Self-proclaimed Eurovision expert Roy D Hacksaw is back with his annual misanthropic look at exactly why not a single country is going to win the Eurovision Song Contest this year – and especially not that one you like…
So it’s back to normal for 2022 – well as normal as it’s ever likely to get, I suppose. A whole load of acts that we scarcely know – plus a couple of familiar faces drinking at the trough of diminishing returns – all arrive in an attractive European city trying to win our affection. But we all know how this one goes, don’t we girls and boys.
So here’s our in annual in depth look at why we’re convinced that not one of the hopeful forty is going to come anywhere near winning Eurovision in Turin this year. And do you know what, if anything, this list is actually slightly better than last year for once (well, I only had to recycle a couple of gags this time).
Because, you know those painting by numbers kits? They’ve clearly been created with a lot of love and craft, and have even got some little artistic merit about them. But you never see them in art galleries or museums, do you – even the ones that are being ironic. Yeah, that.
Hang about – isn’t this Denmark from about three years ago? No, wait, The Netherlands? It’s like a song you’ve heard from a dozen countries over the ages, but not one of them sound like where they’re actually from – which’ll have the punters struggling to remember it come voting time.
Because it’s just so darned banging that the folks at home will simply assume it’s a misplaced interval act rather than a competing tune. And anyway, how many of us reckon she’s going to hit all of those more, how shall we say, challenging notes in that massive big sports hall there?
The electricity grids and water boards across Europe have already been alerted to the stage time of this one, ready to prepare themselves for the unprecedented demand for boiling kettles and flushing toilets nine seconds after the intro begins.
A good looking boy sings a spine-tingling bluesy swing quite beautifully, this is true. But we all know how this one goes – decent enough votes from the juries to perk up your interest, then negligible whisps from the punters to pull the rug out from under your feet afterwards. It’s a story as old as time.
Because the Spanish police will have organised an extradition sting to arrest alledged singer Ronnie Romero just as he’s about to take the stage following that nasty bit of business with this now ex-missus – who co-incidentally happened to be standing in the front row – putting Ronnie well within the 500 metre exclusion zone the court order set up, and rendering his performance thankfully illegal.
I know I joke about nobody wanting to win every year, but when songs like this win their own national finals so easily you kind of wonder if some countries are actually trying to willfully avoid a victory, just in case they have to attempt to put the thing on in these trying and uncertain times. I mean, what else would explain it?
I have a challenge to you all. Whistle this song right now. And those that can’t whistle, hum it. No stop, don’t go and listen to it first – see if you can dredge it from your memory drain. You can’t, can you, even though, like me, you do kinda like it. And no, the “You could be my only one” line on its own doesn’t count. Doomed, sadly.
I’ve got a friend who absolutely adores this song. Not only do they think it’s going to easily qualify, but they’ve marked it down as a possible outside contender for the win. Mind you, they said exactly the same thing about Zibbz, Black Smoke and Fyr og Flamme. I rest my case, m’lud.
Because everybody will have nodded off before the good bit.
“Yeah hello, is that Stefan? Good, good. It’s your agent here. I’ve got some bloke called Enio Morricone on the phone here. Yeah, he sounds a bit distant, and I can hear harps and shit in the background. Anyway, he says he wants his song back.”
Because man does not win on past glories alone – especially when you’ve got a chorus that doesn’t actually scan in any normal musical sense.
Because just for a laugh, someone dropped a few bumps of MDMA into Alvan’s coffee about half an hour before he came on stage, and after a slow start he came up instantly the very moment the beat came in. And if you thought he was boisterous during that first as-live performance video they showed us, oh my giddy aunt. By the end of their three minutes he’d climbed onto Martin Österdahl’s desk in his pants and kept relatedly telling him that he was good to go. It was all such a terrible mess.
Because it doesn’t matter how beautifully batshit the song is – if they just stand there like bored lemons in the way they did at the pre-parties they ain’t going to get anyone to remember them. They need a bloke on a unicycle at the very least.
“Malik mate? Yes hello. Quite inexplicably we’ve got both Ed Sheeran AND Eminem in our back office angrily exclaiming that they want their song back. And it’s all getting a bit lively…”
Amanda my friend, when did you last watch the news? A significant number of people tuning in to this show are genuinely concerned that they might actually die tomorrow for one horrible reason or another, so I’m not terribly sure they’re going to feel the same sentiment that you intended.
Because it’s the musical equivalent of a damp cardigan. Still, the hat and waistcoat alone should win them a handful of jury points.
Because even though it was clearly the best thing at the Irish final by a mile, and you’ve had it rolling through your head insistently ever since, you still know in your heart of hearts what an utterly embarrassing dog’s breakfast of a stage show RTÉ are going to throw at it with their ten bob budget come May, bless her eager little heart.
Because after that brief scare about their ultra heavy security not turning up, their ultra heavy security still actually thought there was a strike on, and their lad is still sat at the airport, nervously waiting for them to arrive.
Because even a song and performance this special and good isn’t going to beat the curse of the 21st century host entries. Although one suspects that it’s going to give it a jolly good go!
