William Shakespeare's
Vonderful, Vonderful Rhyming Couplets
(or... the rhyming review of Eurovision 2001)

I found myself in best of health, as I sat in my chair on May the twelfth.
Partly the thought of my housemaid's titties, but also the prospect of some fine ditties.
From the twilight to the pitch of dark, from the Hollandaise to the Den of Mark.
My evening's viewing was complete, at the prospect of a tuneful treat.
I had my Pringles, my cans of lager (the ideal fuel for experiencing schlager).
And so I watched, did not protest, for the Eurovision Song Contest.

To the tune of pipes, I do declare, two men in black without much hair.
Brothers they, by the name of Olsen (who might smell of Alberto Balsam).
So their new single they did plug, with faces only slightly smug.
Preparing for the grand arrival, of hosts more cheesy than St Ivel.
Tasch and Soren were their names, their cred severely up in flames.
Deciding to do the whole thing in rhyme, I mean - what kind of stupid idea is that?

And so to start we have the Dutch, whose chances were not fancied much.
She's called Michelle, she's on the floor. Out on her own, but not before,
She's sung to the crowd in the great big hall, some of whom look for the ball.
No footie tonight, just songs instead. Just 22 more 'fore I can go to bed.
She's in fine voice is our Michelle. She hasn't got a hope in hell.
But don't despair, don't be so glum. They'll love you back in Hilversum.
And so now to the land of Ice. To people who are Tricky (twice).
Angels, they claim, show them the way. But they never showed them how to sway.
It's a good song - but it's number two. So this one's heading down the loo.
He's looking for his Queen of Hearts. God help him when the voting starts.
He's dressed to the Space 99s. The fashion police will issue fines.
Two Tricky think they've done the trick - but next year won't be Reykjavik.

To Bosnia now, who don't need a piano. Even though it rhymes with 'Hano'.
It's Nino Prses, in shades and beanie. You won't mistake him for a Tweenie.
He's very deep, sings mean and moody. And I don't mean to be a rudie,
but this show's all about the sparkle. Don't turn it to a big debacle.
They say he looks like Ali G. Or perhaps we've got an allergy,
But this song makes me feel twitchy. But at least it ain't that one Putnici
In Oslo they may have found the winner, and Haldor is a toothsome grinner.
But girlie songs aren't what's required, and Norway could so soon be fired
from the contest they do hold so true - with this foppish pile of poo.
It's not Mr Laegrid we intend to hurt (but he could have buttoned up his shirt)
He's on his own, all by himself. His bitch has left him on the shelf.
We're not surprised, check out his mug, and bottled hair from Superdrug.

Israel have some bloke called Tal, to be their bestest singing pal.
He upset the lyricist with the faster beat, which (almost) makes you tap your feet.
Ein Davar that's the name of the song; if you think it's a winner, you're sadly wrong.
It's ethnic strumming, chants-a-go-go. It's not The Jam - don't try to pogo.
The Israelis know their fate is called, plus they have a singing girl who's bald.
Jerusalem aren't so woebegone. They're still paying for the other one.
The next group on are cool and Russian. And so we hear the toilet's flushin'
of people who just want the cheese, but they're the ones you have to please.
Credible's a worthy cause, but it don't get you enough scores.
Mumiy Troll still say hello - with their song a bit like ELO
Away from all the contest rigour, Lady Alpine Blue could figure
in the charts of countries far. Like what they did with that My Star.

And if you like your pop dead saccharine, then here's the tune that could be knackerin'
the hopes of all assembled here. The Swedish group are striking fear
to Mumiy Troll and both Michelles, but then again there are the smells
of victors past from the land of Abba. And is this just another slab o'
schlager pop with a hint of Benny? And is it time that one big penny
dropped into our little minds - and kicked their collective Scando behinds?
But if you liked it, I can't blame ya. There's always room for Lithuania.
Would You Got Style set the scoreboard alight? Or was it just a bag of shite?
Skamp have some blokes who cannot sing, but afro wigs seem quite their thing.
Their vocalist is Irish, the rap's a bit in French. It seems that TV Vilnius have raided the subs bench.
Halfway through, a moment of doom. Our Dublin lass forgets the tune.
But then again, it's a very big crowd. So who needs tune as long as you're loud?

Now surely your success is sunk, if your entry's based on getting drunk.
Stag nights are a beery fest, but not the stuff of this contest.
Perhaps you'd find a winning niche, if your song had more to do with quiche,
And crying to the ballads deep, or being dramatic in the street.
The bloke vote has gone down the pub, and Lady Luck has pulled the plug.
But Arnis might just pull it off, if he lops ironic mullet off.
So this year won't be Latvia, oh, but ah! what have we here?
It's that Croatian lady Vanna - and do you know that rhymes with spanner?
She plans to leave the crowd agog - just weeks before, she dropped a sprog.
The fiddlers play her strings of love. I do so hope they're wearing gloves.
And now it's time for those to gloat, that this sounds just like The Love Boat
But for the voters it's confusing, to the winner's flag she won't be cruising.

In Lisbon they do quake and quiver, as their act sells them down the river.
One bloke's in black, the other white. And the song it, well... ain't that alright.
Took half a year to make this selection. Portugal needs a song inspection.
It sounds like Winwood's Higher Love. But this one won't be going above
single figures - not a chance. But then again, there's always France.
So Portugal look pretty toast. They won't be the next year's host.
Aah now, the Irish, sure are we; that this man called O'Shaughnessy,
will be getting votes regardless, just as sure as they'll discard us:
us Brits right when the voting comes, that Dublin will mess up our sums.
He sings a ballad that's quite dull, but because it's Ireland it will pull
the voters in, and RTE can soon begin
to start complaining they have no money - which most of us will find quite funny.

