It is Eurovision Song Contest time.
Now, how the hell would I know that? You might ask, since I live on the far side of the world.
The answer is digital radio, and in particular SBS4. Normally, this excellent digital radio station quite simply streams the BBC World Service. I listen to it often, both at home, and in the car (which, rather surprisingly, has a digital radio facility). Except this month. During May, the SBS4 stream to BBC World Service has been cut off, and instead replaced by endless Eurovision pap.
It is no surprise that Australia loves the Eurovision Song contest. After all, this is the land of Kylie and Dani Minogue, and Strictly Ballroom and of Muriel’s Wedding. Not to mention Rolf Harris. No, certainly do not mention Rolf Harris. Slightly more surprising is that, these days, Australia has been allowed into the Eurovision Song contest. I suppose that, in a way, it’s yet another symptom of the collapse of the European dream, a collapse of the concept of the Golden Egg to be confined within European geographical boundaries.
If you can’t beat them, join them. I watched a bit of it tonight. Mostly, tedious shouting audiovisual spectacles with gimmicks. And so it was rather nice to see Portugal win, with a proper song.
The coverage here in Australia was hosted by Myf Warhurst, a pocket-sized Aussie presenter that almost any heterosexual male would like to wake up to in his bed, and Joel Creasey, who might be more to the taste of friends of Dorothy. It was slightly bizarre, on the TV, in that by the time it was broadcast here, everybody had already known that Portugal had won. However, they kept up the pretence that it was all going to be a big surprise. It is slightly odd, I suppose, the neither of the presenting team would present much sexual allure (given the sexual content of the whole event) to its principal audience, namely the ladies.
During the competition, a Ukrainian person by the name of Vitalii Sediuk crashed the stage, and presented his naked bottom to the millions watching. Curiously, he did so with an Australian flag around his shoulders. What was that about? The event took place in the Ukraine, he was Ukrainian, and so why would he be wearing an Australian flag? Is there is some odd cachet which attaches to being Australian for this sort of purpose?
Given the way that things have unfolded, perhaps so should be a couple of alternative prizes? Perhaps one for the hunkiest male? And another for the most gorgeous, or at least most obviously alluring, woman? Certainly, the original core of all of this – the best song – seems to have been somewhat overwhelmed, and since Hollywood is prepared to give up prizes for the best supporting coffee maker, the best production company lawyers’ paralegal, the leading actor who has snorted the most cocaine and so forth, perhaps there should be more than one prize the Eurovision?
Anyway, it is all very silly. Perhaps that is not such a bad thing.