JOY Eurovision

3 Mar 2012

Musings – Humperdinck: The Day After

Musings, Uncategorized

Posted by Andrew Bell

British crooner Engelbert Humperdinck is to represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The 75-year-old, dubbed the “King of Romance”, is best known for his 1967 hit Release Me, which kept The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever off the number one spot.The singer said it was “an absolute honour” to be taking part and was “excited and raring to go” – BBC website

I have thought and thought and thought about this.

I have tried my very best not to default to snarky, clever-dickery or worse.

Engelbert Humperdinck is such a soft target.

Engelbert Humperdinck is such an easy figure of fun.

Engelbert Humperdinck is such a huge mistake.

My esteemed and shrewd colleague Hikaru Freeman sees it somewhat differently to me.

He believes this decision could deliver a “Sunset Boulevard” moment for EH, his songwriting team of Grammy award-winning producer Martin Terefe and Ivor Novello winner Sacha Skarbek and the ESC.

And what a moment that would be !

Engelbert as Norma Desmond and Teerfe & Skarbek a combo of Joe Gillis.

Presumably the British public would play the role of Max Von Mayerling, the butler.

Of course Max had seen it all before and had bitter memories !

And remember, when all is said and done the studio didn’t want Norma, it wanted her car.

I fancy the Humperdinck approach is more “Herbie: Fully Loaded” !

That is, the final throw of the dice.

It is not Engelbert’s age that makes me feel despondent, it is what the BBC’s decision says about the British music industry.

I also fear it also reflects the general disdain felt by many in the U of K towards Europe.

From a great distance this correspondent – who has seen every Eurovision since 1967 – thinks it might even be the beginning of the end for the BBC and its fair dinkum participation in the contest.

Not surprisingly I am not alone in my feelings.

Although some reactions in Blighty border on the weird.

OK, when EH romps home in Baku I will have to eat my words and more.

But even if he does both the UK and, more importantly, the ESC will have been reduced.

Lys Assia tried a return to Eurovision at the age of 88, but she won the bloody thing at the very first contest.



Lys has form, EH has nothing but a weird cachet.

It is difficult nay impossible to fathom the decision to put the UK’s Eurovision hopes in the hands (and larynx) of a somewhat has been performer who was never seriously mentioned as potential ESC material even in his pomp.

And that pomp was FOUR decades ago.


I have blogged in another British language – Welsh  about what I think this means in that context. Use Google Translate and you’ll get a sense of it !!

The die has not been finally cast for the UK in Baku, but the song when it comes will need to be beyond miraculous.

Even in the worst Tranglish, that strangulated version of English so beloved by far too many ESC competitors, there is honest endeavour.

This decision just doesn’t feel right.

The BBC’s coat of arms declares something that is at the heart of Eurovision.

“Nation shall speak peace unto nation”.

What quite is being spoken about in the “Humperdinck Affair” is still in the hands of the translators !

Deliberate irony or campery tends to fail in Eurovision, but there’s always a first time.

After years of dull failure, the BBC may triumph with a masterstroke.

I don’t see it, but then …

If it does, I pledge to pose naked save for a conveniently positioned copy of “Voi Voi” after our special Joy 94.9 Eurovision show comes off air late on Sunday May 27th Australian time !


babbleVISION: Flourishing with JOY (Part 2) [Season final]

2 Jun 2024

babbleVISION: Flourishing with JOY (Part 2) [Season final]

Comedy, JOYEurovision: The Show, Music, Society & Culture

We couldn't squeeze babbleVISION into just one hour, so enjoy another! As a special treat for JOY Radiothon, find out what ...

babbleVISION: Flourishing with JOY (Part 1)

1 Jun 2024

babbleVISION: Flourishing with JOY (Part 1)

Comedy, JOYEurovision: The Show, Music, Society & Culture

It's JOY Radiothon time, when we ask you to help your favourite LGBTIQA media organisation by supporting us financially. It's also ...

The wash-up, the Eurovision latest: It’s a 2024 Europarty

25 May 2024

The wash-up, the Eurovision latest: It’s a 2024 Europarty

Comedy, JOYEurovision: The Show, Music, News, Society & Culture

It's only been two weeks since the Grand Final, but it feels so much longer. Michael and Io try to ...