This is the first time I have taken a (limited) interest in the contest 'before the big night'. I have downloaded and listened to the six UK entries. My commentary on this forms the first half of this document you are reading now. I was also sent the final French entry.
This, I feel, is about where my involvement should cease. I like to think of the contest as being new and fresh on the night itself, rather than me knowing all of the songs 'by heart'. Because if I did, what point following the contest? I could pick a favourite in May and be done with it. And that would be a tragedy. Well, maybe not a tragedy, but it'd be a shame...
What I would be very interested in after the contest is in hearing a selection of national vote songs that were not chosen. Like I wrote last year about the cute sisters from Nantes - did they watch the contest and think "OMG! Our performance would have been way better than this!"? Well, I didn't get to hear their performance on France3 (PAL/SÉCAM issues) but I think it'd have been hard to enter a worse song...
But never mind the French regionals and nationals. Here we are concerned purely with the British selection.
I think ITV Teletext has an interesting perspective. Their review of the programme reads:
While you're waiting for the final skate-off, flick over to BBC1 for a celebrity showdown of a different kind.The middle paragraph may sound harsh. Perhaps because it is not exactly untrue?
Six acts - whose CDs tend to be stacked up in the bargain bins these days - battle it out in a public vote for the right to compete in Helsinki in May.
Former East 17 bad boy Brian Harvey, wannabe glam-rocker Justin Hawkins and one-time Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon are those taking to the mic. Tune in at 9.30 to see who's victorious.
Thankfully we don't have anybody ripping off Lordi.
|These were downloaded and saved to harddisc at my local library. Nero Express was then used to burn the files to CD, and the harddisc copies thus erased (properly, not dumped in Recycle Bin). The songs were then transferred from CD to my little MP3 player, as it was easier than firing up WinAmp...
The following reviews are in my play order. I'm not sure why "Big Brovaz" is at the end of the list. It isn't alphabetical, or date, or file size. It appears to be random based upon the quadratic inverse triangulation of the phase of the moon...
If it came to what song I would like to see represent the UK, anything culled from the current music scene - I'd be inclimed to choose How To Save A Life (The Fray) which is just such an amazing song. I think we ought to enter a feel-good song with a proper message (remember - it's how Katrina won), and what better?
It is unlikely to win, thanks to the insane capraciousness of the European public, however at least we won't come away thinking "oh my God, that was just a bad song"...
...like last year. Everybody slagging off poor Daz Sampson and the St. Trinians chicks (Did you know they are about to begin filming a new St. Trinians film, all these years later? I wonder what starlets will turn up in it... so far we have Lily Cole, Rupert Everett (as the headmistress), Russell Brand (ick), Colin Firth, Jodie Whittaker and Stephen Fry - a luvvies love-in?). We are all too quick to forget that he underwent a selection vote exactly like this one, and if his song was really that bad - it's the fault of the British public for choosing it in the first place.
Oh, and before you start coming up with ideas like "he was the best of the worst" and that all the entries sucked, remember that this is in no way Daz's fault. He, and other acts, performed. You picked him. And if there really was nothing better, shut up moaning and write something better yourself!
That's not to say it was a bad song in any case - after all, that awful Lithuanian attempt at tub-thumping passed the semis. Mmm, what was I saying about insane capriciousness? ☺
We open with a whizzy title sequence which seems inspired by the Doctor Who title sequences of the seventies.
Next we are introduced to our two hosts - Sir Terry Wogan, love him or hate him, he has been the face of Eurovision for so long (as long as I've been watching since the early eighties, if not since the contest began!) that it wouldn't be the same without his unique brand of commentary. And, the rising young presenter Fearne Cotton who was left in the cold when they pulled TOTP from the schedules. It's like a father-daughter show, isn't it?
We are then shown a snippet of the UK's last entrant, and the last time the UK won exactly ten years ago...
After a brief suggestion of how to pick a good Eurovision song, highlighting the weird and the hammy, we are on to the songs...
This is when we discover the 'panel' to critique the song is Mel Giedroyc (with a silly hat) and John Barrowman (who was virtually unknown before being Captain Jack)...
John says it may not be a Eurovision song. Mel says she's more like "Gina G with funk", which proves she's with it and he isn't... I just wished Mel didn't keep saying "eurovishz" (in IPA that would be ), it isn't hard to add the "on" to the end of the word!
Winner:Big Bro Thang (Big Brovaz)
Runner up:I'll Leave My Heart (Cyndi)
I think the biggest shock of the night is that the British public came to their senses and rejected the lesser songs. They got rid of Liz and Brian pretty quickly. I guess they may have been the ones with the least votes. It came down to Cyndi vs Big Brovaz and Justin/Beverlei vs Scooch.