Because once the entire massed ranks of the crowd lustfully scream the (probably) banned word “PUSSY!” out at the top of their lungs, the seven-second profanity filter of at least two dozen competing countries will kick in, and their punters at home will see nought but a picture of a vase of flowers and some nice kittens for the following three minutes. It’ll still beat Slovenia, mind.
People in Lithuania: “It is so pleasing to us that the whole of Europe can see our beloved national singing hero performing to them on their TVs. We are so proud, and she’s going to do so very well.”
Everybody else: “What the fook is up with her hair?!”
Because a young fella in a fringed jacket was crouching quietly in the wings, waiting for Emma to reach the choruses of her drearily worthy plod before skimming across the stage shouting “RITMU” at the top of his lungs. People genuinely rang in and asked if they could vote for that instead.
Leaves on the line at Ungheni.
Because even though every Eurovision year needs a song exactly like this, they seldom finish any higher than fourteenth – at best. And quite often in their semi…
I can’t even muster the energy to devise a comedy gag about this one. It’s, y’know, alright, and would probably raise a moderate smile if I caught it on a playlist. But when has merely alright ever won anything. Just ask the Brits.
I’m sorry, did I walk into the sixth form’s end of term prefects’ sing-along by mistake? Yeah, that quiet goth girl who’s hardly said a word all year’s just got up to, erm, sing.
Because when you strip it down, all you’ve really got is a couple of blokes who used to famous wearing abstract dog heads and skipping about to the word Yum. Exactly what the juries are proven to love, eh.
Because if this was merely a video contest, this boy would be guaranteed at least a top three finish. But somehow, and I don’t know how, he manages to convert the dark charisma of his filmed performances into the look of a shy bloke who really doesn’t want to be there when you get him on stage in front of a crowd. Oh, and the song itself’s not a patch on any of his other more glacial hits, either.
This is that song. You know, the one we get every year that not one person can say a single bad thing about, that goes down in cult fandom from this day and forever more, but hardly a soul can muster the energy to actually vote for. What a pity.
Well, at least he looks like he’s having a nice time.
You know that they’re still going to finish top five, right?
Because at the climax of the song, the gates of heaven will open, and a stairway to the celestial firmament will cast down onto the stage. The good Saint Lauro knows that his time has come and ascends the glittering steps in a languid rock’n’roll fashion to sit at his maker’s right hand – a place he truly deserves to be. Sadly anyone who witnessed this event ended up with squashed melty heads like that Nazi dude at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark (erm, spoilers?), rendering them slightly unable to vote.
Because while you and I are utterly spellbound by a song centred around keeping healthy because Serbian musicians and artists are unable to get access to free universal healthcare, the civilians at home are just going to think she’s a slightly terrifying woman insistently washing her increasingly prune-like hands.
Oh heck, I thought I was joking when I mentioned the sixth form’s end of term prefects’ sing-along earlier. Only this time they seem to have brought along one of the teachers to play piano. How is this even here?
Well at least they won’t be coming entirely last this time, eh. What do you think constitutes a good result for Spain these days? Fifteenth?
Because it doesn’t matter how utterly adorable her gravelly, broken voice is, or how she totally charms the audience with this simple-yet-beautiful song. She decided to enter it the same year that an already very popular country entered a cracking tune when there was a war on. Bad planning, that.
A heart-warming old-fashioned ballad purred out by a big old lummox of a singer? Isn’t that the kind of thing that always finishes an unexpected sixth?
It’s the Friday night before the contest, an hour or so after the end of the jury final, and the folks in the office are starting to deconstruct the jury vote.
“Sir, sir, I thought you said the rap would put off the juries?”
“Yeah yeah, I know. Well look at past history of anything remotely hip hoppy in this contest. The juries traditionally loathe ’em, and we had every right to believe that would carry on through this year, despite everything.”
“Yeah, but we’d already factored them in for walking the televote, what with everything that’s going on out there and all. If they do this decently with the juries we’ve got an awfully complicated decision to make about where we hold the bloody thing next time. There’s only one thing for it…”
“No no, not that!”
“Yep, operation Fuck Up The Phone Vote is go. Those Russian call centres are going to come in handy for something after all…”
Because despite the fact with we’ve sent an incredible singer with a likeable demeanour and a stage presence that most of this year’s acts would absolutely kill for, he’s still lumbered with the same dreary major chord, mid-tempo, genre-less plod that we’ve been sending ever since Scooch embarrassed the blokes upstairs at the BBC (and yes, I have kinda erased Electro Velvet from my memory).
There you have it. When you consider the evidence we’ve displayed above I’m sure you’ll have to admit that absolutely none of them are going to actually win the thing this year. AGAIN! It’s almost written in the stars!
Ooh, and while I have your attention, my second novel, Worst. Eurovision. Ever. is out now and available via this link – www.earthislandbooks.com/product-page/worst-eurovision-ever-by-roy-d-hacksaw – It’s pretty much this annual ramble in long form anyway – so you’ll love it! (Possibly).