"With strobing", apparently.
"There goes a moment, joining millions of other moments" explains Graham Norton, narrating a crash-through-Eurovision history which is focusing more on the Abbas than the Bing-Bip-De-Bop- bits. Although they haven't airbrushed Johnny Logan yet.
"Moscow - scene of last year's Moscow... erm, Eurovision..."
And we arrive in Oslo. The Eurovision moments look like minor Doctor Who threats floating in through the audience's head.
Oh, Lord. They've got someone who looks like Al Murray bellowing "good luck, UK" into a webcam. It's like he's in the room with us. And the room has dropped a dozen degrees.
Last year's winner is on, doing the song which won last year. The one we'd forgotten before he reached the end of his victory performance. I think he's there now as a warning to Europe to do better this time.
The webcam idea is horrible. It's like the BNP invented chatroulette.
To be fair, last year's winner did have nice eyes. It's a pity it wasn't an eye contest.
Three hosts, in varying sizes, and one wearing a horrible beige dress that looks like it was made from an antimacassar which had failed to stop macassar gathering.
One of the hosts - the normal looking one - has left the stage already. The bloke looks like an air-dried Nicky Campbell.
In real news, David Laws has gone. Has a minister ever quit this early into a government before?
Since the phonelines are already open, shall we just vote, and go straight to the results? It's not like the songs really influence matters much.
8.10 Azerbaijan - Safura: Drip Drop
I suspect at rehearsals she wasn't using the bloke to help her down the stairs - that looks like a health and safety imposition.
Why would you give your song a name which sounds like a nose fighting the effects of a heavy cold? Although, given the song, maybe it's apt.
I do like the little lights under her dress though. Wonder where she puts the batteries?
8.13 Spain - Daniel Diges: Algo Pequeñito
The videos before the bands this year are quite short. Like they couldn't really be arsed. They might even be stock footage. Wonder which country gets the train going into the tunnel?
Daniel appears to be being attacked by the characters from the top of a tin of Quality Street.
As a general rule of thumb, any track which sounds like it's loosely based on fairground music should be treated as one might an unexplained lump under the skin. Get it cut out, throw it away, and try and stop whatever caused it in the first place.
Twitter seems convinced that Daniel Diges might be Leo Sayer with a false passport.
8.17 Norway - Didrik Solli-Tangen "My Heart Is Yours"
Can they make it two in a row? Imagine the pressure of defending the honour of a nation, in front of that nation, wearing a cheap suit with only one button on the jacket.
Ow. And an inability to hit any of the notes.
The song sounded for a moment there like it was going to crank itself up from a slushy march to something more up-tempo. But it was just a false pause before revealing more closely how much of a rip-off of You'll Never Walk Alone this is.
There's some sweet-sounding female backing singers. He might have thought about getting them on the stage to help. As it is, all they can think to do to make 'bloke stood on his own' look interesting is to keep swinging the camera round and round him. Like he was on a wall of death.
8.21 Moldova SunStroke Project and Olia Tira "Run Away"
The SunStroke Project? Really?
The light forming giant clouds is pretty nice. Well done to Norway for that, at least.
Oh, lord. A spinning fiddler. That'd be the sunstroke kicking in, then.
Olia is trying to be Pink. Albeit a Pink pretending that she's not surrounded by a band made entirely of the wacky ones from John Hughes imperial-phase movies.
The song is Eurovision-goes-Ibiza. Nobody does well out of that mix.
@laverneshow Before we all tweet about this, let's remember how bad the British entry is this year... #eurovision
Cyprus Jon Lilygreen and The Islanders "Life Looks Better in Spring"
This is the Welsh bloke, of course. Who... has just walked on stage and shown us his appendix op scar.
Did that just start Love Changes Everything? Lloyd-Webber will be on to his lawyers.
Hmm. I had been going to do a 'you can see why nobody from Cyprus would sing this and they had to get a ringer in' joke here, but it's not that bad. In a sort-of-song-a-character-in-Neighbours-would-write way.
