Wednesday 20 September 2017

Kevin Myers: Eurovision is like an Oscars ceremony, as staged by Borat. Why do we bother? To win is shameful; to lose, abysmal

Television can really broaden the mind. For example, TV was how -- on Tina Fey's sublime '30 Rock' -- I learnt the meaning of "snart"; it is to sneeze and fart simultaneously. Anyway, this is certainly the season for discussing television, being the last week of May. So no matter if the Wehrmacht's Army Group South has taken Teheran, Japanese troops have occupied Bombay and suicide bombers from the Tunbridge & District Ladies' Knitting Circle have blown up the local SS gauleiter, Obergruppenfuehrer Sean McBride; regardless, the Eurovision Song Contest still grinds on.

Forty-five nations competed this year, including such well-known European countries as Israel and Azerbaijan. I searched in vain for Brazil, Namibia and Pakistan, but no matter: merely a matter of time. At least India was there, in the person of the representative of the UK, Indian-born Engelbert Humperdinck, who says his real name is Gerry Dorsey. But no one is ever actually given a B-movie actor's name like Gerry Dorsey. His real name is probably something like Mohandas Patel. Either way, he was already famous when Jedward's grandparents were at it like knives. Apparently, he's had sex with some 2,000 women, which is quite modest: one new ride a year isn't exactly promiscuous, not even back when God was a lad. Takes some pluck, mind, having a bit of leg-over during the Black Death, or when the Mongol Hordes came to town.

Anyway, Engelbert Humparug was first to sing in the Eurovision final, which was sensible, because there was no reason to believe he was going to make it to the end of the show: I know I nearly didn't. Frankly, his song sounded just like the one he sang at Moses's bar-mitvah, and everything he's sung since. He was followed by his latest groupies, the Russian entry, a gaggle of ancient wheezing she-serfs who had clearly followed Mother Teresa's sterling example on the vexed question of daily moisturising. Their leader looked like Tutankhamun's nan. Their song was all about what it is to raise 25 children beside the Volga on two kopeks a year, a single turnip, and floggings thrice daily. Loosely translated, that is.

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