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Eurovision: It was the beard wot won it

11 May 2014

11:10 AM

11 May 2014

11:10 AM

I enjoyed Fraser’s preview of the Eurovision Song Contest; I had not known that he was such a fan. You work with someone for years, oblivious to their dark secrets, their strange peccadilloes. It was typically brave of him to come out, in public.

I watched the thing, again. I thought the entry from The Netherlands was the best song I have ever heard at a Eurovision Song Contest, and by some margin. But that may be because Europop makes me feel ill, and their song definitely wasn’t Europop. It’s the first time I’ve heard a pedal steel in this competition. That being said, the Dutch have form as purveyors of catchy, country-lite, soft rock – anyone remember “Mississippi” by Pussycat?

[Alt-Text]


The bearded lady, or man, won, and would not have done so had he, or she, not been bearded. Or, conversely, had been dressed in a nice suit. An ok song, if you like that sort of thing, delivered perfectly well, if a little too histrionically for my tastes, it should have come – oh I dunno – fifth or sixth. But the beard swung it. The Austrian victory is perceived as a blow for the freedom lovin’ non-discriminatory live and let live West, against the dark homophobic forces of Putin. And it is true that every mention of Russia was greeted with loud boos from the auditorium and the voting (as usual, in fact) and a general south-east/north west divide. But the audience of the Eurovision Song Contest is not, I suspect, entirely representative of the general population. I reckon quite a few Austrians would out-Putin Putin on the merits of their entrant, Conchita Wurst. But they were probably watching a re-run of Downfall on the other side, and sobbing.

Our entry was unspeakably awful; pompous, tuneless, drivel.

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Show comments
  • http://www.sydneycbdhotels.net.au/ James Aldrich

    im lost here. totally confused. is he, is she? nice beard though. clean and looks to be well-maintained.. this person might have used a Thirteen culture beard product.

  • Lungfish66

    now piss off Rob

  • Lungfish66

    I could not give a fuck

  • Lungfish66

    I could not give a fuck

    • Lungfish66

      no honestly,

      • rodliddle

        what?

        • Lungfish66

          ignore the above. I was drunk

          • rodliddle

            Lol, as they say. I suspected it was that sorta thing.

        • Lungfish66

          it was a good night in the White Horse, Edwardstone. Apologies hero of our times. (ellohell)

  • Terence Hale

    Hi,
    Your photo says all, the psychology of music. Jesus on the cross dressed as a lady. Be it decadence, perversion or just business, it worked.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Apparently ‘Baroness’ Ashton has dispatched this icon of soft power in the back of one of her limos to Donetsk with instructions to stare at Putin’s cronies with those doleful eyes and demand peace love and understanding.

  • oldestel

    I missed the whole thing – heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken.
    Transponder, fix this man a gin.

    • Baron

      The best of the lot, eldestel, have one on Baron, too, he cannot stop chuckling.

      • oldestel

        Cheers, but where is transponder?
        The girl has gone wandering

        • transponder

          Yes, I’ve been wandering all through the corridors of the Speccie. Opened a few doors, too.

          • oldestel

            Stay away from the attic.

            • transponder

              Is there a man in a dress up there?

              • oldestel

                And a beard – scary

                • transponder

                  Yes, the beard’s the scariest bit!

    • transponder

      At your service, sir!

      • oldestel

        You do that splendidly. – worthy of a big tip.

  • emptyend

    We used to marvel that the Victorians could ever have put their fellow humans on exploitative display in their freak shows: “Roll up and see the Siamese twins! Roll up and see the bearded lady!”

    How ironic, then, in this politically correct, modern, ever so “up-itself”, media-driven, world that the abnormal is lionised and the “bearded lady” is voted the Eurovision winner by an army of national “juries” made up of media luvvies and self-appointed opinion-formers.

    Whilst Eurovision is and always has been light entertainment, it has now been morphed into a 21st century freak show.

    I predict that “The Elephant Man” will win in 2015 with a Billy Bragg & Bob Geldof composition about the demise of African wildlife. And that I’ll be watching something much more interesting and relevant.

