The Eurovision 2018 Review: Day 21

Diplomacy. It’s a skill one accrues almost by default over the years. Your co-worker’s dishwater-weak tea they bring you with a smile every time it’s their round in the office. You grin, nod politely and take an over-eager sip while trying to appear suitably quenched. The present your auntie buys you each year that you know is going straight to the top of the wardrobe. Greeted immediate-post-unwrap as though it’s the very gift your every second on this Earth has been leading up to receiving.

So, yeh, diplomacy. It’s worth brushing up on yours just in case a lovely Icelandic person asks you what you reckon to their country’s Eurovision song this year.

Because, to be frank, it’s a horrible, gloopy syrupy mess. The fact its title almost sounds like the place you went to buy your chart CD singles in the early ’90s is about the only thing Our Choice has going for it right now.

Just listen to those lyrics. There’s so much peace, love and holding hands in there that this could be one of the most subtle parodies of Eurovision ever composed. I’m still waiting for the moment when the camera pans around the green room hopefuls at the first semi-final and Armando Iannucci is sat there, arms folded, winking at the camera because he’s had us fooled all this time.

Let’s just take some of those lines out of context, with apologies in advance to anyone reading this who either has to keep their sugar intake down or is in footwear which makes toe curling a particularly painful experience.

  • “Tiny traces of life’s joy and sorrow/Why can’t we treat each other well”
  • “Different voices, cultures and people and places/Inside we’re all the same”
  • “Too many are dying in vain/Together we could ease the pain”

I’m sorry you had to read that. Well, I’m not really. Since I had to listen to that guff before writing this blogpost, it’s only fair you share a bit of the cringe too.

This is Sunday school stuff, written by the child who pulled their desk right up in front of Sunday school teacher and refused to talk to the other other kids because they were too busy sucking up to aforesaid Sunday school teacher. Sometimes naivety can be charming but in this instance, it’s borderline offensive. Does Ari really think we haven’t worked out the message in his song for ourselves by now? Or is he of the assumption that the general Eurovision viewer walks the streets, dawn to dusk, baseball bat firmly in their grasp, battering their fellow human because they have yet to hear the song which will make them reassess their feral ways? The Contest hasn’t been this patronising since Samantha Janus urged us to remember starving children moments after being dipped in the bargain bin at Claire’s Accessories.

And it’s really, really unfair that it’s Ari who gets to song this. There’s not even a chance of a vocalist with a mischievous twinkle lifting this beyond the realms of crud. He’s so sensible. If Celine Dion has show us anything in her tedium-laden career, it’s that boring people should never be pop stars.

God, I really want to bite something, this while package makes me so cross. Yes, that’s the formula Iceland REALLY thought would bring them Eurovision success this year. A sensible singer. Singing a nice song.

So, remember that diplomacy we were talking about earlier? If you do find yourself in Reykjavik in the days running up to this year’s Contest, make sure you tell them how marvellous Pollaponk was. Then ask for directions to Our Choice records.

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