@danofthewibble - I like that Moldova had Timmy Mallett on sax. Nice to see he's still in the music game after the Bombalurina split.
Back in Cyprus, the song is still going on. On and on and on.
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Vukašin Brajić "Thunder and Lightning"
"A big rocky number" warns Graham Norton. Did anyone tell the backing group, who have come dressed for a Regional Development Agency launch party.
Vukasin looks like a man going to a Cosplay event as a homemade Chris Martin, though. And has one of those quiffs left looking lost on the front of the head as the hairline recedes away, like Morrissey has.
The song has failed to live up to its "big, rocky" billing. Perhaps Norton said "bit ropey" and I misheard?
Belguim: Tom Dice "Me and My Guitar"
Tom Dice? Looks like he's yet to throw a six to start.
Oh, Tom's got a whiny little voice, like Jack Johnson protesting that it's too early for bed. No wonder he's reduced to his guitar for company.
@hungryhatter If Bosnia's effort is a rock song then A-ha's Manhattan Skyline is a metal anthem. Best one so far, mind you.
Don't quite understand why Tom Dice has dressed down without a tie, but is still wearing a waistcoat. It's like taking your socks off before sex, but slipping your Hush Puppies back on.
Serbia: Milan Stanković "Ovo je Balkan" (Oво je Балкан)
It says a lot about how far people drop their national pride that it's rare to see anyone sing a song in their country's language, much less pitch a song that uses a totally different alphabet.
Well... he's blonde, isn't he?
Obviously not really, not at the roots. The dancing girls pretending to be clocks in the background is a nice touch, too.
Is "come on" Serbian, then? Serbian for "come on"?
Frightening and parping, but somehow the best so far.
Apparently Spain are going to have another chance to do their song for reasons I didn't catch. That's just what we need, for this to all drag on even longer.
Belarus: 3+2 feat Robert Wells "Butterflies"
The theme from Carla Lane's sitcom. Hopefully.
Oh, Robert Wells is staring into the camera like a man who is hoping the police don't look in the spare room.
Justin Lee Collins on piano - perhaps his tiresome efforts to get involved on that Channel Five programme paid off at the very end. Did anyone see the end of that? No?
For a song named after a brightly-coloured, light, fluttery creature, they sure have created something dull and plodding.
So the women's dressed had butterfly wings which opened out as they got to the end of the song.
Ireland Niamh Kavanagh "It's for You"
Apparently Niamh has won this before - either I'm going to be unable to recognise my own feet by the time I'm 45, or else Eurovision winners are getting more and more forgettable.
If it's the latter, Niamh has gone for another forgettable song this time round. Why mess with the winning formula, eh?
They're playing flutes this year. I don't think they're really ready to win again yet, are they? Maybe if the Euro hadn't tanked, they'd have tried a bit harder this year.
Actually, someone should pull together a graph showing 'quality of song' against 'exposure to collapsing Euro'. We could all vote Greece to win, just to see the look of horror on their faces when they realise they're going to have to find the money to host next year.
Talking of whom...
Greece Giorgos Alkaios and Friends "OPA" (ΟΠΑ)
Four male dancers, shirts split to the waist, and a singer who looks like he's trying to pretend he's ten years younger than he actually is. A lot of whooping of "OPA!" though.
In fact, it's pretty much all whooping "OPA!"
This could scoop it. Will next year's Eurovision be the first ever austerity song contest? Will Germany demand automatic qualification as part of the bail-out deal?
UK Josh Dubovie "That Sounds Good to Me"
... and shit to everyone else.
True, Waterman and Stock have written some great pop songs. But they also wrote an awful lot of b-sides for Sonia too.
THEY'VE TRAPPED HIM IN A BOX!
Oh. He's got out. That's our chances cut by about 50%, then.
Presumably, Waterman and Stock's main contribution was digging out the drumbeat from an old floppy disc. Maybe both thought the other was going to finish off the song at some point.
@thoroughlygood: Next year, the #uk should just have someone stand on stage in silence for 3 minutes.
