Sunday, 14 May 2017
We wuz robbed, again - #737 in a series
You could probably have heard the cheering, shouting and jeering emanating from Dolores Delargo Towers last night several miles away. We had a grand old time! I have once again been hoovering up wig hair, marabou and glitter all day.
But it was a joy, as always, to play host to our celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual event that has been in our collective consciousness [except perhaps Joe, who's American, and Houseboy Alex, who was - sadly - born in 1981; bastard] since the "glory days" of the 1970s. Our gathering included a Swedish Hildegarde, a Romanian Mamluk, a Polish builder, a Portuguese Lavradeira dancer, a be-masked Belgianite, the embodiments of the Dutch, Hungarian and Spanish flags, Aphrodite from Greece, an Italian guardiamarina and a French "Johnny Onions". And I found myself the perfect outfit for a 70s compère...
The UK may not have got anywhere near "sniffing distance" of winning the contest - and, truth be told, no-one really thought (given the inevitable way that "political voting" works every year at Eurovision) that we really would. Pleasingly, we did get the highest number of points we've had since 2011, including douze points from the Australian jury, ten points from Slovenia and eight from Albania. However, once phone votes were counted, we slipped way down the list in favour of all the Eastern European nations. Again.
It was a particularly mixed contest this year, though. The usual gamut of overdone power-balladry (both from the parade of fairly similar long-white-dress-clad females and from the plucked-eyebrow-boy-soloists, of which there were quite a few; several too many for our liking) and gimmicks (oh look! a fat pseudo-opera singer duetting with himself! yodelling! a dancing gorilla! a rising podium! some computer graphics! Yawn) was balanced by what (to me, anyway) seemed to be a number of more relatively decent songs than usual...
With one of those very numbers, this year's Eurovision also gave some hope to the "perennial losers", plucky little Portugal - whose entrant Salvador Sobral won it; the country's first ever winner in the entire fifty-three-years they have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest! The song itself was an unusual choice, a (rather uncomfortably slow) ballad that sounds like something that might have been popular in the pre-rock'n'roll era - Amar Pelos Dois. His vocal performance [here duetting with his sister - who wrote it - after winning], however, is quite likely what swung it...
And before you ask, here's the dancing gorilla, courtesy of "the bookies' fave", Italy's Francesco Gabbani and Occidentali's Karma [which only managed sixth place in the final count]:
...and, for your delectation, the amusing half-time spoof Rocky-style "boot camp" for this year's (crap) Ukrainian hosts, with last year's (brilliant) Måns Zelmerlöw:
All our gang had the usual scoresheets [thank you, John-John!], and thus armed we were determined to make our own feelings on the matter known. After our scores were rounded up, Senhor Sobral came only seventh in the Dolores Delargo Towers popular vote. Our Top Five (in ascending order) was as follows:
#5 - The rather accomplished harmonies of Dutch sisters OG3NE, with Lights and Shadows [which finished at #11 in the actual contest]:
#4 - The ruggedly cute Cypriot Hovig [who is apparently a former busker in Trafalgar Square, so, we surmised, probably has family in our own Cyprus-Turkish-dominated locality of Harringay] with the very catchy Gravity [#21 on the night]:
#3 - The rather natty footwork'n'sax combo of Moldova's Sunstroke Project with Hey Mamma [also #3 in the "real" votes]:
#2 - Speaking of natty footwork, the very sexy Robin Bengtsson (representing Sweden), with his bulging trousers and his safety gays and all, who really should have won with the remarkable I Can't Go On [only #5 according to the final votes]:
...and our Number 1 scoring song was (inevitably - but she really was impressive!) the UK's very own Lucie Jones and Never Give Up On You [voted #15 in the final; not too bad, all things considered]:
Hers was definitely the best female vocal performance in the whole show. [And she's Welsh!] What a voice...
What a night!
Same time, next year..?
Eurovision Song Contest official site