CHRISTOPHER STEVENS gives his take on another night of humiliation

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS gives his take on another night of humiliation

05/23/2021

A Brexit snub? No, just a total turkey amid a feast of camp: As we score ‘nul points’ in Eurovision, CHRISTOPHER STEVENS gives his take on another night of humiliation on Euro-pop’s centre stage

For one brief moment, Britain’s Eurovision flag-bearer James Newman looked confident. As the acts arrived on stage, in front of a socially distanced audience in a Rotterdam arena, the stout, bearded songster was beaming and waving.

He wore a brown fur coat, possibly made from the skin of those unfortunate escaped bears at Whipsnade.

James looked fine… until Tix, the Norwegian performer, arrived in a floor-length white fur worthy of Zsa Zsa Gabor. Tix was smirking, like his coat was created from virgin polar bear, with a diamante jockstrap.

It’s a good job that holidays in Europe are verboten right now because, after the abject humiliation of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final

Outraged: ‘Even Australia gave us 0 points at Eurovision despite using being very generous with the Australia Trade Deal. Boris Johnson should cancel the deal now,’ one wrote. Pictured James Newman from the United Kingdom

Maneskin from Italy with the song ‘Zitti E Buoni’ performs during the Grand Final

Hurricane of Serbia during the 65th Eurovision Song Contest grand final held at Rotterdam Ahoy on May 22

At that moment, the horrible truth dawned on millions of Eurovision devotees across the UK. We’ve forgotten the meaning of ‘camp’.

That became very clear as James, pictured, performed his number, Embers. He might be a talented songwriter but he can’t sing a note. He struggled to give us even a rough idea of the melody. The spark went out of Embers long ago.

And while other nations put on spectacular displays, with angels and demons, flames and smoke bomb explosions, we had a couple of dancers miming with trombones. That looked cheesy when Dexys Midnight Runners tried it on Top Of The Pops 40 years ago.

It’s a good job that holidays in Europe are verboten right now because, after the abject humiliation of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final (BBC1), none of us from Britain dare show our faces. What a disgrace. Nul points from all 38 national juries, and nul points from the public… all the way from Portugal to Israel and even Australia. And we got what we deserved. Oh, we can blame Brexit and pretend that this Eurovision represented the peevish vengeance of the jilted EU nations. But we’d be fooling ourselves.

No doubt there is some politics in the voting. Greece gives Cyprus the maximum 12 points and they reciprocate. Moldova and Bulgaria do the same. A needy North Macedonia hands 12 points to Serbia and gets nothing in return, because their song has been knocked out in the semi-finals.

At least we had the satisfaction of knowing that it’s unlikely any of this would be happening at all if it wasn’t for the British-engineered vaccine.

After more than a year of Covid constrictions, this mad remedy was just what the doctor ordered – with indoor fireworks, stuttering video links, exuberant choreography and crazy eruptions of colour.

Katri Norrlin from Finland (RIGHT) issued points results from Finland against what Graham Norton joked appeared to be a Smelting Plant

Host Graham Norton during filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks Television Centre,

Even if he had trouble picking the eventual favourites (he called Norway’s effort ‘a terrific pop ballad’ and it came 18th), commentator Graham Norton was wickedly waspish. As Albania’s Anxhela stepped up amid guffs of red smoke, he murmured: ‘I’m not sure what she’s been eating.’

He did plead that Embers wasn’t the worst song in the contest. That was true, in a way – it was actually the worst song heard anywhere, probably since Tony Blair’s university band the Ugly Rumours split up in the mid-1970s.

Graham’s inability to recognise a winning number became blatant as he introduced Maneskin from Italy. The song was called Zitti E Buoni. ‘Maybe it’ll grow on me,’ Graham said. ‘Like mould on a bathroom ceiling.’ Maneskin were great, a heavy metal band with a female bassist who kept sticking her tongue out at the camera, and a vocalist who was stripped to the waist as he channelled Freddie Mercury.

Jendrik from Germany with the song ‘I Don’t Feel Hate’ performs during the Grand Final of the 65th annual Eurovision Song Contest

The Roop from Lithuania performs the song ‘Discoteque’ during the dress rehearsal of the final of the Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision winner Damiano David of Italian band Maneskin, pictured, second left, denied taking cocaine

Winners! Måneskin (pictured) from Italy took out the grand final, by scoring 524 points with their song Ziitti e buoni

They scored a triumphant 524 points, easily beating the second-placed French chanteuse, Barbara Pravi. She threw herself into a wailing ballad that had Frenchmen everywhere sobbing into their Pernod.

Israel’s entry was a trained ballerina called Eden Alene. The song was forgettable except for the final note, a B6. I thought B6 was a vitamin, but Graham assured us it was the highest note ever sung on Eurovision. Bats fell out of the air in confusion.

Germany’s skinny singer looked like the entertainer at a birthday party for a four-year-old. Wearing a maniac’s grin and high-stepping like a Lipizzaner horse, he seemed on the brink of producing balloons and twisting them into animals.

Instead, he played the ukulele, and sang: ‘I don’t feel hate.’ Graham did: ‘It’s a bit like a children’s educational song about Don’t Eat Soap.’

Hurricane from Serbia looked like the older Kardashian women doing karaoke. Manizha from Russia arrived in a dress the size and shape of a VW Beetle, before opening a door in the side and stepping out in a red suit.

Everyone managed to do something wonderful and ridiculous… everyone except Britain.

Happy faces, catchy lyrics, fun and laughter, and a huge dollop of camp – that’s how you do Eurovision. Britain needs to rediscover it all.

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