Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tanks a lot!

As Putin pulls back the troops that had gathered on the borders of all the Eastern bloc countries and quietly sips a vodka to mark the success of his strategy to take over Europe, I raise my glass to the Betfair system for getting the whole thing moreorless spot on. Yes, Russia won and everyone else lost.

Russia 1
Ukraine 2
Greece 3
Armenia 4
Norway 5
Serbia 6
Turkey 7
Azerbaijan 8
Israel 9
Bosnia & Herzegovina 10
Georgia 11
Latvia 12
Portugal 13
Iceland 14
Denmark 15
Spain 16
Albania 17
Sweden 18
France 19
Romania 20
Croatia 21
Finland 22
Germany 23
Poland 24
United Kingdom 25

I'd forgotten that all the countries could vote which is fair enough but messed up some calculations. The UK entry was never a contender though but coming last was a bit bizarre. Why on earth don't we put someone with real talent and international appeal in? We do need to play the game now. Just think how much better we'd have done with someone like Katie Melua - and we'd have got douze points from Georgia. Or if it has to be a Pop Idol or X Factor participant, at least enter the winner not an also-ran. We did that with Alexander who didn't beat Alex Parkes a few years back. Imagine Girls Aloud, even Shayne Ward, and, of course, Leona Lewis . . . no way would they have come last. Fight the politics with a bit of class, I say.

Terry Wogan sounded genuinely morose and not just because he'd lost as much as I did on the night. Normally his exasperation and predictions of who'll get the 12s each time are uttered with a smirk but this year it seemed more like a scowl and a sigh. It's not even a gay event any more. So who will fly the flag of quirky commentary in Moscow? Step up Jonathan Ross, your country needs you, with Simon Cowell deciding the entry.

That's it for another year. I hope you made a few roubles on some top 4 or top ten bets, at least.
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