I´m not a religious man but the verse Proverbs 26:11 states. “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” And with this in mind we come around again to the annual bunfest that is the Eurovision song contest. 3 hours of what been described by some as crimes against musical humanity, coupled with some of the worst narrow-minded nationalism seen since the Nuremberg rallies. And that´s just the voting process. It´s that time of the year when we can all shed of our hip, poised musical pretentions and get completely sizzled while having a jolly good laugh at other nations musical shortcomings. HAHAHAHA!
This year’s Eurovision has been touted as the one that will end the blatant bloc voting from certain sections of Europe over the past few years (I’m looking at you Eastern Europe and the Balkans) Half a country´s score will be determined by the public, while the other half from a panel of judges from that country. I´m not going to hold my breath to that one.
The other story is this year has been designated the “Kreppa” Eurovision. Due to financial meltdowns and recessions hitting countries all over Europe, many countries are starting to feel the Pinch. Some countries this year have pulled out completely (Andorra, Montenegro the Czech Republic), while Hungary declined to put forward an entry. Even Norway has felt the pinch with the cost of hosting this year contest rising to 211m Norwegian Kroner (approx. 4.2 Billion ISK) and state Broadcaster NRK expressing doubt over whether it could host the contest again should Norway win it for a second year running.
This has left the idea of winning Eurovision as a bit of a “poisoned Chalice”. Indeed some Eurovision conspiracy theorists (yes they do exist, at the lower rungs of conspiracy craziness) have put forward the notion that, in a strikingly familiar tone to the “song for Europe” episode of Father Ted, several countries have entered very poor quality entries this year in the hope of not winning it and therefore being saddled with the cost of hosting it next year. Scandalous indeed!
Indeed there are quite a few notable stinkers in this year’s line up. Spain, Russia, Norway and the United Kingdom´s entries this year are particularly shocking. And some funny half decent entries didn´t even make it to the Final (Lithuania´s entry was a rather likeable throwaway Eastern euro-funk song. It was a shame they looked like members of Lljótu Hálfvitarnir). But there are some pretty interesting entries. Franc, for example, has continued the tradition of sticking the middle finger up to everyone who goes for the lowest common denominator with Jessy Matador, a Congolese immigrant who makes African-styled dance pop.
And of course there´s good old Iceland. Hera Björks song “Je Ne Sais Quoi” is fairly ordinary euro- tinged dance stuff, but her performance on Tuesday destroyed most of the other (frankly poor) competition and is thus being touted as a possible winner. My personal conspiracy that I’m willing to tout around is that the UK, Holland and Germany are trying to bump up Iceland’s chances of winning, therefore saddling us with the crippling costs of hosting it, as revenge for Icesave. Don´t say I didn´t warn you all!
So who do I think will win? My heart says Iceland, my head says France, but it will likely be Russia, Denmark or Azerbaijan. But hey what the hell do I know. If it isn´t experimental black metal from Finland or minimalist German techno then I’m lost here!
See you all when it starts at 7pm…… – Bob Cluness
I am now prepped. I’ve sent the wife out to her sisters so they can watch the contest in their own way. They make little scorecards and mark each entry in marks out of ten while drinking white wine and nibbles. I was banned from taking part last year after I kept giving every entry 1.5 points, except for Iceland which I gave null points.
As for me, I’ve a fridge full of beer and some vodka cocktails on standby. I’ve also been listening to Slayer, the beastie boys and ABBA while doing naked pushups to get me pumped and primed! I also, thanks to satellite TV, have two versions of the contest. The Icelandic programme on RÚV as well as the English version on the trusty BBC.
Of course this could all count for nothing and I expect by 10pm to be on the floor, in a corner curled up in a ball, in my underpants bawling my eyes out while Eurobandið is playing on infinite loop.
Let the battle commence… – Bob Cluness
Voting allowed before the performances? That just proves this whole thing is a popularity contest! – AY
Azerbaijan meets R’n’B and it ain’t pretty! – 19:13
Aside from dramatic dancer boy, we wouldn’t mind being swept off our feet by that big raindrop. (That’s what she’s supposed to be, right? Drip drop drip drop!)