Not being allowed to vote for the UK removes our ability to punish him by withholding our votes.
Graham Norton is now commentating over footage of him sucking up to the taller of the two hosts. In a very, very long feature.
Georgia Sopho Nizharadze "Shine"
I am eating my George Cross Mars, that the confectioner produced to support this entry.
Two blokes are making a rubbish job of trying to carry Sopho onto the stage. "When it's cold, you're on your own - but you're never alone" she observes. Well, she isn't, as she's unable to shake off the blokes in white or the scary lookalike women rubbing their arses on the floor and looking slightly-stalkery at her.
I'm not a fan of the big empty ballad, which is quite lucky, as if I was, this would be like seeing my family getting tortured.
Turkey maNga "We Could Be the Same"
MTV Europe award winning band, so serial awards show tarts, then.
They're a Hollywood version of what a High School rock band look like. Down to the flying V guitars and jumping at the loud bits.
There's a lot of flashing lights.
Singer fits a lot of words into his lines; he could have a future as some sort of livestock auctioneer if the music doesn't work out.
(Hint: He should probably be on the phone to Hotten Market in the morning.)
Some woman doing a bit of angle-grinding on stage. Why do rock bands think that's some sort of extreme entertainment? It's DIY. You might as well bring on Billy from DIY SOS to wire up a ceiling rose.
@CathElliott: "Clap your hands!" Hubbie, deadpan: "No." Good start.
Juliana Pasha "It's All About You"
More unnecessary, histrionic violinage. Perhaps Lattitude were onto something booking Nigel Kennedy after all.
Juliana is doing that dance where you pretend you're being swept about like really strongly-rooted pondweed in a river at full flood. Her backing singers all have buns twice the size of their natural heads balanced on their skulls.
The song seems to be all the bits Waterman left out of the UK entry. I wouldn't say it's a full Pasha, but it's a notunpleasanta.
Icleand: Hera Björk "Je ne sais quoi"
Hera is Icelandic for "Please vote for me as I'm from the same country as".
Unlike Bjork Bjork, Hera unlikely to be mistaken for a pop elf any time soon. Or a pop genius. She can belt out a tune, though. Pity this isn't a tune.
Ukraine Alyosha "Sweet People"
The audience appears to be leaving in droves. Perhaps they were confusing Alyosha with the Grim Reaper, as they dress in a very similar way.
Alyosha singing each word as if it has. a. full. stop. after. it. Which is never a good sign - suggests she can't work out where the heart of the words are, so she's giving each word equal vote.
The wind machine has been switched on. She'll regret having tossed that hoodie aside so casually.
@gibbzer: Fuck, this is cheery. The hood was clearly a signifier.
France Jessy Matador "Allez Ola Olé"
They've entered their World Cup song, which is quite a nifty move from a budgetary point of view. This would mean we'd end up sending Keith Allen to Eurovision every four years.
It sounds like a football song. That is never a compliment.
Amusingly, one of them is wearing those hopped shirts which are usually only worn by English actors pretending to be French people.
Have we really had eighteen songs already? Blimey.
Romania Paula Seling and Ovi "Playing with Fire"
Wasn't Ovi Nokia's short-lived entertainment project?
They're sat at a see-through, double-headed piano, singing what seems to be 'clang, clang, clang goes the trolley"
@justinecaul : #eurovision looks like the two pairs of white trousers I bought are going to be a great investment for the summer. : )
Sadly, Paula and Ovi have decided against the literal interpretation of their song title, and aren't hurling burning chunks of tar at each other. It might have helped lift the first subpar Lyndsey DePaul effort seen at Eurovision since Lyndsey DePaul took part.
Russia Peter Nalitch and Friends "Lost and Forgotten"
Graham Norton has said this is the sort of song a friendly drunk might warm too. Pity Wogan's not doing Eurovision any more; it would have been nice for an Eastern European entry he could throw his weight behind.
Whose idea was it to have bright white lights shining so often into the camera tonight?
Peter is singing to a photograph - perhaps of a lost love; perhaps it's Putin. Maybe it's off the child that he'll never see again if he doesn't return to Moscow carrying a Eurovision trophy.
