Did you watch the Eurovision song contest at the weekend. I have to confess that I didn't. I decided that an evening at Mill Hill Services club discussing football would be more fun. But I've not been able to escape it since. There has been nothing else talked about on the Radio. So I had a listen to a few of the songs and a few clips. The UK got 'null points'. There has been a flurry of comments blaming this on everything from Geopolitical posturing to the fallout from Brexit. There have even been calls for us to leave the whole Eurovision family in high dudgeon. However the reason is far more mundane. It is this :-
The sad truth is that the reason that James Newman got 'null points' is exactly the same as why I would get 'null points' if I'd performed it. It wasn't a great song, James can't sing in tune live, he is not an oil painting and there was no joy in his delivery. I listened to the recorded version. As someone who runs a professional recording studio, I always hear when a voice has been heavily autotuned. It might work for a recording, where it can be patched up, but when you get up on stage there is no place to hide. I cannot think of an earthly reason why anyone would give a single vote for that performance. If I'd been asked, I'd have rated Mr Newmans chances of winning on a par with him scoring the winning goal for England at the next world cup.
So was there a big regional block voting conspiracy against us? Absolutely not. We simply put our hat in the ring with the wrong artist and the wrong song. There are stll plenty of countries in Europe who would vote for a UK song if it was any good. I doubt we'll ever win it again, even if we reformed the Beatles from the dead and put Amy Winehouse as the lead singer, but we'd get votes from all of the genuine music lovers who cared.
Right now there are a lot of European peoples that are none to well disposed against us. Those in the Russian sphere of influence see us the enemy and those who are pro EU see us as a malign force. But there are plenty of independent minded nations who would be perfectly well disposed towards us, if we didn't insult them with such an awful offering.
I have many European friends who have asked why we don't unleash the likes of Blur, Oasis, Celeste or Paul Weller on the contest. I've often wondered what the competition would make of a top notch performer with a killer pop song. I hear howls of 'That's not what Eurovision is all about!" but it's not about people who can't sing and are not exactly exciting to watch like James Newman. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against James. He is apparently a brilliant songwriter, so should be earning a shedload of money. He should have stuck to the day job.
So that is my view of the contest. But the reaction tells us everything about the UK today. Our collective heads are so up our collective backsides that we seem unable to see the wood from the trees. Rather than simply accept that we had an appalling entry, all of the whingeing about "Europeans don't like us" and "we should pull out" are quite sickening. Since when did the UK become bad losers who throw our toys out of the pram when we underperform and get what we deserve? When Finland knock us out of the World Cup or Ireland beat us in the Cricket World Cup will we throw our toys out of the pram and refuse to play anymore? I'm starting to think that we've collectively gone bonkers as a nation. We have had the highest death rate from Covid in Europe, but we are lecturing everyone else on how to manage pandemics. Sure our vaccine programme (run by the NHS which Boris would love to abolish) has been a success, but the companies that are making the vaccines are all multinationals. We were just a bit quicker on our feet buying up supplies.
The sad truth is that Eurovision has demostrated that whilst the rest of Europe knows how to enjoy themselves and not take it all too seriously, we are becoming a bunch of self intitled curmudgeons, who refuse to accept basic truths.
It's a shame because we have far and away the best music industry in the world. I know this for a fact because every day I see at least 20 people come through the studio who would have given a better performance. It seems that having a self entitled Prime Minister who is clearly not up to the job, but lives his life on a wave of bombastic bluster and failure has infected the rest of us. As I said, Eurovision is not my thing, but if we are going to enter, why don't we at least enter something that is either absolutely bloody amazing, ultra high camp or damn good fun and if we come last, have a damn good laugh about it.