Thursday, May 18, 2006
Ireland Progress in Eurovision (Belgium Don't)
Belgium, one of the favourites of the 37 countries competing for this year's Eurovision Song Contest, has shockingly been eliminated at the semi-final stage.
With a French title Je T'Adore and English lyrics, it was felt that Kate Ryan (fine Belgian name) was on her way to possible victory but now recent chart success for the song will be mere compensation for not making Saturday's big date.
Irish entrant Brian Kennedy is safely through however with his 'heartfelt ballad with soaring vocals'. Yeah that's us alright. What's another heartfelt ballad with soaring vocals? But why Brian? Honestly, you leave a country for five minutes and this happens.
Why does any of this matter to America? Well, Riverdance is the easy answer. But if you've ever been to Jury's Cabaret then you might be familiar with many Irish entrants.
Who? Well, for starters Dickie Rock, Red Hurley, Butch Moore, Maxi, The Swarbriggs, Cathal Dunne, Linda Martin, and Colm T. Wilkinson. If ever a man was born to do one thing, Colm was born to sing. And Dana of course - though I can't think of anything that would remind you of her.
Back in 1992 when Yugoslavia was embroiled in civil war, I spent some time in the mountains of Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Everywhere I went, as people offered me a cigarette they would acknowledge they knew of Ireland by saying two names. U2 and Johnny Logan. Yohnny, as they called him, was because of Eurovision. I've no idea who U2 is.
Or maybe it just matters to you that Eurovision gave you ABBA, and ABBA gave you, gave you, gave you, a man after midnight.
Incidentally Germany is represented this year by an Australian performing American Country & Western in a band called Texas Lightning. Bear that in mind when Europeans laugh at Branson.
If Europe has a collective sense of humour, expect Finland to win this year. Time was I'd go drinking with the lads in town on a Eurovision Saturday night, and win money by betting on the contest - with drunks. Ah, memories.
• Lordi Lordi Me