Saturday, February 17, 2007
Let's pass, for a moment, on the fact that I was watching the 'Late, Late Show' on a Friday night. I shouldn't have been, and I'm truly sorry. I am deeply penitent and can promise you that it will never happen again.
Especially after tonight's episode of 'Pat the Plank Patronises the Plebs' transpired to be a Eurovision special.
Yup, an entire two hours (that felt like two years) devoted to deciding what musical suicide note was going to be this year's official Irish entry to the continent's campest competition.
(Sorry, Alternative Miss Ireland, but your contestants look like a load of marines on the march compared to the rarefied campness of the Eurovision Song Contest.)
So, firstly some obscure trad band from Sligo who tend to sing in Irish had been appointed as this year's sacrificial lamb. Dervish, taking the place of Brian Kennedy who did the odious duty last year, are apparently great stuff in the Ireland-in-aspic Fifties world of Irish traditional music.
But are they going to win the Eurovision? Hell no, but that's the point. After hosting sixteen Eurovision song contests in a row in the Nineties, RTE can no longer afford for Ireland to win the competition. Hence the cunning plan of sending street urchins to represent Ireland in recent years.
But surely, for our collective dignity, someone should have decided against placating the vociferous ego of John Waters, Ireland's most oppressed Renaissance man, by permitting some turgid ode to Euro-socialism that he'd written to be the official entry that Dervish must sing in Helsinki?
For those who have suppressed the memory, Waters threw his rattle out of the pram last year when another turgid ode he'd written was overlooked in favour of one of Brian Kennedy's own compositions. 'Fix!' cried Connacht's most oppressed son, earning the ire of Joe Duffy.
When the announcement was made by Pat the Plank last night that Water's trite song was to be Ireland's entry, there was no whooping or cheering from the bearded one, just the nod of his wise head in acknowledgement that Ireland had at last, a year late, recognised his song-writing genius.
What they actually need to recognise in RTE is that the Eurovision climate has changed now the Berlin Wall is rubble and dust, and all sorts of places that sound like rare diseases can now enter and block-vote for each other.
The result is therefore decided on who puts on the best show on the night.
Last year, the camp competition was won by some Finns dressed up as goblins, roaring bad metal, while so many fireworks went off that they threatened to set fire to half of Athens. Spectacular performance, and a sense of humour, is clearly the way forward.
What we need to do, to retain Ireland's historical Eurovision crown once again, is to round up that Derry lassie from Girls Aloud, put her in a push up bra and bugger all else, and get her to duet some crazed disco pop about group sex in a convent alongside Mary Harney in a nun's habit, while in the background Johnny Logan and Dana fight to the death armed with hurleys.
That's got to be worth douze points.