Monday, February 02, 2009

Our Country Needs Help

While many anticipate and analyse the Oscar nominations and winners 6+ months before they're actually announced, the Eurovision Song Contest (however political and systematic it can often seem) is not quite as drawn-out a process. At least not yet anyway. The entries for the contest, taking place in Moscow on May 16th, have been flooding in over the past couple of weeks and the draw for the semi-final lineups was done last week, so I guess you could call the Eurovision coaster well and truly on its way.

The United Kingdom is among those who have submitted an entry, after a rather arduous and appalling X-Factor syle competition over the past five weeks. Much has been made of Andrew Lloyd Webber's role in this year's UK bid (he has written the song and had a big hand in narrowing down the hopefuls to sing it), but watching the show (titled Your Country Needs You) it really just feels like a way to exploit his previous attempts to find a Maria, Jason, and Nancy for his respective musicals. Thankfully, the only bearable contestant, Jade Ewen managed to win it, but maddeningly the song Lord Webber has penned is dreadful. All the bad things about his musicals rolled into one excruciating three-minute segment that's musically and lyrically banal and limited. It makes Andy Abraham's effort last year look mammoth and Daz Sampson's Teenage Life a total world-beater.

I'll be previewing the contest's entries in February and trying to find a gem among them. Most notably this year the organisers have finally changed the voting procedures from sole audience share in the hope of eliminating the clearly Eastern European bias. The solution: a jury system. Sounds like it could be just as controversial, but I'm all for change.

I'll leave you with this year's UK abomination entry...
Jade Ewen - "It's My Time"

3 comments:

Dave said...

"My time is my time..."

At least she can sing I guess. She seems a bit bland though. (Why don't they just send Leona Lewis?)

And there were total gems last year. 'Shady Lady' is still super-tastic.

p.s. Did you actually put yourself through this show every week?

Cal said...

We'll see if this new system allows it to be a fairer competition. If we start placing highly then maybe it won't be seen as that big a reputation-risk for someone well-known like Leona to give it a shot, although I expect we'd have to settle for someone a couple rungs lower.

Shady Lady is great but I was all about France's entry last year.

And yeah, I watched them all. I'm blaming it on X-Factor/Strictly/Celebrity Big Brother withdrawal. Dancing On Ice is still off-limits, though. Gotta have some integrity.

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