Back to Baku – The Eurovision Song Contest

May 26, 2012 6:11 pm

If you’re thinking about heading out on Saturday evening, going clubbing, to the pub, or just enjoying the last weekend of sun before the inevitable Bank Holiday downpour, then I regret to inform you of what you’ll be missing out on.

Forget the Summer Olympics, Euro 2012 and the Jubilee, there’s nothing that brings together the super powers like the Eurovision Song Contest. A night filled with colour and magic, that celebrates and showcases the widest array of musical talent from around the contintent.


I’ll admit, I’m writing a sarcastic tourist-y piece, but it’s merely to divert attention away from the fact that the Eurovision Song Contest is a massive guilty pleasure of mine. I really can’t explain it. Maybe it’s the commentary, the British humour that affords us an opportunity to laugh at all the poor countries that manage to beat us year in year out. Or maybe it’s the fact that we just simply don’t care anymore.

Englebert Humperdinck. The entry from United Kingdom with the most foreign sounding name in the contest. Just what we need. While most countries get away with a scantily clad lady wearing nothing but sequins whilst sporting a very controversial mono-brow, we bring in Englebert Humperdinck. While most countries will treat us with an up-beat, cheesy europop number, we’re looking to croon our way through with a man who voluntarily re-named himself Englebert Humperdinck. I mean, the guy is seventy-bloody-six years old for gawd’s sake…and he’s going on first!

Presumably because he’ll need the rest of the night to recover and have a sit down.

Phew. I’m getting a little worked up, I must be excited.

You must wonder why really. We Brits all know it’s completely and utterly corrupt. Every year, the optimists among us must hope that we can provide an act that will propel us back to the top of the leaderboard once again. It’s been far too long since Katrina and the Waves, hasn’t it? But the reality is that it stopped being a singing contest many years ago. The Balkans vote for each other. Greece votes for Cyprus. Cyprus give them the same back, I mean Greece needs all the friends it can get right about now. The Scandanavians are at first, a little rebellious towards each other, but Norway and Sweden know what they’re up to. Even Ireland don’t vote for us…and look who’s representing them. We made Jedward what they are today. Whatever that is.

This year’s contest, as always, will be held in the nation that were victorious the year before. Step forward Baku, the urban and cultural capital of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, some of you ask. Where’s that? Well, I’m not exactly sure, but I believe JK Rowling wrote a book about it. Whatever it’s called, come Saturday night, I’ll be the one being held captive.

So, I guess the important question to answer is…why on earth do I consider the Eurovision Song Contest a guilty pleasure of mine? For those who know me well, you’ll know that despite being a relatively passive individual, I have a lot of pet hates, a lot of things that rub me up the wrong way. On the face of it, the Contest should be right up there. But no. Something about it draws me in every single time.

Maybe it’s the fact that every year, there’s one song that you can’t get out of your head for days, possibly even weeks after. Maybe it’s the fact that you cling to the hope that one peformance will consist of a crazed, bearded man with native attire and a funny hat, singing out of tune with a harpsichord who’s just happy to be there…and for a brief moment in time, you wish you were that outgoing. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s reality TV at its worst…it’s trashy and it’s embarrassing, but you dig that sort of thing.

Whatever it may be, I can’t deny that I’ll keep watching the Eurovision until I just physically cannot stomach anymore. If I cannot again hear the words “you look beautiful tonight, what a great show!!” , or if I cannot put up with the blatant politics of it, I may stop watching and turn my attentions elsewhere.

But until that moment arrives, denial for my love of  the Eurovision Song Contest would be the very same as this year’s British entry – completely pointless.

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