Two minutes in, and it’s the campest thing I’ve seen all year. This is going to be excellent…
Three minutes in, it’s not exactly a *European* opening, is it? Rather Middle Eastern, I’d have said.
Four minutes in, they’re going all southern Russian / central Asian…
(Come on, it’s Eurovision – cultural insensitivity’s the name of the game.)
6 minutes: I’d forgotten how *awful* last year’s winner was. Largely because it’s so forgettable. Dull, bland, identikit nonsense. The sort of thing slightly depressed 40-year-old women listen to while fantasising about Robert Pattinson. Find it here.
9 minutes: Co-host Leyla Alieva, is, of course, the daughter of Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev – so expect less of the jokey teasing between the presenters this year. Daddy has a tendency to lock up anyone who pisses him off.
13 minutes: Engelbert Humperdink is first up, for the UK – great voice, terrible song. That said, they do like bland ballads at Eurovision…
14 minutes: A Eurovision first – Humperdink barely missed a note. Shame that whoever wrote the music for that song failed to find any interesting combination of notes to show his voice off to its best effect. Next up? Hopefully something a bit less tedious.
17 minutes: Hungary’s heart’s not really in this, is it? Though the main singer chap seems to think he’s got a true stadium-shaker. Is he listening to a different backing track? The one I’m hearing sounds like a half-hearted yawn. Boredom can be found here.
20 minutes: Albania – what in God’s name is this woman wearing? She looks like something out of David Lynch’s version of Dune. Or possibly a cross-dressing Davros off Doctor Who. Perfectly pleasant song, though – until she starts screaming out of key… Ouch… That is *awful* – my eardrums are bleeding and we’re only three songs down. Torture your auditory nerves here.
24 minutes: Lithuania has gone for an androgenous-voiced sparkly-blindfolded version of Geordie LaForge off Star Trek. Again, can’t hold a tune – voice wavering, pitch constantly slightly off.
Wow. Now he’s dad dancing! Amazing! I like this guy. He could go far. The further the better. Watch the full horrors of the groin-thrusting here.
28 minutes: Yet more boredom from Bosnia & Herzegovina. Seriously, Eurovision – can we ban ballads from now on?
That said, freaky shoulder-pads seem to be this year’s fashion trend so far. She looks like an inverted Darth Vader. (Note to self: No more sci-fi references, or any remaining respect you may have built will be lost forever…) Shoulder-pad dullness here. (To be fair, she can at least sing, this one…)
32 minutes: Russia! Hurrah! This is how Eurovision should be – out of tune, out of synch insanity with funked-up folk music nonsense. Win for Russia, please – not least because they’re one of the few countries able to afford to host next year… Watch the grannies here – just bear in mind that they’re nowhere near as good as you’d have hoped. A novelty act where you can’t help but think that they don’t quite realise that everyone’s laughing at them, not with them.
36 minutes: Iceland tries something a bit different, and everyone wishes they hadn’t. Still, I suppose it’s the thought that counts. And the increasing energy (by which I mean shoutiness) towards the end could see this do well. Watch/listen here.
41 minutes: *This* is more like it. Cyprus goes for full-on proper cheesy Europop, sung (mostly in tune, surprisingly) by a short-skirted hybrid of Rachel Weisz and Liv Tyler. Which can’t be a bad thing. Watch the total nonsense here. I’m rooting for this one so far, it must be said. Gloriously early 90s.
44 minutes: France goes for bizarre breakdancy athletics stuff that’s completely out of keeping with the song, but this also has a camp 90s synth vibe to it, so I’m sold. The singer’s quite saucy and all, in a slightly plasticy kind of a way. But the song’s just a bit too dull to do it for me, I’m afraid. Sorry, luv. Watch here.
48 minutes: Italy appear to be trying to do an Amy Winehouse. Passable, but she hasn’t got the voice. More up-tempo though, which can only be applauded after the tedium of what we’ve seen so far. Almost actually good, if the girl could sing a bit better. See what you reckon here.