And her dress is lit up! Impressive. – SO & AY
Spain – 19:17
Oh my god there’s a clown! Did the Spanish contestant just run a marathon? What’s with all the heavy breathing?
And wait… who’s that guy!?!? Some dude snuck up onstage in a t-shirt and red hat complete with jazz-hands only to be bum-rushed by security moments later. Cameras artfully turned away from the incident. Amazing! – SO
We’re still reeling from Spain – 19:31
Norway. Oh this is original… – AY
SAXOPHONE SOLO!!! – RL
An interesting opening scene with what looks like a multi coloured cloud of cosmic space dust falls upon Norway like a happy-clappy Chernobyl, eventually invading the stadium. This is followed by a video montage of people from all the competing countries wishing everyone the best. I was certainly hoping to see Iceland’s window pop up and have a guy in his underpants, pizza stains on his vest and scratching his balls going “I’m so lonely!”
Then we had last year’s winner faux-gypsy pixie Alexander Ryback singing his god awful winning song and miming the violin. Is it me or does he now look like Hollywood actor Justin long? Anyway the first competitors are up and running. More beer….. – Bob Cluness
The countries are coming on in quick succession so I’m going to fire off each country as it comes…
Azerbaijan: She looks lovely, but she´s wearing a sinister looking blue sequined glove. Her song is surprisingly angry containing lies, betrayal and paranoia that her partner is cheating on her, like a Eurovision Kelis (sample lyrics “Why are you late? You smell like lipstick again”). Needs more help with getting down those stairs though. Sun git fairly well I thought.
Spain: NONONO!!! This is fucking awful. The really OTT Am-dramatic opera singing was bad enough. But the ht e key changes happen and Bang! This is the musical equivalent of drowning a bag of kittens.
Norway: A very slow, painful ballad that would even Westlife or Andrew Lloyd Webber would baulk at. Sounds a bit like “you lift me up” but nowhere near as good (and that song is pure sheep’s cack). Oh, and his singing is a little off as well…. – Bob Cluness
Oh wow, Cyprus. Thank you for regarding the teenage Eurovision fan-girls intensely through the camera-lens. I don’t know if things would be better in spring with that Miami Vice jacket, but thanks for trying.
Bosnia & Herzegovina is effing SHREDDING! Check out that faux-hawk, Nickelback stance and random horn throwing around the mike. This guy has some real potential… for sucking. – RL
If your song is shit, just try winking. Definite vote-grab.
What’s she wearing? And who’s that guy with the sax? Is he part of the band?
What’s with the duct tape on the guitar? You think you’re such a charmer that all the teen girls watching Eurovision will love a poor starving poet guitarist like you? You’re probably right.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
There seems to be an ominous Gregorian chanting choir in the background. Are those scantily clad backup singers men?
So far this is sounding like a Nescafé commercial. “Hmm mmm. Nothin’ like a refreshing cupa joe in the mornin’.” He’s just a regular down-home grassroots guy who gets up in the morning on the wrong side of the bed sometimes, just like you. We think this one has a chance of winning, against our better judgement.
What can we say? We can’t tell you why, but we love this—sequined jacket, white jeans, off-key singing, and all. We might be voting for this one. We’re definitely putting this on YouTube repeat during commercials.
God damnit! The countries are coming quicker than I can drink or type!! Must work harder…
Moldova: FIST PUMP!! She looks like a Euroshopper Lady GaGa but she´s completely overshadowed by two things. One is the truly awful sax player/dancer/complete cockweasel. The second is the very scary Meth user with a lazy eye that they´ve haired as the male co-singer.
Cyprus: They´re playing this song straight down the line. No Flashiness all acoustic. And it´s boring as listening to Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson speak. At least it´s not too offensive….
