Eurovision was a little disappointing this year, with the Eastern black voting meaning it's getting mind-numbingly predictable. The Eastern European countries all voting for each other was funny for a while, but the novelty's worn off now and it takes a record or either mindblowing insanity, such as Lordi, or genuine genius to break that stranglehold and they're few and far between.
Although Serbia were semi-deserved winners last year, the whole thing had that air of desperation of a country that really hopes someone else wins next year so they don't have to bankroll it. And even Terry Wogan seemed slightly more restrained. As has been noted, the UK tend to enjoy the show more by making a complete mockery of it, but the Eurovision organizers seem to have taken offense to that this year. Again.
Although he seemed to have sneaked the booze in later on, there wasn't much to compare to last year where he jokingly described the event as "the music lover's Hamlet" and then asked, "Who knows what hellish future lies ahead?" before adding, "Actually, I do. I've seen the rehearsals."
And certainly nothing to compare to 2001, when Denmark was the host, when he outraged the Danes by nicknaming their beloved presenters, Soren Pilmark and Natasja Crone-Back, "Doctor Death" and "the Tooth Fairy."
Although his wry predictions of the voting was funny as always, his commentary was less so, probably because this year seemed positively restrained. There were, of course, a few novely entries. Step forward Latvia, who apparently decided that the way to everyone's hearts was to try and pull a Lordi by having a whole theme to their entry. This one was Pirates. Saddled with a ghastly Europop dance song. Horrible and file under "trying too hard".
Then there was the utterly mindboggling entry from Bosnia & Herzegovina. I have no idea what all this was about. but it scared me.
Then there's Azerbaijan, who did shockingly well, with what appeared to be a power ballad and scary falsetto between the devil and the least convincing angels since that hen party I saw.
Now, the French entry seems to have divided people. I've heard some say before the event it was a wonderful song, far too good for the competition. What I saw was a bearded french twat in a golf cart ambling so wildly around stage the cameramen kept missing him with an inflatable ball while a bunch of backing singers and do-wap in false beards. I mean, what the buggery? Presumably there was some froggy level of irony about this, but for me it was painful. At least most of the other entires knew they were silly.
Although that doesn't entirely excuse Spain. Who submitted an entry so silly that it went from bad to good and straight back to being bad again. I can only assume this bloke is the Spanish Weird Al in looks, but not talent and he stole his dancers from the Tetris video. I know you're guaranteed a place, Spain, since you part pay for it, but let's not try and take the piss now.
Of course, Britain's entry was harmless enough but because we take the piss every year and make no friends with anyone in Eurpore anyway, once again we came joint last. Sadly we deserved to do better, even with the politics involved, I think. Poor old Andy.
Winners Russia just turned in a formulaic boy band of rollerskates ballad which isn't even entertaining enough to link to. My own vote went to Norway, who turned in a rather pleasant little number that wasn't bad at all. A bit samey, maybe, but certainly solid compared to the standard fare.
I'm still bemused why the Croatian entry brought his dad along, though.