Sunday, 17 May 2009

Eastern Bloc Party - Eurovision 2009 Special

The dust has now settled on another year’s Eurovision song contest and somehow a goofy violin player from Norway managed to sweep the competition aside and set a new record for votes received.

My memory of the night is somewhat hazy as there was quite a lot of alcohol consumed, but ever the professional, I was making notes as the show went out to give anyone who might have missed it an idea on just what went down on one of the greatest TV nights of the year.

Below you will find my uncensored live thoughts from throughout the show and I will be chipping in with some post-Eurovision thoughts as well to try and give context to some of the incoherent ramblings that I scribbled down.

(Live thoughts will appear in italics, thoughts from the morning after will appear in bold).

So here we are with my live review and critical analysis of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009:

Here we are ready for another instalment of the campest show on TV. For some reason Eurovision has become a pretty big event in the Bunkham household over the past few years, this may have something to do with the vast amounts of alcohol normally consumed whilst watching the show but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Eurovision is entertaining and unintentionally funny as hell. As you are probably already aware, I enjoy the occasional bet and Eurovision is no exception, for some unexplainable reason I’ve backed the Ukraine for the past two years and have been robbed both years as they should have won both times, this year though my money is on Estonia, so let’s see what happens…

…My logic for backing Estonia was based on geography and the blatant bloc voting that goes on each year, although the song was dull it was exactly the sort of shit that I thought could win Eurovision… This theory didn’t exactly pan out…

Show opens with Cirque du Soleil. Graham Norton is no Terry Wogan. Ho-de-ho…

…I soon changed my tune on this; Norton actually did a pretty good job…

Last year’s winner is back looking like he’s on his way to work. £30 million for this? Styrofoam walls?

Actually maybe this song did deserve to win last year it is a pretty good song – Thanks Timbaland.

Hosts are an improvement on previous years. It’s Alsou! Remember her? She had a single out over here at the turn of the millennium… No? Just me then…

Why is Norton talking over the hosts when they’re speaking English?
Sasha Schlong, oh no wait it’s Sasha Son from Lithuania is up first. I was expecting a woman but it’s a dude.

I’m not digging it. First is a thankless task though. Nice finish, the guy had a flame in his hand and a nice message of hope…


…Obama would’ve been proud, all in all a pretty dull start though…

…Israel up next… boring! They look like the Witches of Eastwick. Get your bongos out…!

…I believe that this was a reference to the fact that they started to play the bongos mid-way through the performance not some sort of sexual euphemism… I could be wrong though…

…En Francais… She looks like Michelle Collins and the song is dire… I think we can safely say the first 3 won’t be challenging…

…MILF! MILF! MILF! I think that’s what they’re chanting…

…I honestly have no recollection of what the MILF comment refers to… All I can assume is that France’s entry was an older lady who had a bit of a Cougar vibe going on… Then again, maybe it was the large quantities of alcohol coursing through my body…

…Norton’s pissed. Maybe he’s playing the Wogan drinking game…

…Yes I know that makes no sense…

…Sweden – nice and electro… All Swedish women look the same… It’s kind of like Katherine Jenkins meets Sash!

…I can only apologise for any awful racial stereotypes like the above comment that I made throughout the night, chances are there are more to come…

…My Brother just dumbed down the night by suggesting a trip to Copenhagen, Sweden for his 21st – numb nuts…

…To be fair Geography was never his strong suit…

…Best of the night so far, a bit screamy though…

…Croatia – looks like a sexy funeral. When did Jonathan Wilkes move to Sweden…?

Dogshit. There is a hot blonde on though.

No stand outs so far.

Portugal up 6th. It’s Adele in a brown wig – it’s so bad I’ve turned the sound down and gone to get some chocolate…

…I can categorically say that this will not even make a ripple…

…Iceland up next - apparently a real contender. We shall see.
Good tune, but could be drawn too early…

…Shows what I know – they came second…

…Greece – My family seem to think this guy is going to win… He has the whitest clothes ever (he’s obviously passed the Daz doorstep challenge).