  • ItsAlreadyTooLate

    The Eurovision Song Contest has long been a non-event, on a par with The Boat Race, the BBC should drop both from their schedule.

    • Holly

      HEY!
      I love the boat race. It is the four hours of meaningless tripe, before & after I detest. I always back the Cambridge team…I am thrilled about Man City as well….Well Done lads!
      Nice, unoffensive shade of blue…Unlike Oxford!

  • edithgrove

    Are we being dumbed down to the level of the Eurovision song contest? Has there been a secret directive? The Spectator writes about little else. Evan Davies devoted much of Today to it, although he did call the winner a drag queen (albeit with a good gimmick), rather than a freedom fighter.

    • Lungfish66

      I used to live just around the corner from Edith Grove. So what I know?

  • transponder

    About the Netherlands song: amazing, I listened for about the length of time it takes to decide you want to buy a house, and I was totally bored and unimpressed. Does it get better? My judgement is so different from so many other people’s, especially on aesthetics, that I suppose I should be grateful they don’t come for me in the night.

  • Bohemian Brit

    The sight of that bearded creature made my skin crawl. Sorry, but it/he/she did. I expect that makes me a bad person.

    • justejudexultionis

      No, it just means you have no sense of irony, or perhaps even humour.

      • Bohemian Brit

        Any man can dress up as a woman and ponce about. Doesn’t take any skill/ Why do you find that funny.

        • oldestel

          “Any man can dress up as a woman and ponce about. Doesn’t take any skill”

          Believe me, it ain’t easy. The heels are a killer.

      • Bohemian Brit

        Actually, let me just come out and say it. I wanted to sink my boot into his face.
        Cheers.

  • Michael Ray

    Spot on Rod.Netherlands was the only proper pop song in it.Of note it is also the most popular on iTunes download.Our entry was dreadful but no wurst than the winner.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Austria, the country that jailed an elderly British historian, not for what he said, but for they thought he might say. Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler. The country that keeps shooting itself in the foot.

    • M. Wenzl

      Britain, the birthplace of Fred West and f**kwits like you.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        So you admit I`m British. That`s a step in the right direction.
        Austria tries to claim it was a victim of the Nazis. But the reality is that Austria was a very willing collaborator.
        I realise that some Austrians may be offended by my comments. I do hope so. So thanks for the second bite of the cherry opportunity, Mein Herr.

        • M. Wenzl

          You’re right, many Austrians were very willing collaborators in Nazism. So were many other countries in Europe. Austrians are particularly afraid of acknowledging their complicity. But what does that have to do with the fact that Hitler was born there? Stalin was Georgian – does that say something about Georgia?

          Thanks for the history lesson on Beethoven. It may surprise you, there are Austrians who couldn’t care less where he was from. Although clearly you like to make judgements about entire peoples on the basis of their ‘national character’.

  • Neil Saunders

    It’s official: the world finally HAS gone mad.

    • Tron

      Leonard Cohen’s song The Future says it all.
      “things are going to slide, slide in all directions.
      Won’t be nothing,
      nothing you can measure anymore.”

  • Augustus

    “The bearded lady, or man, won, and would not have done so had he, or she, not been bearded”

    Or if he’d simply worn a suit.

    • transponder

      Yes, Rod said that in the next sentence. %^[/

      • Augustus

        Sorry, so he did. Don’t seem to have the time to read everything involving robed men with beards.

  • James Salvatore

    WURST
    German-speaking countries are famous for their wide variety of [[Wurst]]. It is eaten cold in slices, for example Zervelatwurst, or warm, for example Wiener Würstchen, Frankfurter Würstchen or Bratwurst. Less well known abroad are the various kinds of Streichwurst (eg Teewurst and Leberwurst): they are made from sausage that has been smoked and then chopped up so finely that it can be spread on bread. Bavarian Leberkäse is a seasoned meat mixture in the form of an oven-baked loaf, which can be bought warm or cold, in thick or thin slices.

    • Augustus

      Wow! The Wiener takes it all.

