ve ever heard. He might have had breasts at the end but he never let an orange bra show.
Macedonia. Nice variation on the old le la li theme with le la la le la – la la le la la la. Guess what; big drums.
Ukraine. I’m sure the lyrics were ‘Nice day for a latté.’ Probably what passes for rock in Ukraine.
Germany. A proper drummer on stage is given the world’s smallest kit. A big welcome to the key change before final repeat chorus.
Croatia. Kettle drums, Irish whistle and bag-pipe things on stage (this shouldn’t surprise you any more). Ballad (this should).
Greece. Irish dancing? I blame the Irish. Have we found a formula? Surely not. The favourite. Apparently. At one point a backing singer lay on the floor and someone pulled out two metres of his pubic hair and played it with a bow. No, really. They won.
Russia. Best on-stage rock band. Great intro. Attractive female singer. It was all going so well until she started singing…
Bosnia Herzegovina. Femenem? They’re having a laugh. Sounds like a sanitary product. Abba without the ugly ones; three blondes. Another name too long to win.
Switzerland. Female rock band dressed in white with male guitarist and drummer in black. Why? Can’t remember the song. Sorry.
Latvia. Two guys with guitars which mysteriously carried on playing after they put them down. Possibly a Christian song with actions.
France. As the song opened the backing group crept up on the singer. Unfortunately they failed to strangle her, which would have been a mercy.