Once upon a time, there were four grown women…

One was called Filomena and looked like she was wearing her mum’s underwear to go down the shops in.

One was called Silvia and wasn’t afraid to blend into the background in uninteresting beige.

One was called Daniela and looked like a young Linda Martin while wearing some really baggy keks.

And the other? Well, she was called Catarina and you just knew that whatever gay bar she walked into, she’d own it with a quick snap of the fingers and wouldn’t be paying for a drink all night.

Together, they weren’t Fox Force Five. No, they were Fourtugal. The undeniable force coming to a Eurovision near you in May. And you just know Catarina is the boss. Try telling her you’re too busy rehearsing the links with the international juries to pop down the bakery for her morning custard tarts.

Basically, today’s announcement means that for the first time ever there will be four female presenters at Eurovision, besting the three fellas who did the job in Kyiv last year.

It’s a great message that will have people pasting massive paper crosses on glass ceilings throughout Europe but regardless of gender, it seems unwieldy.

The guess is that two will host the semis and another the final, perhaps with everyone getting a shout by doing a few minutes of green room duty. The sort of banter requiring an air of spontaneity which has become the earmark of recent Contests is tricky enough to share out between two so four is going to be a Gordian knot for the writers.

One thing we can all sleep soundly on, however. Nobody could ever be worse than the tripartite soulless vaccuum which guided us through all the fun in Baku 2012.

Anyway, must dash. Catarina’s caipirinha glass is empty and she’s giving me a glare.

Eurovision 2018: Sorting the UK treats from the chaff

Well, that was a long trip to the shops for some Murray Mints. Eight years after negotiating the aisles of Aldi, Dot is back in business (for the three or four of you that remember her) for Whoops Dragovic in a slightly different form than she was before. Call it a nip and tuck from a non-EBU sanctioned Botox clinic.

Here, you’ll hopefully find some views on what’s afoot in the Eurovision song-picking world and what better place to start than the supposed shortlist of six UK You Decide finalists posted up on the Digital Spy Eurovision forum earlier today.

Dot has put her awkwardly fitting researching pants on (the ones that chafe), in order to keep her alert at all times when rating the likelihood of these acts actually making it to Brighton on February 7 for the all-important anointing as the British representative in Lisbon this May.

But that’s been three pars of prattling now. Dot wants to be chafe-free as quickly as possible so let’s consider the evidence.

  1. Legends performed by Max Murphy

Oh, how the leaker likes to tease. If there’s one song title which has been rumbling around the You Decide jungle since the songwriting camps of summer 2017, it’s this. The chief reason is that there’s a chance, just possibly, this piece of what is struggling to break free of the term ‘tropical pop’ right now could be a potential contender in both Brighton and Lisbon.

Of course, ‘tropical’ as a definition throws up such musical notions as Amazulu’s Too Good To Be Forgotten and Ace Wilder’s Wild Child from last year’s Melodifestivalen, so as a term it’s as helpful as saying you’d like a green jumper for your birthday (what shade? what collar? a thick ‘un? a thin ‘un?).

It is the song title that won’t go away, however. So let’s move on to the singer.

If it’s the Max Murphy that appeared on The Voice in 2014, then his social media action isn’t giving many hints that he’s got something exciting up his rolled-up rockabilly sleeves.

Except…

On December 1, the Glasgow-based indie rocker (so would he feasibly be given some tropical pop to sing?) posted an otherwise innocuous tweet stating: “Good fun last night with my first ever photoshoot!” followed by the potentially teasing hashtag #undescoveredmusic (sic) among the not-so tropical #rhythmandblues

At the end of each hint, we’ll give a feasibility rating, based on any supporting evidence we can summon up (and you will notice, number one on the list is a far longer entry than all the others) . So…

The feasibility of Legends: Song 75%, Singer 20%

2. Home performed by Kelsey-Beth Crossley

We did say the other five would be more scant on detail (because, basically, Legends is the only song title most people have heard about via their various sources).

Kelsey-Beth is an actress with links to both Emmerdale and musical theatre (the header on her Twitter page shows her in a Scooch-style situation with X-Factor finalist Marcus Collins). Since she hasn’t updated her account since a retweet in October, no clues there. There’s no joy on her Instagram account either as it’s been new-snap-free since January 2014.

The feasibility of Home: Song N/A, Singer N/A

3. Rivers performed by Joe Astley

A quick look at this gentleman’s Twitter account shows he’s the lead singer of a band called The Back Pages with an old-school (and I can’t believe this is the second time such a word is being used so soon in the same post) rockabilly/Gene Vincent style which brings to mind that Presley-based *thing* Belgium sent a few years back.

There’s no other hintage of a Brighton/Portuguese variety here, although it seems Joe does play the Liverpool clubs rather often, so even if he is a big fib, I’m now feeling the need to pop along to one of his haunts and see what he’s all about.

(And before anyone asks, any family connection to Rick Astley is unbeknowns to the Never Gonna Give You Up crooner himself, although Joe has reached out to him on social media.

The feasibility of Rivers: Song N/A, Singer N/A

4. Want You Back performed by Judyshouse

To be honest, Justinshouse could be on this supposedly leaked list and we’d be none the wiser.

What’s even mire frustrating is that their Twitter account hasn’t been updated since 2011. The same applies for their Facebook page and considering the band has seven members, somebody would have to sit and wait in the green room for them anyway, so where’s the fun in that? For those who would like to find out more about this Christian ethos jazz group founded by the amazing Laura Mvula, give ’em a Google.

For now, we have no idea what they’re up to on February 7.

The feasibility of Want You Back: Song N/A, Singer N/A

5. Inferno performed by Anna Pancaldi

Finally. A nugget for you. Well, a nugget-ette.

A tweet to Anna from one of her fans enquired about the location of ‘Home’ on her recent output as it didn’t seem to be there. No real drama – except Home is one of the songs suggested to be o the shortlist, albeit performed by someone else.

Not only that, her touring schedule for the week of Eurovision: You Decide has a lovely gap on the 7th – with a London gig the next day.

London. That’s quite close to Brighton, isn’t it?

The feasibility of Inferno: Song N/A, Singer 20%

6. Swimming performed by Lucie Barat

At this juncture, we can only speculate at the watery nature of any song Lucie may or may not be singing. BUT there is this tweet from January 6 which Whoops Drag0vic may or may not have just over-analysed:

“Radio killed the video star… news coming! [imagine a V-for-victory and smily emoji here].

Well, the songs will (presumably) have their preview on Ken Bruce’s radio show as we get closer to the week of Eurovision: You Decide. Is this what Lucie has been hinting at? or has her DAB just fallen on Max Headroom and pulled his plug out? That’s really not for us to say.

The feasibility of Swimming: Song N/A, Singer 20%

So there you have it. A leaked list which we can only speculate about for another month. If you did want me to put my neck on the line so soon after Dot’s resurrection (hope I can still duck down that far), I’d say Legends is more or less nailed on and out of the six acts on the list, I’d be more confident of Lucie and Anna appearing than the others, with perhaps Home cropping up courtesy of a different singer.

Other than that, it’s speculation season! Enjoy it.

And we hope you’re pleased that Whoops Dragovic is back. Do leave us a comment.