Perhaps Norton thinks this is a song for drunks because it feels like it fell asleep halfway through?
They've gone backstage. Which can only mean the rest of Europe is enjoying commercials right now.
Iceland have got a volcano backstage with them. It's a bit like Spain taking along a Franco lookalike for a laugh.
Ah, Spain are getting a second go because someone ran on stage during their song. Is that fair? Couldn't you just hide a couple of people in the audience to run on if you're doing badly for another go?
Armenia: Eva Rivas "Apricot Stone"
All hail an artist with a rhyming name! And a guy sat on a stone playing a traditional instrument.
This sounds like it might be an advert for an Apricot Stone Marketing Board. Have Armenia done a crafty doubling-up like France did? Or is Apricot Stone some sort of euphemism in Armenia? Is every teenage Armenian boy sniggering into his sleeve right now? "She said 'apricot stone', dude... she said it again. And again."
Germany: Lena "Satellite"
Lena. Not Nena. She looks like the sort of girl who does quite well on Top Model until three from the end when they kick her out for being too quirky.
And she's Lily Allen goes Cabaret, it turns out.
@dillpickle: I like Armenia quite a lot but could she not have found a sexier dude to dance with the jug? #eurovision
A question we've all asked ourselves at some point.
Back to Lena: who knew you could hear the Bow Bells in Berlin? Surely Lena is the first pearly queen of Leipzig?
You can see why the bookies might have made this a favourite.
Portugal: Filipa Azevedo "Há dias assim"
Singing in Portuguese, which at least means the lucrative Brazilian market might be interested if it flops here. If Brazil ever tires of songs with a samba beat. Or any sort of beat to them. Or life to them. Or...
Look, let's put it like this: we're not going to be seeing the cream of Portuguese Camera and Production work in 2011, right?
Israel: Harel Skaat "Milim"
Harel won a Pop Idol style competition to be here tonight. I wonder if he gets let off military service as well? Or only if he wins?
Oh, he's a Middle Eastern Jacques Brel.
Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis cuts to the most important question of all:
@jeffjarvis: Just curious: Can you watch #esc #eurovision on your new iPads, Europe? Or is this bad Flash called Octoshape verboten?
I think Apple have actually just rejected half the songs from being allowed to appear on the iPad platform.
Actually, if the iPad blocked Harel, you'd see a queue forming outside the Apple Store again tomorrow.
Denmark: Chanée and N'evergreen "In a Moment Like This"
This would be the end of the first stage, were we not getting a second go at Spain. I suppose ending on John Oates dressed as Barry Manilow singing John Waites might be a fitting end.
Hang on, Carole Malone's joined him on stage, turning the song from Missing You to a divorce-era Abba album track.
The guy who ran on stage during Spain's first go has been arrested. Organisers are saying it was "a well-organised stunt", although they're hardly going to say that they were so lax any ill-prepared drunk could get on stage.
So Spain's getting a second go at the Quality Street tin song. Let's hope the singer didn't sneak a look at Twitter and realise all of Europe believes he's Leo Sayer in disguise. That'd ruin your confidence more than being rushed at by a Eurovision stage-invader.
And the newsroom will now be calling the cab company asking if they could come a bit later tonight.
@charltonbrooker: Oh good. This again. We're stuck in a looping nightmare, folks. It will last 97 years.
The presenter's hair appears to have been made by Chanel, judging by the logo stuck in there. Or maybe it was taken there by a jackdaw which is nesting somewhere within.
Bit of business with some pizza and popcorn from NickyCampbellJunior.
And now we're getting the reminder run-through. As if we could forget.
@goodoldMJ: that was the worst Top of the Pops I've ever seen, I hope Tomorrow's World is better #eurovision
They've got about an hour to churn through the incoming numbers.
Well, I was able to pee and feed the cats in the time it took for them to run through the entries. If the reminder of the songs lasts so long you've forgotten the first one again by the time they reach the end, is it worth doing?
