Posted tagged ‘Terry Wogan’

The Eurovision spectacle

May 3, 2009

In just under two weeks we will have the finals of the annual Eurovision Song Contest – the biggest, most watched, most camp, silliest, most political, most tacky music event in all the world. Billions of people will watch as singers from various European and not-quite-European countries will perform their songs, while many will pay little attention to the music (not unreasonably, given the quality of much of that) and focus instead on the outrageous acts, the political manoeuvring of the juries and voters, the embarrassing performance of the presenters, and the razzmatazz of the celebrations by the winners.

Ireland had a run of success in Eurovision in the 1980s and 1990s, but then political alliances began to affect the voting, and since then you really hard to be part of a voting bloc to stand any serious chance. In any case, Irish (and for that matter, UK) entries have tended to be endearingly off-message, ignoring the move of the whole thing to a more glamour-rock idiom. This year, Ireland’s entry by Sinead Mulvey and Black Daisy (with an all-women band), ‘Et Cetera‘, is perhaps a more focussed attempt to catch the spirit of the thing – but it won’t succeed. The UK have entered a song called ‘It’s my time‘,  by Andrew Lloyd Webber and sung by someone called Jade Ewen; this sounds like a song from ‘Cats’, and it doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell.

So we can stop thinking about Eurovision success from these islands, and concentrate instead on what the song contest is really for: making fun of the stage props, the presenters and the entry from Norway. And of course enjoy Terry Wogan’s sardonic commentary on the BBC (sorry, RTE). Though I have heard that Terry may not be presenting this year; but surely that can’t be so! There are some traditions that are simply too important to let them be abandoned.

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