Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eurovision 2011: How did Blue do?

It's probably a measure of just how badly Britain has fared in Eurovision in the recent past that "lost deep in the middle of the table" is considered a good result.

But is it really? Not only were Blue trading on their supposed profile and their "being good at this sort of thing" abilities, but they had been plodding round the continent trying to generate warmth and affection.

So, how are people reacting to their performance?

AOL's Eleven UK reminds the band of a pledge they'd made before the event:

Lee Ryan and friends were far from disgraced but they just couldn't compete with, er... Azerbaijan, who stormed into the lead and took home the prize.

The Blue boys had been second favourites to win the singing contest but ended up in 11th place, three spots behind Irish entry Jedward.

So just one question remains - when are you emigrating boys? You did promise, after all.
Oh, yes. The pledge. Talking to the Daily Mail:
‘If we can get a top five place it will be amazing, says Antony, 29. ‘For us it is just great promotion - a way of showing European fans that Blue are back.’

And if it all goes wrong? ‘We’re emigrating,’ says Antony. ‘I’m going straight to Goa,’ adds his bandmate Simon Webbe, 32.
Sorry, Goa.

MTV insist that Blue do us proud. (What's this "us", American?)

How are the defining doing us proud?
Their performance of I Can was well received but after a good start, they dropped back into 11th place. But their final result of 100 points was 10 times better than last year’s result.
So that was the only hurdle we're talking about here? If Blue were able to score more than 10, that was the result we were looking for?

The Guardian's Carole Cadwalladr is a bit more realistic about the much-hyped Jedward-Blue battle:
And yet, as it transpired, the rest of Europe just really couldn't care any less.
[...]
Reasons to celebrate were thin on the ground – Blue finished a really quite poor 11th, and Jedward barely better at eighth – but there were some small crumbs of comfort for opponents of AV. Despite the voting blocs, and the age-old system in which one country votes for its neighbour (with the exception of Ireland who – traitorously, according to the hysterical reaction on Twitter – failed to back Blue) this is what happens when you have, as Eurovision does, an alternative voting system.
The Mail On Sundaytakes national pride where it can find it:
Half of winning Azerbaijan duo Elle and Nikki is mother-of-two from London
Andy Murray thinks he's got it tough with being a British victor or a Scottish failure; imagine either being some weird sort of Eastern European or a half-English winner.

But what did the Mail's Jody Thompson make of the actual British team?
They had put in a brilliant performance of their song I Can, which was written by band members Lee Ryan and Duncan James.
Except, of course, it wasn't; it was written by Ciaron Bell with Ryan and James "helping" in some way.

Jody then takes a massive leap:
Blue meanwhile, who also comprises Antony Costa and Simon Webbe, are among the most successful British artists ever to take part in Eurovision, and were second favourites to win.
Amongst the most successful artists? By coming eleventh? Seriously, Jody?

That's six places lower than Jade managed in 2009; it's lower down the final positions managed by such half-forgotten Eurovision acts as Love City Groove, Francis Ruffelle, Samantha Janus. They matched what was managed by Co-Co.

That's right, Blue's performance puts them on a par with this:

You can hear Time Magazine's William Lee Adams smirking from here:
In the run-up to this year's Eurovision Song Contest, celebrity contestants dominated the headlines and the bookies' odds tables. Britain's boy band Blue — who have sold 13 million records worldwide since 2001 — flew the British flag. And Jedward — the world's most famous set of singing identical twins, who finished sixth on Britain's X-Factor — represented Ireland. But during the grand finale, held Saturday evening in Düsseldorf's Esprit Arena, European voters bypassed all the celebrity hype in favor of Ell & Nikki — two unknowns from Azerbaijan singing a ballad about the madness of love. "I'm just a housewife with two kids," Nikki (real name Nigar Jamal) said at the press conference afterwards. "My only dream was to represent my country."
Surely Jedward are the world's second most famous set of singing identical twins behind Prussian Blue?

Liveblogging for the Telegraph, Neil Midgly thinks he spotted where Blue went wrong:
I can’t help thinking that if Blue had been shirtless on stage, and wearing blue suits in their background pictures, rather than the other way around, they might do better. They’re ever so pretty, but that’s about where it ends, isn’t it? I stick by my pre-show prediction: 17th place for the Royaume-Uni.
He might be right, but I suspect we'd have had more luck if Blue had sat in a house in Wallasey and Ciaron Bell had been on stage.

Still, there's always next year, eh?

[You might like: Eurovision 2011 liveblog]


2 comments:

Chris Brown said...

Being slightly fair to Jody Thompson, Blue are "among the most successful British artists ever to take part in Eurovision" in the sense that they'd had a lot of Number Ones before they took part - which is obviously different from the usual set of reality show runners-up who've represented the UK in recent years.

Mind you, aren't the Proclaimers more famous than Jedward?

zalamanderuk said...

I've never quite managed to work out whether it is truly a song contest, or a performance contest.

And @Chris: I'll take the Proclaimers over Jedward and their wacky hair any day.

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