But as for Spain, another tale. Don't have them as the ones to fail.
Those Espanolas have been clever, sent a man in keks of leather.
To sing a song a bit latino, like you'd hear in an, umm... casino?
Well, no, but it completes the rhyme. And it gives me enough time
To mention the dancers that entertain us, oozing emotion - like that Ms Janus.
David Civera looks a tad bit cocky. I bet his favourite film's not Rocky.
Vive le'France! And Miss St-Pier! She looks quite lonely standing there,
A Francophonic singing starlet, belting a ballad, draped in scarlet.
Mr Wogan says her song is best, perhaps the voters will protest.
Will British viewers flock to her aid? Or should they form a song blockade?
Hang on, that's not the parlez-vous! Miss St-Pier sings English too!
Natasha's covered all the bases; Paris don't want no more disgraces.

Hold hard now chums, it's time for Turkey (a country which is known to irk me).
His name is Sedat, he's a guy. He's not from Galatasaray.
Old Sedat sings in English as well. These tactics leave a funny smell.
In Turkey white is de rigeur, a pity the song won't cause a stir.
It's formulaic, perhaps dramatic? Only Cetin Alp was more operatic.
But in his heart, beneath his tunic - he knows he's got the vote from Munich.
Now London's calling - it's Miss Dracass, with a British rapping jackass.
She'll sing quite high, right down your ossicle - that no dream is quite impossible.
She's sweet sixteen, never been kissed. Perhaps that would explain the lisp.

Have faith in yourselves and you'll be free. Wasn't that Lonely Symphony?
Before the night we had no choice, we were made to doubt her voice,
but her singing's actually a-OK. Perhaps it looks good for the UK?

That was before we heard the Slovenes, a song you can't dismiss by no means.
It's Energy and it's rather lively, and this could be the song which drives me
to the phone to announce my vote, and the other singers get their coat.
As surely this is this year's winner? Makes the rest look like a right dog's dinner?
Nusa's dressed in lots of leather - aren't her wardrobe people clever.
And that my friends was Energy - could be gearing up for victory.
And so now to the eighteenth act - has this man signed the Warsaw Pact?
It's Piasek, and he's in skins - and so our nightmare just begins.
The Rounder Girls return to back him, just as Polish telly sack him.
The song's 2 Long, off comes the jacket. The audience? They just can't hack it.
He's been waiting for yer-hoo-ooh-oo! He sounds just like he needs a poo.
And one more thing, you Euro Sparks - Doesn't he look like Nicky Clarke?

And so the singing spotlight beckoned, to the German act - Michelle the Second.
It's partly German, with a bit in English (the familiar anglophonic finish).
She's all in pink, with heaving breast - she needs to get something off her chest.
If you live for love you'll never die. So is she immortal, we hear you cry?
Michelle thinks this one's in the bag, but she's just not in on the gag.
Our teutonic lass will soon be cursed - as the next ones up will finish first.
It's Tanel and Dave - oh, what a pair (not like Michelle's - and not much flair)
They're think they're cool, but they're mistaken, with each credibility rule they're breakin'
"Round and round and round we go," Are we sure it's not a children's show?
Tanel won't set your feet a-tapping, but he has a face that needs a-slapping.
Dave seems a more refined old gent, rueing the day his agent sent
him to the Estonian heat. But at least he's got the others beat.

And so to something we hope that's better, a song that was picked in Valletta.
It's Fabrizio the perma-tanned. He's making wave shapes with his hand.
The Maltese love Another Summer Night. It could have won on another night.
A night when only one song entered, and the judge's hearing aid was dented.
I think the world has done latino. So Fab, go home and read your Beano.
It's full of crazy comic features, like what inspired your dancing teachers.
And from the crowd, there's excited shrieks. Here come the favourites - it's the Greeks.
They've been doing this for years, but haven't tasted winner's tears.
And if they could, they'd die for you. Whilst playing a bouzouki too.
It's Athens most realistic chance yet (I bet they entered for a bet).
They're called Antique, approach with caution. Hugh Scully bought them at an auction.
Sounds a bit like 'I Will Survive'. They'll never leave Denmark alive.

But now it's time for Danes to thrive, and some of them might even jive.
And so we hear applause aplenty, for this year's hometown entry.
Rollo and King just won't let go, of the best position in the show.
Singing last is advantageous, especially if the song's contagious.
This strikes fear into the others - and they're younger than the Olsen Brothers.
They leave the crowd a mass of enthusin'. This thing's a foregone conclusion.

We go now to the interval act. It's Aqua - and the crowd clapped.
That's all to the interval we're devotin', what's more important is the votin'.
The Dutch give Tallinn the first douze. And so Estonia begins to hoover

points up from across the continent, and Everybody seems the song to rent
or buy Europe-wide, but we all know its sales will slide.

It looked like Denmark for a while, and even the Greeks let out a smile.
Just like the French as the votes began, until their luck went down the pan.
About the time Croatia voted, and a million British farmers gloated.

And so next year, it's Tallinn. But do you think that we've just been
to a contest that was pretty soulless? An event that felt a little homeless,
in a stadium full of thousands more than we've ever had before?
And so we await 2002 - and a seating count that's comfortably few.
And listen to a wise old sage - please let the people see the stage...

William Shakespeare 2001

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