Next we have France's entry. It's like the Flaming Lips! But with helium! Good song, good madness quotient (nice beard action on the backing singers, and listen for the singer's random pitch alterations even regardless of the helium), but... well, it's just a little too knowingly arch and ironic. I'm sorry, but the Eurovision is no place for pomo indie hipsters. Also, a French Eurovision entry that's not in French! Feh! What would France Gall say? Was "Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son" in English? No, I think not! And that had dwarves dressed as babies!
At number three we have Azerbaijan. It's angel meets devil in a Goth rock spectacular! "It's scary," according to the Boy Kitten (though I think he means in an "American children's beauty pageant" way rather than a "watching The Shining on acid" way), but just listen to that opening falsetto, I say! Great costumes, right down to the coloured contact lenses (nice detail!). Costume change for the devil, in fact! Yes, this year the Azerbaijanis out-rocked the Finns, who just didn't quite cut it in the Overblown Rocktastica stakes (sorry, my Nordic amigos). Still, it's clearly proven now, I'd say, that all Goth rock must be sung in a guttural Eastern European accent. So it has been spoken, so it shall be done!
In second place: Latvia. Pirates! Pirates, pirates, pirates, pirates, pirates!!!! "We will steal the show! Jolly Rogers ho! Pirates are what we will be!" How could you not love them? Listen to that unbearably catchy and anthemic chorus. Look, the main singer even has a prop sword! They have the verve. They have the vigour. having missed a few of the entries at the start of the show, this was originally my top choice. I mean... it's pirates! I know there'll be some of you out there thinking, but the pirate craze is over, dude. That's so last year. Well, fuck that shit. Arrrrrr, I say. Arrrrrrrrr!
"But how could the pirates not win?" I hear you ask. "What could possibly be better than Baltic pirates with fake swords and really bad singalong tunes? Well, folks, the winner is... and imagine the drumroll here... Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's just... I don't know what to say... madder than badgers and catchier than chlamydia. I mean, honestly, it's a fucking great song. Plus it's in Foreign! (Croatian? Maybe Serbian? I don't know. But they definitely get extra points for their blithe disregard for Anglocentrism) Plus the lead singer is like some bastard offspring of Captain-Sensible and that guy from Sparks (only coy instead of creepy). Plus the mad woman dancing in the background is like KatieJane Garside's lunatic second cousin. Watch the bit where she runs down towards the audience to throw the bouquets over her shoulders! Watch it again! Isn't it awesome? Huh? Huh? Isn't it? And her flailing flapping stompy kiddy dance. Yes, as shocking as it may sound coming from me, this is better than pirates!