Can you hear the drums, Fernando? Eurovision fever is upon us! In these past few years, it seems more like a competition for Dancing Queens than songwriters. We have come a long way from a teenage Dana warbling about kittens and raindrops on roses; nowadays it is feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
Nevertheless, the shameless indulgence is what makes it all so charming. That, and Marty Whelan voicing all of our dads’ opinions such as ‘Come on, give us the twelve’ and the classic ‘Good girl, yourself!’ There are, however, a few key points to remember which are crucial to the full enjoyment of this spectacle.
Number One: The Eurovision Song Contest pure and utter silliness. The sooner you accept that, the better. It is innately frivolous in nature and there is far too much seriousness in the world without trying to impose any on such a madcap event. There will be jesters, props, ridiculous costumes and even more ridiculous lyrics. Just go with it. Remember that we once sent a turkey puppet to do our bidding.
Number Two: Try not to be disappointed when (sorry, I mean if) Ireland does not win, or even qualify this year. It hampers the fun when we lament our fall from grace and try to recapture the glory years. Sure, it would be great to win again. And yes, wasn’t Johnny Logan simply marvellous in the day. But we have been riding high on the success of Riverdance for twenty years now. It’s time to move on and strive for newer accomplishments.
DISCLAIMER: I adore Riverdance in all its forms and believe it to be the best cultural piece that Ireland has ever produced. It should be the national anthem.
Number Three: Avoid getting caught up in the hullabaloo of inter-country voting. Yes, it is a shame that bordering nations support each other and we get the short end of the stick due to our neighbour being the Atlantic Ocean. Alas, we have seen many a victory before despite our geographical shortcomings so we must not dwell on the tactical side of things. Moreover, those that complain are usually the ones that tend not to vote. Did you vote for the United Kingdom last year? Thought not.
The Eurovision Song Contest may be a frivolous exhibition but it is fabulous fun. It is our own exclusive record of seven wins that catapulted a tiny island to an international stage. The fact that it cannot be Americanised is also a nice bonus.
Last year, it was even a triumph for the transsexual community, transporting the bearded lady from the circus to an arena of societal acceptance and celebration.
So prepare your rip-off skirts because this Thursday, Ireland will compete in the semi-final for a spot in Saturday’s ultimate showdown where the winner takes it all. The puns are back. Hold me now.