Is It True?
I know you watched it. Eurovision was on Saturday night and I, as did many viewers across Europe, watched the full two hours and fifteen minutes of absolute awful singing and tense voting stages. In the end, it was won by the Norwegian entrant, Belarusian born Alexander Rybak and the song ‘Fairytale’ and trounced the other twenty four nations with a record breaking points total of 387, beating the old record set by Lordi and ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’.
In truth though, I didn’t find the song all that impressive. Sure, it is pretty annoyingly addictive. But I find there are much better songs in the competition than ‘Fairytale’. One I prefer is the Icelandic entry sung by the beautiful Yohanna with ‘Is it True?’ Basically it was brilliantly sung with a fantastic voice. Second place in no mean achievement, if Norway hadn’t been so popular, who knows what could have happened to Iceland’s entry? I really do hope she has a great singing career ahead, because she has one fantastic voice.
Then there was Turkey, with the Belgian born Hadise and ‘Dum Tek Tek’. I won’t lie, it was a fine voice with a very nice costume. Determine nice in whatever way you might perceive it. Similar with Azerbaijan. The only problem I found with these two was the somewhat mistake of putting a male in there. It ruined the flow of the routine and affected the flow of the song.
There were still some horrifyingly dull and downright awful songs. Three songs I felt like giving up on halfway through. Those were France, Croatia and Russia. They aren’t my type of music and were very bland with one singer and very little else. It wasn’t Eurovision and just bored me. Malta was so bad I did stop watching for the rest of the song. Then there was Germany, with bright sparkly trousers and Dita Von Teese. If they were aiming for audience interest with such a popular figure, then they failed miserably. Little attraction for the song that ended up finishing 20th, the past few years have been bad for the Germans. In 2008 the finished 23rd and 2007 19th. The last impressive finish was 2004 where the finished 8th, the last top 5 finish was 2000.
Then there was Spain. A simple, usual, load of Euro rubbish we’ve come to expect. It still managed to get 12 points, but that was still most likely from political voting from Andorra.
There were two songs I liked for its liveliness and happiness, Portugal and Moldova. Both seemed very jubilant and seemed to be happy there were there. The songs were vibrant and it is a big shame they did not do better.
This year also saw the beginning of Graham Norton as commentator for the BBC after replacing the impressive Terry Wogan after 28 years of covering it. I found that Norton was better than I expected, to be fair the expectation was low, but he made some clever remarks, Wogan-esque at times. However one complaint I have of him was that he often talked over the hosts, who at the time would be speaking in English. Iron that out and I think he have a good commentator on our hands.
I should say that I do like the new jury system of voting this year. It gives the songs a fairer chance of winning (assuming they are good of course) instead of relying upon their neighbours voting for them. One possible problem of this is that really good songs could walk away with it. But it is a much better system than the last few years. At least for once, the United Kingdom can be proud for a singer for doing well. Jade Ewan finishing fifth, the best result since 2002 and Jessica Garlick.