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Sunday, 4 January 2009

Eurovision: Your Country Needs You, BBC1

Did we like it?
The mission to revive the UK's Eurovision Song Contest hopes, spearheaded by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Graham Norton, begins in a grotesque and pathetic way and will, we can clearly predict, end in abject failure, even without blaming block voting.

What was good about it?

• The gaudy title sequence (until it got to ALW in the Lord Kitchener pose)
• We laughed once, when The Twins (Sheffield checkout blondies Francine and Nicola) talked about their inspiring granddad while holding up a photograph of the back of his bald head.

What was bad about it?
• Talent show overhype: "Andrew Lloyd Webber faces the biggest challenge of his career. His mission? To win the Eurovision Song Contest." Don't take us for mugs, BBC.
• The naff conceit of conducting the "mission" from Eurovision HQ, a war bunker where ALW and Graham are assisted by Miss Frobisher, the posh bespectacled secretary (actually, it's Lucy Chalkley acting as if she's in a Bond movie) delivering her "classified information" and organising his busy schedule.
• Operation Moscow: ALW's interview with Vladimir Putin – uncomfortable and pointless despite some coaching from John Humphrys (you'd have thought he would have been above such rot!) – followed by a meeting with Russian Eurovision fans who were coerced into getting the country to vote for the UK in May. The jolly gang would probably have an easier time stamping out the Kremlin-led corruption, greed and brutality now endemic in the country.
• Smarmy ALW then went grovelling for votes in Warsaw and Budapest and at an ambassador's reception.
• The "successful" acts who emerged from the ramshackle, random selection process to compete in the live shows are just so bland. They are of a standard to maybe make The X Factor boot camp before going home in tears. The half dozen hopefuls are Damian (a ten-a-penny club singer), Emperors of Soul (JLS with fat bellies), Charlotte (a southern Diana Vickers), The Twins (a bit like that Big Brother pair from a couple of years back, with added sobbing), Mark (cheesy, cheery musical star) and Jade ("Her voice isn't great but she looks gorgeous," was ALW's underwhelming opinion).
• Footage of BBC news outlets lapping up the details of ALW's mission, typical of the self regarding nonsense shoved into its news programmes these days.
• The messages of support to ALW from the Saturdays, McFly and Brucie.

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