Michael O'Doherty: Old Eurovision bores Paul and Shay just don't get Jedward's pop appeal...
THERE'S no bore like an old bore, and there's no old bore quite like an old Eurovision Bore.
Looking at the world through their rose-tinted, Foster Grant sunglasses, sideburns greying and flares flapping, they bemoan the current state of their beloved song contest, and long for the good old days when a chap in a nice kipper tie, with a few backing singers in sequins, would warble his way to an inevitable 'douze points' from the whole of the EEC.
And Bucks Fizz flashing a bit of leg was the height of gaucheness.
So it's perhaps inevitable that crusty old Eurovision stalwarts Paul Harrington and Shay Healy were letting off steam yesterday at the launch of a rival entry to Jedward for this year's contest.
Shay, the maestro behind Johnny Logan's win, oh, 125 years ago, has mischiveously suggested that Jedward won't actually sing live. And why is this so important, according to Shay? "Last year, Niamh Kavanagh got most of her points for her singing," he declares. Yes, Shay, all 25 of them, which saw her finish third last, a full 221 points behind the winner.
"We will have a good time laughing at them, but frankly I don't think Europe will get the joke," continued Shay. This oft-wheeled out comparison to Dustin the Turkey is absurd -- that was a comedy act, pure and simple, while Jedward are pure pop, and are guaranteed to perform an upbeat, catchy song, exactly what has been racking up the Eurovision points in recent years.
And while Paul Harrington is an excellent musician, his Eurovision moment was almost as long ago as Shay's -- he won with Rock 'n' Roll Kids back in 1994. It's ironic that he, just like the character in that song, seems to be stuck in a moment, while the world has passed by.
And contrary to what they believe, Jedward is exactly what Eurovision needs right now. They don't write their own music? So what ? Neither Johnny Logan nor Paul Harrington wrote their winning songs.
And if the only thing they do is prance around and bring a smile to our faces, so be it. If we must go down, let's go down with a band playing, rather than the miserable, embarrassed way we've greeted our recent Eurovision flops.
Paul Harrington and Shay Healy are two greats of Irish Eurovision history, but they need to get over it. Advice from them on this year's entry is akin to asking Cecil Gee, purveyor of brown three-piece suits to Irish gentlemen in the 1970s, what he thinks of the latest Dolce & Gabbana collection.
Go back to your flared pantaloons and cheesecloth shirts, guys. It's all a bit "once upon a time".
So Averil, why aren't you laying into 'sexist' bookie?
A COUPLE of weeks ago, Pat Rabbitte felt the wrath of politicians for suggesting that Micheal Martin's new front bench photocall, which featured four women in the front row, was a purely cosmetic exercise.
"You might as well wander down Grafton Street and see if you can meet a couple of good-looking women and say, would you ever mind coming up for the photograph," he said, a comment which one of the candidates, Averil Power, latched onto with gusto, describing it as sexist and reminiscent of Sky Sports presenter Andy Gray.
So Averil is presumably apoplectic with rage today to discover the latest 'novelty bet' of a well known bookmakers. Under the heading "Who is the dreamiest Dail darling?" they ask you to vote for the most attractive out of five female politicians, a stunt which, though they do the Dáil 'dudes' too, not only trivialises the election, but surely also objectifies female politicians far more than Rabbitte's comments ever did.
Of course, there's not political mileage to be gained in slagging off the bookies, so will Averil lash out at them like she did to Pat Rabbitte, or will she dismiss it as a harmless bit of fun. After all, she is currently second in the voting.
Place your bets now...
Teen political prodigy from TV days of Yore
CATHERINE Yore, the first-time Fine Gael candidate who seems to be glued to Enda Kenny's side, has been accused of being a relative lightweight when it comes to politics. But I'm not so sure.
As a finalist in You're A Star, back in 2002, she featured in a VIP photoshoot, and seems even then to have had politics coursing through her veins.
When asked what she would do if she didn't win, the 17-year-old answered, "I wouldn't mind singing at charity events or something -- it's nice to give something back."
Spoken like a seasoned political pro...
Jodie worried ahead of Calum's big bash
CALUM Best is planning to have a 30th birthday party in Bucks Townhouse in Dublin on Friday night.
Jodie Wood, right, a model who works there and previously dated Calum, is worried that he might try to re-ignite the romance that night, which fizzled out the first time round due "to the large space between their two homes".
Which, apparently, was almost as enormous as the space between his ears...