Bosnia: There is no way in hell he is playing that guitar! And stop looking like Chris Martin from Coldplay…. – Bob Cluness
Hey Great Britain, I’m glad that sounded good to you, because it sounded like shit to everyone else. Good thing you have that dance degree to fall back on! – RL
OPA! Is this a joke? And is that Bruce Willis?
Whoa! Technical malfunction or wicked breakdown? You be the judge. And ending with what sounds like a ring tone. How many people in Greece you wanna bet will actually have that on their phone within the hour? AY & SO
This has got to be a protest song against Eurovision. Couldn’t they get backup singers who could stay on key? England could do so much better. And couldn’t he muster up some expression in his eyes while smiling. Creepy. Well at least they left something in that was quintessentially English: track suits. AY & SO
We are now fully convinced that the only people who vote for Eurovision are teen girls. Every performance seems to be targeted at them. Too bad her dancers are about as attractive as Kenny G.: disturbingly pleasurable. Good job staying on key, though. AY, SO, & RL
I like the guest appearance by Daft Punk. Too bad they turned into some chick. We liked that girl better in the robot costume. AY, SO & RL
This is fierce, even though we don’t know anything she’s saying. Refreshing change from the princessy songstresses and vote-grab boys with bare chests. We are dancing to this. A formulaic but damn catchy club hit. AY, SO & RL
Two fierce dance singers, one after the other. This is gonna be tough!
Já that was awesome. Way to stay on key!…most of the time.
This gal’s got presence. And, refreshingly, there’s only one on stage, and she’s carrying it all. But wait, what’s this gobledygook about our children playing video games? Doesn’t your boyfriend play video games in his parents’ basement?
The French have earned the right to wear white pants and not elicit any comment. Although the Greeks pulled it off too.
This performance is mainly based bum wiggling. It’s a thrusting song for sure. We loved this … but Serbia! So far two of us are rooting for France to win.
This is Páll Óskar’s favourite song, and we can see why.
Now that we have people in the flat the bitching has increased exponentially. “My god, what is she wearing??!?”, “I wouldn´t have that as a song” were some of the more random comments heard….
Greece: Gay Alert! It´s nice to see that Tom Sizemore has managed to find some singing work after his Hollywood career has flat lined. Their song “OLA!!!” (Not “ola” as that is too quiet) is a massive riot of action with exploding balls of sparks, dancers with bare torsos and scary boots. Aðalsteinn looks gog-eyed at the screen simply saying “what the fuck?” I for one applaud their energy….
United Kingdom: did you know Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote this song? Yes he did. And for some reason he is worth over a billion pound thanks to his songs. There is no god. It´s not Joshs fault, but the song is just so weak and subpar- Steps that he hasn´t a chance in hell. Oh well. Perhaps we can get Oasis for next year…
Georgia: OMG what is wrong with that woman’s face?? There is a massive wart on her cheek! Oh wait it´s just her microphone. Her singing to the backing track seems to be a little bit off timing wise. – Bob Cluness
Introducing Iceland: Hera Björk, nice work with the volcano, that won’t lose us any votes!
Armenia: Tit tactics, that always works…
Turkey: I can say that, apart from Iceland of course, this is the best act of the whole night. If Linkin Park were Turkish, then these guys are surely them. A million extra points for having the sexy fetish robot in the background, who took an angle grinder to its private parts, then shed its skin to reveal inside… a sexy lady! Thumbs up from chez Cluness!
Albania: This song is also rather popular with the party folk. But I think that this is because it sound like a welding of “it´s raining men” and “Fame!” Meh…
Iceland: Now I’m banned from making any nasty comment about the Icelandic entry, but when Hera Björk starts singing everyone has noticed that she has put on a hell of a lot of weight since we last saw her perhaps it was overeating through nerves. But of course that blatant nit picking. Her singing is, as ever, better than 98% of the other singers in the competition. And the crowd go wild. The people downstairs certainly did! – Bob Cluness
Was there a point to the Essex accent?
Nice to hear someone singing in their native language. And despite that, it kind of sounds like a ballad from Beauty And The Beast. Oh to be young again.
