World of Chig   

Eurovision: Final bits and pieces

Sieben, sieben ai lu lu, sieben, sieben, ein zwei!
Sieben, sieben, ai lu lu, EIN, ZWEI, DREI!

It’s 16:00 and the Eurovision butterflies have kicked in already. I’m not even there, but I’m just anxious that everything goes to plan tonight at our Nightingale party. My 6’ 5” glamourous co-host Miss Maxi is trolling around the city centre for last-minute accessories at this very moment. It’s going to look like the little and large show, beauty and the beast, Marija Serifovic and her backing beauties. In short, a night of contrasts lies ahead.

Before I get completely carried away, it’s a sobering thought that today is missing Madeleine McCann’s 4th birthday and my heart goes out to her family, which is why I’ve put that picture on the left. It came from Myspace, who have set up a homepage for the appeal to find her. In the space of a few hours, it has attracted 140,000 friends. Let’s hope it works.

Sara Cox has just done a lovely interview with David Scooch from Helsinki, and played the Scooch single, possibly for the first time on Radio 1. The single is hovering around number 10 or 11 in the midweeks, meaning that it will probably chart tomorrow around #13, as our Eurovision song has an eery habit of doing in recent years. More on this tomorrow.

Yesterday, I read a lot of nonsense about Thursday night’s results. Let me say, here and now, that I have no problem whatsoever with any of the songs that got through to the final. There’s no conspiracy, no block voting. Individuals cannot organise themselves to vote en masse. The Eastern countries had the better songs and the better draws in the running order (with none after the breaks). All of the dodgy vocals came from Western countries; Denmark and Andorra (both flat) , Switzerland (out of breath because of the dancing) and Belgium (almost painful at times, but recovered a bit). Plenty of Eastern countries failed as well. Some people seem to have forgotten that. We’ll probably see, when the results are revealed tonight, that some countries got through with Western votes, not despite them. Enough moaning, The people have spoken and Eurovision doesn’t need to be reorganised. The West just needs to get its act together and submit better songs.

On a separate matter, please don’t assume that because any act, including the UK’s, says they can win, that they really believe it. They have to say it, for the folk at home. It’s just PR.

No matter how well Serbia do tonight, even if Wee Jimmy Krankie and the Lipstick Lesbians win for them, I bet they won’t get any UK points. The UK public just doesn’t get Balkan ballads. The irony is that Wogan’s Radio 2 listeners would love the song if they heard it a few times on the radio (and Marija has already recorded a fabulous dance version in English, called Destiny). Sadly, they won’t get the chance

The UK will have an enormous part to play in the tension of the final result if it’s close. Fearne Cotton will be giving our votes and we’re the 40th of the 42 countries to do so. Let’s hope it’s a nailbiter, but if Serbia is ahead with two sets of votes to go, they should have it in the bag, because the penultimate country to vote is FYR Macedonia (with Hungary last).

My prediction for the UK televote:

12 to Latvia
10 to Ukraine
8 to Ireland
7 to Greece (British lad)
6 to Sweden

That should be our top five. It’s the order I’m not so sure about.

My prediction for the top:

1st Ukraine
2nd Latvia
3rd Serbia

My prediction for the UK’s position: 18th – 20th, if we’re lucky.

Remember that, in the 41 other countries, most people know that France, Spain, Germany and the UK will be in next year’s final automatically. (Their commentators remind them during the show, just in case they didn’t know already.) This has two effects. It causes resentment, so people are already predisposed to dislike our entry and not vote for it. It also has a financial effect. If you live in a poorer country (and we’re the fifth biggest economy in the world, so that’s everybody else), you’re not going to waste money on a televote for a country that doesn’t need your vote. If you’re an Armenian factory worker who likes, for example, the German and the Georgian songs, you’ll spend money voting for Georgia, not Germany, because Georgia needs the assistance. Forget about ‘political voting’. This is practical voting. Unless the Big 4 countries submit themselves to the possibility of relegation, they will always underperform on the scoreboard. That will never happen, so we’re stuck as we are. Let’s just get used to it and agree to entertain the masses, as that’s what Scooch will do later.

No country deserves to win and host Eurovision more than Slovenia. Their national final lasts for three days, they produce well packaged compilation albums of all the songs and they take their music really seriously. Even though I haven’t bet on them, I will be ecstatic if Alenka wins, and she may. Message to Samo, who reads this: I will be coming to Ljubljana if she does it. It will be good to meet you again!

Right, that’s it. I have to be at the Nightingale for about 18:00 to set up. Katrina’s not arriving until 00:30 and performing at about 01:00. It’s going to be a long day! Have fun, mes amis, whatever you’re doing and we’ll be back for the post mortem tomorrow.

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