When Cyndi was announced as the pick over Big Brovaz, they shook hands and departed the stage nicely. When Scooch was picked over Justin/Beverlei, Justin pretty much stormed off - but just before he did so we have this brief moment - now doesn't she look like he might have just said something unpleasant to her?
I can console myself that the subtleties of Cyndi's song would probably be lost in Eurovision. She can have better luck with radio/TV airplay and a chart position as a serious song.
After the obligatory long pause for dramatic effect (only now, doing that is a boring cliché well demonstrated by Philip Schofield during the Dancing On Ice final), Fearne announces the winner is Scooch while at the same time Sir Terry calls it for Cyndi.
Now, I suspect Sir Tel may have a 'thing' for French girls - so perhaps he had something else in mind when he called her name? ☺
It was up to Fearne to say "sorry darling" to Cyndi (how horrific for her! (Cyndi, I mean)) and quickly correct the mistake. The expressions on Scooch's faces probably match those of many viewers...
In any case - Britain has picked the song I felt they would right from the beginning. Good on them!
If only they were that good when it came to The Vote... ☺
So it was time for Sir Terry and Fearne (now wearing a nicer dress, but tuck it away sweetheart) to sign off, reminding us when the semi and the final will be on.
Scooch get to perform their, winning, song again. If nothing else, the BBC certainly got their money out of these guys! Three performances in about an hour...
As we fade to black at the end of the programme...
Now show them your support - as their zany cheesefest is the British entry for 2007. And judging by the sneak preview, it looks like our main competition is going to be the eleventh outing for the girl from Malta, and the French franglais entry.
As for the rest, there was once a time when a 'tranny' was a sort of radio. Now it's something you'll see on Eurovision.
If you missed the sneak preview, you'll see what I mean, soon...
I've not seen a report, but I've seen commentary that would suggest that Justin Hawkins is/has/might have accused the British voters of being racist. Perhaps in his mind he sings well. In our minds, he messed the song up by opening his mouth. As for Big Brovaz, are we racist or do we just not think rap's where it's at?
Furthermore, to flog a dead donkey, I think it is highly racist of Justin to even come up with a view such as this. I mean, what's the deal here? His golden voice, manliness, impreccable dress sense, and a black bird singing with him so he's ticked all the boxes and is guaranteed a winner? Come on...
Meanwhile ITV's teletext is reporting:
Lying the flag (entertainment news p142 5/11 20h34UK 2007/03/20)Given that most backing singers stand in the darkness at the back of the stage, to hide them isn't a crime, though I did wonder if there were backing singers at one point as there seemed to me to be too many voices towards the end.
Eurovision entrants Scooch have been accused of duping the public after it emerged they had backing singers hidden off the stage when they performed their winning song.
The four-piece band won BBC1's Making Your Mind Up contest on Saturday to become the UK's entry with Flying The Flag (For You).
Every act was allowed backing singers - but Scooch put theirs out of sight.
Upon seeing them, Graham remarked "For the first time ever, I''m not the gayest thing on my own show!", and when it came time to hand over to them to play the programme out, Graham did so saying "Here's this year's Eurovision entry - it's Cyndi! no, I mean Scooch!".
I had wondered if I was possibly misinterpreting something in this song, but Graham's audience confirmed it - this song has some rather pervy bits in it. Yes the man does say "would you like something to suck on for landing, Sir?", and he holds up something that may be totally innocent, but it sure looks like a condom. As for the blonde motioning how to put on the life vest, pull firmly on the red cord, and blow into the mouthpiece... yeah, I think I'll let the emphasis in that sentence speak for itself.
You'll notice the final two pictures are the same scenes as used in the play-out of the selection competition. It's because I happen to think they make pretty good visuals. The song is cheesy for sure, but it has a lot of visual stuff going on.
The left, the blonde (Caroline) doing her 'blow' routine, and she pulls it off, unlike a certain Sinead-inspired-Britney who, in her airpline hostess video had a lame song and who was that she kept kissing? Madonna? In any case, I found this part of the song to be amusing. I know, small minds... whatever.
The right, I like the way the meal trolley things turn in to two flags, with the low angle shot as they walk forwards from it. It doesn't quite have the same dramatic power as "Lejla" (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2006), but that's because nobody expects this song to be taken that seriously. And besides, this may be one of the last years in which the Union flag will be viable, so enjoy it while it is still around...
