As I type this, Mrs Steve and I are just getting around to watching last Saturday's episode of "Eurovision: Your Country Needs You". We saw it for the first time last week, and were mainly struck by the fact that none of the judges (including Lord Lloyd Webber himself) were capable of saying anything really bad about any of the acts, even when they were bloody terrible.
Would things improve this week? Well, each act has two songs to sing, so let's start with song one!
The complete package; a brilliantly performed song. Emma Bunton (professional mother, former ballroom dancer) thought he was a little to uptight to be "cool". Since when has "coolness" been important in a Eurovision act? And who made you arbiter of coolness? You're older than me, for fuck's sake!
Now that we've got HDTV, is it possible to throw pies at the acts? I've seen more meat on a Chicken McNugget. Apart from the first note, this was a well performed song. I'm not a fan of the breathy if-I-try-and-use-my-chest-voice-I-won't-hit-the-note style of singing, but I'll not be too fussed if Jade ends up representing us.
Emperors Of Soul
They're great, but they're not a Eurovision act. Hopefully fame will follow their appearance on this show - it will be richly deserved after this performance.
Oh, where to begin! Is it the fact that they're crying over the song being "a bit hard" when Palastinians are being blown to fuck in Gaza? Is it the fact that their entire performance was so out of tune it sounded like a sack of kittens being slowly minced by a rusty food processor? Or was it the fact that none of the judges had the decency to say, "Fuck me, that was the biggest pile of shit I've ever been subjected to in my entire life"?!
In an attempt to justify their performance, the Twins told us that they'd demonstrated their versatility by "performing in lots of different genrés", neglecting to add the crucial word, "badly". Lord Andrew of Theatreland said, "you do something very, very special when you sing together in harmony". If only they'd tried doing that during the song, eh?
Thank God that this was followed by the second song for each act, and thus we got to listen to a singer who was familiar with the startling concept of "singing in tune".
Song number two:
Excellent stuff, as expected. If this guy doesn't win, well, thinking about it, I wouldn't wish travelling to Russia to get beaten in a singing competition by Estonia ('cause that's what'll happen) on anyone. If he doesn't win, he'll still go far.
I'm surprised. Really. That was a great performance. Fair play, Skinny McThin.
Emperors of Soul
The opening harmony was quite painful, lads. In fact, I say that the lead line singer only accurately hit 50% of his notes in the entire song. Shame; despite all of this, you each still have more talent in your little finger than the Twins would have if you cloned each of them 12 times and added it all together.
Oh dear. They've not even started yet, but I get a terrible feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach, when Graham Norton announces that they're singing "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers - a song you should only attempt if your harmonies are spot on. As opposed to sounding as if you've each spent the week practicing the song separately whilst listening to the other one on a broken tape recorder.
Well, bugger me! It's not bad at all. So, Andrew, we've cracked it: if they win, write them a slow song and tell them not to fucking move! However, the last note sounded like it was falling down the stairs, and the one singing the harmony needed to be told to hit the note straight off (rather than sliding up to it in a crooning style) because her sister was doing likewise with the melody line and it sounded odd.
I still get the feeling that there's the real danger of Jemini all over again if The Twins end up representing us, though.
On browsing the Your Country Needs You website, it appears that The Twins made it to the X-Factor boot camp in 2008. Now, consider the utter shit that Simon Cowell has given recording contracts to. The Twins are, according to Simon, worse than any of them. Worse than Robson and Jerome. Worse than Leon Jackson (who, I hear you ask). And probably worse than you.
Apparently they have each taken over 80 driving lessons and still don't feel ready for their tests. Oh, and they chose the lead-up to their first performance to pass on their plan of a double wedding to their two boyfriends. Sorry, I mean ex-boyfriends. Well, I reckon probably are by now. Not the sharpest tools in the box, then.
Until they start singing, of course. Then, and only then, they are sharpness personified.