Gearing up: the final

Eurovision 2012 Baku

In the past week, there’s been a documentary on Azerbaijan’s dictatorial rule, headlines about the Spanish begging their act not to win- as if that were in fact a possibility, and #TheHump trending on Twitter.

More entertaining was Jedward’s use of waterworks in the semifinals (think more Charlie Dimmock than actual tears) and their back-to-back somersaults up to the stage. The semis saw the Russian babushki sticking to a tried and tested formula rather than any spectacular new tricks, which given their age is frankly for the best. The low point was a mash-up performance by previous Eurovision contestants, the worst of which was Lena (my Eurovision nemesis) who attempted to remix her winning song and duly failed, and a group attempt at Waterloo that fell flat on its face.

Always a key part of the Eurovision proceedings, Azerbaijan’s two female Eurovision hosts are better than most. They smile, they gest, their teleprompter reading actually passes off as somewhat natural. The third, last year’s winner Eldar Gasimov, has a bit of work to do, however, since he makes it possible to look both constipated and about to burst into laughter at the same time. Equally important are the BBC commentators, if only Scott Mills were doing the voiceovers tonight, but unfortunately it’s Graham Norton once again. Why? Why!?

And what of tonight? Unfortunately neither Trackshittaz or The Social Network Song made the cut. In some strange twist of fate, the Turkish entry did. There’s an unusually large Balkan contingent which could lead to some classic ‘political voting’, plus have been tipped to win. Why, I’m not entirely sure. It also remains to be seen whether Albania’s Rona Nishliu will reprise her dreadlock necklace.

My favourite to win is the Cypriot entry with Greece coming in a close second, although their current economic status would make their holding the 2013 contest very ‘interesting’. Does Englebert have a chance? He’s going first, so really it all depends on what outfit he wears – because that’s what will surely stick in people’s mind. In reality, I think Russian ladies are likely to strike the hearts of Europe, and Sweden’s Loreen has a good chance if combined with a stellar theatrical performance.

My favourite part of the night is, as always, the votes being announced. Cue big greetings, big smiles and fake city backdrops. @HouseofApcar will see you on the other side!

Image credit: Eurovision 2012 Baku