What’s Another Year: some thoughts from “The Full Catastrophe”. AKA Andy Bell, penned after Eurovision 2011 in Düsseldorf.
How do you find a word that means Eurovision 2011 ?
A flibbertijibbet ?
A will-o’-the wisp ?
Or to put it another way: “I’m running. I’m scared of breathing. Cause I adore you.”
Now, Eurovision every year is in the eye and ear of the beholder (and be-hearer).
Nobody owns all wisdom or critical insight.
HOWEVER, I feel I would be a naughty boy if I didn’t cast some judgments.
*The production was splendid. The set astonishing in its flexibility, although its wide open spaces didn’t suit all especially those brave types who actually sang AND played musical instruments. As for the three presenters, I did warn people !
*The show was never less than entertaining & “interesting”. That’s a given. This year the styles were all over the place: retro from almost every decade since the 60s, some stand alone oddities (Ireland, France & Georgia) and very few efforts that are heading directly to the dance floor Club A-Go-Go in Torremolinos.
*It was delightful to hear a few more languages than usual. As for the English language’s fate in Düsseldorf. Was I alone in sitting through entire songs when barely a word was comprehensible ?
*The SBS re-versioning of the ESC continues to annoy …. deeply. Julia Zemiro & Sam Pang had little to say and spent a lot of time saying it. And as for their interviews behind the scenes: never in the field of human conflict have so many questions been asked for so little information gained. (UPDATED – SBS is the Australian broadcaster which telecasts the ESC. It formerly re-broadcast the BBC or RTE commentary, but now has it’s own commentators. The contest is shown in Australia on the Sunday evening after the contest – it is quite an effort to avoid finding the result!!)
Now the big issue.
The winner. Azerbaijan.
I knew the result before seeing the show – I couldn’t avoid it.
So I was ready to be wowed, knocked over, amazed.
My limbs were girded and my expectation was high.
I waited and waited and waited for “Running Scared” to soar & captivate. It never left the ESC runway for mine. However, it’s margin of victory indicates I am very much in the minority, so well done Azerbaijan.
That Italy came in second did my old heart good. Raphael Gualazzi’s performance of the splendid “Follia d’amore” (Madness of love) was not that good on the night and the English part of the lyric was excruciating. But quality will out. Italy is back!
As for the rest, some quick comments.
Lithuania – a French ballad from the Baltic. Mmmm.
Ireland – just not right.
Sweden – Backstreet Boys meets mild BDSM.
Germany – just a lazy effort from last year’s winner.
Iceland – sentimental favourite and simply charming.
UK – words fail.
Serbia – the funnest song of the night.
And there it went. Eurovision 2011 Düsseldorf joins the ranks of the all Eurovisions great and small.
Come back in a year or two and then we’ll know a little better if it was a Grange year or simply a touch of the chateau cardboard. (UPDATED Grange is a very expensive and tasty Australian red wine , chateau cardboard is cask wine – the cheapest of the cheap)