We need to get out more, collectively as a nation and individually.

This latest blinding flash of bleeding obvious revelation came to me as the feelings of self-righteousness and mis-placed indignation began to rise with the voting in full swing on Eurovision 2008.

Why did I bother? Why didn’t I just switch off, or take my wife out for a late evening promenade?

Instead I sat there for three hours. I can’t get them back.

Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the bumper portion of fish and chips starting to repeat on me, maybe it was the fact this year we had a half-decent entry, but within a few minutes of the start of voting I was beginning to feel deeply uncomfortable.

By the time the voting had reached mid-way I had given it all up as a bad joke. By the time the winner was announced I was snoring softly on the sofa – that was certainly due to the wine.

I have sympathy for Andy Abraham, our plucky British singer. The reality TV contest loser performed his late 80s, early 90s dance infused number “Even If” with a certain degree of aplomb – even if his choice of suit was questionable.

There was no way he should have finished bottom of the pile, particularly as Eurovision 2008 was the usual mix of good, bad and ugly, with the emphasis heavily on the bad and ugly.

From squashed Portuguese warblers, to wailing Swedes who have undergone a bit too much nip ‘n tuck and camp pirates, we endured the traditional dire dirges, irritating Euro-pap techno and a bit of guitar-heavy blandness – from the emo-lite of Turkey to the 80s cock-rawk of Finland.

A top five, maybe even a top three place should have been Andy Abraham’s for the taking given the paucity of the competition.

However, he did not deserve to win.

In second place I would have put Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Laka, who along with his sister Mirela and troupe of knitting brides gave us a slice of alternative pop – a sort of Coldplay by clowns.

Head and shoulders above the rest was the French entry. Sebastian Tellier looked like a cross between the tennis player from the Royal Tenenbaums and French rugby star Sebastian Chabal.

 +  =


A bearded wild man look and a tune that owed a lot to Pulp, Flaming Lips and Daft Punk proved an engaging combination.

I’m still humming it this morning.

The winner was a dire effort from Russia, heavy on emotion and ice skates and yet completely lacking in quality or hummability.

It will inevitably lead to some calls for a boycott because of the political bias to the voting from some faceless MEP or misguided MP looking for a bit of cheap publicity.

Some believe Eurovision should be replaced by a Euro Idol – please, no!

Even Sir Terry Wogan himself has hinted this year might have been his last.

The truth is Wogan and Eurovision should have been discarded years ago.

The voting in Eurovision 2008 was a travesty. Andy Abraham should not have finished last, but should not have finished first either.

France was robbed.

[Edit: A few days later and I still can’t stop humming Laka’s effort and the bearded Frenchman’s song. So here you go…] 

Laka and sister, sadly without the knitting brides, but accompanied by men with pitchforks instead:

This is Sebastien Tellier’s Divine, which should have won:



One response »

  1. le craic says:

    I didn’t watch it but I know that sinking feeling when a song you think deserves better doesn’t get the votes. It was the same with Ireland’s entry last year.

    If the UK pulled out it would probably spell the beginning of the end of the whole thing as you are one of the biggest contributors to the EBU.

    Sorry that Andy didn’t do better. I heard the song and thought it was good.

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