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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Eurovision 2012

Oh God…

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.

5 Comments

  1. Eurovision liveblog, you say? Go on, then… Until I get bored at least: http://t.co/b5n3rwCg

  2. #Eurovision liveblog will continue, despite that Albanian woman trying to kill me with her out-of-tune screeching. http://t.co/b5n3rwCg

  3. The one and only #eurovision liveblog @nosemonkey http://t.co/PdnrSbHH

  4. I enjoyed your blog – thank you! I think the reason for all the mediocrity was, as you suggest, not many countries can afford to put on the next one.

    What ruined it for me was when layla Adieva interviewed Engelbert Humperdinck in the Green Room followed by his fans cheering and waving their Union Jacks, and Graham Norton’s comment was: “sounds like a BNP rally”.

  5. Leyla Aliyeva is indeed Ilham Aliyev’s daughter, but not this one: I mean certainly there isn’t just one, say, Kate Johnson in the world, not?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyla_Aliyeva_(presenter)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyla_Aliyeva