Now there's some business on tape at the Oslo town hall. The one good thing to come out of the BBC being privatised would be we'd get adverts instead of these filmed bits.
NickyCampbite saying "it looks like it's going to be one of the most exciting Eurovisions in a long time". Looks like? Isn't it nearly over?
Oh. Another run through all twenty-five songs. Again.
Then 39 countries to vote. And then we can find out what damage has been done to the government.
Ellie Gellard's just tweeted that she's voted for France and Greece. Let's hope that doesn't have the same effect on them as her endorsement did on Gordon Brown.
And the lines are closed. If you haven't rigged your nation's vote, it's too late.
They're now doing a filler piece where the audience are being asked to be part of the performance. One guy tried to be part of the performance during Spain's bit, and he ended up in prison for his efforts. Make your mind up, Oslo.
People all over Europe are dancing half-heartedly to some mid-paced Europop.
The British bit looks like they got swamped by a pub letting out while they were trying to film it.
It's a nice idea. Like it's like the Look East 'people where you are' ethos suddenly weaponised.
Let the results start to pour. Please.
Bugger, I've got the it's not a Flashmob it's just a lot of people dancing they never called it flashmobs when Record Breakers did that sort of thing song stuck in my brain now.
Romania are first to give their votes. If Nadia ever stops explaining the bloody rules.
The woman from Bucharest sounds slightly patronising-cum-sarcastic: "what an amazing show..."
Denmark get the early lead. Didn't see that coming.
Ireland. Will they throw the UK a bone? Four points.
God, that's tantamount to Ireland cutting our face with a knife. Pete Waterman might want to book a long holiday.
The German guy is wearing a rosette with Lena on it. It looks a little creepy. Oh, and he's calling out her name. Can we dock points for this sort of thing?
Serbia's votes next.
Very mixed results so far - some people loved Denmark, some loved Belguim. And Serbia apparently loved Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Did Graham Norton just tell someone to fuck off?
Albania have given the UK a single point. And tickled Greece into the lead. OPA!
The Turkish presenter appears to have been on her way home before she popped back to give out the votes.
12 points to Azerjaiban.
Croatia wheeled on next - very no-nosense they are in Zagreb. Apart from in their necklaces. Twelve points to Manga, and then a terse goodbye before Poland come on.
"The votes from the Polish people from Poland" she explains, helpfully. Someone's told her to make sure she shows her good side to the camera, although without telling her which side that might be. I think she's guessed wrongly. 12 points to Denmark.
A budget Shirley Manson next, with the Bosnia votes.
The UK is stuck on five at the moment, and we're not getting any here, either.
Bosnia's 12 goes to Serbia. Probably on a promise of getting their hair straighteners back.
The woman from Finland is delivering their results like she's declaring war. 12 to Germany.
Onto Slovenia, where the presenter is experimenting with his sexuality.
Lena's in the lead at the moment; Spain has only managed 18 points - which is nine per performance. Still more than the UK if you do that, too.
The Estonia guy is singing his results. And wearing a jacket that makes him look like he's misunderstood leather is meant to be treated before you wear it.
Germany have broken into three figures. They've almost got as many figures as the UK has actual points.
Moscow just been on with their votes, and Portugal is doing their thing now. The most normal looking presenter so far. It's looking like we'll be in Berlin next year.
Azerbaijan have got fireworks in the background of their result-giving. That seems a bit extreme. I hate to think what their election programmes look like.
Germany are 25 points ahead, with less than half countries declaring.
Greece have shoved on the same guy who they keep at the state broadcasters' in case they need a 'imposition of martial law' newsflash. He looks like he hasn't slept in a week.
And now Iceland. Ten to Belgium who, after a good start, had failed to get much traction. Their 12 to Denmark appears to have generated some boos in the Oslo audience.
Denmark have - genuinely - got their runner-up from the heats to do the results stage. Is that a not-much-of-a-consolation-Prize? Their 12 goes to Germany. I think Lena have won it.
