Sunday, 23 May 2021

Eurovision 2021 - U.K. upholds tradition of finishing LAST!

 

And not only did we finish in last place - for the third consecutive time - but now for two years on the trot, with the dreaded 'nul points'

This was the first contest since 2019, last year's event being cancelled due to Covid. Even though in the huge Dutch stadium the socially-distanced audience was limited to just 3,500, their loud vocal enthusiasm more than made up for their depleted numbers

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Winner was the bookies' favourite of Italy, the group 'Manneskin' with 524 points for what was described as a 'hard rock' number, though I wouldn't have called it so myself. It not only left me cold, but if I'd put all 26 finalists' songs in order of preference this would have been near or even at the bottom.  Defeats me to see any merit in it at all, though that's also been the case for all but a couple of the winners of at least the past 30 years.


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Second was France, then Switzerland - both being solo ballads, with pared-down arrangements and staging, female singer for former, then male. I thought both were no better than middling. 

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Our own entry was by the infectiously jovial, portly James Newman, sporting one of the disappointingly very few beards on display this year. His self-penned song, 'Embers', never appealed to me since I first heard it, though some had predicted it would be a 'sleeper' which would come out strongly in the voting. Even commentator Graham Norton said he had a 'good feeling' about it. Fat chance, as it turned out! But Newman was a good sport in taking his resounding defeat in good part, giving a thumbs-up sign despite his crashing failure - and at least his smile was a winning one.



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My own phone vote went to Malta for its toe-tapping, up-beat pulse, sung by chubby teenager, one 'Destiny', who looked seriously miffed during voting on realising that she wasn't gong win, though eventually coming in at a near-respectable 7th out of the 26.

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I'd have given second place to Iceland, the only act who couldn't perform live as they had to isolate, one of the group having tested positive for Covid, so a film of their rehearsal was used, which was still pretty good. Full marks for the song's originality, even if the act itself, with semi-circular keyboards being carried and danced around with was a bit distractingly bizarre.




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Third I'd have placed Lithuania [coming in a not-too-bad 8th place], and fourth, Germany [finishing second from last with an unfairly dismal mere 3 points]. These were by far the two campest entries this year, both quite jolly songs, Germany having its plain daft but engaging dancing 'victory' hand.

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And in fifth place I'd have put the super-suave Portugal, finishing halfway down the field in 12th place. Good staging of a rather haunting song.


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Both Australia and Ireland [the latter still holding the record of having had the most wins] had failed to make it through the semi-finals.

The four presenters, maddening as usual with all the usual needless filling-in of blustering, delays and teasings we've come to expect - "Are you ready?" - Cripes!  Just get on with the darned thing!  - included this year a trans, Nikkie de Jager, who uses the name 'Nikkie Tutorials' - don't ask me why. I won't reveal as to which of them was trans though all I will say is that as far as performing her designated function was concerned, she stood head and shoulders above her other three co-presenters.


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So that's it for another year. Not one of the best Eurovisions I've seen, though still a disturbingly compulsive watch, and I do think the quality of songs presented was, by and large, better than some years past. The big question for 2022 in Italy is - will the U.K. ever manage to break out of its sequence of humiliating defeats in the lowest circle of Hell, and if so how - and with whom? Last time we won was 1997. More than high time we recovered some good ol' British 'oomph'!


14 comments:

  1. I wish we could watch it here in the States. One year I found the last night streaming on YouTube, but I just got lucky. I usually do a search later, and watch some of the separate videos.

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    1. Some time ago I read that U.S.A. was considering joining the 'club' - after all, if Australia is now part of it, why not? - but then heard no more of it.
      But would any American channels be willing to participate in a nearly four hours event with no commercial breaks? Perhaps there are some, I don't know. I think if America did join, its formidable presence might well overwhelm the rest of us tiny states.
      I do hope you manage to catch some of the videos. There's a fair bit of dross among them, but certainly a few are well worth catching, if you can.

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  2. Maybe I'll watch it one of these years. No, I probably won't.

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    1. You'd need a good reason to go searching for it, Mitch, including being a diehard fan like some of us are. But not everyone is - and many frankly LOATHE these annual shenanigans.

