Over the past couple of months some of you may have had a shock. Tuning into my Twitter account expecting some highbrow insights on psychotherapy, or politics, or mental health….and instead discovering I was livetweeting the Albanian or Maltese selections for the Eurovision Song Contest.
What can I say? Everybody needs a guilty pleasure.
The Eurovision is our annual bout of silliness, cultural misunderstandings and sometimes (though more often than it’s given credit for) some actually very good music. I’ll willingly defend the ending of that last sentence. Yeah, yeah, I know that when most people think of Eurovision this is what they think of.
But it’s also perfectly capable of producing something as well-crafted and heartfelt as this.
Year before last I was in Malmo, Sweden, watching the show live. This year I’ll be in Vienna, Austria to watch the semi-finals, then heading back to the UK to throw a Eurovision party for the final. In the meantime, I’ve been livetweeting some of the national selections. This has been an education in itself, not least because it shows why Britain consistently scores terribly. No, it’s nothing to doing it being “all political” and “everyone hates us”. For one thing, the country everyone hates at the Eurovision at the moment is Russia, not the UK, due to its dreadful record on gay rights, as well as its recent history of being a bit invadey towards its neighbours like Ukraine.
The reason the UK does badly is because we just don’t try. Other countries put on a big X-Factor-style contest to whittle down an act from all the hopefuls. We simply dust the cobwebs off Bonnie Tyler and get her to wheel out one of her album tracks. Strangely enough, it doesn’t work.
Although the national selections are only just starting to get into full swing, there’s been a few laughs from the selections already. For one thing, Malta have chosen a female solo act, with a power ballad called Warrior.
Georgia, on the other hand, are sending a female solo act, with a power ballad caller…er….Warrior.
Speaking of unintentional laughs, I’ve received multiple tweets from Albanians insisting there is nothing funny about this TV ad, showing where a department store has its branches in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro.
Seriously, my Albanian friends, HOW DO YOU NOT SEE THIS?
This evening, from about 7.10pm (UK time) onwards, I’ll be livetweeting the Switzerland national selections, just in case you need to make a frantic stampede to the mute buttons on your Twitter.