Friday, 22 May 2015

EUROVISION........AAARRGGHH.....Plus a bit of BGT.


So Eurovision is upon us again. Anyone who truly knows me knows this is my favourite time of year. From that moment in 1981 when Bobby and Mike ripped off the skirts belonging to Cheryl and Jay I was hooked. If Bucks Fizz had not existed chances are I would not have become irrevocably attached to this magical institution.

I actually have little to say on the subject, as yet, as I have only seen the semi finals. I reckon we stand a chance with this year's homegrown offering, but then I have always been a sucker for anything Charleston based. For those who switch off at the mere mentioning of Eurovision, we have sent Electro Velvet to represent us this year with a cheeky 1920s inspired song which I think is simply smashing, although I think I may be in the minority. Of course if we don't win we will blame it on tactical voting and the fact that Europe, nay the World, hates us.

The first semi final was a bit of a let down, a damp squib if you will. There seemed to be a plethora of ballads and a distinct lack of novelty. Lots of worthy songs about the planet and children but no fluff. This saddens me. As did the Finland entry not getting through. I think they had a strong song, Eurovisionally speaking, but they failed to make the cut. How Armenia got through I will never know. The second semi final was far more promising with wonderful offerings from Israel and Sweden. They played snippets from the countries already through and I look forward to Spain and Australia too. Unfortunately Australia don't truly understand Eurovision and have sent a song that is far too good so it will be interesting to see how that goes down. Of course, if they win we, the United Kingdon, may get a shot at hosting again as the contest won't be held in Australia. At least it would feel like we won. I, for one, can not wait for tomorrow night.

Onto other business. I have been meaning to write a few words in support of Alison Jiear's attempts at world domination (vocally speaking) on the ever popular "Britain's Got Talent". BGT is a guilty pleasure of mine I must admit (actually BGMT - Britain's Got More Talent is my true guilty pleasure. I have overwhelming yearnings to get my hands on Stephen Mulhearn) so the fact a true superstar has stepped up to the plate is going to make this series all the more sweeter.

I hate to be one of those people who pertain to know people and jump on bandwagons but I have a rather splendid claim to fame when it comes to Alison Jiear. I played her mother, Irene, in "Jerry Springer: The Opera" way back when. Ali was Shawntel, a curvaceous woman with aspirations to be a pole dancer. There is DVD evidence of this as it was shown on BBC2 and consequently put out on DVD (the last copy I saw in an actual shop was in Poundland, Wolverhampton!). I was not her original show mother, that accolade goes to the incomparable Valda Aviks, I just had the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time when she left, I was in the ensemble and Valda's first cover, so they gave me the opportunity to take on the job full time.

I joined the cast of Jerry not long after it opened to fill the gap left by Elen Mon Wayne who was going off to have babies (twins hence baby, plural) and the first time I heard Ali sing was on a cassette recording of the show I was given to aid my quick learning of the piece. From the moment "I just wanna dance" started I knew I would never tire of listening to her sing that song. I never did. I had goose bumps every single time she sang it (it is a blooming good song anyway, she just did something with it that took it to another place).

I can not express how pleased I am that she has taken the incredibly brave step of putting herself out there in this way. I know some people do not look favourably on "pros" (professional performers not the other type of pro!) having a go at these talent shows and think only people who work in Tesco or B&Q (other shops are available) should be allowed screen time but I say no! There are so many of us "pros" who get overlooked and find they can not move their career to the next level (I am not saying this is why Ali is doing it, her reasons are her own, I say this to show you the reasons I might, one day, have a go) and a teeny tiny bit of televisual exposure goes an awfully long way.

So The Incompetent Soprano is deffo Team Ali and may actually vote when the time comes. Although, maybe I shouldn't as whoever I vote for, in anything, never wins. This is the exact same reason that I will probably not vote for anyone in Eurovision either. I would hate to jinx it for someone.

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