Sunday, 19 May 2019

Eurovision 2019: Madumma

Eurovision.
It's like doing community service: we're sentenced to 4 hours annually, guilty of the misdemeanor of the watching the previous year. Those in the know tell me that it's a bit like child birth: it takes 3 months to forget the excruciating pain and 9 months to prepare for the next one. Why are we compelled, every 12 months, to press our noses to the screen? Perhaps in the hope that there'll be another ABBA moment. And the best thing on last night's was indeed an ABBA moment: a 'Mentalist' who somehow managed to encourage 3 fellow inmates to write 1974, 45, and Abba on 3 separate cards. This highpoint (yup) was a sad reminder that it is indeed 45 years since that benchmark Abba performance. Last night was the usual parade of pathetiques: a gallery of gurning, disco dirge, hysteria and faux emotion. Oh, and a bit of Icelandic 'death metal' to add some street cred' and remind us that it's cold up north and they don't give a stuff... This was a freak show presented by freaks. It was 'spectacular' but it was also dazzlingly dumb.
'Could you do any better?' I hear you say.
Not bloody likely: not in this particular field.
Why would you want to?
In this particular field there's always something unpleasant that you might stand in.
Why do they do it?
It must take half a career to recover.


Sorry to be unkind but the unrelenting pop eyed desperation of the burlesque was so squirmingly unsettling. I stuck around for Madonna. Her much anticipated turn was to feature after Bloated Bjork and before Rigged Result. There would surely be a MADGE moment? A new direction that allowed for her dodgy hip, conjunctivitis and failing vibrato. Might she even drop the F BOMB' to further unravel the unravelling presenters? Nope. Madge covered all Euro cultural bases by dressing up like a pirate auditioning for 'Game of Thrones'. With straight laced sincerity she told our bizarre gathering that they were 'all winners' because they'd bothered to turn up. I assumed that made me a 'winner' too so I stuck with it... Strewth! To give her performance integrity and sonorous meaning Madge was surrounded by monks chanting her name. At least they pronounced it properly and chanted in tune. There are always chanting monks with Madge. Why the fixation? Perhaps they are meant to suggest a quasi-religious erotic experience? They merely contributed to the slight whiff of dry crutched celibacy. Madonna's car crash performance will surely haunt her until... the next one. This 'special' staging and performance had been kept 'under wraps' but was more like an embalming. Whose idea was it to force The Queen of Pop to shuffle down, then stumble back up an infinite flight of stairs? Surely the budget could have stretched to a Stannah Stairlift? Poor gal. Someone should've rung Age Concern. Our Madge then suffered the ultimate ignominy of having her flatness fed though an Auto Tune turned up to 11, reducing her to a poor man/woman's Sparky/Cher as she duetted with a similarly encumbered bloke who looked like he'd shuffled in from a different audition: one that also involved pirates but Avengers, Captain America and vintage motorbikes too. Ms Ciccone then 'symbolically' slapped around a couple of vestal virgin's wearing fox's heads. Isn't that banned in Europe? This was horrible: a macabre blood sport of sorts. Horrible. Perhaps Brexit could be accompanied by a lifetime UK Eurovision ban? 30 years would do for me. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Graham Norton gave up taking the p*ss. Even Wogan would've been struck dumb.
And yet we watched on.
I found myself rooting for the shrill Gob on a Stick that was Australia.
The voting would at least offer the inevitable coup de grace to the over ambitious wannabe. There'd surely be the fetid, frowsty odour of crumbling coalition and conspiracy. Greece would vote for Cyprus, Sweden would shamelessly vote for Norway and no-one would vote for the shameful UK. It pretty much panned out. Sweden's John Lundvik looked like a stick on winner but stumbled at the last fence: stitched up by the public vote. There was excruciating schadenfreude as, in cruel close up, Lundvik's expectant victory 'high 5' became a limp wrist. I don't know the name of The Netherland's winning wailer. Let's call him 'Bloke'. It had taken 4 hours of spinning midgets and flashing light warnings to deem the least dressed up singer the winner: Bloke was a triple denim 'delight'. At least he had the decency to be dull: the most moving thing about Bloke's performance was the piano... So, after months of auditions, rejections, rehearsals, the filtering and thinning of talent, the grooming of delights: this was the best that Europe had to offer us: a Coldplayesque whinge dedicated to a giant bulb. 

Maybe Bloke was in on some secret joke? 
Maybe Bloke was looking for a lightbulb moment. 
Or his own reflection. 
Judging from his knotted eyebrows I think he found neither.




1 comment: