Some critics have said that you can’t spoof Eurovision because it’s already so self-aware that it’s a satire of itself. Those critics are nitwits. Let me tell you: if you like anything about Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams or Eurovision, you’ll love this movie, and you’re guaranteed to cry like a baby at the end (unless you are hard-hearted, in which case you don’t like Eurovision anyway). The thing that works so well about the film is that the humour is affectionate rather than spiteful, and the film absolutely gets the ‘spirit’ of Eurovision.
Ferrell and McAdams play two musical Icelanders from a small fishing village who are obsessed with making it in Eurovision. They make offerings to the local elves, they play weddings to perfect their skills, and they suffer the mockery of everyone they know (including Pierce Brosnan, who wonderfully plays the role of Ferrell’s long-suffering father). The head of the Icelandic bank is dead-set on Iceland never winning Eurovision (as it will bankrupt the country and reveal he’s been syphoning off funds), so he sees to it that the worst possible Icelandic band wins the national competition: Ferrell and McAdams (who are the band ‘Fire Saga’), by hook and by crook, therefore win through the nationals and make it to the semi-finals in Edinburgh. Enter the conniving Russian act (played superbly by Dan Stevens, with his entry song ‘Lion of Love’) looking to split up our romantically innocent Icelandic couple!
What more could you want? Oh, yes. Costumes. Check. Cheese. Check. Extreme camp. Check, darlings, check! Look, it’s the most watched movie in the world right now (making Netflix very happy), and there’s a good reason for that. The lockdown really isn’t that much fun, and this movie reminds us that we might just have fun again one day.
This year’s final is set for Saturday 16 May (8pm onwards). It’s coming to us from Rotterdam, the Netherlands (last year’s winners).
What’s the British entry like it? Who even is it? James Newman, with a song called ‘My Last Breath’. Let’s hope it’s not his last breath… cos otherwise he’ll ‘die on stage’! LOL.
But is it any good? Well, the promo video starts with too much heavy breathing from a dirty old man, if you ask me. But there are some nice hounds in some sort of aspen forest – pretty enough. Then young James pops up and starts rasping away – not surprised – it all looks a bit chilly to be honest, although it doesn’t deter the dirty old man from getting his clothes off. Beyond that, there are some very odd lyrics like ‘If we were deep sea divers, I’d give you my last breath.’ [Well, we’d both be dead then, wouldn’t we?] The song is blandly inoffensive, and then there’s a massive musical build based on a chorus of going woah ooo ooo ooo woah. By the numbers, my friends, by the numbers. Formulaic in the extreme.
Does it matter? It’ll be about Brexit maybe… and countries that still want to trade with us. Remember, last year, only Ireland gave us points. Pray, therefore, that you don’t get the UK in the sweepstake.
If you wanna judge the song for yourself, here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iS-lV909T4. Be warned, though: once you’ve heard it, you won’t be able to unhear it.
The Final of the Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place in Portugal (cos they won it last year) on Saturday 12 May 2018. The UK doesn’t need to go through the qualification rounds in the week before because the UK is one of the main funders/owners of the Eurovision Network. So there. The Network sells TV content to a whole range of countries not within Europe, and that’s why the Eurovision Song Contest often includes non-European countries (like Israel and Australia).
Is the UK’s entry for 2018 any good? Well… and I know I’ve said this about many failed UK entries in the past… I think we actually (really really this time, honestly) have a chance of winning. No, don’t laugh. Our song is by the elfin blonde SuRie, it’s a great Brexit relief song called ‘Storm’, it’s insanely catchy and it has some nice techno riffing. If we don’t have a strong showing with this, then I doubt we never will again.
Wanna check it out? Here it is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLGEx2x8xoo
Children of the Universe is the name of our entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 (from Copenhagen, 10 May)! Our singer is Molly Smotten-Downes. Who’s she? She’s a very decent singer with a great look – especially the pvc trousers. And the drummer in her band is ubercool to boot.
Are we gonna win? Yes. The lyrics are very ‘right on’ politically. The song is a bit of a ‘protest’ song, with a ‘power to the people’ refrain. Ukraine will like it. And it’s disco-rock, so it’ll get the scando vote. Could be a clean sweep for us. Get in! Wanna see the video? Here: