[20.00] It’s about to start. Refresh for updates, and expect semi-regular micro-updates on Twitter too, on the #twumpet hashtag (please feel free to follow us, as long as you’re not a stupid Twitter spammer, in which case you should shove a pine cone down your windpipe instead).
First, a warning. If you’re thinking of buying this:
Don’t, because it’s not very good.
[20.02] An early apology from Graham Norton for not being Terry Wogan. We reckon Norton will be a good host here, and he’s certainly refraining from enforced wackiness as the bollocks opening ceremony gets underway. Will this opening ceremony be as bollocks as the bollocks ceremony which opened the first semi-final? Well, it’s already broken the first rule of opening ceremonies, by being the second one of it, if you know what we mean.
Note to selves: be more interesting. And don’t end up just uploading screen grabs that have been on the BrokenTV PVR for months, like this one of Geoffrey Palmer looking annoyed from The Long Walk To Finchley.
[20.14] Different hosts from the semi-finals. Hopefully less annoying hosts, too. Anyway, first song, from Lithuania, and it’s… a dull ballad that your mum would probably like if it wasn’t all in foreign.
We have noted this on our scoreboard, more of which later.
[20.20] Israel’s song is performed by a Jewish lady and an Arabic lady, and about how peace is lovely, while war is bad. Is it *very* wrong to think that a prolonged and bloody conflict is actually preferable to "togetherness anthems" like this? It is? Oh.
[20.24] France’s go. We really like loads of French music, from Air, to Gainsbourg, to MC Solaar, to Stereo Total, to France Gall, to Sebastien Tellier, who was last year’s entry. Plus, one of our easily-disproved half-baked theories is that French is the best language to sing in, so we should like this song. It’s a bit meh, actually, but the best one so far, and performed in an admirably low-key way.
[20.27] Sweden’s turn, and it’s a great big overproduced disco/opera crossover. The sort of tune you’d expect ITV Sport to choose as a theme for a European Championships tournament.
It’s very daft, the singer looks perpetually surprised, and it’s quite good fun.
[20.32] Croatia’s tune sadly isn’t co-written by Adrian Chiles, which is a shame. He’s fluent in their tongue, y’see. It’s another dull ballad, performed by a smug bloke in a tight shirt. He does an occasional bit of business with one eyebrow, as if auditioning for the Croatian remake of the Cadbury’s advert. There is also a backing singer given undue prominence on the stage, possibly because she’s very pretty and wearing a flowing silky white dress.
[20.35] Portugal’s entry kicks off with a lone guitar almost as if it’s going to be ‘First Day Of My Life’ by Bright Eyes. Sadly, it isn’t that, but the ensuing tune does have accordions in it, and is quite jolly. If nothing else, it deserves a prize for Most Demented Series Of Images Broadcast Onto The Set.
So bright and jolly it could even cheers up Jack Dee on a rainy Monday.
[20.40] Iceland. Will it sound like Sigur Ros or Bjork? Neither, it’s Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir (we’ve opened up the Wikipedia page on the final, so we can start quoting names now), doing – hnngh – another ballad. Come on, we want stupid bollocks electropop!
[20.43] Splendidly, here come Greece, with Anastasios "Sakis" Rouvas. No sooner had we mentioned stupid bollocks electropop, too. And he has props.
It’s the first song we’ve seen tonight that is crying out to be remixed by the Pet Shop Boys.
[20.46] Armenia’s Inga and Anush drop their science on those assembled. Best outfits of the night, and a nice little pop tune, too.
If anyone with an ounce of musical talent is reading this (indeed, if anyone whatsoever is reading this, we have our doubts), can someone do a mash-up of this combined with Andrew WK’s I Get Wet. Pretend it’s still 2002, and that mash-ups are still fashionable, it could be a winner.
[20.51] It’s Russia’s song, performed by Anastasiya Prikhodko. Russia’s the nation that gave the world Tatu, and some other decent pop bands too probably, yet this is the best they’ve got to other. Suffice to say: it’s a dull ballad, even if there is a bit of shouting at the end.
[20.54] The Azeri entry kicks off with sexy dancers dressed as lady vicars. Promising. It’s a big bouncing bollocks disco number. Also promising. Sadly, like a firework left in a plastic bag on the wet grass for too long, it sort of fizzles away to nothing. Pfft. Still, those dancers, eh?
[20.57] Graham announces the next track as being a ‘storming anthem’. Sadly, Bosnia and Herzegovina's entry seems to be a rubbish boy band, doing a rubbish ballad. Good time to put the kettle on, though.
[20.59] While everyone else gets adverts, we get Sexy Russian TV Presenter talking to some singing Moscovites. Jolly enough, but we’d much rather get to dip into deranged East European television commercials.
[21.04] Moldova’s turn, with Nelly Ciobanu. Traditional outfits, and a song that probably qualifies as ‘traditional’. Not especially interesting, and it doesn’t even provide us with an ‘in’ for mentioning how Front 242 once did a song called Moldova. We think.
[21.06] It’s Malta’s Chiara, providing Graham with an easy opportunity for a ‘Malteser’ gag. The only interesting thing we know about Malta is that their addresses are possibly the shortest in the world. “27 Smithson Road, Malta” is an actual, viable address for something being sent to Malta. Oh, hang on. That’s not very interesting. The song is Another Dull Ballad.
[21.10] Estonia’s ‘Urban Symphony’, which is a teeth-gnashingly bad name for a band. First on-stage string section of the night, which means the song is… you’ve guessed it. We’ll just use the abbreviation ‘ADB’ from now on.
