Europa! Há um continente que nos separa….

Eurovision song contest presenters 2015

So I’ve built another couple of bridges and made it all the way to Europe’s southwestern most outpost of Portugal via a little stopover in Heathrow. How depressing to arrive at an airport with no Eurovision logos, banners and flags although for some reason they’ve adorned terminal three with pianos. Some playing themselves and some not, bizarre!

I managed to secure a slightly more spacious seat up the front in order to be able to properly concentrate on last night’s semi avec Mills et Giedroyc with a cameo supporting roll from us and a gaggle of other fannies at the interval. I’ve recovered from my non speaking appearance, hey I’ve featured in a show (albeit mute) and that’s quite cool.

Scott Mills has been doing his homework and the research showed in a confident and solid performance up on the balcony. Mel Giedroyc has also done her research but, in doing so, I think she felt compelled to tell us everything she’s crammed into her head about every participant. It’s a rookie error for a commentator. Remember the average viewer (ie. not us mentalists who sit through umpteen viewings of these songs) is seeing it for the first time. She was force feeding us comparisons of the artists and their outfits etc. to popular characters in modern British art and culture but it was too much too soon. Let the viewer soak it up and then add the references as we go. It felt like she had to blurt out all her ‘funny’ or ‘corny’ witticisms in the first ten minutes and wasn’t that funny and actually quite annoying. I counted three ‘eurovish’s, two shortenings of Conchita to ‘Conheets’ and worst of all a ‘wowsers trousers’ comment. Jeez, do BBC THREE have a week long residential course that BBC staff go on to convert otherwise sensible and quite humorous presenters into waffling idiots!? So she ‘overcooked’ the commentary basically. A tad harsh I know but I was wound up by it and and I normally like her. I’ll give her another chance on Thursday as I’m good like that and we KNOW being a semi commentator is hard to perfect (see I can be constructive!)

Now I’m in Portugal for reasons totally unrelated to Eurovision but I’ll endeavour to keep abreast of developments from here and, clearly, will be watching the RTP coverage and learning all new Portuguese adjectives for disappointment, despair and resentment as Leonor fails to get over that musical ocean that divides her and her country folk with the rest of the continent. Chama a música…