The madness that is the Eurovision song contest draws near. Final preparations are underway and the contest will take place in Copenhagen this coming weekend. Copenhagen became the venue for the contest in 2014 after Denmark won in 2013. The format of the show has changed a little down the years, along with musical styles, but overall it is as crazy as ever.
What is Eurovision?
Eurovision is an annual event. Living in the UK, and having experienced the Eurovision Song Contest since a child in the fifties it's all to easy to to forget that it is not a global show. Having said that, it is shown around the world, and not just in those countries competing for the Eurovision title.
Since Eurovision was created in 1956 the show has grown, annoyed, entertained, adapted and survived.
Love it or loathe it, Eurovision is an annual event that seems unstoppable.
In more recent years countries such as Croatia and Serbia Herzogovina have entered the contest and always vote for each other. It may simply be that they appreciate the same type of music, but who really knows.
In an effort to at least score some points, the UK has tried various revamps. In 2009 our entry came 5th. For that year the BBC teamed up with Graham Norton and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber in order to try and get a respectable result. It seemed to work, almost.
In 2010 we tried something similar, but failed. Eurovision 2010 was the 55th annual contest and it was held in Oslo, on Saturday 29th May 2010. These days there are semi finals and not every country takes place each year. Oslo was the host for 2010, as Norway won the 2009 contest. It is a long time since the UK played host.
In fact the last time was in 1998, as Katrina and The Waves had won in 1997 performing Let Love Shine A Light.
In 2012 the UK entry was former pop star and now veteran performer Englebert Humperdinck. The following is what we wrote in the lead up to the contest:
"The weekend of May 26, 2012 will have Eurovision on air once more. This annual contest has changed in some ways down the years but essentially it remains the same.It is many years since the UK won this contest, which could be why we no longer take it seriously or enjoy the contest. Having tried options such as Andrew Lloyd Webber composing the British entry one year and more, this year we have opted for an established singer.
Other countries have done this for years and so has the UK at times in the past. Cliff Richard, Lulu and Sandie Shaw are past UK Eurovision competitors. So who have we selected for 2012? Veteran performer Englebert Humperdinck, that's who.There is no doubting the Hump's musical standing but these days most of the performers are young and up and coming. That said though you have to wonder if the UK can ever win this contest again.
The reason for this pessimistic view is the blatantly unfair voting. If you think this is just UK sour grapes, think again. We were all used to Greece and Cyprus always voting for each other but that was nothing in comparison to Baltic countries. Eurovision 2012 is to be held in Azerbaijan. It is being held there because that country won last year's contest. If this year's Eurovision runs true to 21st Century form countries such as Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia et al will all vote for each other, The song choice and quality is immaterial. The UK would not win many global popularity contests these days and so may once more sink like a stone.
Presumably the Hump knows he has a huge job in hand. Add to this protests in the host nation over Human Rights and you could have a lose lose situation. Protesters have been arrested this week as the people of Azerbaijan show their displeasure with yet another dictatorship.
Assuming the contest on Saturday goes ahead though the UK could also be under threat from the Irish entry. Ireland has won Eurovision quite a few times and although their entry for 2012 will not be universally popular Jedward do have quite a fan base."
"Post contest: Well it was not to be. Once again the UK song bombed. This time it sunk to an all time low. We finished in the last but one place as far as the scoring went. Should we now bow out of Eurovision? We Brits are so negative about Eurovision that perhaps we get the failures we deserve. Do we want to waste time and money in 2013 on what will be a foregone conclusion, that is defeat for the UK? Surely enough is enough?"
For 2013 veteran female rocker Bonny Tyler failed to make a dent in Eurovision voting. On the night she had vocal problems but the song was also outclassed.
Pundits are predicting Molly may do well in Eurovision, but, we Brits have heard that one before.
Good luck to Molly who will preform her own composition "Children of the Universe".
From the sublime to the ridiculous