World of Chig   

The Dusty and Dustin shows (and some stuff about Sweden)

'The One And Only', or 'That show with the Dusty Springfield woman' as we've been calling it since week one, has been won by Dusty Springfield tonight, which should have surprised no one and is very well deserved. She was amazing. I don't think there's been a more obvious winner of a TV singing competition since, ooh, Connie as Maria.

The next obvious win will be next Saturday when Dustin, not Dusty, wins the ticket to Eurovision from Ireland, where he works in North Dublin as a builder, despite being a turkey. A turkey who looks like a vulture. A puppet turkey vulture. That's him looking down on you from the top left. If Dustin doesn't win next week I will live on potatoes for the week after. Possibly.

Dustin was even on The One Show in the UK this week, when they announced that the UK's Eurovision hopefuls would be featured on the show before our national final. (I'm hoping that our show features at least one ex-soap star, a transparent girlband, Bob the Builder, a failed Maria and a singing dustman, but what do I know?) Westlife were also in the studio when Dustin appeared by video link 'from Ireland' and Adrian Chiles seemed surprised that Westlife knew of Dustin, which is odd, as the turkey has been famous in Ireland longer than Westlife have and released a fair few albums and singles of his own. If the BBC researcher had been skilled in the art of YouTube searching - admittedly it's not something anyone can manage - they could even have found this, which I had seen before, and then no one would have been surprised. Dustin even manages a reference to last year's disastrous Eurovision result for Ireland.

At least there were surprises in Sweden's televised singing competition tonight. I watched the second Melodifestivalen heat live on the net (in almost judder-free, full screen quality - thank you SVT). The horrible homophobe Carola had teamed up with the previously likeable (although I will now question his judgment, or his level of desperation) Andreas Johnson, who she cruelly beat to the Eurovision place in 2006. Despite Sweden's liberalism, they make strange allowances for this bloody awful woman and this, in theory, should have been a dream ticket to the final. However, they didn't make it. The only managed to win a place in the 'Andra Chansen' second chance heat, which means they finished third or fourth tonight. I laughed a lot, especially as the camera was on her face when the result was revealed and she looked like she had just realised she had wet herself. It was priceless.

Sanna Nielsen claimed one of the places in the final with a good ballad which she sang superbly at first. (She wobbled a bit in her reprise, but she was already through by then, so I think the shock of qualifying was getting to her a little). She sings in English superbly, with very clear enunciation and very little accent, which lifted her song way above the others tonight.

The other finalists were Rongedal, who did a great presentation of a pop song, Just A Minute, with twins (I presume) looking like Richard O'Brien in red suits, singing like Jake Shears. It clearly caught the Swedes' attention.

However, I can't help feeling that Sweden's best chance for Beograd has gone by the wayside. Andra Generationen finished fifth, so will go no further. Their song Kebabpizza Slivovitza, although it was tonight's light relief, would have gone down well with ALL the Balkan countries and picked up votes from everywhere else too. It sounded like a Swedish pop song performed by a Macedonian wedding band, which is pretty much what it was. With a nod to the Eurovision host nation in the title, it would have gone down well in the hall at least. (Slivovitza is Serbia's 'national drink'; a plum liqueur that I look forward to sampling when in Belgrade!)

Oh well, Eurovision in Belgrade has more to worry about than whatever song Sweden is sending. The elephant in the room is about to wake up and roar. Following the election of the 'pro-European' candidate as President in Serbia last weekend, Kosovo seems certain to declare independence tomorrow. The streets of Belgrade are full of people already tonight. Let's hope they manage to come to a peaceful solution.

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