I was faced with a choice, at a difficult age. Would I write a book, or should I take to the stage

Monday, March 19


Somehow I managed to blag 2 tickets to the audience of the BBC show Making Your Mind Up, which is the show on which the UK works out what it will send to Eurovision. I attended this last night and these are my comments:

* It involved catching various trains out to the Maidstone Studios in the heart of gorgeous Bumfuck, County Kent!
* Jim and I waited in various queues upon arrival at said studios!
* And waited and waited!
* And were herded into a chilly marquee for some more waiting!
* An old dear and her little grandson nearly had their 'Vote Scooch' signs confiscated by the security people! (We later discovered that this lady and child were the mother and son of NATALIE POWERS from Scooch! Who we hope to meet later on! We just love POWERS!)
* More waiting! Someone plays Carola's song from last year over the PA but everyone is too cold to be very interested!
* Finally we are inserted, into the studio!
* It is extremely shiny and quite glamourous, the set, and precisely how I imagined going to a TV show audience would be! (cf the overall cheap/nasty feel of The Panel, a dreadfully shit Australian show in respect of which I have twice suffered through live tapings. Now thankfully limited to being screened once a year)
* We are sat next to a man with lots of blond highlights who seems to be a washed up celebrity or similar though I cannot quite place him!
* Mr Highlights queries whether I want the spare Kit Kat under my seat or if I want to split it with him. He winks rather lascivisiouly. 'Are you with one of the acts?' I query. 'With them,' he says, waving at the people in the row in front. I look at them, then back at him blankly. 'Bucks Fizz?' he says, mildly exasperated. 'OMG!' I stage-whisper. However I am not entirely sure about who Bucks Fizz actually are apart from having been the UK Eurovision reps for 1981, though I do understand Cheryl Baker to have considerable standing in this country. Like the Queen!
* Bucks Fizz look very very bored.
* Suddenly it begins! We are live! Terry Wogan and Fearne Cotton are metres from us, merrily reading the autocue!
* Liz McClarnon sings her song!

* Jim and I can be seen in the beginning of that clip, clapping maniacally for Liz! Her song was not even that good, however, lovely hair and legs.
* Then they wheel out Brian Harvey from East 17 for his 'beautiful ballad', the clip of which I will not be placing on here due to its direness!
* Fearne queries whether he is alright, backstage, subsequent to his recent accident!
* It's all a bit embarrassing!
* Brian Harvey is now removed to make way for Big Brovaz! Who proceed to do this:

* This is probably the most competent and exciting performance of the evening! 'They should get rid of the boys in that band,' comments Jim. They are actually quite superfluous. This option, though, is probably the most representative of 'British music', as far as I can tell, of the 6 songs in contention tonight.
* I am quite excited about Big Brovaz and bounce around dutifully for the cameras.
* Then it is time for French songstress Cyndi and her 'Celtic-inspired Celine Dion style big ballad!
* It is very good indeed!

* Appreciate the excellent lighting!
* It's Scooch's turn! Their airline props are brought out! I'm a bit worried as I have been quite disappointed by their song, 'Flying the flag (for you)', as much as I have tried to like it!
* Perhaps I have been influenced by the fact that Popjustice has pompously pronounced it to be shit.
* Regardless, Scooch give a cracking performance, and all the smutty jokes lend a rather stupid sense of humour to the whole thing. And they have lovely airline outfits!

* The mother of POWERS is going quite rightly MENTAL for her daughter's vocal stylings. As is the entire audience, quite unexpectedly! Apart from Cyndi's po-faced manager, and the Big Brovaz people, who look appalled and don't clap!
* Finally it is to be the song of Justin Hawkins and Beverlei Brown!

