We had been bored by a parade of wailing banshees dressed as toilet roll dollies. We had been pummelled by the unforgivingly banal thought-burps of Scott Mills and Ana Matronic (bring back Paddy O’Connell) and we were treated to a papilio-punctuation of obligatory video inserts (papilio is Latin for butterfly…this makes me seem clever) which offered little and delivered nothing. Then, as I popped open my fourth beer and composed another withering tweet about this year's Eurovision experience, I noticed something from the corner of my eye…indeed, the rest of Europe did the same thing.
There, on screen, was a vision of almost breath-taking beauty. A shirtless Irishman in tight plastic trousers, covered in swirling tattoos, pounding a violent, thunderous beat on the taught goatskin of his bodhran drum.
He was a glistening, kinetic animal from the dawn of time, plucked from the rain-swept Comeragh Mountains. He was a lithe Celtic spirit, a muscled eel spat from the surging spray of the River Clanrye. He was a giant Irish elk, thrumming his powerful, glistening limbs against fate itself. There were two other drummers and a perma-tanned perma-flat singer, but no one cared.
There was an almost instant Twittergasm. The entire British Eurovision audience (gays and women) went berserk. “Who is that muscled drummer boy?” tweets squeeled. “How do I get to be that drum?”
Here began my search for the true identity of that drummer. And now, after a night of ceaseless googling and telephone calls to agents and publicity Joannas, I can reveal him to be 23-year-old former pantomime performer Colm Farrell (not he of the famous fellatio video), a drummer and dancer from Dublin. In a recent interview he reveals: ‘I’m really looking forward to Friday night. It promises to be really good because it’s not just about the song and dancers, it’s about the whole package.’ You can say that again, Colm.
There are those who would question a singing contest where the main (or only) point of interest is a young, muscly bloke with his shirt off, doing suggestive things with a bodhran drum but I would counter that last night’s Eurovision foreplay and the subsequent drooling over Colm summed up the great joy of the competition…a joy that has never been derived from the deplorable music.
No. The joy of Eurovision – in the UK at least - comes from its power to unite people in their incredulity, confusion, sexual excitement, boredom and derision. For once, this heady emotion-potion comes from a song contest rather than our own pathetic sex lives.
The Irish entry manages to tick all of the above with gusto and that’s precisely why it stood out. The organisers from the Emerald Isle realised they had a terrible song so they stuck some eye-candy on stage to divert people’s attention. It is the diametric opposite of the British approach in 2013. We have some long-forgotten bird from Port Talbot in Miss Piggy’s wig growling through a lacklustre ballad and then (we are promised) being hoisted up into the air and swung about above the stage in touching homage to the Dambusters raid.
I must admit after last year’s utterly awful showing from Engleburp Downyerdrink and the continued tactical voting I vowed never to watch the programme again. But that’s the fun of it really isn’t it? The ability to gripe, mock, lust and moan together whilst slurping our Jacob’s Creek and revelling in how crass, insane and stupid other countries are.
I for one wish Bonnie (by name if not by aesthetic) and young Colm all the very best for Friday. I shall be watching and tweeting vigorously throughout. Social media means we can all share our thoughts instantly which adds a fantastically funny facet to the night. Doubtless Graham Norton will be forced to read out the most vapid tweets on the night: Jess from Wigan tweets: Loving that song. Loving Eurovision. Loving my face. Loving Loving LOL.
Just as the Olympics brought us all together in national pride, so the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 can bring us all together in international derision. How exciting!