Sorry, my poor long-suffering darlings: am I flooding you with trivial details about a TV programme which you have no intention of watching? Can’t be helped, I’m afraid. This is a time of the year when the readership of this blog does a small shift sideways, as inquisitive followers of the Eurovision Song Contest start popping by for updates, and one simply feels a certain duty to oblige.
Worry not, my loyal regulars: this time in a week, the madness will be over. (In other words, I’ll go back to posting once a week, mainly to apologise for only posting once a week. Every blogger needs a House Style, and this would appear to be mine.)
So, with that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s move onto Day Two, brought to you from the back row of the press conference centre.
Actually, let’s finish off Day One first of all.
Yesterday’s penultimate rehearsal came from Bosnia & Herzegovina, who have fielded a splendid bit of breast-beating Balkan balladry. This is the sort of stuff which I used to loathe – but with repeated exposure over the years, one’s ears become acclimatised.
A class act, this one. No silly costumes, no gimmicks, just a powerful and beautifully arranged song, delivered with sincerity and passion. This alone should make it stand out from the pack.
In stark contrast, Iceland‘s Silvia Night and her crew have piled on every gimmick they can think of, and then a few more besides. If this works on the night, then it will be great. However, the staging is so technically demanding that there is plenty of scope for things to misfire – as they did on several occasions during yesterday’s run-throughs.
In common with other responsible sites, I’m not going to give away any of Silvia’s surprises. Nevertheless, you should pay close attention to the lines which she delivers after her, um, descent. In the recorded version, and all the way through the rehersals, Silvia has been using A Certain Word Beginning With F. However, in the printed lyrics which appear in the official programme, the offending line has been rewritten to excise the word in question.
So, will Silvia dare to say “f**king” on Thursday night? Or will family values prevail? Time alone will tell. Look, I’m trying to ratchet up some tension here.
Silvia’s ensuing press conference was a triumph of Performance Art, which apparently caused some offence amongst the more ironically challenged members of the hack pack. She plays that Diva Bitch role to perfection, at all times, never once breaking out of character – and I, for one, admire her for it.
For our evening meal, Chig and I decided to place our trust in the catering team at the joint Ukrainian/Polish party, which was held in one of the side buildings at the official “Euroclub”. (A strange post-industrial complex, reminiscent of both the Tate Modern and Battersea Power Station. Only a bit diddier.)
What mouth-watering examples of their respective national cuisines would the Ukes and the Poles rustle up? Some tasty bits of sausage? Clever things with beetroot?
Um, not quite. Our supper ended up consisting entirely of tortilla crisps and olive tapenade. And vodka. Lots and lots of FREE vodka. (The portions they dole out are ginormous.)
Frankly darlings, I’m living off dust. Well, dust and fags, if I’m being entirely honest. Still, I should be able to squeeze into my nice new red-white-and-blue Paul Smith cowboy shirt by the end of the week, so it will All Be Worth It.
Bugger it, I’m missing Las Ketchup in the next room. Laters!