Monsters. Five sisters from Denmark in skimpy outfits. An abundance of cheesey ballads. Short skirts. Politics. Being anti-france. It could only be one globally televised event: The Eurovision Song Contest 2006.
As usual the standard of song was atrocious. Weak lyrical efforts about the heart, disco beats bashed out in minutes, songs based on football terrace anthems: it seems that there is an entire style of song that is only suited to the Eurovision. The UK's entry, jesus christ. 'Teenage Life', it was called, and it was about as out of touch with British teenagers as you could get. The 'rapper' Daz Sampson, looked a) about 35 and b) as if he'd just left the kebab shop where he worked. So PAINFUL. Surprisingly, it picked up a few points and we didn't do as badly as 2 years ago when we finished 2nd last (though that might have had something to do with the Iraq war). Finland's entry, Lordi, bucked the love balled/cheesy disco trend with an all out mock heavy metal song, dressing up like extras from the Lord Of The Rings. And won. Oh.
But the Eurovision isn't, and probably never has been, about music. The tactical voting was out again in ever-so-obvious force: particularly the Scandinavian and Eastern European countries, who clustered around each other all night, exchanging maximum points with each other. The countries with enough clout to go it alone globally (in the real world, you might say, outside of Finnish Orcs and Danish meat) such as France and UK suffered. France in fact came perilously close to not getting a point at all. That would have been the creme de la creme of a night of purely comical entertainment.
It's lucky that the Eurovision is so out of touch with music, because the British votes were diabolical. Surprisingly, in my view, voting in the Irish song (a below average Westlife affair) as third best, we still saved our ludicrous votes for the top 2 spots. Voting in Lithuania's entry as second was a joke. The entry itself was a joke: 6 men all about 40, singing "We are the winners of Eurovision! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote!" almost endlessly, in the style of football hooligans. Yet we deemed that to be the second best song. Naturally though, the British and their eye for the ironic followed suit with most other countries and awarded the Finnish monsters maximum points for their Iron Maiden pastiche. Full marks for the dressing up. The British appreciate effort.
Sadly though, it only seemed to further confirmed the trend seen in the other programme where public voting features so much, Big Brother: that the British tv-watching voting public will always vote for the circus freaks, the spectacle and the ridiculous.