Newest Review: ... pleasure. Unfortunately, the UK has grown increasingly out of step with the contest as it has evolved. Former presenter Terry Wogan used... more
Eurovision Song Contest
Member Name: stoffy
Eurovision Song Contest
Date: 24/08/01, updated on 23/03/02 (194 review reads)
Advantages: kitsch value
Disadvantages: bad British entries in recent years
Everyone has a favourite Eurovision hit (even Snoop Doggy Dogg I'm sure!). Arguably the best litmus paper to test the political waters of Europe, Eurovision has become a massive institution all across the continent. For over 40 years, the best (but mostly worst) of Danish, Icelandic and Portuguese music has found a mass audience all across the globe, as we all hold our breath to see who wins the coveted prize, who wins nul points, and wonder whether Greece will ever give Cyprus less than full marks.
This years contest was held in Denmark, after the success of the 2000 winner 'Fly On The Wings Of Love', voted for by thousands of Britains, but not released in this country due to 'insufficient demand'.
It was won by Estonia, who are but infants in Eurovision terms. surprisingly, the last few years have seen Eastern Europe, and in particular the ex-Soviet states, humiliate the UK. From a nation that produced 'The Beatles' and all the other big bands of the world, this year's entry was 'No Dream Impossible' by Lindsay D, a ditty which was in the bargain bins before it was evenm released.
Perhaps this is all a ploy to prevent the event from being staged inthe UK. The last time this was done, the event was held in the NIA in Birmingham (1998) following the victory of Canadian Katrina Lescanich and her Waves with 'Love Shine A Light', a song which the Samaritans rejected for being too optimistic (that's actually true!). Of course, that was the year in which Dana International, officially the 5th most famous transsexual in the world, won with anthem 'Diva'. No follow-up ensued, which was a pity, although she reappeared the following year in Jerusalem to present the winners trophy amid high security. Preparations had taken place for weeks to ensure that she would be safe from religious fundamentalists who disagreed with her moral views. In the end, Dana fell over when presenting
the award, a culmination of heels being too high, and too much alcohol having been consumed, rather than a gun attack on her life.
Some of the best song contest winners have been, erm, well actually there isn't one in my record collection, but I hear that the 1975 French entry was quite tuneful. I think that in recent times, the best British entry was 'Better The Devil You Know' by cheeky Scouser Sonia, if only because I once thought that it would be a cover of the Kylie classic. It didn't win, after the European's decided that the Irish were more deserving. Bah.
Other Brits to come and fail include the relatively famous Cliff Richard, Michael Ball, Sam Janus and Frances Ruffelle, as well as the not so famous 'Emma' and 'Bardo'.
In fact, the music does seem rather secondary to the event. Instead, the weak links by the presenters (the Danish ones this year were particularly bad), and the lack of language skills by the respective national juries always create hilarity.
For some places, Eurovision is an event up there with Christmas and Easter, and even Eurovision parties have been thrown (allegedly, although they have never invited me). The British fascination for Eurovision I'msure stems fromtheir obession with contests, statistics and points. Either that or sequins...
Eurovision doesn't exactly show the cream of the continent's music (more like the curds and whey), but even so, everyone can enjoy it. Unless you're Norwegian...
Well, it's almost that time of year again when Terry Wogan puts on his comfy loafers and makes sarcastic comments about frilly dresses. No, not 'Children In Need' (although Gabi Roslin does have a tendency towards frilly body garments generally), it's Eurovision.
This year's contest is held in Tallinn, Estonia, which is famous for, er, being the capital of Estonia. The UK entry w
ill be Jessica Garlick's ballad 'Come Back', after she came through a really tough contest to find out who will be flying the flag. No, it was REALLY tough. On the viewer, that is. She beat off the mandatory boy band, the compulsory 'Fairground Attraction' soundalike and Tricia Penrose from 'Heartbeat'.
Tricia reminds me of Malandra Burrows (known to literally millions as Kathy in 'Emmerdale', a woman who's had more lovers than Cassanonva). An ablonde ctress in a dull Yorkshire TV show that has made several attempts at a recording career. Penrose's effort was 'Radio Romeo', a song which makes 'Barbie Girl' seem like 'American Pie'. Any other year, and it would have won the vote in which thousands of people rang in (half of these were probably to register their disgust at the limited options, the other half probably just wanted someone to talk to). But it didn't, so it looks like poor Tricia will have to look at hills to the soundtrack of The Kinks for a few years yet...
This year's entry is as dull as dishwater, so it probably won't do too well. However, due to the amount of money the BBC pumps in every year (yes, disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, part of your licence fee has entirely funded the thong of the third Macedonia trumpeter!), we can't get relegated - woo hoo!. Instead, the smart money this year is on Slovenia with their transvestite disco singers. If they triumph I guess it will be 'Hello Ljubljuana' from Old Tezza next year. Can't wait.
Eurovision is on the 25th May in Estonia, and will be shown on the BBC. Watch at your peril...
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