Liam Rudden: It could be time to hold a Eurovision referendum

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POOR Bonnie Tyler, she didn’t stand a chance. The throaty rasp that brought her fame and fortune on hits such as Total Eclipse Of The Heart and Holding Out For A Hero is now just a raspy throat. Her voice sounded shot to hell.

Maybe it was all the promotional appearances forced on her in the lead-up to this year’s Eurovision, or just maybe, at the age of 61, she was finding it hard to keep up with the hyperactive Euro-bunnies who have, over the decade, transformed the Eurovision Song Contest into a unashamedly camp and often crass, high-energy song-fest.

Thankfully, however, the usual screams of political block voting on Saturday didn’t come from the UK. No, apparently it’s the Germans’ turn to feel hard done by after Cascada failed to ignite the hall with Glorious, a great dance track that, on the night, proved a dud. The current economic crisis has isolated Germany, was the claim.

Personally, I blame Natalie Horler’s heels, which would have made Frank-n-Furter think twice. And that’s before I touch on her performance, which was, well, not good. But at least she had a decent song.

The last two UK entries - you’ll remember the disaster that was Engelbert Humperdinck - may have cut it back when Katie Boyle hosted what was then a cosy ballad-fest, but no more.

When Eurovision came to the Usher Hall in 1972 there were 18 entries, this year there were 39 some at the top of their game, others happy to ham it up. All desperate to win.

If anything is now clear, it is that past-their-sell-by date icons (no matter how lovely), reality TV wannabes, ‘boy’ bands well into their ‘vintage teenage’ years, and Scooch do not impress our European rivals.

Still, the BBC seem determined to ignore the fact that all they really need is to find an entry who can actually sing and a song that is well constructed with an instant hook. The talent is out there, if only they cast their net wide enough.

The only other option is to follow the example, allegedly set by Azerbaijan, and buy votes... No, surely they wouldn’t.. would they?

I think Eurovision just got serious.