Sunday, 20 May 2012

From the red carpet

In the land of fire and carpets only one carpet was centre stage last night. It’s become part of the Eurovision lore to have a red carpet opening reception so the stars participants can strut their stuff for the media and fanboys* (* = fangirls are also, surprisingly, available). Last year in Dusseldorf it took about 4 weeks to get everyone into the hall so last night’s red carpet was more of a red doormat in comparison. We missed almost everybody’s entrances as we were stuck in a taxi going to the wrong place then chucking some shepherd’s salad for me and a plate of kebab for Rosé down our necks at a lightening pace. When we did arrive we made our way straight in and headed for the free bar. Really, do they not know what they’re doing letting a bunch of Eurovision fans loose on a free bar? We had drunk them out of beer by the end of the night...

Most of the artistes were ushered straight into the raised VIP/lounge area at the back of the hall, but some were milling around with the hoi-polloi so we made a bee-line for them and whored ourselves for photos, including Ivi from Cyprus, Dimitri from Bulgaria, Donny Montell from Lithuania (complete with fully functioning eyes I‘m pleased to report), Pasha Parforthecourse from Moldova, the Austrian ‘Shitterz, and a man we mistook  for a backing dancer. There was a flurry of activity and then before I’d managed to get my camera switched on again the Russian Babushki has shuffled past us all smiles and giggles and looking utterly like they were having the most amazing time of their long lives.

Not content with working the floor we suddenly, somehow, found ourselves in the inner sanctum of the VIP area where we managed to bag snaps and chats with Greta & Jonsi from Iceland, Eleftheria from Greece, Ott from Estonia, Kurt from Malta (who still couldn’t teach me how to do that dance), Pastora from Spain, Eva from Slovenia, and caught up again with lovely Filipa who we had got to know at the London party. One of the highlights was Italian Nina Zilli resplendent in a scoop-necked Vivienne Westwood number (I’m not really a fahionista, I only know this because Nina was name-dropping) and we can exclusively (possibly) reveal she will be in Westwood on the night though as of our brief encounter she hadn’t  decided which one. Clearly the Italians have a bigger budget than their own government...
Next a little highlight for me. Suddenly, somehow, I found myself sandwiched between the Romanian bass drummer and the one with the squeezebox. I’d had these two in my sights for a good old perv photo opportunity and I got it. I had to have another free beer to calm my nerves after that.
There was a string of acts performing their entries, although I’m afraid I missed most of this somewhat overcome by my Romanian, well, let’s call it a moment. We did catch Rambo Amadeus doing a thrash metal guitar version of his Euro Neuro. (Roy will tell me that it wasn’t vaguely as left field as that but it had loud guitars, that’s all I know.) The party may have lacked some of the grandeur of past opening events, but it was at least more accessible than Dusseldorf and the last stragglers at 3am had certainly had a good time.

Off to the Serbian party tonight at the swanky Hilton. Oh the hardhip...

Monty x

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