Friday, May 15, 2009

Douze Points (Slight Return)

I wasn't going to write about the Eurovision Song Contest this year since it'll be dull as a very dull thing without Wogan and since the magnificent French entry by Sebastien Tellier that I hotly tipped here last year performed so risibly thanks to the Eastern Bloc/Balkans cartel that now holds inexorable sway over the voting.

But then, partly prompted by Adam's Turkish delight, I had a Google through the entrant videos and stumbled upon this, which can only be described as a masterpiece in the finest traditions of the competition. I swear it brought a tear late last night to my sleepydust-silted old eyes.
I really can't better the description given to it in today's Guardian, so reproduce it here in full...
Language buffs might be drawn to the Eurovision Song Contest for its cultural plurality. A statistician might revel in the quirks of its voting system. A homesick expatriate might place an emotional stake in the success of his or her homeland, however justifiably (most former Soviet or Yugoslav republics) or foolishly (all points west of Prague). But for Britons, the contest represents one of the last outposts of that most devalued of currencies: high camp. And in this year's finals in Moscow, the camp comes no higher than Sweden's daring fusion of light opera and throbbing eurodance.
Graced with the voice of a song-thrush, the shoulders of a stevedore and the lung power of an industrial dehumidifier, Malena Ernman is an internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano with serious chops: she's played Carmen and Dido, sung at Vienna and Glyndebourne, and worked with Barenboim and Rattle. Tomorrow night, equipped with little more than a feathery frock, a souped-up karaoke machine and a mask-flaunting dance troupe, she faces an audience of 100 million, whose unqualified respect might not be forthcoming. If camp's comedic power resides in the gap between intention and effect, then the gap here is one in which we may all gratefully luxuriate.
It won't win of course.
But enjoy.


  1. bloody hell for a minute there i thought that was soho ace face lady lloyd. scary.

  2. Aaagh, what have I done? We want Wogan, we want Wogan!

    Work is a bugger at the moment so overdue apologies for not dropping by in a while.

  3. That is the essence of Eurovision - camp randomness (and an outfit from Eno's Roxy era)

    The tune reminds of Pet Shop Boys meets Automatic Lover (Dee Dee Jackson)

    'shoulders of a stevedore' great description. Nik Cohn in his Olde Testament of Rock 'Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom' described the then up and coming Aretha Franklin as having 'slaughterhouse shoulders'

    Funnily enough I've picked up the eurovision baton today

  4. Bloody hell, is it that time of year already????

  5. Oh, yes.

    PM - 'Katherine Jenkins meets Donna Summer' was another description I read.

    I can definitely see Eno in that frock.

  6. Ah yes - like the Norwegian and Danish juries, the Swedes always get my vote.

    I think I might give the Radio 2 commentary from Ken Bruce a squiz this year (with the sound turned down on the telly) now that El Tel's buggered off to have his roof thatched, or whatever.

    BTW, could the GB entrant this year look any more wholesome?!

  7. that's the first time anyones called lloyd wholesome

  8. Wholesome has no place in Eurovision!

    Well....not since Dana anyway.

    Er, and Nicole. Obviously.

  9. Talking of Katherine Jenkins meets Donna Summer -

    It really is Katherine Jenkins meets Donna Summer!!!

  10. And our Cliff.

    Is it really a year on? It'll be Pomagne and Prawn crackers a-gogo in Van Dyke Towers. We have marking cards: Best song, best costume, best eurotart, best kiddyfiddler-type beard etc. Oh it's a riot and no mistake.

    Mrs dvd fell asleep clutching a dipped flake last year. Young Miss dvd asked who was this 'bloc' who kept voting. I slipped away for a little MOTD and packet of mini Cheddars.

    Having studied the form on the fine Euro website, I suspect there may be a shift in fortunes this year, with the traditional NW European countries faring much better.

    Yer man with the piano and the inside-out face may show higher up the ladder than expected. Did you know that his initials Awl is an English word for a 'boring tool'. Not many dark skinned singers have won Eurovision though. Discuss.

    I think its NORWAY who will stampede their way to glory. The young boy Alexander is a right clever-trousers. Bit of a smug YTS Whirling Dervish with a twinkle and a fiddle. Can't go wrong.

  11. AWL. That's Andrew Wwoyd Lebber! I must drink a little less of a friday evening.

    I love you all.

  12. Gypsy fiddling - always a sharp move. Fine first report of Mrs and Miss DVD. Dipped flake was it Fawlty?

  13. DVD correctly predicts result! YTS Whirling Dervish wins!


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