It’s that time again. We’ll be both livetweeting and liveblogging the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. Exciting, isn’t it? No, it is. IT IS. Latest entries at the bottom of the page.
The BBC are deeming this SO important, they’re using their “Look at all the brilliant things BBC One has done” montage of classic BBC One shows, like Morecambe & Wise, One Foot In The Grave, and Mrs Brown’s Boys (yeah, we know). Respect: due.
The iPlayer live stream of BBC One (which we’ve got up so we can do screencaps) is about half a second ahead of the digital delay on our actual television. That’s how fast the internet is nowadays.
Hopefully we’ll get better at taking screencaps than this as the night goes on, though:
The German host is doing a live swing version of last year’s winning song. It’s bloody good, too.
Graham Norton is helpfully talking over it all, for the benefit of people who aren’t looking at their television sets.
Wondering where you’ve seen the guy singing the Finland entry before? WONDER NO MORE:
MINUS 50 POINTS FOR REFERRING TO “THIS CRAZY, CRAZY WORLD”, YOU HACKS. (Quite a nice tune, though.)
Lithuania’s entry feels like it should be preceded by Ronnie Barker saying “and now… Miss Sandra Dickson” to warm applause.
Just noticed we’re on 981 Twitter followers. Will us twatting endlessly on about Eurovision get us up to that magic 1000 mark? Or back down to the 900 mark? PLEASE FOLLOW US. We’re unbelievably needy.
Lithuania’s entry, Evelina Sašenko, includes her doing sign language. She's actually signing "vote for me, all the others acts hate the deaf, they said so backstage".
Hungary’s entry - Kati Wolf - isn’t just performing a nicely catchy song, we also suspect she plays the role of Jenna is the Hungarian version of 30 Rock. She just has that kind of look about her. Anyway, she’s the first of our TIPS TO WIN, thereby almost ensuring that she’ll finish 14th at best.
We have actually bought a copy of the Jedward song. It’s one of our TIPS TO WIN.
We understand if you want to unbookmark us now. Especially when we say that the original studio version is even better.
Sweden’s Eric Saade, and note how he tries to attract votes from the youth of today by flashing a great big Pokémon ball behind the set.
Wonder what’s in it, eh kids? A great big fuckoff fire breathing Picachu, we’ll wager. Another of our TIPS TO WIN, by the way.
Estonia’s Getter Jaani, another really good song that we liked a lot when we first heard it.
This gets the fourth of our TIPS TO WIN. We’d better start using them a bit more sparingly, we promise only to give out another two. After all, if we got all smug about one of our tips to win actually winning, it really wouldn’t count for much if we’d doled out about twenty of the bloody things. We do actually like all of the last four songs, mind.
Phew. The run of Songs We Like comes to an abrupt end, as here’s Greece and their sodding awful song.
“Featuring Stereo Mike”, but luckily NOT the Stereo Mike from Montreal hitmakers Bran Van 3000, as we really like them.
Oh, Russia. If you’re going to dress up like that, and you’re not doing a cover version of the Happy Days theme, you can piss off.
France, and their ‘proper singer’, Amaury Vassili. Favourite with the bookmakers.
“The youngest professional tenor in the world.” Hope he loses, as it’s really not about this kind of music. Mind you, if he wins, at least his album will make a thought-free gift next Mother’s Day.
"Can you speak... whatever language he's singing?" "Corsican." Etc etc and so on.
Another dull but worthy entry, this time from Italy, and A Man With A Piano.
If we WANTED to watch Jools Bloody Holland, we’d… well, we’d punch ourselves in the face until we came to our senses. PLAY SOME POP.
THIS is what we’ve been missing. Awkward interviews with the acts while (we guess) advertising-funded broadcasters cut to commercials.
A slightly confused host, an old man, and big stamps, there.
Back to the songs, and Switzerland’s Anna Rossinelli.
One of those songs where every one of your senses screams out how much you should hate it, and yet you can’t help but love it. Like having pineapple on a pizza, or a much better example we’ll probably think of in about ten minutes, then come back and edit this bit while hoping no-one notices. (Note: no-one is actually reading this live, so we might get away with that.)
POP FACT: The UK's entry this year was actually meant to be Blur, but the fax to EBU headquarters got smudged.
They’ve tried to make it sound very European, haven’t they?
Moldova does Pet Shop Boys does Bloodhound Gang does H-Blockx.
Finally, a band willing to have a bit of a giggle with it all. Hope they do better than everyone wants them to. And it’s not that bad a song, either. The fifth of our TIPS TO WIN.
Another of the big favourites to win, it’s Germany’s Lena, playing a ‘home match’, as it were.
We don’t think she’ll win this year, though. The song isn’t quite as memorable as last year’s, even if it’s not bad by any means. But, people just don’t win Eurovision twice in a row any more, do they? Mind you, Germany DOES have the only economy strong enough to host the bloody thing two years in a row.
Geordie-fronted Hotel FM from Romania.
It’s a bit like a song from a Robbie Williams album that didn’t get to be a single. Though it DOES provide us with a gap to go for a wee. So, small mercies, eh?
Blimey. Wee isn’t meant to be THAT colour, we’re sure. Anyway, here’s Austria’s Nadine Beiler and a song SO forgettable, we’ve forgotten what it sounds like, while we’re still listening to it.
It’ll probably win.
The Azeri entry. It’s quite nice if you like that sort of thing. We suppose.
Yep, nineteen songs in, and we’ve utterly run out of things to say. So, here’s a Les Dawson joke we tweeted earlier: "I once had a marvellous job. There wasn't much money, but plenty of time off. I was a coronation flag seller."
