Hello, bonjour, ola, guten tag and this year, Здравствуйте! Because this year’s Eurovision song contest will be beamed live from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, thanks to last year’s unapologetically navy blue winner Jamala and her frankly awful discordant puff-warble, ‘1944’.
But is it time to say au revoir, adiós, auf wiedersehen, до побачення and goodbye? Absolutely, if this year’s points tally from our much-Brexit-disgruntled neighbours are even more miserable than usual.
Tonight, we get to choose which act will humiliate themselves on our behalf in the BBC show, Eurovision: You decide. I love Danyl Johnson but I think Olivia Garcia’s ‘Freedom Hearts’ is my choice. Whatever we go for, it had better be a stronger contender than last year’s bland-o-strum entry ‘You’re Not Alone’ by Joe and Jake. Who could forget those lyrics? Everyone. Instantly. (Oh-a-woh)
Then again, the lads were cute and unlike Jamala, capable of singing in tune. The Ukranian was so out of breath, she couldn’t even harmonise with herself. And even if we’d had Kate Bush, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith in a superband we’d still have got naff all votes from much of the rest of Europe. Now, after Brexit, Theresa May May have guaranteed a zero point catastrophe on 20 May.
We’ve not seen that since 2003, when Jemini managed to ruin the already terrible song, ‘Cry Baby’ with discordant singing and the world’s largest pair of jeans.
It all makes tonight’s show feel more than a little futile. Blatantly biased bloc voting has been a major problem in Eurovision for years and even last year’s separate public and judging panels didn’t sway the prejudicial votes.
Hands up here, because Ireland and the UK are traditionally pretty generous to each other. But take into account Greece and their buddies Cyprus or Andorra, Portugal and Spain or Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as the former USSR countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova and it does feel as though we’re fighting a losing battle.
So is it time we have a Eurovision Brexit? It would be the biggest flounce and key change Eurovision has ever seen, considering our place at the contest’s top table. The BBC pumps hundreds of thousands of pounds (the corporation does not disclose exactly how much) into the Eurovision Song Contest every year, securing our place as one of the so-called ‘Big Five’ countries with an automatic pass to the final.
Eurovision would find itself in a considerably weaker position were we to exit the stage and maybe that would kick them into taking some drastic action to make sure songs are judged on their quality rather than their nationality.
My solution would be to say countries can’t give the top points to the same countries every year. So if, say, Greece gave Cyprus 8, 10 or 12 points in 2016, they’d have to shift their votes further afield this time around. Same for Ireland and the UK. Just an idea.
Either that or we could take responsibility for the dire situation ourselves and choose a decent song tonight. It’s not exactly rich pickings with some truly horrific efforts but for my money, we should go with Olivia Garcia and Freedom Hearts. Europe, give us points this time round or we’re off. We won’t be run down. We won’t stand down.