Seen on Twitter – amusing joke I should have thought of re: Italy’s offering from @solelyfictional: “Nice to see Berlusconi’s cabinet still in work”
52 minutes: Estonia’s entry sounds like bad cover version of something, but can’t place it. It’s also *very* dull. I’m amazed I’ve lasted this long… (Then again, I am watching this for actual work rather than fun, so…) Dullness here.
56 minutes: Dear Lord, Norway’s entry is *awful*. Seriously – kill it. Kill it now. Hard. And then drive a stake through it’s heart. Kill this.
62 minutes: Another ballad, this from Azerbaijan – but this one at least seems to have made a bit of an effort – goes all Whitney Houston in places. Which is no doubt fine if you like that sort of thing. I don’t. Good voice, though – and a hell of a lot better than the one that won it for them last year. Listen here.
66 minutes: Romania’s entry is by a group called Mandinga. Sounds like a porn star. And both as energetic and artistic as a porn star so far. Like the camp marching band, though. Bless. It’s pretty Eurovision, so I guess I should approve. Watch here.
71 minutes: Denmark’s entry seems to be a bunch of hipsters trying to be Alannis Morisette. Remember her? Bless… Passable, I suppose – not really Eurovision, though… it’s almost like this lot wanted to have an actual, respectable musical career, rather than be a novelty act. Shame, say I. Listen here.
75 minutes: Greece doing classic Eurovision – pretty girl who can’t sing, vaguely folksy background music, terrible dancing, all out of tune, but energetic at least. Europop nonsense here.
79 minutes: Sweden’s entry is apparently the favourite. I genuinely have no idea how or why. It’s like a sub-par Celine Dion parody. Nothing whatsoever to make this stand out from the bland crowd. Get bored here.
83 minutes: Turkey seems to have entered a Dick Van Dyke impersonator (Mary Poppins era Dick Van Dyke, naturally). Poor, but funny, at least. Albeit unintentionally. Watch the cheeky chimerneysweep here.
93 minutes: This means I’ve missed someone. Germany now, though – passable song. Not my sort of thing, but at least sounds like some thought’s gone into it. Here.
94 minutes: Ah – it was Spain I forgot. Largely because it was so forgettable. Yawn.
97 minutes: Malta completely forgot to make any effort in the first half of their song, then tried to make it up in the second. It wasn’t enough – too much energy, not enough thought into tedious little things like lyrics, harmonies, music, etc. Poor effort here.
100 minutes: Macedonia – a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber after a stroke, then finished off by early 80s Meatloaf. Not a good combination. Listen to the audio car crash here.
104 minutes: Jedward for Ireland – it’s the theme tune to a mid-90s American teen drama / sitcom. Pointlessly stupid – but not as stupid as it should be. Be disappointed here.
108 minutes: From an American-sounding Irish entry to an Irish-sounding Serbian entry. Taking itself far too seriously. But be grateful – for it’s nearly over! Not a single classic this year. Dull. More yawn-inducing boredom here.
111 minutes: A particularly bad year, this. Eurovision shouldn’t be this dull – it’s meant to be over-the-top fun. This has been *awful*.
113 minutes: Ukraine seem to think they’re trying – lass with a big voice, but I have no idea what’s going on. Sounds like it should be a lot more Techno, and the backing dancers should have glo-sticks. Then it might just work. As it stands, it’s different enough to stand out. Alternate performance/outfits is all I could find rapidly. Watch here.
117 minutes: Moldova starts so promisingly, but then he starts singing. Could have been really good, this, in a silly sort of a way – but the chap’s voice ruins it. Not distinctive enough for the decidedly silly song. Nearly good conclusion here.
119 minutes: And we’re done, bar the voting. Thank God for that. Very dull, this year. Would have given up if I weren’t having to pay attention thanks to the day job.
To conclude: Must. Try. Harder.
Also – not a good one to return to blogging with. Must find something more entertaining next time.