* Wasn't that horrible. Can you believe this is the favourite to win?
* Oh, my freaking ears.
* Now there is a half hour break in transmission so the viewers can vote. They bring out Lordi to prerecord a live (mimed) performance of Hard Rock Hallelujah. They are using Liz McClarnon's dancers in a weird 'sexy' routine!
* I notice that someone has placed Marshall amps on stage, because Lordi have instruments and are a proper rock band and hate Eurovision! Even though they whore themselves round every national selection in Europe they can get themselves on!
* I hope I never hear this song again!
* Lordi's outfits are exactly the same as they have been every time they have performed this song ever!
* POWERS' little boy is displeased and comforted by his Gran!
* We're back! Scooch and Cyndi are announced as the final 2!
* TO SAY THAT I AM EXCITED BY THIS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT though it is disappointing for Big Brovaz. Justin Hawkins strops off stage!
* Scooch and Cyndi sing their songs again, people are told to vote and they show the Lordi footage which we all are instructed to cheer for!
* Then the winner is announced, in the following hilarious shemozzle!

* It's Cyndi! No, Scooch! Is it! Yes! Look how deftly Fearne consoles Cyndi and then dispatches her, in the above clip!
* This is like a dream! Scooch are back together and going to Eurovision for the UK!
* They sing their song again and I decide it's all in the presentation and therefore FUCKING AMAZING:

* The cameras come round our way for some audience shots while Scooch are singing! Bucks Fizz splutter into action and stand up to do the 'arms out like an aeroplane' Flying The Flag routine! Pretending they haven't been dying to leave the entire time! We know! We have witnessed the constant checking of watches!
* Seriously, that Scooch performance was incredible.
* The show is over!
* We hung around for a time as I wished to meet POWERS. There was to be no meeting of POWERS though or anyone else as we were shuttled away! 'Can you believe you used to think Scooch were shit?' I ask Jim as we leave into the cold night. 'Well I still think they're kind of shit,' he replies. (They're not!)
* This evening was British cultural history in the making and one of the best days of my entire life!

* The next morning we see Lordi without any masks and makeup at our hotel, having the buffet breakfast!
* They are very unappealing people indeed!
* I look for POWERS but she never emerges. 'She would have had breakfast in her room,' Jim offers unhelpfully.
* Which is what the disgusting Lordi people should have done.



At 12:28 pm, Blogger Elanor said...

You know how sometimes there's a man, perfectly formed for his time and place? That man is you.

At 12:39 pm, Blogger Woodsman said...

Truly brilliant reporting. What 2 months in the UK and you are already A-list on the coolsy scene? Amazing.

I can just see you mouthing the "OMG" to highlights man.

How hilariously camp are Scooch!
Do you think any of them have "serviced" Ralph Fiennes?

At 9:57 am, Blogger eurotrash said...

I've only recently stumbled onto your blog and love the Eurovision reporting. I'd like to alert everyone to Denmark's entry this year: DQ, or Drama Queen. This watershed moment in musical history can be seen at Such amazing lyricism. Such lithe dancers.

Are you heading to Finland to see the actual show?

I'm trekking all the way from Canberra to Helsinki to see it. Eurovision is my Mecca.

At 1:34 pm, Blogger Adem IAR said...

Will, it was like being there. Thank you for the excellent transportation to Making Your Mind Up via blogging.

At 8:25 pm, Blogger bren.kun said...

will. brendan. i demand that you contact me.

on a happier note i am delighted that i am moving to the u.k so i can now indulge in this eurovision you speak so much of...japan doesnt really offer such gold. why there is no asiavision baffles me. asian pop is well....i dont need to describe it. you have enough j pop to understand how superbly glorious it is.

At 10:46 am, Blogger Edward O said...

You are quite the A-lister, young Will-Fop. Please be introducing me to these people when I visit The Englandland in the bleak wintertime (assuming I don't fuck up my plans).

At 12:56 am, Blogger Jellyfish said...

I just wanted to say that I sent this post to basically everyone I have ever met, because it was, in every way, sensational.

(How did I ever love Justin Hawkins circa three years ago? I was blinded by the catsuits. Evidently.)

In other news. Recently I taught a 'popstars' dance short course to some kiddies. When my original plan (force children to learn choreography and lyrics to Grease megamix) was rejected by said youngsters (predictable) I compromised by teaching them this entire Scooch routine. It was a success.


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