This guy makes John Barrowman look straight. Good song but it won’t win. He’s on some sort of digital treadmill.

That was pretty fucking good. A safe each way bet. It will not win…

…Luckily my confidence in Greece not winning was justified; I would’ve never heard the end of it otherwise…

…Armenia on now. I nearly backed these dykes; they look like a bunch of gypsies…

…Again, I can only apologise…

I think I made the right call… That was gash as…

…The hosts Russia are up… Putin will be dancing…

…Really? Will he? What was I talking about!? Answers on a postcard…

…She has an awful tattoo on her arm and according to Norton the screens behind are supposed to show her digitally aging throughout the song – she looks better old…

…She actually did…

…Russia was toilet time…

…Azerbaijan are on upon my return… This is a class Euro pop number. I can’t see it winning though…

…Even if half my family have backed them…

…It came third…

…He so isn’t playing that guitar…

…They’re proper cranking that wind machine tonight (we have our own wind machine in my Brother who is making some truly inhuman smells)

…Bosnia now. Another act that I considered backing… Decent effort…

…This should do well as Norton said, especially with the Balkans…

I’m calling it now – Bosnia will win (maybe)

…I’m an idiot…

…We’re now getting a skit with the Russian police and various Ruski citizens singing (badly) What the hell? I’d rather have ads…

…When I read this back this morning, I thought it said “I’d rather have AIDS” which I thought would have been a pretty harsh criticism of this skit… That said, it was pretty fucking bad though…

…Moldova – Nelly something – I started laughing when it started but this is actually okay… Dark Horse?

…Err, in a word: no…

…Norton may actually be better than Wogan…

…See, it didn’t take me long to change my tune did it? Terry who?

…Chiara up now for Malta, according to Norton she’s entered and done well twice for Malta before… Third time lucky? I don’t think so…
…But what do I know? The Malteser could do it…

…My mind’s in Estonia…

…I was singing this all night to the tune of Rhianna’s ‘Disturbia’ – don’t ask me why…

…My bet is up! Come on Urban Symphony!

Personally I don’t like it but this is the sort of shit they love at Eurovision…

…Err, they barely got a cheer… Not to worry…

…Ronan Keating wrote this song for Denmark – what the hell?

Haha, Norton was right, this is basically Ronan ‘Stars in their Eyes’. I could sing this, anyone can sound good doing Ronan Keating.

It is a totally Ronan song though. Good job Denmark.

Germany! Here they are… Here comes Dita…

…Good tune, like a dirty Frank Sinatra… Look at Dita… What a woman…

…You’ve gotta hand it to Germany, they knew they didn’t have a prayer so they roped in Dita Von Teese to prance around on stage during the performance all scantily clad… Sex didn’t sell… They nearly came last… Nice rack though…

…Here come the Turks… Hadise – ‘Dum Tek Tek’… This could be the best so far.

Turkey always do well with that whole Tarkan vibe but they don’t have enough neighbours to vote for them. Safe each way bet I’d say…

…I realise by this point I’d marked about half the acts as “safe each way bets” but in this case it actually panned out as Turkey came fourth…

…Albania now. Oh dear, it’s like a bad trip…

…It’s not actually as bad as Norton made out… She’s only 17, she did a good job if you ask me – a good reaction.

The favourite Norway’s up now… Norwegian Idol winner Alexander Rybak…

…I’m going out on a limb and saying that there is no way Norway will win. I just don’t get it…

…Could I have been more wrong? Sorry about that awful no way/Norway pun as well by the way. And another thing, I’m lucky I’m not a quadriplegic this morning the number of times I went “out on a limb” last night…

My nemesis the Ukraine are on now – for the last two years I’ve backed them to win and been screwed out of deserved victory both times… I decided to avoid that heartache this year, but this is actually quite good…

…Did I actually describe not backing the winner of Eurovision as heartache? I did? Just checking…

…Why does she have gladiators dancing behind her?

