I enjoyed the Eurovision song contest last night. I have more or less always watched it; great fun! Like many of my generation, I remember vividly watching live when ABBA first burst into our consciousness. In those days your musical director conducted the orchestra, and ABBA’s strode to the podium dressed as a silken Napoleon. Then the band appeared, and there can never have been a more definable, single moment rise to lasting stardom.
Last night I voted for Azerbaijan because I thought the girl was seriously hot. I was going to vote for one of the Baltic states as well on the same criterion, but couldn’t remember which Baltic state was which, as usual.
Despite the appearance of Dita von Teese, who apparently is Art, which might explain why I don’t fancy her, there was slightly less exuberant sexuality on display than last year. The pole dancer singing for Ukraine seemed rather past her sell by date, though the aerial splits were still remarkable. The Norwegian winner was like a throwback, with its ponderous tum tum tum opening beat, but all good fun.
I am not a fan of the music of Lloyd Webber, and his song sounded like a parody. It reminded me of “The Song That Goes Like This” from Spamalot. But it was still the first UK entry for ages that didn’t make my toes curl in shame, and Jade surprised me by shooting up my fanciability scale.
The staging was appalling. The British “Team” apparently had a choreographer. Presumably the wooden, unattractive and positively scowling male violinists positioned awkwardly on the stage were her idea. Jade actually contrived at one stage to hit her microphoone hand on a fiddler’s elbow. There were loads of other fiddlers on stage on the night. The others were all drop dead gorgeous girls in flimsy clothes, or hunky men with sparkling eyes. We had grouchy middle aged graceless second violins looking like they had just left a Moss Bros oddments sale. And as for having Lloyd Webber actually on view!
Graham Norton was OK, but seemed not quite confident enough to move into full mickey-taking mode. He creased me up when he suggested of Iceland that the entire nation had to chip in for the air fare. But his breathless excitement over forty minutes about whether the UK came 4th, 5th or 6th was dull.
If Cameron had not arrived, I would have been at the Globe with my sister Celia and daughter Emily instead. I haven’t really enjoyed a Globe production yet. Eurovision or Shakespeare? Life is full of strange choices.