COUCH POTATO: The unfiltered, mad brilliance of Eurovision semi-finals

South Wales Argus: Great Britain Eurovision Song Contest entry performer Molly during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, south London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 1, 2014. Photo cre Great Britain Eurovision Song Contest entry performer Molly during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, south London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 1, 2014. Photo cre

UNLESS my eyes and ears were deceiving me on Tuesday night, Latvia’s answer to the “Hey! Ho!” Lumineers folk band were going all Mary Berry on us.

Take it away, Aarzemnieki. “I’ve got a cake to bake, I’ve got no clue at all. I’ve got a cake to bake, I haven’t done that before. Don’t be proud mate, please don’t bother, go come on and ask your mother how to bake, how to bake, bake that cake.”

A jaunty little ditty that would fit in nicely on CBeebies’ Big Cook, Little Cook.

Put a Waynetta Slob lookalike on violin, Noel Gallagher on the shaker and perform it in front of 11,000 flag-wavers in a Copenhagen arena, though, and you’ve got a different kind of beast.

A Eurovision Song Contest entry, direct from the unfiltered, mad brilliance of BBC3’s joyous semi-finals which, much like the superior Britain’s Got More Talent to its BGT mother show, reliably eclipse the grand final for entertainment.

That said, there was a darker than usual tone to proceedings this year.

Hersi Matmuja, from Albania, had a huge tattoo done of the double-headed black eagle from her country’s flag for the occasion and, probably as a consequence, was singing about anger management.

Hungary chose domestic child-beating as its uplifting subject matter.

And by the time Ukraine took to the stage with a song ominously called Tick-Tock, I was expecting the Russian Embassy to go into lockdown and the Kremlin to respond with a love song titled: “The Glorious Annexation of Crimea.”

Business was otherwise as usual.

The three Danish presenters, resembling arts faculty lecturers lost on a polytechnic’s campus, had the requisite lack of chemistry and mistaken belief they were creating TV comedy gold with exchanges like this:

“As hosts we’ve been asked a lot of questions these past few weeks. For instance, why three hosts?”

“Well, we tried seven but that was too many.”

The long winter nights must fly by in Denmark.

Still, they weren’t as useless as BBC’s Scott Mills and, in particular, Laura Whitmore who brought nothing to the party.

But this is Eurovision, home to show-saving acts like Conchita Wurst, the Austrian “bearded lady”, who’s actually a bearded bloke named Tom.

Belgium provided the enormous, Rik Waller-esque girth of Axel Hirsoux who initially had me thinking Poirot’s let himself go.

And colour-coordinated Icelandic Wiggles tribute band Pollapönk performed Centrefold, by The J Gelis Band, in the style of McBusted.

To my ears anyway. I was distracted by ZZ Top, in purple and orange boilersuits, on backing vocals.

They made it through to tomorrow night’s main event, alas minus the Latvian fabulous baker boys whose absence demonstrates how diluted Eurovision becomes by the final.

So there’ll be no repeat of their wonderfully broken English that had the opening lyrics as: “I’m nailed to the ice of the polar caps, found the raiders of the lost ark and solved a case for the genie as Tom Baker street.”

Haven’t we all?

They did, however, finally work out how to bake that cake: “Mix some dough, add some love, let it bake, wait for it.”

Clearly a useless recipe.

They didn’t say what gas mark to put the oven on.

This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

Rob Brydon’s Parky impression on The Trip To Italy.

EastEnder Danny Dyer dolled up like the seventh member of the Village People for Tina’s 1970s party.

Tracey the Queen Vic barmaid getting more lines in one MasterChef lunchtime than 29 years in Walford, plus Dyer’s main-course critique: “There’s nothing worse than a bit of cold parsnip.” Step aside, Jay Rayner.

C4’s The Island With Bear Grylls topped by the lads’ victory dance on lighting a fire after an entire day and night of trying.

And Frank Skinner telling Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard: “I often think television should just be puppets,” to their faces. Anyone got the number for Roland Rat’s agent?

This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

Britain’s Got Talent puppet Patsy May.

Sky1’s tired-looking 24: Live Another Day parodying itself.

Stephen Fry vanishing up his jacksie describing The Crucible at the World Snooker Final: “It is simply the omphalos, the navel stone, the very centre of all things snooker.”

Showbiz journalist Louise Gannon comparing Take That’s split to the JFK assassination, on When Corden Met Barlow.

EastEnders’ David Wicks on his mobile asking for the number of Walford police station, like the non-emergency 101 phone line doesn’t exist.

Good Morning Britain’s grammatically challenged news ticker and the agenda-setting content amounting to Andi Peters declaring: “Stay tuned to find out what’s the difference between Bakewell tarts and puddings.”

Comments (2)

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12:52pm Fri 9 May 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

"But this is Eurovision, home to show-saving acts like Conchita Wurst, the Austrian “bearded lady”, who’s actually a bearded bloke named Tom."

This is actually incorrect information, Argus. A quick google would have revealed that Conchita Wurst a.k.a. Tom Neuwirth actually identifies as a GENDER NEUTRAL person who prefers to be referred to by the FEMALE pronoun...ergo she is not "a bloke". Please change, as this constitutes inaccurate misinformation - imho hardly the stuff that newspapers deserve to be shortlisted for. Thanks.
"But this is Eurovision, home to show-saving acts like Conchita Wurst, the Austrian “bearded lady”, who’s actually a bearded bloke named Tom." This is actually incorrect information, Argus. A quick google would have revealed that Conchita Wurst a.k.a. Tom Neuwirth actually identifies as a GENDER NEUTRAL person who prefers to be referred to by the FEMALE pronoun...ergo she is not "a bloke". Please change, as this constitutes inaccurate misinformation - imho hardly the stuff that newspapers deserve to be shortlisted for. Thanks. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -2

3:22pm Sat 10 May 14

Limestonecowboy says...

If you cross a gender neutral with a gender positive & gender earth would this blow the circuit?
If you cross a gender neutral with a gender positive & gender earth would this blow the circuit? Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

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