Tuesday, 9 September 2008


Deja-vu? Almost.

I watched in anticipation, hoping that there might be a little sense to this year’s competition after last year’s fiasco... I am not allowed to watch the Song Contest whilst under the influence of alcohol as I get very upset and um, vocal about the way countries vote – Frankie will attest to this, having endured the very spectacle. The dance competition last year brought on similar feelings...and this year, to be frank, was no exception...

I thought the addition of the judges would bring a wee bit o’ common sense to Glasgow but alas, that was not to be. First of all, Denmark...what the heck? It was an exquisite dance with a lovely interpretation of adding a ‘national element’ – but, oh dear, it wasn’t ballroom and it certainly wasn’t latin. Hence, broken rules. Hence penalisation? Nope, it’s Eurovision...ergo full marks from judges. It might as well have been Bruno Tonioli dishing out the marks. Rules? Pah!

Wee Vincent and Louisa put on a great performance and had a great song. It was a tenuous national element, but more than some countries. My mum did point out, uncharacteristically wittily, that the VT of rain playing behind Louisa and Vincent could be seen as our ‘national element.’ Personally, if I had voted, I would have voted for the Ukrainian couple, despite the madder than Karen Hardy grins. Lilia Podkopayeva danced a very precise-looking jive (though if you want a laugh, find the clip on youtube of her dancing a cha cha cha to Bananarama’s classic hit – ‘Wenus’) though, of course, her gymnastic training will have given her an advantage over most celebs.

The winners, Poland, were actually pretty good. So, as Len said, it wasn’t a travesty that they won...but there was no obvious national element...unless you count dressing in the colours of the Polish flag, which, when I think back to last year’s competition, they did the same thing then. Don’t understand the point of having rules and guidelines if there’s not going to be any punishment for breaking them. It’s like saying, oh well, we’d rather you didn’t take drugs before an Olympic 400m relay, but if you do, never mind, you can still have the gold...

On the whole there was too much Tango and Paso. The evening consisted of very little cha cha and absolutely NO samba. Hey, I know Brazil didn’t enter but surely someone could have thrown something in...most countries had little or no regard for the ‘national element’ requirement anyway. It kills me that Austria AGAIN didn’t seize the opportunity of dancing a Viennese Waltz to Strauss or similar...they have an obvious standard ballroom dance on a plate. Though, on the whole, it was nice to see a few bits and pieces of ballroom dance thrown in here and there as usually these things are dominated by latin.

Zee ‘Winkel’ Man Graham and Claudia Winkelman put on a good show, apart from the fact that Claudia was wearing an extremely ‘winkel’ dress which unfortunately did not suit her. (Note: ‘Winkel’ means ‘little’ in Eurospeak, the official language of Eurovision.) Another thing that struck me as bizarre was that I’m sure I heard them announce that Alexander Litvinenko was dancing...I assume un-thaliumed and raised from the dead. And what were the Dutch thinking in letting the guy sing? Whoever thought of that was clearly high at the time.

The most interesting thing that came out of the competition, however, is that there is actually such thing as a Finnish Tango. You learn something new everyday...

Hello everyone, Frankie is using the purple this time. Just a little aside from me, as I had the genius idea of taping the contests and watching it back the next day whilst fast-forwarding through all the rubbish VTs. Anyway, I agree that the judges were rather odd, particularly as there was one from Singapore called Gladys! What is the world of dance coming to? Speaking of judges, Len Goodman is obviously going for the title of Next Terry Wogan. Classic comment of the evening went to Greece: "Is their national element the hummous-coloured outfits?" Oh Len you are a god, I can't wait for you get to hold of the new celebs.

So yes, Lousia and Vincent put on a very good show and did rather well for the UK (ie not last). All in all a decent way to spend an evening while we wait for the real thing to come back. So, do we think this means we could have a third contest next year..?

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