Forget about what we said earlier about teen girls. We think we’re in love. He’s looking at me! I swear!
Ukraine: I didn´t know Avril Lavine was representing the Ukraine. If it isn´t her, then she is certainly working the sexy Goth vampire thing with the hood over head at the start. I´m not a massive fan of the Song, but Catharine & Aðalsteinn seem to like it. I shall spend no more words on this entry than is worth it….
France: My personal little favourite. Jersey Matador sings his ditty with aplomb, although his hip thrusting dancing was a bit inappropriate as it his legs seem too short for his body. Btu it´s all so positive and bouncy. It´s also Frances world cup song, so at least they are getting their value for money.
Romania: It´s time for the duelling pianos! As the two singers eyeball each other with serious intent, He looks like he has massive cocaine habit while she is certainly a porn star hot mess. The sexual tension creates so many sparks ,it sets of 2 small fires on top of the piano. It´s going to cost a fortune to clean the smears of it afterwards…
Russia: WHATTHEFUCKWHATTHEFUCKWHATTHEFUCK???? That middle section of that song will surely go down as one of the most masheded up car crashes of a song in Eurovision history. Aðalsteinn was so disgusted that he has to go into the bedroom for the duration of the song.
To Paul Nikolov – Can we use this as a reason to invade Russia at all? – Bob Cluness
This song is getting to us, but a little too eerily like ABBA.
Spain is repeating their performance because of the bum-rusher. We kind of hope he gets up onstage again. It might make the creepy clowns tolerable. C’mon bum rusher!
Armenia: the song about the Apricot Stone! She´s ok but there seems to be a homeless drunk wandering around the stage taking swigs out of a jar and urinating around the back of said apricot stone…
Germany: Now apparently Germany did a massive talent search to find this year’s entrant. And what did they get? A REALLY bad Lilly Allen/Kate Nash impersonator who has this really bad habit of scooping her vowels to try and make her sound like she comes from Camden via Selfoss. SHUT UP!!!
Israel: It´s the son of Zohan who can´t get the high notes. Why can´t they get Dana International out of retirement. It sparks of a discussion about whether we men would have sex with a really good looking transsexual. The answer is…. yes, but she would have to be very good looking… – Bob Cluness
Reviewing the performances, our nominations.
Best makeup: the blue eye stripe on Moldova.
Best dress: robot girl from Turkey.
Most off-key: tied Belarus and Israel. Shudder.
Most sexually suggestive: uncomfortable Kenny G. men fawning over the Georgia girl.
Best androgyny: Serbia.
Best interruption: dude interrupts creepy Spanish clowns.
Most hunkalicious and best drum explosions: Greece.
Best failure: the UK … just … all round.
Most enticing ass wiggling: France.
Best use of volcano props: Ukraine. Nei djók!—Iceland! AY, SO & RL
Portugal: I´m going to hell for saying this, but the singer looks as if she would be in one of those harrowing Czech films. A film that´s all harsh and gray… and about sex trafficking and prostitution. Oh and she needs a couple of protein shakes to build herself up a bit. Oh and the song is gray and boring as well….
Denmark: 80´s Meatloaf Power ballad OOOOOVERLOAD! This songs is a grafting of Hearts “all I wanna do is make love to you” and John Waites “Missing you”. I´m sure they can sure for plagiarism…
Spain (again!!): for some reason, they are playing again due to some problems with the first rendition. It´s even worse than the first one. I´ve also realised that the singer is cross between Leo Sayer and Dagur Eggertsson if Dagur got his hair permed in a drunken prank.
And that´s all the songs…. I’m off for 20 minutes of power drinking and arm wrestling with Catharine. I hope she´s been in training…. – Bob Cluness
in anticipation of what is to come.
first several countries, it looks like Greece has taken an early lead,
if slight, lead. Never under estimate the power of an 80´s power ballad
to completely short-circuit the frontal lobe of a sentient being.
fans were so excited that i think there was a sexual assault against a
Turkish woman starts speaking in French….. – Bob Cluness
Graham Norton is a total douche for his snarky comments.
