thu 06/08/2020

Eurovision: You Decide, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

Eurovision: You Decide, BBC Four

Eurovision: You Decide, BBC Four

What future for retro-boyband jiggy-jiggy?

Joe and Jake: nothing like the Leeds Piano Competition

It was all a far cry from the Leeds Piano Competition. Shunted on to BBC Four after the disappearance of BBC Three to online, Eurovision: You Decide nevertheless remained true to its new channel’s original remit. In today’s no-brow, morally neutral multiverse it would be churlish to point out the thoughts that it encouraged were entirely dirty ones.

The show was opened by last year’s winner of the world’s largest – in terms of viewing figures – music competition: Mans Zelmerlow and Chalk Boy performing "Heroes" (nothing to do with Bowie). The sexy Swede had swapped his tight leather trousers for a tight leather jacket, but he was still hot, hot, hot. Not until the sixth and final act, Joe and Jake, did the temperature regain such dizzying heights. 

The tribute to the late, great Sir Tel was genuinely moving

Until then we – and the audience at the Forum in Kentish Town – had to sit/stand/sway through Folksy (Dulcima), Moany (Matthew James), Twangy (Darline), Achy (Karl William Lund) and Shouty (Bianca). Only Lund, a Scouse ginger cutie channeling Andy Bell and Erasure in his self-penned "Miracle" (and it would have been had he won the public vote), had fire in his belly. The panel of “experts” – Carrie Gray, Jay Revell and Katrina sans Waves – were kind to all the hopeless, but Ms Gray was clearly enamoured by Bianca’s lusty balladeering.

And then came Joe and Jake, juvie veterans of The Voice, with "You’re Not Alone". Strange how the groundlings – who all seemed to be middle-aged white men in checked shirts – knew the chorus of "O! O! O!" immediately. Every man jack appeared desperate to be left alone with both of the doe-eyed scallys (two into one will go…). For the record, Jake is the one who looks like a baby Joaquin Phoenix. Not that it matters. Vast swathes of Europe will be left unmoved by their retro-boyband jiggy-jiggy.

The real star of the show was host Mel Giedroyc, dolled up like Mum on her wedding anniversary, who coped admirably with both the crowded house that never shut up and the demands of a live broadcast, barely blinking at the few technical hiccups that added spice to the occasion: not kitchen drama but kitscherama. Indeed, all credit to BBC Events: the production only overran by five minutes.

The clips from previous Eurovisions served to underline just how preposterous the song contest has always been. That doesn’t mean emotion is absent, though. The tribute to the late, great Sir Tel – whose twinkly sarcasm did so much to popularize the extravaganza – was genuinely moving. As was the glimpse of a Terry Wogan mask among the waving Union Jacks, feather boas and mobile phones.

Viewers were only given around 20 minutes to vote for the winning act. Joe and Jake didn’t seem surprised to win – and just grinned when Mel suggested their trousers be ripped off at the final in Stockholm. If only… And with the rugger-buggers slugging it out on BBC One at the same time, it was one of those those truly rare moments when dear old Auntie was being all things to all (gay) men.

The clips from previous Eurovisions served to underline just how preposterous the song contest has always been


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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