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I’m here, the pizza’s here, and the telly’s on. Tonight, the UK’s Eurovision entry will be decided by Terry Wogan and Co, who may or may not manage to announce the right result this year.
So… five minutes to go, and we’ll be underway.
18.59 We’re kicking off early by my watch! Terry and Claudia have entered a cheap-looking studio with a horribly pixellated back screen, surrounding by a possibly drunk crowd.
19.03 The show apparently has a baffling new format this year, in which bizarre categories of acts will compete to be picked to go through to the public vote by John Barrowman, Carrie Grant, and Terry Wogan, followed by another wildcard act being put through. So essentially, the judges are discarding two of six acts in an overly complex way.
19.06 The Beeb don’t quite seem to have decided whether this is a serious search for the best representatives for the UK, or a camp comedy show. But, enough of the introductions, girl groups are up first – Firstly, Love Shy, whoever they might be.
19.11 This girl ‘group’ appears to be what may popularly be known as a ‘duet’. They’re not very good, though that may possibly be more related to the fact that there were two singers but only a single melody line, making the whole thing very karaoke. Or summert. Ooh, have to move on quick, the next act is up now – The Revelations.
19.14 These guys seem to be hindered both by an awful song and the fact that they’re struggling to sing it. All three are wearing identical oddly cut dresses in different colours. Which can also be said for the first act. How odd.
19.18 It seems that neither John nor Carrie liked either of the first acts, which is quite amusing. Terry thinks its a tough decision. Love Shy were clearly better, it would be disappointing if they didn’t go through. Oh. Carrie and John both went for The Revelations. Terry contributed the same joke he had earlier about Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s commode, and mentioned his ‘wildcard’ which was clearly not supposed to be mentioned until later in the show. All going well so far, then.
19.24 We’re now looking at former Song for Europe programmes. What fun. Moving swiftly on, it’s Joseph vs Maria – Joseph being Rob somebody or other and Maria being Simona whatserface. Oh, how far they’ve come. I thought Maria/Simona had shunned music for straight acting now? I’m confused. Now Celine Dion is blasting, presumably because she once did Eurovision. Rob McVities thinks he’s following in her footsteps. I don’t want to shatter that illusion. Is he really named after a biscuit? Apparently not. It’s McVeigh. Disappointing. Time for him to sing now, I think.
19.26 He’s certainly singing like he means it. I don’t especially like his tie, though. That’s a negative. Oh, and the song isn’t great, either.
19.28 There’s a possibility that you’re wondering why something which calls itself a political blog is commenting on Eurovision. Frankly, that’s a question I’m asking myself right now, too. But that’s the situation I’ve got myself in. Simona Armstrong is up now. Can you have somebody from Romania representing England in Eurovision?
19.31 A quick recap: Currently, Romanian Simona is singing in a tutu (as Simona, not Maria) in the Maria/Joseph category to win the support of the judges to represent England in Belgrade. The judges might choose her now, if they don’t then they might choose her later, and then the public have to decide if they want her. I think all that’s right. Saturday night TV is confusing these days. It’s a bizarre song called Changes. I don’t know whether it was good or not. Frankly, I’m no longer sure of my own name.
19.35 John wants to pick Simona based purely on her Romanian heritage, which I’m sure must be against some kind of subclause of a BBC Editorial Guideline. Carrie likes her because she and her song are equally weird. What?! Terry is, once again, not contributing anything other than saying he won’t say who he’d have voted for, but that he really, really liked Simona. Rob looks sad. Awww.
19.38 Now they’re doing ‘The Terrys’ (Terries?), and ill-though out feature in which Terry tells us the top three acts from the history of Eurovision in a number categories, showing clips with dipped sound whilst he commentated. So, for example, we were treated to the ‘best lungs’ in Eurovision without actually being able to hear the singing.
19.41 Next up is Andy from X-Factor. No idea what the category is supposed to be, but given that both contestants are black, and given the comments about Simona, I wouldn’t be overly surprised if it was, actually, the Blacks. The good news is that he’s actually not a bad singer, and the song isn’t terrible either. The same can’t be said for the pelvic gyration, but we’ll forgive him that.
19.44 Michelle, of Grange Hill and Eastenders fame, is now taking to the stage in a grass skirt with a song called Woo.
19.45 Turns out I spoke too soon. It’s not a grass skirt, it’s a grass-skirt style dress. If you’re not near a TV, trust me that it really is as bad as it sounds. This seems to be turning into a Fashion Blog tonight, and that might not be the best idea. After all, it is me writing. This is a truly awful song, with even more bizarrely terrible dance moves apparently based on the Birdie Song. I still haven’t recovered from ‘Something Kinda Ooh’ from Girls Aloud, so a ‘Woo’ is the last thing I need right now.
19.52 Carrie thinks Andy can sing, the song matched his voice, and he was excellent. John thinks much the same. They agree that Michelle’s number was crazy, frantic, and slightly manic. So they’re putting Michelle though. Eh? Terry is being useless again. But now he’s picking a ‘Wildcard’.
19.57 He’s picked Andy. Very good. Now the lines are open for public votes, preceded by a lengthy pre-recorded spiel about how to operate a phone and a long recap of the performances.
19.59 It’s finally over. For now. It and me are back at 9.30pm. See you then!
21.31 Ninety minutes and a costume change later, we’re back. I haven’t changed costume, you understand, rather Claudia has. Into a sparkly number. Ooh. The phone lines are frozen, and we’re about to find out who’s going to go head to head. Again.
21.34 It’s Michelle Gayle and Andy X-Factor. They’re now going to sing again, after which the phone lines will re-open. Terry’s desperately trying to fill, and is failing so badly that he’s now admitted he’s filling. Now there’s another pre-recorded spiel about how to use a phone. And it’s over to Andy.
21.39 Andy’s doing very well. It’s just unfortunate that the song has a similar chord progression to The Disco Inferno, which creates some dodgy moments where you desperately want a ‘Burn, Baby, Burn’ which never materialises. Nevertheless, it’s a good song, and a great performance. I’d quite like to see it win.
21.43 Michelle’s back with the ‘Woo’ one again. The one with the birdie dancing and enthusiastic arm-flinging. I’m concerned that this might win on the ‘weird’ Eurovision ticket, which Scooch won on – much more comprehensively and competently – last year. It’s actually painful to watch and listen to. And what’s going to fill the 15 mins between this performance and the end of the show? Please tell me it’s not anther awful, poorly conceptualised VT.
21.48 The answer appears to be that they’ll spend most of the time explaining how to vote. Oh, they’re squeezing in a poorly conceptualised VT – showing the songs chosen by other countries whilst talking over them so we can’t actually hear the entries. Terry isn’t funny enough to sustain a comedy monologue on primetime TV – he only works as Eurovision commentator in a knowing, ironic way, not at all in the way he thinks he works. And then we get treated to a VT of previous UK winners. Yipee.
21.51 Just to demonstrate how out of touch anybody voting for Michelle Gayle is, they’ve now got Katrina (minus the waves) performing her 1997 winning number.
21.53 Now another Terries/Terrys VT, as poorly thought out as the last.
21.55 The lines are now closed. Carrie thinks Michelle should win, John thinks so too. Grief. The public have chosen…
21.59 Andy Abraham! That was a pleasant surprise. And that’s it. Andy’s singing his song for the third time this evening, which frankly might be pushing it a bit. I know I said I quite liked it, but maybe not that much. Still, all’s well that ends well, I guess, and he was very much the best on the night. Congratulations Andy.
Thanks for joining me tonight, and I hope you enjoyed the LiveBlog. Serious political comment and normal service will be resumed shortly 😉