Bosnia gives 12 points to Serbia he comments “well they vote for what
they know” What, War and ethnic cleansing?
followed by Greece and Turkey and Denmark.
Estonian present has killed a snow leopard and is wearing it as a
trophy. And he´s singing it. What a cunt…..
official. Catharine has called the UK presenter a douche for his snarky
comments “they vote for what they know” What, war and ethic cleansing?
killed a snow leopard and is wearing ti as a trophy. Plus he is singing
in the results. Now THAT is a total douche….
and Jóhanna is in presenting for us. Isn´t she lovely and fragrant???
Spain and Portugal. Iceland and Denmark. Oh and Russia does what Russia
Germany are winning, followed by Belgium and Turkey. – Bob Cluness
I know the 90s are making a comeback, but Germany’s song was just basically a bad rip-off of a Sophie B. Hawkins song. How the hell is it in the lead? I am PISSED. More landi. – RL
Germany is going to win. It´s an inevitability. This is Lily Allen’s
real legacy on the music world. It may be cruel, but if a Eurovision fan
was to beat her to death in the street with a copy of Lordi´s “Hard
rock Hallelujah”, i won´t shed a tear….
close we are and you show your true colours by giving us only 6 points?
well if i can do it tonight, i´m off to take a dump at the Norwegian
Belgium. the land of beer, chocolate and latent racism disguised as a
and Belgium…… – Bob Cluness
discussing why this was the case. Is it because Hera Björk sin´t the
epitome of the Eurovison woman i.e.tall, blonde, thin and under 20 years
old. she gave a really good performance in Eurovision terms but this
was not reciprocated.
Oh and Sweden? FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU TILL YOUR EYES POP OUT
AT THE HORROR OF WHAT YOU´VE DONE!! When we get back on our feet
financially and socially, we will BUY Ikea off you in a hostile
takeover, only to run it into the ground, and then burn the Swedish HQ
in an insurance scam.
the German contestant needs to change her makeup from the Stander
“goth-stick” colour. It also looks like she seems to have learned hear
English form Eastenders. Plus she seems to be singing like Vic Reeves
club singer as she accepts her prize…..
Catharine says you have a super sexy husky voice. Like a pack of mating
piles of faeces i´m leaving at the Norwegian and Swedish embassies.
Who came in second again? Good question. Doesn’t seem so important now, considering Germany basically had 10 million more points than anyone else in the running. It wasn’t even a contest anymore. We have to admit, we didn’t see this one coming. We criticised that performance to the bone from the first viewing through all the recaps. It was the kind of dreck that should have stayed put in 1992. Especially that makeup. I mean, Reality Bites much?
Anyway. We would have liked to see some highers points go to France (awesome white jeans, thrusting, hand claps and overall different from the rest), Greece (more awesome white jeans, lots of shouting, Jersey Shore style fist-pumping) and Serbia (we root for the underdog!).
We have to wonder where the gay vote went. It seems like it didn’t have much impact this year, or else our Hera Björk would have been higher up too. Thanks a lot for the support, Scandinavia!
Final thoughts: Europe, wake up and smell the 21st century! But good job on the Norwegian announcer’s magic trick performance cat-walk. We can only hope the elections turn out better…
GOOD NIGHT EVERYONE! – Rebecca Louder, Stephanie Orford & Alexandra Young
Hey y’all! As you know, us at the Grapevine are super-enthusiastic about the Eurovision Song Contest. It is tasteless, crude, trashy and tacky – why wouldn’t we love it?
Anyway, we hear all the cool magazines are making fancy liveblogs about stuff that interests them, like TV shows, elections and award ceremonies. So we thought: “We aspire to be a cool magazine – why not try our hand at this liveblogging thing?”
So now we’re doing it. Check back tomorrow as of six or seven PM to read what our crazy staff thinks about EUROVISION MADNESS!
While y’all wait for it, you can read an op-piece our cool new intern wrote about it: The Eurovision Complex
See y’all tomorrow!