[21.14] Denmark’s track, penned by Ronan Keating. Surprisingly, it’s a barnstorming electroclash versus hip-hop epic, with go-go dancers on stage breathing fire. Well, in our imagination, anyway. In reality, it’s a song written by Ronan Keating.
[21.18] Here come Germany! Land of Scooter, Tok Tok vs Soffy O, U96, and half of Stereo Total. It’s called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and it’s a ridiculously catchy bollocks swing-disco number. This is a good thing. We want this one to win, frankly.
And that was before Dita Von Teese turned up. Frigging heck, this is good. Graham Norton hated it, meaning we now hate him.
[21.22] Turkey, more entertaining pop nonsense. A bit like a track on an Shakira album that wasn’t deemed good enough to be a single.
Also: us recording Have I Got News For You on BBC Two means that screencapping is more difficult from this point on.
[21.27] Norton slags off Albania’s entry before it begins (God, how we hate him). It’s not actually that bad, at least you could dance to it, if you’re particularly drunk. The breakdancing mimes can frig off, though.
[21.30] Norway, one of the favourites to win. Only, of course, IT’S ALL A CON, ALL THE EAST EUROPEAN STATES VOTE FOR EACH OTHER, IT’S ALL A FIX WAH WAH WAH. It’s a young bloke with a good singing voice playing a violin while his mates do press-ups. While we don’t really like it that much, it is the sort of song that does really well in Eurovision. And we know our stuff, we’ve now watched a total of one-and-a-half Eurovisions.
If there were a special prize for Daft Expression Of The Night, that bloke on the right would win.
[21.34] Anarchy! It’s the Ukraine! A-ha-ha-ha. It’s by Svetlana Loboda, and it seems to be interesting Kylie-lite breathy pop, which is a good thing. Excellently, the song is called "Be My Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl)”, which we like because it sounds like the title of a Japanese movie where a high-school honey has to contend with keeping two boys interested at the same time as being a part-robot crime fighter.
Don’t die on us now, screencapping program!
[21.38] Romania, with another glitzy bouncy pop effort. It as if they’ve saved up the interesting songs until the end. Man, whichever country is the next to put in Another Dull Ballad right now is going to get buggered right up the scoreboard! We’d hate to be those guys!
The background entertainment for the song from Ukraine – best song of the night – was camp blokes on wheels dressed as gladiators. The UK has lizard king Andrew Lloyd Webber sitting at a piano. As Dull Ballads go, it’s not that bad, but y’know, we’re going to finish fourth from bottom at best, aren’t we?
OR ARE WE? Big reaction from the crowd, but there’s no way we’ll win with that song. Really, The Powers That Be, get Ladytron involved next year.
[21.45] Here come Finland, and it’s another magnificently catchy pop song. That one could win, and Waldo's People is the best band name of the night.
[21.48] Last up, Spain. An earnest pop track that isn’t as good as the offerings by Germany, Finland and Ukraine.
Next up: the scores, i.e. the only bit we used to bother watching.
We did start compiling a table of how many genres were represented tonight, but we have up halfway. In summary: Dull Ballads in first place, gabba techno woefully snubbed for the 54th consecutive year.
[22.05] A straw poll of the BrokenTV office has come up with the following top three:
Fingers crossed those YouTube clips don’t make Windows Live Writer fall over.
[22.16] Cutaway segment to an interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber. If this means we’re missing out on Tatu performing (well, miming) live on stage again, we’re going to set fire to Television Centre.
[22.18] Scores. We’re not going to bother commentating live on those, as it’d be hugely dull, but we do like the progress bar at the bottom of the screen, as if we were ‘installing’ the results onto a computer or something.
[22.33] The UK is doing surprisingly well, while all of our favourites are languishing in mid-table. That shows what we know, but we do take some comfort in the fact we’re right and everyone else is stupid. Twitter highlight of the night is certainly Graham Linehan’s method of announcing his own scores:
Yay for @glinner!
While all this is going on, it’s abundantly clear that Norway have won, which is annoying because it means everyone else is going to try and copy that song for next year’s contest. At least when Lordi won it, it meant lots of countries tried thinking outside of the box for the next few contests. Now the security blanket of mediocre balladry seems to be the way forward, we feel a Wogan-style rant brewing. We may well not bother live blogging Eurovision 2010. Yeah, take that, society!
[22.41] As part of a score-break, we see a traditional folk band playing a cover of Not Gonna Get Us by Tatu, a fact pointed out by Graham Norton. Not sure Terry would have noticed that. We like Norton again now.
[22.45] Scariest national points-announcer of the night: Bosnia-Herzegovina. At a frigging canter.
[22.57] It seems, thanks to a Tweet from @divaschematic, the scary points bloke from Bosnia-Hertzegovina was last year’s entry from the former Yugoslavic region. And quite right she is too, how could we have forgotten?
Where were all the entertainingly deranged acts like that this year? NOWHERE, that’s, erm, not where.
[23.08] Well, Norway won, and Graham Norton proved to be a likeable enough commentator. Not as good as Wogan was, but it was his first stint, and he was certainly much better than the commentator BBC Three used for the semi-finals. We only seem to have lost two followers on Twitter after three hours of mindless Twattering on about Eurovision, which is a minor win for us, but it was a shame the songs we liked most did so badly. Now to listen to some credible music (the new Jason Lytle album is very good, pretty much another Grandaddy album) and play online GTA4. And for any regular readers of the blog who don’t give a flying toss about Eurovision, we promise not to mention it again for at least another fifty-one weeks. G’night!