World of Chig   

34 down, 9 to go

I have listed all the Eurovision songs and acts known so far on the left, and will update with links and names as we get nearer to the contest. By my reckoning, there are 34 songs known so far, with nine more to come.

Two more countries will pick their songs tonight; Armenia and Spain. Armenia will choose a good one, because their singer Sirusho has been given four fine specimens to sing. There is no duffer amongst them. (Listen to them all via here.) I would go for 'Strong'. Disco queens of my acquaintance have gone for 'Qele Qele'. Armenia's choice is anybody's guess, but wouldn't it be nice to go into a national final knowing that you were assured of sending a good song, no matter what? Those of us who are subjected to Michelle Gayle doing a chicken dance can but dream...

We're decamping to Schlager Mansions, with a sleeping bag, a flask and some Pro Plus tablets, to watch the Spanish contest. Scheduled for a mere three and a half hours, previous experience tells us it could easily be five. They have ten songs to fit in, and Spanish television is incapable of showing a three minute song without talking about it for at least 20 minutes afterwards. In theory, this is the culmination of what most people seem to think was A Very Good Idea Indeed. Spain used MySpace to have an open submission competition, where practically every song was put up on the page and open to the public vote. There were five hundred songs! Far too many to make proper judgments. I even know someone who submitted one. Some real favourites started to emerge, most notably La Revolución Sexual by La Casa Azul. Here's the video of the too-long-for-Eurovision version, which reveals both the song and the video itself to be rather brilliant. (Is that Chris Lowe in the helmet?)

But then, it all went horribly wrong. The problem with a public vote is that the public will vote. A so-called comedian entered the fray, receiving support from a TV programme (on a rival channel to the Spanish company which enters Eurovision) and now we are faced with the prospect of Spain choosing the most embarrassingly unfunny attempt at comedy as their entry. This cross between Rolf Harris and Alvin Stardust is Rodolfo Chikilicuatre and his 'song' 'Baila el chiki chiki' (Dance the Chiki Chiki), which pushed La Caza Azul into second place, with 109,995 votes versus 67,706. They're both in the final, as it's the public's top five plus five more plucked by 'experts', but who would bet against this load of tosh winning?

So, prepare for Spain doing exactly what Germany did on Thursday; throwing away one of the best songs in this year's competition. ¡Me cago en la leche! (as my Spanish teacher once heard a chef say in a Spanish hotel).

The irony is that Spanish TV called this whole process, which has really engaged people and caused lots of people to discuss the Spanish entry, ¡Salvemos Eurovision!, which means 'Let's Save Eurovision'. It seems the Spanish public need saving from themselves. Fingers crossed that I'm wrong tonight.

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