ONLY SIX SONGS TO GO!
It’s now officially The Point At Which We Regret Saying We’d Do A Live Eurovision Blog. No-one’s actually reading this. We could type a load of words at random, it wouldn’t make any difference. Handbag carnival sausage sausage sausage. See? Anyway, Eurovision is a lot like Match Of The Day, in that all the rubbish matches (songs) are shoved on at the end, and to prove it, here’s Slovenia, and their singer who sounds a little bit like Lisa Stansfield if you squint your ears.
We can’t even be bothered waiting for the phone vote aston to clear off the screen before taking a screen cap. Something good had better come along soon.
Iceland, and a song written by someone who has since died. Out of shame, presumably. (OH, WE KID.)
First that volcano, now this?
You know how you might go on holiday to Spain, and get really drunk? Like, really, REALLY, actually think you’re going to die drunk?
And one day, after an especially heavy afternoon where you’re desperately trying to keep up with everyone else despite your calamitously low tolerance levels, you’re finding your blood alcohol level off the frigging chart, and you’re back in your room trying to get ready for a night of ‘clubbing’, and you really wish anything, anything could take you back home RIGHT NOW? Away from all this. But then you see something banging away on the small TV set in the corner of the room that makes you feel SO far away from home, you could cry? Just curl up and cry? And instantly, you HATE it. It’s become a gloating mascot of how far away from comfort you are, how utterly trapped in your situation you are, and you just want it to DIE. TO JUST FUCK OFF AND DIE.
Well, that’s how the Spanish entry makes us feel.
Ukraine, and LIVE SAND ARTISTRY!
A lady shifting around sand over the top of a lightbox to make pretty pictures, LIVE ON TV. We feel a bit better now.
Nina from Serbia, and a song that really reminds us of a slightly disappointing Fantastic Plastic Machine cover band.
It’s not bad, by any means, and we do suspect if they were singing in English, we’d like it a lot more. As there’s only one act left (and if it’s the song we think it is, it won’t deserve it), this is the last of our TIPS TO WIN.
We were right, it’s the band that’s a bit like Evanescence, Georgia’s Eldrine. It’s not actually that bad, certainly a billion times better than fucking Evanescence.
Maybe this should have been one of our TIPS TO WIN (that doesn’t go in bold, because it isn’t actually one of our tips to win). But then, it won’t win. So, it isn’t.
So, while all the phone numbers are all played out on telly, and we don’t take the time to vote, as you can’t vote on the internet (what IS this, the 1980s?), here are our tips to win:
Hungary - Kati Wolf
Ireland - Jedward
Sweden - Eric Saade
Estonia - Getter Jaani
Moldova - Zdob şi Zdub
Serbia - Nina
Sorry, all of those countries. Hearing a bit of it again, we probably should have included Georgia’s Eldrine in there, as it is pretty good. Ah, well.
We’ve just looked at our incoming visitors stream. Pretty much everyone reading this stuff is a visitor from around Europe who stumbled here due to our surprisingly high Google ranking for “eurovision 2011 live blog”. We can only apologise. Sorry, Europe.
Aah, THAT’S who the male anchor reminds us of.
So, just WHEN did Rufus Hound and Drew Carey have a lovechild?
Oh, we forgot to put “national jury host leaves a HUGE pause before saying who they’ve given 12 points to, so they get to be on camera longer” on our checklist earlier.
The UK is doing ‘okay’, but we can’t help but feel if the UK really, really wanted to win, Blue would have covered the theme from Cannon & Ball’s 1982 cinematic offering "The Boys In Blue". "We're the boys in Blue, blue-a-hoo-hoo, we'll do anything, just anything, for you." Could. Not. Fail.
Man, Sweden’s version of Prince William is WAY cooler than ours.
Remember how France were the bookmaker’s favourite? Despite it being so boring it could have featured in an especially dull South Bank Show that deflated our mood after sneakily watching Spitting Image on our portable telly on a Sunday night when we were tiny?
They’re languishing below Finland. HA HA HA HA. That’ll teach ‘em for not putting Seb Tellier up this year.
Alex Jones from The One Show has a cousin in Belarus. Who knew?
Yeah, she doesn’t look as much like her from this angle, but still. It’s late. Azerbaijan CANNOT WIN, SURELY? Get ready to tick that “An utterly bland ballad by a vaguely attractive singer in their late 20s who can clearly sing a bit but it's all a bit David Gray isn't it, somehow storms into a 57 point lead over all the other utterly bland ballads by vaguely attractive singers in their late 20s who can clearly sing a bit but (etc).” box in our checklist from earlier.
Aah, we get it now. The rest of Europe wants to bankrupt Azerbaijan's state broadcaster for some Machiavellian reason. Surely? It’s the only rational explanation, considering how shit their song was.
It’s all over. Pedestrian mum-friendly mush proves to be hugely popular. Who knew?
Smallest. End credits. Font. EVAR.
Those with 5.1 digital sound systems listening very carefully can hear 43 commentators saying "Azerbaijan is HOW FUCKING FAR?" in a variety of European languages.
And so, that’s it. Our predictions were WAY off, as you might expect. We’re very glad we hadn’t put a bet on it (“never bet any money you can’t afford to lose”, which rules us out right now, frankly), as only a madman would have plonked cash down on Azerbaijan before today. Though, it does seem much of our checklist DID work out as we’d cynically planned. So, go figure.
Anyway, many thanks to the three people who’ve read all this (and we genuinely suspect our “ha ha, they used a comically low number for their readership” joke was actually overstating the truth, though a big “hello” to anyone spending a hugely boring Sunday morning reading this), and a good night to you both.