Eurodan in English

May 20, 2004

Not that anybody really cares apart from me (and a few other fans), but Eurovision is dead, as far as I'm concerned.

It used to be something unique, drifting merrily along in its own musical genre, seeming oblivious and immune to the forces of Americanisation, globalisation and homogenisation which are turning the rest of Europe into the same place, where they sell the same Wall's Magnums everywhere, but the only way of telling you've crossed a border is that Wall's has changed to Ola, or Lagnese, or Iglo.

But no - the Eurovision Song Contest couldn't resist forever, and where a few years ago you had 24 songs each in the language of the country it represented, quaintly accompanied by an orchestra in some converted conference centre somewhere, it's now become some bloated version of Pop-Idol goes Europe.

If all the songs are in English, how can you tell what country they're from? Why label them at all? Why not just say 'song 1', 'song 2' and so on? Why try to turn the event into some sort of stadium-based MTV awards? If that was what I wanted to watch, I would turn over to MTV. At least then I could see Kylie rather than some sort of ersatz Avril Lavigne with no money (as Boyz so aptly put it).

And as for the 'political' voting... It's time to bring back juries. Televoting turns the whole thing into a circus - a desperate attempt to do anything - anything to attract/distract the attention of the listless viewer. In this karaoke/gong-show atmosphere, whoever can-cans the highest wins.

No... all good things must come to an end. It's just a pity I didn't see this one coming. Ah well...

Posted by Eurodan at 7:36 PM | Comments (3)

May 11, 2004

If you'd like to gain an insight into what daily work life is like for me, click here.

Mr Gratier who is profiled is an experienced, senior stalwart of the French booth, and far be it from me to compare myself with the likes of him, but my working conditions are pretty much the same, and it's not so easy for me to bring a camera in ;-)

Posted by Eurodan at 1:44 PM | Comments (1)

May 8, 2004

It's that time of year again. It doesn't seem possible, but the trees are in full leaf, the baby baa-lambs are gambling in the fields and the days are getting impossibly long.

It only means one thing. Yes, hello Eurovision!

Regular blog readers might have gathered that I have at least a passing interest in the aforementioned televisual extravaganza, and they're probably all desperately waiting for my (now traditional) tips for the top.

So, without any further ado, here are my picks from a frankly rather disappointing line-up:- (Click on the links to watch them)

Spain, un point This really isn't my thing, but he has a sort of puppy-dog charm and this year it seems that even being vaguely normal can't be taken for granted...

Norway, deux points It's a bit Peter Cetera-esque, but the chorus is quite infectious. Not a classic, though...

Poland, trois points After last year's linguistic extravaganza I had high hopes for Poland this year. But it's English only, I'm afraid. I hate to admit to liking this, but there we are...

Russia, quatre points Not the most original song in the world, and she's not TaTu, but it's got quite a catchy hook.

United Kingdom, cinq points I'm beginning to get a bit bored of this song, I'm afraid. But at least he sings in tune - which is a marked improvement over last year.

Iceland, six points Rather odd lyrics which sound a bit like a Dulux advert ("blend your colours with my blue"), but a great voice and he, well, has something. And he's from Iceland.

Belgium, sept points Well I had to give them a fairly decent score - I haven't had my permanent residence card approved yet...

Netherlands, huit points I really like this. And one of them is Belgian, you know...

Germany, dix points Fantastic voice, and the song's not bad either. I think he could do with separating his eyebrows, though...

Sweden, douze points The singer, Lena Philipsson, has been trying on and off for nearly twenty years to win the national finals and represent her country. Now there's dedication. And I'm not sure that anyone will believe me when I say that this really is my favourite and the fact it's from Sweden has nothing to do with it!

Posted by Eurodan at 11:12 PM | Comments (7)

May 2, 2004

And then there were 25

Belgium celebrated enlargement as only Belgium can, with large portions of food and surrealism, although not always at the same time.

On the eve of enlargement, we watched the choir sing (inexplicably) Carmina Burana and the inescapable Ode to Joy, listened to the Belgian Prime Minister making a speech (Flemish, French and dodgy English), felt the heavens open and watched as the hot air balloons were inflated, only to be promptly deflated when someone realised that the prevailing winds would blow them all directly into the flight path of Brussels National Airport. Then the amassed dignitaries and politicians were all led away from the stage by the childrens' choir. I haven't seen them since.

And then the Big Day came, and the European district turned into a sort of European Union Enlargement version of gay pride. We wandered around a big, sunny park, collecting leaflets, waving flags and eating. The Estonian porridge was a big hit, apparently, although I ended up with something Danish.

It was fabulous, of course - and quite moving at times. I was even interviewed by Polish television (and have probably single-handedly destroyed the reputation of the Commission's language services by claiming to be an interpreter and then speaking truly pidgin Polish).

Still - all in all it was a weekend where everyone had fun, tried out new snack food, watched fireworks, listened to Beethoven and saw live link-ups to politicians crossing borders at midnight.

Except for viewers in the UK, who had their own programme. Snooker, I believe.

Posted by Eurodan at 10:33 PM | Comments (1)

Back to blog