Any birthdays coming up? Wondering what to get for that special loved one in your life? Need an “ironic” present for that Brexiteer uncle knobhead of yours? EUROS TO LITERALLY BURN?
Well as luck would have it, this year in the Eurovision tat shop as well as the obligatory beanie hats, T Shirts, mugs and mouse mats (mouse mats?) you a three pack of those rubber bangles that haven’t been popular since Make Poverty History failed to make poverty history, or you can “CREATE YOUR OWN SONG CONTEST” by buying Eurovision: The Board Game, which manages to combine two different ways of having people you don’t like in your living room into one for the bargain price of €25. What a steal!
You get 25 country chips (who’ve they left out?), 521 cards (hopefully questions I’ll nail and everyone else won’t even know who Gina G is), 6 pawns, and 1 die (you’ll want to). You also get a bunch of these scoring pads which list the things a country needs to win, although if Azerbaijan is one of the included counties you’ll note that “international sim cards from a bloke I met in a car park in Turin” is not on the list.
Alternatively you could get this Eurovision Song Contest 2022 Mini Trophy (for just €250 + P&P) and “FEEL LIKE A STAR!” (or a mug), you could get this €129.99 gold medal struck by the Royal Dutch Mint (as in “what do you want Jim, a fucking medal?”) or how about this optimistically named “Fashionista Package”, which consists of a pair of Eurovision socks, a Gym Bag, a T-Shirt and a Face Mask so you can disguise yourself if anyone spots you wearing the gym gag, T-Shirt and socks.
In a sea of turgid ballads and mid tempo inspirationals, you can usually depend on the Fins to think outside of the laatikko. You’ll remember that they won with what amounted to a rock version of the Banana Splits in 2006, and notably sent X Factor UK alum Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaara “biggest crowd in Helsinki history” Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalto to sing a brilliant little song about LGBT bullying that featured the remarkable line “so tonight I’m making friends with all the creatures that are hiding there under my bed” (it’s better when you hear it scan), but then they went and spoiled it all by asking her to sing it upside down while strapped to a literally spinning wheel, like a record baby, right round round round.
This year they’ve dug about in their pop toilet and plungered up THE RASMUS off in “In the Shadows”, and while they’ve apparently since released several platinum albums, won numerous music industry awards, and played gigs all over the world (where they doubtless absolutely hate having to sing “In the Shadows”) they’re pretty much your classic noughties one hit wonder rock band.
“These rockers always turn it up to 11 for a performance and never fail to put on show with their unparalleled energy and antics” says YLE’s press release, but I can’t take any band seriously that sings “Jezebel… if you‘re the hunter then I‘m the prey”, especially when they sound like something off the director’s cut of American Pie 12: Stifler in Prison.