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  3. Very jealous. I would love to see these presentations. But the videos won't even play stateside. You watch it the way I used to watch the Miss America Pageant when I was a child. We would sit and write out all our picks and choices and then see how we stacked up at the end. Glad you had fun watching it. Take good care of yourself, dear.

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    1. I've been watching it every year [apart from a spell in the 1980s] since the first time U.K. entered in 1958. Always fun, always maddening, always surprising and exhilarating/disappointing. It's just so addictive. You never know what going to happen next - and almost certainly never sure who's going to win.
      Keep yourself safe and secure too. Thanks for the visit.

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  4. I thought it very unfair that we got nil points again! Not deserved but will continue as our song has nothing to do with it! I liked Lithuania best and that would have had my vote. I thought our guy was very sporting but then we must be prepared for this. I also would have voted Italy last. Absolutely awful I thought. The worst winning song that I can ever remember. Good to hear from you again and hope all is well with you.

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  5. Our tastes are not very different, Carol. I felt towards this year's winner much the same as when Finland's Lordi inexplicably won it, and for me it was probably the worst victory since then - though Israel's brash, tuneless idiocy of a winning song about three or four years ago runs it hard.
    The last winning entry I did like was the Norwegian singer [and fiddler] of more than a decade ago, singing of his 'fairy-tale', but that's about the only one since we last took the title way back in 1997.
    Yes, our James Newman was a gracious loser with a big genuine smile. I felt ever so sorry for him at the end, though he didn't show any suffering.
    Lithuania had good staging and humour, and I would have been quite content if they'd actually won. Could have been a lot worse than coming in at eighth, though that itself was an injustice.
    I feel more and more that at my age I'm just out of sync with today's tastes - maybe you feel that way too. Let's hope that next year we don't have to witness yet another travesty.

    All well here, thanks, both for me and for the four pussies - though some of their increasing needs to drink a lot of water is concerning. I don't think it'll be too long before one or more of them will need examination - further costs I can ill afford.
    Hope you are doing well - or okay at the very least.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

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  6. I have missed your posts!
    I have missed you!
    Every year on FB I read all the comments from my friends in Europe on this matter. Yanks have no clue what all the fuss is about. However the FB comments (catty) are fun reading.

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    1. Have to admit, Dr Spo, that in recent weeks, even months, I've shamefully neglected reading blogs of those I really ought to keep in regular touch with, yours being just one of several. I've no excuses and I shouldn't carry on this way. So please don't think that all the remiss is on your side. I simply MYST reform.

      I tend not to read Facebook comments on this particular annual event - only those which hit the news, seething as I often am with disappointment. But it really is compulsive 'entertainment' which has had me hooked for over six decades now - even if I wish it wasn't so.

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  7. I just wanted to pop in and make sure you are doing ok after our shock and sadness of Anne Marie's passing from our little family, Raybeard. This little section of Earth is a bit darker now. Hope you are doing well and keeping up.

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    1. Thanks for calling by, M.M. Yes, yesterday's news really knocked me for six and I know I can't have been alone. We knew she had her health issues, as do most of us [of varying sorts], but this seemed to come straight out of the blue, like something none of us had ever envisaged happening.
      Our world is definitely poorer for her loss by quite some way, though we know that her spirit will never be far.
      I trust you too are bearing things stoically. There's hardly a viable alternative than to just carry on.
      Otherwise everything okay here, health-wise and the rest. I hope you're in a similar place.
      Thanks once more for the call. I feel quite touched by it.

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  8. Just stopping by to say hi, Ray. (I do check all the time to see if you have a new post.) I miss your writing! Hope you and your gang of kits are doing well.

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    1. I'm fine thanks, Elle, though slowing down further, and rather alarmingly too. My furry quartet are all okay as well.
      I'm exceedingly moved that you enquire about my welfare and am thoroughly grateful to you for doing so. I do keep thinking about doing another post, but quite honestly, aside from contentious items in the news I can't think of anything to talk about, there not being that much in my life. But I will think further about it.
      Hope you are well yourself, still managing to dodge the virus, and have no MAJOR problems in your life, health-wise or whatever.
      Stay well and go well.

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