The campest cabaret has come to town. This year, the good burghers of Baku are proud hosts to the financially crippling annual Eurovision Song-fest. At least the well-oiled Azeris can afford to stage the ritzy affair without going cap in hand to the IMF. Various tone-deaf bottle blond painted divas with floaty hair, mincing pretty-boys in tight white lycra and hairy ruritanians in ethnic pantomime drag have parachuted into town to compete for the most infamous music prize on the planet. The Azeri autocrats are rubbing their hands in glee. As usual, votes will be cast along political and ethnic fault lines regardless of the quality (or otherwise) of the compositions, most of which will be badly sung in banal single-syllable pop English. It’s music, Jim, but not as we know it. Expect plenty of back slapping Balkan bonhomie between recently befriended old foes, top marks from the Turkish jury to their Azeri pals, the usual love-in between Athens and Nicosia and friendly hands across the Baltic. Pity poor Engelbert, he hasn’t got a hope in Hell. To not come last will be a decent achievement. Regardless of the shameless predictability of it all, we’ll be popping our euro-corks courtesy of a lovely Bitez Babe. We’ve promised not to trash the joint as Engelbert’s nul points come rolling in.
The glitzy shindig has caused quite a ruckus in the Caucasus. A couple of Eurovision websites have been hacked by anti-gay cyber attacks, leaving the catchy slogan “here is no place to immoral gays in Azerbaijan. Leave our country, no place to stay in Azerbaijan for gays who look like animals.” Now, who are they calling an old dog? The Iranians have thrown a hissy fit at the prospect of all that decadent fun and frolics from the sexually suspect just across the border. The Iranian ambassador has been withdrawn in protest, there’ve been riots by the great unwashed and a fatwa or two from the mad mullahs. Like the Puritans of old, it seems the Iranians have forgotten what is it is to have a little glittery fun. These days, what passes for Saturday night entertainment on state-controlled TV is ‘Lynch the Queers, Live”. Now, where did I put my knitting needles?
While I’m looking for them, check out the Russian entry from the singing grannies.
Remarkably, wrinkly Engelbert (aka Arnold Dorsey) can still hold a note at 75. Mr Humperdinck will be singing for his pension at the 57th Eurovision Song Contest with a sweet little ditty called Love Will Set You Free. It’s actually not a bad ballad in a Lionel Bart musical kind of way. Come Eurovision night in May, the streets of Soho will be empty, the middle aged ladies of the Carpathians will be chucking their knickers at the screen and Caucasian grannies will be swooning in the aisles in Baku. But, can Engelbert win and bring glory back to Blighty after 15 luckless years? Not while the Baltic league and Balkan cartel are in the driving seat, methinks. What do you think?
After the epic drama of yesterday’s post, I give you something light and frothy. Eurovision fever has come early this year. Armenia has withdrawn from the competition because of a problem with the Azeris (all about the frozen dispute of Nagorno-Karabakh), the Russians will be represented by a group of grannies called, er, The Grannies and Blighty has chosen our very home-grown wrinkly in the form of Engelbert Humperdinck, 75 years young. And why not? It gets camper every year and we love it.
The Turkish entry was selected last month. No doubt it was an instant hit right across the smoky salons of this wintry land. Zimmerless Can Bonomo (that’s Jan Bonomo to non-Turkish speaking pansy fans – C is a hard J in Turkish) will be bouncing about the stage in Baku, the Azeri capital, to the beat of his energetic ditty, Love Me Back. It’s in English (well, Globalish) and features a gypsy riff. The jury’s out on whether jumping Jan will make it through the semis. What do you think?
Eurovision trivia – In the history of its involvement, Turkey has awarded the most points to the UK and received the most points from Germany. I didn’t think anyone voted for Blighty these days.
The greatest music show on earth has drawn to a close. The super trouper has been dimmed, the glitter ball has been packed away and the legions of obscure half-baked camp crooners have boarded the buses bound for their Carpathian villages. Their five minutes of fame is up. The Eurovision Song Contest rebuilt war-torn Europe sequin by sequin and our continent is a more colourful place because of it.
Blue are blue but they shouldn’t be. We Brits are used to vengeful Eurovision voting by our neighbours. We’re destined never to win but to always pick up the tab. It’s the cross that we bear. We could offer up a singing goat for all the difference it would make. We should be consoled by the utter dominance of our once obscure and marginal Germanic tongue. It’s a shame though, that the ethnic tint has been squeezed out of the competition by insipid Euro-pop sung in la la la Ingelish.
Predictably the Balkan conspirators, Baltic cartel and ex-Soviet mafia played their aces. So there we have have it. The travelling circus is off to Baku in Azerbaijan in 2012. At least with all their oil money they can afford to pay for it.
Watch the winning entry on You Tube. It’s a sweet song and a little bit Glee.
Forget the crisis in Syria, the civil war in Libya, Bin Liner’s death or the impending draconian clampdown on internet freedom in Turkey. It’s Eurovision Song Contest night and Europe’s having a party. Various angst-ridden bleached blond divas, euro pretty-boys in tight pants mincing around the stage and ruritanians in pantomime drag have been bussed in to Düsseldorf for the annual kitsch camp-fest. What started as a genuine attempt to heal the wounds of a war-torn Europe has degenerated into a financially crippling travelling circus of political intrigue and regional love-ins that now requires an ECB bailout to stage.
Turkey was knocked out in the semis. Who are the Azeri Turks going to vote for now? Will it be the usual Balkan back-slapping bonhomie from people who only a few years ago were at each other’s throats? Who’ll pick up the Greek vote now Cyprus is out? Was Dana International’s unceremonious ejection because the Israelis are beastly to the Palestinians or due to the fact that she’s gone rather broad at the beam and sang a crap song? Will anyone vote for the UK? I doubt it even with Duncan James’ newly acquired disco tits out on display. These are questions of profound global significance.
There will be Eurovision parties the length and breadth of Blighty, staged by queens for queens. Soho will be a ghost town and we will be glued to the set doing our bit for the boys.
Blue did a nude photo-shoot for Attitude magazine in Blighty. Stripping off for the folks back home won’t bring in the votes but might get their so so song into the charts. Watch the video below. It’s a bit naughty so if you are of a nervous disposition or easily offended I suggest you give it a miss!