This is actually some pretty class shit. Winner?

…Err, no…

…Here are the Romanians. Holy crap. I didn’t know Romania had hot women…

…Could I be any more culturally retarded?

…Here comes old melted face – the UK are up – Jade Ewen is here, she should have had something up tempo.

This is piss poor – hang your head in shame Lloyd Webber… She’s that bad the violinist is poking her with his bow…

…It is the best we’ve had in years, but in reality can it ever win? It went down amazingly well in the studio though…

…It may not have been able to win, but it did ridiculously well all things considered. And yes, I’m aware of the hypocrisy of in one breath calling it “piss poor” and in the next proclaiming it “the best we’ve had in years”…

…Waldo’s People are up now for Finland…

…Did this guy used to be in East 17? This is amazing. What’s Norton talking about? This is genius!

…Last but not least it’s Espagne. Not bad – nice and Euro-poppy. Could do well, but in reality Spain have about as much chance of winning as I do…

…Nice bit of magic there though…

Voting time now. This is the best part.

Astronauts are opening the lines from space – are you fucking shitting me?

My Mum on the countdown clock that has just appeared to let you know how much voting time remains: “is that what time it is in Russia?”

…Yes Mum, their time goes backwards…

…Vintage Eurovision year… They could all win in all honesty…

…There really wasn’t much of the usual camp horseshit this year, somewhat disappointingly, they were all quite good…

…Lines are now closed…

…Why is there a woman sloshing around in a life size womb?

…This did actually happen, it wasn’t just the alcohol, it needed to be seen to be believed…

…What in the name of Buck’s Fizz is this? A swimming pool in the roof? Trust Eurovision for weirdness…

Get to the results already. We already know what they’ll be: Sweden: Denmark 12 points… Russia: Bosnia 12 points…

…Lloyd Webber’s back… Shut up rubber face, what do you know…

…Actually scratch that, he’s bigged up Estonia – Lloyd Webber’s a genius! Estonia to win!

…I’m so fickle…

Results are in – Spain – Norway 12, UK 10…

…I don’t have the energy to blog these results, three countries in and it already looks like Norway have won – show’s how much I know!

This is bullshit!

Why is Duncan James reading out our vote? It makes me long for the days of Fearne Cotton…

…Wow I must’ve really been gone last night…

Norway win and break a record in the process. Unbelievable.

All in all, a good time was had by all. Estonia may not have won me any money but coming sixth when they were rated at 50-1 or bigger with the bookies was a good showing.

The bloc voting was alive and well still, the best moment was Andorra giving Spain 12 when up until that point Spain had about 2 points.

The bookies were right and Norway absolutely swept it, I still don’t see what was so special about the song, but oh well, at least it gets next year’s show out of Eastern Europe.

The UK finally had a respectable showing but I seriously doubt if we can ever win this thing again now.

So until next time, thanks for reading and I’m sorry for any offence caused by the ignorant racial stereotyping that occurred last night…

…And for my comments as well…

Other Televisual Musings this Week:

Last week’s penultimate ‘Lost’ of the season was a case of all filler and no killer. I don’t mind set-up episodes on the whole, ‘24’ did the exact same thing this week and even a dull episode of ‘Lost’ like this one still feels noteworthy because, well, it’s ‘Lost’, but I couldn’t help but feel more than a little disappointed with this week’s effort, if they hit it out of the park with tonight’s two-part finale then all will be forgiven, but I can’t decide at the moment whether that’s going to occur or not.

- Last week I bigged up a couple of shows debuting on these shores this past week. One of the aforementioned shows was ‘Sons of Anarchy’, which more than lived up to its name – sex, drugs, guns, bikes and Peggy Bundy Lady Macbething it up – what more do you want?

‘Sons of Anarchy’ has me hooked after one episode, the cast is great, nearly every face is familiar (in a good way) and the opening episode had it all: action, laughs, extreme violence, Skinner off the ‘X-Files’ as a neo-Nazi and enough grit to keep even Britain’s roads moving during a snow storm…

…Even if the main character did used to be in ‘Byker Grove’.

