The Eurovision Song Contest 2009
Regarding the Guardian’s po-faced summary of last night’s Eurovision contest, one feels compelled to make some observations. (Diclosure: I’m Norwegian and thus hopelessly biased. Also, I watch the ESC largely to make fun of it.) Anyway, long-time Europvision stalwart Terry Wogan sadly stepped down from commenting duties this year and was replaced by motormouth talk-show host Graham Norton, who is a very funny man. The Guardian’s Carole Cadwalladr pointed out that Norton got off to a
a wobbly start, complimenting the Russian hosts as “not that bad”
which was wrong of him, because British manners dictate that the first thing you do is badmouth your hosts, who have the gall not to be British. But after this early mis-step, Norton was commended by Cadwalladr when he stood up to Vladimir Putin:
First there were suggestions of corruption when he let slip that the choice of Anastasia Prihodko, Russia’s surprise last-minute entry, might just have had something to do with the fact that her father is a billionaire
This was truly brave, like something Solzhenitsyn would do, and I hope Amnesty was duly notified. Nevermind the fact that last year’s winner has the exact same backstory, which was commented upon endlessly to much amusement, because every other Russian pop star seems to be the offspring of someone very, very rich. I realize the idea of a billionaire svengali pushing a product on the public by investing his money is pretty unheard of, but you know: Girl Power™!
And then there were his sorties into international diplomacy, namely suggesting that Russia is a militaristic one-party state with a reputation for repressive police tactics. “That’s pretty ironic!” he said during one of the comedic interludes which bafflingly showed two police officers trying to prevent the presenter filming and then bursting into song.
Wow. That comedic interlude was so utterly baffling that you’d think the Russians were intentionally sending up their own image or something. Anyway, Norway’s Alexander Rybak had the gall to beat UK’s turgid Andrew Lloyd Webber-penned entry It’s My Time, performed by the King of Musicals himself and the very beautiful Jade Ewen (Random lyrical sample: “It’s my time, its my time. It’s my tiiime, it’s my time.”) despite the fact that he is not from the UK, which was clearly wrong of him. Norton then forgot his place and exclaimed
“It really is a song contest. Norway has broken through every political barrier to win this!”
By showing enthusiasm of any sort for a non-British entry, Norton cast suspicion on himself in the eyes of The Guardian.
There was a slightly scripted feel to this. It’s a pretty tall claim for a song with the lyrics: “She’s a fairytale (yeah) even though it hurts. ‘Cause I don’t care if I lose my mind I’m already cursed.”
Haha, it’s like his first language isn’t English or something. What a loser! As I’ve pointed out many a time before, the Brits made megastars of Oasis, and thus their critical faculties shall be forever tainted. Let me quickly remind you: “Tomorrow never knows what it doesn’t know too soon”. In other words: shut it! Anyway, Norton earlier pointed out
that young Alexander Rybak had the kind of face “you’d quite like to slap”