Eurovision 2011: Live Blog

imageJoin in my live Eurovision Song Contest blog by commenting below, emailing me at, or finding me on Twitter – @neilmidgley.

23.28 Someone’s just tweeted that there are only 58 hotels listed on TripAdvisor for the whole of Azerbaijan. Eurovision’s just taken on a whole new post-Soviet dimension… Goodnight all!

23.19 Some of the crowd are on the pitch… We’re off to Azerbaijan next year. Good evening Baku!

23.03 It’s a four-horse race between Azerbaijan, Sweden, Ukraine and Bosnia. Shame Denmark have rather fallen out of contention – perhaps other countries didn’t like The Killing as much as we did…

22.58 Azerbaijan? Really??

22.48 This voting is all over the shop. Usually by this point, you pretty much have a winner. But not tonight. Jedward now in third place. But male totty from Sweden charming the girls and the gays across Europe, it seems…

22.40 The UK still in contention (just) after 11 countries voted. This NEVER happens.

22.37 So my prediction of triumph for Jedward was… woefully wrong.

22.33 Good lord. We’re in the lead. After four countries voting. If we can just hold this for the next 39 sets of points…

22.20 I worry about us Brits sneering at this interval show. Are we really that confident about our Olympic opening ceremony?

22.10 Right. Here’s my prediction. (Which will be dead wrong.) I wish that Hungary and their big mannish diva would win. But they won’t. Denmark was a great little tune, as was Austria. I wouldn’t write off Sweden. I don’t think France will place, and neither will the UK. If I had to bet right this minute… I’d put money on Jedward. I stand to be humiliated by that prediction – in about 10 minutes. Anybody want a cup of tea?

22.05 My cat’s just come home. He knows when to avoid the television.

22.00 So there we are. All 25 countries have performed. It wasn’t as relentlessly odd as usual, was it? Some proper songs and proper singers in there along the way. No doubt we’ll now have the German version of Riverdance while they count the votes. And then the little man who runs the EBU will stand up for his big moment, when they thank him for making it all possible, a bit like the auditors on the National Lottery.

21.55 When I was little, there was a kids’ show on ITV called Paperplay, with Susan Stranks (who is now a tireless advocated for children’s radio, by the way). Anyway. She had two day-glo spider puppet friends called Itsy and Bitsy, who were suspended against a black felt background. I am put in mind of them by Georgia’s costumes…

21.51 Sheila’s Wheels is the top motor insurer in Serbia, you know.

21.47 Dancing on Ice fans will remember how well the sand artist worked for Torvill and Dean. Oh dear, Ukraine

21.39 Yowzer. Is it me, or does one of these Icelandic lads have more than a touch of the Ricky Gervais about him?

21.34 Philip comments by email: ‘The “Romanian” entry is from Newton Aycliffe!? Perhaps we would have had a better shout with a singer from Gdansk…’

21.31 Call me old-fashioned, but the Azerbaijani girl-singer’s frock was a bit too voluptuous. More like a Playtex ad than a Eurovision entry. Shame, because it was another jaunty little tune. We must be due a heavy-rock nightmare any minute now.

21.26 Shame about the Austrian girl’s annoying asymmetic hairdo, because this is a cracking little song. And you can’t beat a bit of dry ice at Eurovision.

21.22 The Romanian entrant can’t change the world, but he sure can change the key. What a chirpy little tune.

21.14 Leigh Holmwood from The Sun reports from the press room in Dusseldorf that there were a few cheers for Blue – but nothing like the rousing response to Jedward and the Russians…

21.11 I can’t help thinking that if Blue had been shirtless on stage, and wearing blue suits in their background pictures, rather than the other way around, they might do better. They’re ever so pretty, but that’s about where it ends, isn’t it? I stick by my pre-show prediction: 17th place for the Royaume-Uni.

21.07 Ooh ooh it’s us everyone!

21.06 Why have Switzerland got a sad little violin on a stick? Did some cantons not cough up their Eurovision subs?

21.04 A couple of comments by email. Philip asks ‘Have I tuned in to the Song for a Bailout?’ and Nicki says Denmark is a safe bet so far. I wish I could agree with you Nicki, but I fear Jedward might just steal this one…

21.01 Italy are back in the Eurovision after over a decade’s absence. But neither Jamie Cullum nor Michael Buble needs to lose any sleep over *that* little effort, do they?

20.57 France’s entry is the bookies’ favourite, apparently, but I can’t see it myself. A touch Napoleonic if you ask me. Plus that’s not a tune you’ll find yourself whistling in Tesco. Unlike Hungary…

20.53 This Russian guy has Elvis’s quiff, Elvis’s jacket – and Elvis’s taste for pies, too, by the look of it.

20.47 Greece, meanwhile, appear to have just plucked a few angry lads from an anti-austerity riot for their entry. OK guys, OK, you can have your index-linked pensions back if you’ll just SHUSH.

20.41 Sweden’s entry has grown on me since the semi-final. Could be that he is implausibly handsome in 27 languages. Or could be that I noticed the key change this time.

20.37 I hate to say this, but if Europe has been drinking, Jedward just might win it. There’s something slightly genius about their rhinestone-Lego jackets and their shouty disco-ordination…

20.32 Who knew Hungary had it in them? The first proper pop song of the night. AND a shiny blue frock. AND legs up to here. AND a special ring for communicating with her home planet.

20.28 Lithuania. She’s signing: ‘I had to bleach my moustache four times cos we’re going out in HD.’

20.24 Denmark have made the mistake of sending a proper band, singing a proper song. They’ll probably come last.

20.20 This Bosnian dude is so old, it looks as if he’s made his jacket out of his car blanket.

20.15 Jeff Brazier’s singing for Finland. Will he do a bit of ice skating as well? In fact IMHO, Eurovision would be a lot better if there were a mandatory figure-skating element.

20.12 What is the German presenter telling us that we’re not allowed to do, so Graham has to talk over the top? Drive as fast as we like on motorways??

20.09 If the Germans have the strongest economy in Europe, but they still have to make a soccer stadium double up for Eurovision, we’re all in trouble.

20.05 Clearly the Germans couldn’t afford a warm-up guy, so the presenter is having to sing this little welcoming song.

20.02 It seems that Rufus Hound has learned German to take on duties as the male presenter tonight. Meanwhile his female colleague on the left looks like she’s had a very bloody fight to the death with Big Bird.

20.01 My prediction, by the way, is that Blue will come 17th. By golly and St George, though, I hope I’m wrong.

20.00 The EBU fanfare is the best tune we’ll hear all night.

19.49BST Eurovision fans on Twitter are getting restive as they’re forced to watch the execrable So You Think You Can Dance on BBC One in preparation for the big event. Me, I’m still tuned to QVC.

Gearbest TS - BT35A08 Bluetooth 3.0 Car Audio Music Receiver with Handsfree Function Mic
TS - BT35A08 Bluetooth 3.0 Car Audio Music Receiver with Handsfree Function Mic only $2.99