I am officially gay now

Everybody! Say! "OPA!"

There's no getting around it. I spent the first half of last week discussing the new series of the glorious Snog, Marry, Avoid via online chat with a female chum, and then the weekend watching the Eurovision Song Contest. I might as well just  face the facts, go out and buy some leather chaps with no arse in them and be done with it.

Like any heterosexual man, I used to dismiss Eurovision out of hand with a contemptuous snort, and it was only a chance encounter with a piece of sheer unquestionable magnificence on it in 2008 that led me to even consider giving it the time of day. (I'm assured that I watched the 2009 show too, but I remember absolutely nothing of it.)

The 2010 show did perhaps the most complete job ever of reflecting its audience, which is to say that absolutely everyone on stage was either a woman or the most obvious kind of rampantly flaming homosexual. The only exceptions were the singer from the Serbian contestants – who clearly belonged to a brand-new third gender, or possibly alien race – and the Greek entrants. Which is a bit ironic, what with, y'know, Greece.

I draw no connection whatsoever between the Greek artists (Giorgos Alkaios And Friends) looking like the sort of larcenous men who'd just been dragged out of an illegal dogfight crowd, a brawl in a rough bar at the ugly end of the docks or a maximum-security prison, and the fact that their song was by a country mile the finest in the competition – the latter evident from the way that everyone in my house shouted "OPA!" whenever one of the juries awarded them some points.

Nor even that their dance routine looked like a choreographed recreation of the time they kicked a tramp to death for looking at them funny.

It's also not important that their song was everything a Eurovision entry should be – sung in their own language (the vast majority of the entrants being inexplicably in English), identifiably of its nation but with modern pop stylings (like the little chiptune/ringtone riff), having lyrics full of Abba-esque darkness beneath the bouncy tune*, and possessed of a big shoutalong chorus. What matters is that I cared.

* "I burnt the past, my old nights,
memories also became shivers
Memories and voices unjust wishes
and left open wounds in a corner"

Hell, I even voted. For the first time ever, my 15p contributed to the only worthwhile thing about the UK's participation in the event – the fact that we awarded Greece the maximum 12 points. Britain's song was a godawful atrocity of a thing, a tenth-rate-X-Factor limp dribble of tuneless whimpering, and perhaps the most joyous moment of the evening was the last-gasp 12-point vote for Belarus' extraordinary band of butterflies that lifted them above the UK and left us languishing in a dismal, thoroughly deserved last place. But at least we appreciated genius when we saw it in others.

Adding insult to injury was the fact that the perfectly pleasant German winner was an astonishing pastiche of Lily Allen and Regina Spektor, sung in a cor-blimey English accent over a quirky and hummable tune of exactly the sort that British pop is so exceptionally good at, when it's not in the hands of soulless robotic monsters like Pete Waterman. The Germans didn't just beat the UK out of sight, they took the piss by doing it with an impersonation of us.

We can but dream that whoever's been in charge of the UK's shameless parade of wetter-than-an-otter's-pocket toss for the last few years actually learns the lesson, and gets Fuck Buttons or someone to do next year's entry. (And for God's sake don't let the moron public have anything to do with choosing it, or we'll end up with the same blandest-common-denominator shite that we've been internationally humiliated by for a decade.)

More importantly, though, can someone start the World Cup or a war or something? If I don't shoot someone with a bazooka or club them to death with a rifle butt in a bombed-out ruin pretty soon, it's going to be too late for me. I'm about one nice pastry away from becoming a fashion designer.

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13 Responses to “I am officially gay now”

  1. Greece's entry was fun 'n' all, and Belarus' butterfly surprise was totally brilliant, but Turkey should have won.
    I mean, it had a robot woman angle-grinding her own arm. You can't beat that! Nothing can beat that!

  2. I posted the other comment before watching France's 2008 entry that you linked – I'd forgotten about that! Perhaps my favourite Eurovision song ever, thanks for reminding me!

  3. RowanDT Says:

    Weirdly enough, this post was the first thing I read after just finishing watching My Beautiful Laundrette, so maybe there's some kind of Gay Disease going around. I went to a Eurovision party last night and a huge cheer erupted when Belarus overtook us. Opa!

  4. RowanDT Says:

    … and Armenia's entry was unquestionably the best song about apricots I've ever heard.

  5. Trouble is, every year the UK enter a song that isn't in any way representative of the music we listen to.  That Pete Waterman drivel last night was like a bad version of the shit he pumped out in 1986. If that was released as a single tomorrow, it wouldn't even chart, so why do we bother pretending it's got any chance of winning?  I thought that the UK was hated so much by the rest of Europe that no-one voted for us, but last year that was proved wrong.
     
    Incidentally, it's worth noting that the German entry has been a chart success over the past few weeks across Europe. It's been number one ina number of countries and has gone platinum.  It's the equivalent of us entering Robbie Williams into the competition as the artists fan base across Europe votes because they are fans, not because the performance itself was anything special. 

    Oh, and Stu, you don't have to be gay to like Eurovision.  Sure, it's camp and silly, but it's one of the most entertaining things on TV, sometimes for the wrong reasons – but you have to admit, that interval act with the entire world dancing – that was pretty special.

  6. My favourites this year were without a shadow of doubt the doom-ballads from Russia ("Lord of Mercy!") and the Ukraine. Both were wonderful.
    I don't think it's fair to apportion so much blame for poor UK entries to the public: the selection process in the UK is not the most democratized by any means. I'm not sure who operates the selection committee — quite possibly the BBC — but I would guess that it is institutionalized, and that the fault lies there.
    On a different note, it's lazy and stupid to equate watching a TV program with being a homosexual, and it would be remiss of me to let you do so unchallenged.

  7. I'm not! I'm equating it with watching two TV programmes.

  8. I hope a new Fantasy Zone is on the way, just so this can be used as the theme tune.

  9. I believe the phrase you are looking for to describe the Greek entrants is "rough trade", thus completing the transformation from song contest to the Gay(TM) equivalent of a Minstrel show.

  10. This Stu Campbell Pub Landlord character is still shit.

  11. " If that was released as a single tomorrow, it wouldn't even chart"
    It was released last Monday.
    It didn't make the top 75.

  12. Priceless, DG. Priceless.

  13. The Nixon Administration Says:

    You may have missed this spectacular entry from 2006:

    "So you can vote! Vote! Vote for the winners!"

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