Wednesday, 1 May 2019

We heal each others’ wounds with songs

Oto Nemsadze
Keep on Going

It's not that long ago that the Eurovision audience- largely bored local dignatories in the host countries- were expected to sit still, keep quiet and politely applaud each miserable entry. But ever since the Eastern Europeans started holding it in giant stadiums and cheap air travel meant fans could actually get there, the audience and its cheering and costumes and what our friends in the east brand as "exuberance" have been a big part of the show - holding up their phone torches for the middle eight of ballads, making us look like wankers by dressing in full Union Jack suits behind presenter links, and waving their flags. Their massive flags.

This became a particular problem in Dusseldorf 2011 when the host broadcaster took the controversial decision to allow the fans on the floor of the stadium to ACTUALLY STAND UP for the first time- they did so with some gusto, but to the surprise of NDR it appears they'd all brought flags on 3ft long poles - rendering various camera shots ruined by some pillock waving a massive Spanish flag in front of Kati Wolf's face.

Ever since they've got narkier and narkier about what you can't take in - glass bottles, lasers, food - all fair enough. Lots of it you can't take on a plane either like knives and shampoo. But I'm pottering away this afternoon and Twitter tells me that the EBU have released a bingo card poster of the things you can't take this year and you think to yourself- christ, has this really happened?

Oto NemsadzeDo people sometimes come with their bloody luggage? Chairs! ("Sorry, I didn't know if you'd have any"). Trolleys! WHO BRINGS A HAMMER TO A EUROVISION SEMI? Sawblades! LADDERS! HANDCUFFS! Basically I'm assuming that some kinky Georgian handyman must have pitched up one year without a hotel to stay in, and as a result you can't even take a bloody camera this year. Or a four gang extension lead. 

What? Georgia? Oh well there's two types of Georgian entry. There's banging disco bops where they try and piss Putin off, and there's tiresome, self absorbed ones that highlight "the roots of Abkhazian folklore and its similarity and common things with Georgian". It's so inaccessible as to be rude to be honest, and if this qualifies for Saturday night I'll eat my hat, my ladder, my helmet, three golf balls and some medicines without a prescription or justification.