Is the French presenter wearing a rubber dress? I hope she's only just put that on. If she's been wearing it since the start of the show, her ankles must be sloshing around in a sea of sweat by now. 12 to Turkey's school band rockers.
And we're on to Spain, who gave 12 to Germany.
"Anything can still happen" says the presenter, although it looks a lot like 'anything' here means 'Germany will win'.
They're doing a bit with Lena backstage. She's come over a bit Cameron-like, forgetting to pretend she doesn't think it's in the bag.
Rest of Europe back from the adverts. 19 nations have yet to speak. Germany-Turkey-Belgium are 1-2-3. The UK is pretending we didn't take part.
Slovakia have stood their man in front of a beautifully-lit bridge of some sort. He;s given twelve to Germany.
Carol Decker has pulled a shift doing the Bulgaria results. Armenia overhaul Georgia somewhere in the middle of the table after she does her thing. Azerbaijan get twelve from Bulgaria. "A few more like that and Germnay can be caught" says Graham, hoping we'll keep interested.
It looks like wonderbra technology has finally arrived in Ukraine. Another 12 to Azerbaijan from them.
Latvia's presenter seems to be about to try and sell us some genuine goods from a suitcase.
Ooh, everytime Russia get points, the room boos. Not very Eurovision.
Latvia's 12 goes to Germany. Backstage, Lena orders for a swan to be killed in her honour.
Malta's presenter looks like the woman who performed for Iceland. The UK gets bugger-all from Malta. Empire is dead.
The home votes now, from Norway. Their 12 goes to Germany.
In case you're wondering, the UK hasn't been disqualified, and we're still beating Ireland. And Belarus.
Cyprus votes give their 12 to Greece. OPA! It must have been nice for them to have a song people actually like to give the 12 to this year.
The Lithuanian presenter proves that heavy heroin use is no bar to a television career. 12 to Georgia, but by now Germnay is nearly 70 ahead.
Results now from a frightened man in Belarus. Perhaps he was scared because he knew how people would boo when he gave 12 to the Russians.
Switzerland's 6 for Ireland has knocked us to ''just one above Belarus'.
Belgium have given their 12 to OPA! but it has come too late.
Who let Scott Mills do our presenting? Is he the face we want to show Europe? The people of the UK turn out to have loved Greece. OPA! OPA!
The Dutch woman has said "let's find out who has the X Factor..." Wrong show. Cowell will sue, you know.
Nearly there now. Israel's Max Headroom on Slimfast is "privileged" to share this moment. "Ten points to the big mother of Russia". There's no need to be so rude, man. Nothing for Germany.
The Macedonian seems to be implying they had a thing with one of the Oslo based presenters. That must have been a drunken night. By now, of course, Germany have clearly won and the UK have not a hope of making double figures. If only someone had sat Pete Waterman in front of a camera for this.
The Moldovan woman is indoors. Apparently outside a washroom. Three nations to go.
Georgia is wishing "good luck to everybody". That might be a bit late. Bloody hell, three for the UK - double figures! In your face, Scooch. Oh, but we're also now last.
Hey, guy from Sweden, this isn't a Gillette advert. Twelve from him goes to Germany after he pretends to not remember - what a card, eh?
And finally, Armenia. Who have a real princess to do their business.Unless she's got 80 points hidden in her handbag, Germany have won.
So, Stock and Waterman are a bust. Maybe we need to take Thom Yorke's offer seriously.
Blimey, though, they're more-or-less on time, which is quite good considering Spain had to go twice.
Ah. Trying to get a young drunk German woman to sing is causing the last few minutes to fall over.
Onto Germany next year, then...
One last question: was it just coincidence the only large, live crowd linked-up to Oslo came from Germany? Because it's really lucky they had a winning audience to show during the reprise, isn't it?
And one last tweet, from Sarah Cawood: Josh's family are inconsolable. I would ask you respectfully 2 be kind to him. He's a very talented boy who had to work with a 2nd rate song.
Team Josh already turning on Stock & Waterman, then?
Last year: 2009
Saturday, May 29, 2010
"With strobing", apparently.