[before the song] Graham : Did everyone watch "Making Your Mind Up" to find the British Eurovision entry, did you watch it? You couldn't make it up, could you? Now, Terry Wogan... Ah Terry, I love ya! I love ya! But he did make a bit of a mess of announcing the winner. [to female guest] You didn't see this, it was extraordinary. Jessie : I've heard of it though. Graham : At the end of the show, he announced that Cyndi (which probably means something in Welsh), uh, Cyndi had won, instead of Scooch. Now he blamed a technical malfunction. Technically, he should have given a t**s. [imitates a Mr. Bean-like person] Mmm, mmm, Cyndi, I dunno... Now the winning group were Scooch, here's a picture of Scooch. Look at them! They're delighted to be going off to Finland! Never mind the airline stewards. Honestly, they got so drunk after winning the contest that they could have been pilots! That's how happy they were! Ladies and gentlemen, they're here. Please welcome Scooch! [the group enter] Graham : Yay Scooch! For the first time ever, I am not the gayest thing on my own show. Now Scooch are going to play us out, so please say thank you to my guests: Euan Griffiths and Jessie Wallace! [blah blah about the video podcast on the website, I couldn't hear this clearly over the clapping] Now here's this year's Eurovision entry, it's Cyndi! No, I mean Scooch! Goodnight everybody, bubye! [Scooch perform their song, to giggles in all the right places by Graham's audience, thus confirming that the lyrics are a little bit you-know-what] [after the song] Graham : Oh, come to me Scooch! Oh, I love... Even as it's going on, you don't quite believe it! I can't wait to see it on the night! Caroline: I can't believe it's allowed! Graham : Nor can I. It is genius. Now Scooch, Scooch, you have been controversial this week, not only the bad who won thing... How was that poor cow Cyndi afterwards? [Caroline speaks but her mic isn't operating] Russ : She was fine. I think she thought we... I think she didn't realise we won either because I think we both heard different... She thought she'd lost because Fearne said she'd lost. It was a bit confusing. Caroline: She took it really well actually, and Terry apologised after and she was absolutely fine. Graham : What was it? Was he just not listening? Russ : There was loads of people shoutin' and that, I just don't know. Live TV, anything can happen I suppose. Caroline: Who knows? Graham : And now, talk us through the miming thing then. Natalie : [laughs] David : [pretends to mime a reply] Russ : Well, basically the rules of the competition, and for Eurovision as well, is that you're allowed six people to take part in your act. Caroline: Yeah. Russ : And it's your choice whether you have backing singers on-stage or... off-stage. For some reason they thought... um, you know, our backing singers are off-stage, they're over there, and, and... Graham : So your backing singers are off stage? Caroline: Yes. Graham : Have we got a camera on them? [cut to two people dressed in black, standing by microphones; the two female backing singers wave, looking somewhat bemused] Graham : Wait, I don't understand, did you run out of blue material? Russ : They'd get run over. Graham : Why don't you dress them up as...? Caroline: They would get run over... David : On that stage... Caroline: ...all that stuff. David : ...it's tiny. Graham : I love it when they turn around and it's a flag... Always a Buck's Fizz moment, isn't it? D'you think... d'you think you're gonna do well? Caroline: Oh, I hope so! Russ : It's been ten years since the UK have won, so we, you know, we just wanna bring pop back to Eurovision. Last year it was a rap record, the year before it was a sort of like Latino thing. It's time to bring pop back, yeah. Natalie : Time for a good old fashioned pop. Graham : It is very pop. It is very pop. It's quite a... yes... And... Caroline: Pop, Pop... Graham : Now are you going... is it coming out... it's going to be a single and everything? Russ : Yeah. Caroline: It was released yesterday. Russ : It's for download yeah, so you can get it from iTunes from yesterday. Graham : Euan, d'you want to go to the computer and, eh, download this see? Euan : Fine. [cut to Euan moving the pointer around, so obviously not a geek!] Graham : Actually, why is Wales... Wales can't enter can they? Ireland can! You're just UK. This is you too? Euan : Yes indeed. Graham : You must be very proud! Euan : I'm delighted. Graham : When is it, by the way? Russ : May the 12th Caroline: 12th of May, yup. Graham : Seriously, good luck to you. I think it would be so good, and funny, if you won. It would be quite, it would... Natalie : We'll come back and sing it again for you. Graham : Oh, can you imagine, and the flags and everything. David : Oh well we're changing it for Helsinki. We're getting a diff... that's a bit... might not go down very well if we turn it around and... Caroline: It's a bit patriotic. Graham : So what flag's going to be on there now? Ryanair? [everybody is talking at once, I can't make out what is being said...] Graham : So you're going to have all the European flags? Are you going to have huge trolleys, like that? Now then ladies and gentlemen, please would... Scooch! All the luck in the world in Helsinki. Good luck, thank you, and please thank Euan Griffiths and Jessie Wallace...This is my transcription, tidied a little. Errors are my mishearing or other random cluelessness...
Well, what can I say? The policital correctness brigade have marched in. In the 2006 semi final, Lordi took to the stage with a Finland flag hat.
Yet, now, Scooch are Flying The Flag, only they aren't flying the flag that the British people voted for. The unveiling of the Union flag is what drew the cheers - now suddenly we can wave byebye to the flag...
Thanks guys. Nice to see you have the balls to pull it off. Now what was Cyndi's phone number?