For the sake of your and my sanity, I'll focus mostly (only) on those dearly departed of our contestants. Otherwise I have nothing more to say about the final, and wouldn't that be a shame!
André Vermeulen, our Flemish Eurovision-god, has a new sidekick. A sidekick who wants to kick André out of the limelight and spends the whole time assuring us of his heterosexuality with sexist and lewd remarks. He has one for every country, so no-one should feel left out. "Look at the legs on that", "She's a bit of a tiger", "she looks like a porn actress". Peter Vandeveire, you are not funny. You are a stupid silly little boy and I wish you would just shut up.
We, on the other hand, have scoresheets handily provided with "straight points". The goal is, of course, that if you score a contestant with straight points (for example: faux heterosexual dance moves, suggestive winks, being in a rock band, shouting out "come on Azerbaijan"), you have to subtract those points from the total score you give that country. Speaks for itself.
Apparently we're in the Eastern most part of Europe. Because if Israel can be Europe, I suppose Azerbaijan can be too. Next up: Iran, China and why not, Australia!
We start with the presenters introducing themselves. Thoroughly. I expect them to go on and include their hobbies, sleep habits, dreams for the future, strengths and weaknesses. But maybe they're saving that for Thursday's show. In case you're interested, one of the presenters, according to Peter, is the porn actress.
And tonight we say goodbye to:
- Montenegro: or as the wife said "can someone get their drunk uncle off stage, please". There are no redeeming factors to this song at all, or it would have to be the beginning where the singer is hiding under a cape. We shriek in horror as he throws the cape off. He looks drunk, pretty much unwashed and we love that when he yells "come on Azerbaijan" (straight point) no-one in the audience reacts. Good riddance.
- Latvia: now I loved "Beautiful Song" on CD, but this stage presentation did it no favours whatsoever. Anmary and her friends look like cheap versions of "Desperate Housewives" and just walk about on stage for three minutes. Meh.
- Switzerland: we all sang along "sweem against the sweem" and that was pretty much it. Shaving patterns in your hair is so very nineties and the singer loses a massive amount of points with Eurovision Cardinal Sin Number One: "Thinking Eurovision Is A Rock Concert And You're Bono". Do these Swiss get no coaching whatsoever? Give me a call for next year.
- Belgium: No shit? We're out?! How did that happen?! It's all politics! Everyone is against us! They all vote for their neighbours! It's because of the war!
Oh, and the song is dull as dishwater. It could be that, of course. And someone please tie down the "hand", you know the one, the one that some singers (the Mariah Carey clones usually) use to Emphasise pointless Parts in the Lyrics. Urgh. Sorry Iris, you tried your best, but that song... ugh, that song.
- Finland: which I liked. Of course not a clue what she was singing about. The votes on the sofa were that it was about human rights in Azerbaijan, which explains the lack of wind machine she got. Oh lookie, she's got a cello! But a cello alone can't save her, unfortunately.
- Israel: with Austin Powers singing lead. Yeah, it's nice on CD, but it didn't really go anywhere live, did it. And the whole sixties dance moves... well, you know, been there, done that. In the sixties. And a kiss between a man and a woman? What the hell? At Eurovision?! Still, it's obvious prozac is a big hit with Izabo, so I don't think they'll mind not qualifying all that much.
- San Marino who has the worst stylist ever. I mean, latex blue shiny pants? A loose shiny top? No no no no. The fact that she was even wearing clothes with a song like this was a big shock for me, but still... I said beforehand "if one of her backings is carrying a computer, they don't deserve any points at all". And lo and behold... also, why someone was dressed as a doctor, someone else as a sailor... Costumes left over from the local drama club? You can tell she's screwed when The Sofa collectively starts looking for meaning or a hidden message in the lyrics. "Perhaps it's a critique of modern communication...", nah... it's just a crap song.
- Austria who were so beyond horrible that they should be thrown into an Azeri jail for the rest of Eurovision week. A lot of lewd remarks about the lyrics on The Sofa: "Maybe it's a critique of how Azerbaijan treats homosexuality..." Or maybe it's just a moronic song.
We will be seeing more of:
- The fabulously beloved vampire show that is Iceland (Look! She has a violin!)
- Windmachine set to tornado offkey singing and random sirtaki-ing Greece
- "I don't get it, but she looks pretty intense, there's shouting and she's pretending to cry. I'll give this points and say it's quality, so everyone will think I know stuff about music" Albania
- Random windmachine, mega pyro summer hit Romania
- Totally won me over- Cyprus. Or as André puts it: "Cyprus is really just a smaller version of Greece". Yup. I'm sure the Turks will love hearing that.
- Catchy, though ridiculous cap-wearing (insert "should have know better"-joke here), Denmark
- The Russian grannies. Because, come on, who can resist the way they say "dance". And they bake cookies!
- Hungary. But who were they again??
- Ireland: for no reason whatsoever other than they came up last and did something with twin cybermen and a fountain. Bleh.