- We’re hitting finale time now in the schedules, especially in the current two week block (which I’ve geekily dunned ‘finale fortnight’) as we’ve already seen the ‘Heroes’ season finale, we’ve got ‘Lost’ and ‘Prison Break’ to come this week and then ‘24’ gets it’s send-off next week.

Surprisingly, given how horrendously gash the show has become, I’m actually quite excited for this week’s two-hour series finale of ‘Prison Break’. Mainly because we’re getting to see the return of some familiar faces, thankfully not Gretchen, but C-Note who has been sorely missed and if rumours are to be believed Kellerman (don’t ask, I thought he was dead to).

Given how incoherent ‘Prison Break’ has become I actually think that the finale could actually work and having all these characters inexplicably crop up should be fun and won’t seem to out of place because the show has already become a total caricature of what it used to be (more on this next week).

Be sure to tune in, because it really could be a brilliantly ridiculous end to a show that has if nothing else kept us entertained for four years.

‘Prison Break’ the series finale airs on Sky1 Tuesday @ 10pm and 11pm.

- After a good end to last year picking Alexandra Burke as the ‘X Factor’ winner when everyone was practically giving Diana Vickers a pearl necklace, my reality TV predictions have gone seriously off the boil.

First I was victim of the worst hatchet job the ‘Big Brother’ producers have done since the got rid of Spencer in Season 3, when they basically handed Ulrika Jonsson victory over the clearly more popular Verne Troyer.

Then Philip managed to fuck himself out of becoming Sir Alan Sugar’s apprentice on ‘The Apprentice’ and now my nap for ‘American Idol’ Danny Gokey has fallen at the final hurdle setting up an Adam Scream-bert and Kris Allen showdown.

I’d love to see Kris win, I slated him at the start as not being good enough but he has proved me wrong and then some. His performances have grown stronger and stronger each week and he is an unbelievably likeable guy.

His acoustic version of Kanye West’s ‘Heartless’ this week for me was one of the performances of the season and while the show has clearly been edited and devised to ensure an Adam victory I really think that America may piss on Simon Cowell’s proverbial chips and vote for Kris en mass.

You only need to look at the production Adam receives each week and the fact he’s been positioned near the end of the show (in the much-discussed ‘pimp’ spot) more times than any other contestant to see who Si-dogg and the producers want to win, but I’m hoping America may have picked up on this and rebel against Lord Cowell’s wishes. Only time will tell.

- This week, Eminem made a rare appearance on Jonathan Ross and actually came across really well. I know from hearing him talk to Zane Lowe that he’s a funny, intelligent guy but I was worried that going up against Wossy may have showed him in a bad light, but he was more entertaining than Ben Stiller! Well done Em, it’s good to have you back.

And finally… Our new feature:

TV Moment of the Week:

Each week I’ll be picking out one moment from my TV watching schedule that stood out to me as the highlight of the week (this is in no way a rip-off of ‘Harry Hill’s TV Burp’… honest).

This week’s award goes to the brilliant ‘The Wire’ and stick-up artist Omar taking to the stand to condemn ‘Bird’ for a murder he didn’t actually commit, we think.

Despite scumbag lawyer Levy’s attempts to undermine Omar’s testimony due to the fact that he’s an unrepentant criminal, Omar managed to win the jury over with charisma and charm and even put Levy in his place by comparing him to himself – “I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase…”

My favourite part of the whole episode was a follow on from the previous episode where the prosecuting lawyer gave Omar $150 to get some “court clothes” and instructed him to get “something with a tie”. Omar promptly turned up to court in some fresh street gear with a tie wrapped round his neck.

As someone who is only now experiencing the sheer brilliance of ‘The Wire’ I can only marvel at how great this show is and it continues to grow from strength to strength, Omar in particularly is rapidly becoming one of my favourite characters not just on the show but on TV.


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