Us Brits love an excuse to get drunk and have a party and there is seldom a better excuse than the Eurovision song contest. It also affords us an opportunity to carry on with another of our favourite pastimes…having a moan.
Eurovision is the longest running song contest in the world and it seems these days it features every country in the world. Even though they are excluded from hosting, Australia are now able to compete – yes, we all know they are not part of Europe.
Then there is the controversy of countries constantly voting for their neighbours. The Baltic states tend to have each others back, as do the Scandinavian countries. We tend to hate that in Britain. Mainly because we are too reserved to vote for our neighbours and vice versa, and being an Island nation we only have one anyway.
Then there is the controversy surrounding the location of this year’s contest. The contest is generally held in the country that won the previous year. Last year it was won by Israel. Now if you have watched the news a few times in the past couple of decades you may be aware that there are some quite contentious things happening in Israel. Due to this many people have boycotted this year’s contest. Apparently not Madonna though.
As per usual, the contest was thoroughly entertaining. From the crazy Icelandic metal-sounding entry that looked like Slipknot had discovered the BDSM section of Ann Summers, through to Australia who seemingly had queen Elsa yodelling while balancing on a rather flimsy pole. It skipped merrily between the surreal and the sublime. With efforts from Sweden, The Netherlands and Denmark, in particular, hitting the mark.
Sending a message
As well as the Icelandic rock band whose piece was a protest against issues that are ongoing in Palestine there were other acts trying to push a political agenda. The Israeli entry, in particular, was poignant and emotional. But then there was France with their openly gay and genderfluid Muslim act. They were panned by some quarters and praised by others for their bravery. The song wasn’t great but the message of inclusivity was commendable, or at least half of Twitter thought so. The non-homophobic half presumably.
The half time show
As if it wasn’t strange enough seeing the Azerbaijani fella have a projected heartbeat that made him look like Ironman or the half time show with the previous winner who looked like a cross between Dame Edna and the tinman from the Wizard of Oz. Things then got really strange. Madonna turned up with an eye patch on and a costume that looked like something out of Mad Max. She then rambled on for several minutes incoherently babbling before getting everyone to do terrible karaoke to her hit “music” like it was some really deep and profound song instead of the overplayed, pop-trash that it really is. Seriously, Beautiful Stranger and Ray of light were both better and they were dreadful.
She then took to the stage to perform one of the most soulless performances of the wildly inappropriate “Like a Prayer”. Although let’s be honest it is a banger! And included in said performance were flags pertaining to Palestine. Wow did she ever put up a neon sign pointing to the elephant in the room?
Eurovision hates Britain
The Netherlands won the contest with their inoffensive, easy listening ballad. And as always the scoring was as fun as the wacky music. Graham Norton offered atypically whimsical commentary and lamented Britain coming last like it was some sort of shock. Some may point to Brexit as the reason for our poor performance, totally overlooking that our entry was the musical equivalent of a magnolia wall. It was dull and generic and didn’t deserve to do well. Oh well there’s always next year, right?