Why the UK will never win Eurovision again
By Michelle Corbett
Staring at the rubble of their Eurovision 2011 title hopes pop pillocks Duncan James and his man-band mates are no doubt feeling more than a bit ”ËBlue' after being stuffed by none other than Jedward.
The group's effort - optimistically entitled ”ËI Can' - may have overachieved with 100 points and the United Kingdom a none-too-shabby 11th place, but star-jumping and hyperventilating ahead with ”ËLipstick' X-Factor losers John and Edward Grimes finished eighth - meaning that yet again Ireland pipped us to the post.
It's all immaterial of course because tiny nation Azerbaijan won (heard of it? No, me neither) with ”ËRunning Scared' - a song with lyrics so chronically repetitive I'd wager Scouting For Girls are considering covering it.
Oil-rich (and therefore at immediate risk of being invaded by the US) Azerbaijan is surrounded by Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran - and when it came to each country dishing out their points boy didn't we know it!
Is the political balance of Europe really so delicate that it depends on nepotistic voting in a meaningless song contest?
Would Spain really give a donkey's dick if Portugal didn't give them 12 points?
Should we fear in the imminent withdrawal of IKEA's flat-pack furniture services given that we failed to score Sweden highly?
If Austria didn't back Germany, would they have a Teutonic tiff?
Kudos to Denmark for being one of the few nations to buck the trend and give Ireland 12 points.
Even our own judges played silly beggars ”â giving 12 points to Ireland instead of marvellous Moldova.
Wearing conical hats ”ËSo Lucky' singers Zdob and Zdub were my personal highlight of the night ”â conjuring up Devo and Electric Six with a laugh-out-loud performance that featured a trumpet-playing woman on a unicycle.
I honestly believe that the United Kingdom will never win Eurovision again because in an increasingly fragmented Europe, unless you're landlocked you're stuffed.
You could be the UK vocal equivalent of Lady Gaga straddling a lamb shank and still lose out to a merry band of Bosnian organ grinders thanks to our chronic lack of geographical allies.
That said, right now geography is the least of our concerns.
We've become far too serious a nation to prosper in a contest that is the ultimate in ”Ëso bad it's good' TV - hence why Jedward with their ridiculous haircuts and off-the-wall antics struck more of a chord with the judges than boring old Blue.
The sad fact is we're not the slightly awkward but irrepressibly endearing nation that once offered up Cliff Richard and Bucks Fizz.
We're about as welcome at Eurovision as Sarah Ferguson is at Buckingham Palace thanks to our ”Ëspecial relationship' with America and our war on terror.
As tonight's contest showed it's not about how good you are - it's about who you choose to buddy up with.