      • Slavic Girl

        I think it’s wrong to laugh at it, but it’s just so funny!

        • transponder

          Why is it wrong to laugh at it? I did, with gusto!

      • transponder

        Thanks for the guffaw!

  • e2toe4

    Excellent PR effort behind the song… no doubt the people responsible will be turning up with Axelrod, Crosby,Messina, and a few other money miners to augment effort at the coal face of spin through the forthcoming brand management campaigns …

    Actually, I hadn’t thought of this… but why can’t we have just half an hour of texting and app-ing instead of all day of folding paper into tin boxes..then a member of the jury reads out the votes and it all gets recorded on a big board to comments by witty people.

    I thought the show itself was good, and poked gentle..but witty… fun at itself..and the real time revenge attack on Graham Norton was very good…. all it lacked was a big tip up chair activated by the presenters..rather than the blown kiss of confetti.

  • Astrid Hill

    I think it’s years since it’s been about voting for the music/songs. The Twitter world were mostly just mocking it and I still can’t get over Fraser Nelson’s enthusiasm! I remember Mississippi (vaguely!) and quite liked it. *hides*

    • Roisin

      Nothing will surprise me about Fraser Nelson after his article claiming Beyonce was a conservative icon! Well, *one* thing would surprise me…

  • Owi Wowi

    Bearded Lady? Man in a dress

    • Liz

      With fake women parts a la blacking up.

      • Kaine

        Black-face re-enforced the pre-existing power structure. Drag can be used that way, but isn’t necessarily. Indeed rather often it is young men who feel profoundly disaffected who see in their female icons a strength and confidence they want to emulate.

        • Holly

          Which this bod did. Sang his little heart out, of his even bigger than normal chest, he did.
          Sadly, to some on here, I thought he did okay, on a par with the ‘undo'(my sad) entry.
          Playing catch with the dog did nothing for my concentration so I could be wrong though.

          If this bod was running around hurting people I could understand the umbridge, but as far as I can see, he is not doing anything bad, wrong, illegal or imoral, so leave him to enjoy what he does until the novelty of seeing a ‘bearded (drawn on) lady’ singinging his heart out.
          Jeez, it’s not like it has never happened before.
          Why do you think women buy thousands of pounds of hair removing gunk?

    • glurk

      Thought that the beard looked drawn on with eyebrow pencil. Was it? Does anyone know? I was lucky enough to be elsewhere at the time.

    • justejudexultionis

      Ooh, touchy about gender issues, aren’t we? Is there something you’re not telling us?

      • Owi Wowi

        No there isn’t – I confess all to the Spectator comments section. But I do know that putting on a dress does not a lady make – that’s akin to Minnie mouse being Mickey with lipstick and a bow in her hair.

      • transponder

        Touchy or he just has no time or interest in men that can’t be men? — Signed, a Woman (by nature — unfortunately).

    • Holly

      Jealous, are we!

  • Anna Raccoon

    Yet again the Wurst singer wins Eurovision – it happens every year.

  • rtj1211

    One has to say that the alternative programming to avoid watching EVC was quite appalling – unbelievably useless.

    It still didn’t make me waste 3hrs of life listening though.

  • balance_and_reason

    I swear you could not make it up in the weirdest boundary science fiction….Conchita Sausage….a transvestite Jesus double..Marvellous……..a fitting denouement for the ESC and amusing that all the RC countries gave the act the big thumbs up, thank you world.

    • David

      And do you know what Conchita is Spanish slang for? When you know this the name makes complete sense!

      • balance_and_reason

        Of coarse….it all makes sense….very mittel euro trash…was Mr Max Clifford involved?

      • EF

        I was wondering why you didn’t post the meaning if Choncita, now I know and yes it does now make sense!

    • transponder

      Whoever thought that the Decline of the West would be expressed in a pop contest?

      • balance_and_reason

        A million tiny tears in the fabric of society, the revolution continues, the ghost of Beria smiles.The useful idiots clone themselves at our expense in our own universities.

        • transponder

          They do indeed.

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