Best Before 1997: Pure German cheese

I'm in a holiday mood today. Not just because of the early summer weather in UK, but also because I booked my summer holiday yesterday - three weeks beside the seaside, so I felt it was high time for some 100% cheese on the blog and what could be cheesier or more summery than a trip back ten years to visit Germany's greatest Europop/dance export (okay, that's not saying much), Mr. President.
Check out the video for JoJo Action. For me, this song features the world's all-time worst ever lyrics. Ah, they could only have been written by a German, not least because rhyming 'Candy apple tree' with 'JoJo honeybee' is actually an offence in some countries (well, it ought to be). At least the video redeems itself with a gorgeous shot of a discoball at 02'29.

Of course, it's hard to realise from watching their later stuff that Mr. President's earlier material was much harder. Take a look at the video from Forever and one day. It includes all the key ingredients of a summer Europop smash. Look at the sun drenched camera shots, and listen to the obligatory 'Oh-way-oh-way' lyric, pioneered by the Vengaboys themselves. Where could this beach be? Spain? Greece? Perhaps, but we're not too far from Germany, because methinks I can hear the sound of a jaunty alpine accordion in the background. The only downside is the irritating twang in the blonde one's voice... I challenge anybody to listen to the first thirty seconds without cringing at it.

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Uncensored BWO action

The schlagerboys were the first to discover it, but it seems as though Bodies Without Organs are about to make some kind of breakthrough in the UK. Yesterday I was hanging around the flat, waiting for the builders to finish fitting my new kitchen when I heard the trilling of BWO's Chariots of Fire on Hits TV. I like the song, but it's not their best if you ask me, and the video is a bit dull. And what were they thinking of, superimposing Martin's face onto a bulldog? The resulting cross-breed looks a bit like the ugly one from D'Nash. In truth, I don't believe they've picked the right song to make their break into the UK market. It should have been Open Door, and in particular, the disco version.

The really big BWO news, of course, is that their new album will be called Fabricator and is set for release in September of this year. Before that, a single will be released, probably in Sweden, called Save My Pride. Does the title sound familiar? Yes, it's largely the same song as recorded by Alcazar on their Dancefloor Deluxe album, although apparently it's been remixed and re-jigged for added fabulousness. The Alcazar version did have the potential for greatness which BWO may be able to exploit. That's if they tear up and throw away the ridiculous lyrics. Well, if nothing else, we can at least hope for another video with Martin Rolinski looking as delectable as he did in the Open Door video which, incidentally, happens to bear more than a passing resemblance to the video for Adam Rickitt's I Breathe Again. You can compare them both here.

By the way, whatever neo-conservative flagged some of Rickitt's videos as 'Adult Content' on YouTube seriously needs to get out more. This is censorship gone mad!

Bodies Without Organs - Open Door (Disco Version)

Adam Rickitt - I Breathe Again

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There's one less Joseph in heaven

There were tears before bedtime last night as the first of BBC's substandard Josephs went crashing out of Any Dream Will Do. When all is said and done, I think we can all rest easily knowing that the weakest of a very weak bunch was eliminated. Poor Chris Crosby (there's a tongue-twister for you) proved in front of 12million UK viewers that he had all the dancing ability of a wooden clothes peg and, according to his BBC interview, his favourite song ever is Lionel Ritchie's Truly. To my mind, anybody who idolises a Lionel Ritchie song should be removed immediately from any contact with the public whatsoever.
On the other hand, a potential favourite to win the contest emerged. Daniel Boys, an adminstrative assistant from London certainly put in one of the best performances of the night. Among a line-up of very poor karaoke singers, he was easily able to sparkle.

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Must do better: Two which won't make it through the semi-final

1. Stevan Faddy (Montenegro) -Ajde Kroči

Stevan appears to be under the delusion that it's still the 1980s. Trashy old rock songs are still fashionable, as are tan jackets with unfathomably large lapels. Let me tell you now, they're not. Even if you try to make it look a bit edgier by leaving the cuffs undone. Stevan spends much of his time waving his elbows and hands about, pointing at the camera, looking pained. Somebody give him a guitar or a microphone to hold - anything to stop his arm twitching.

As much as I would like to see a return to the days when every country sang in their own national language instead of English, this song is strong evidence to the contrary.
And no, not even claiming you've got strong links to Scotland is going to get you any points from the UK.

2. Magdi Rúzsa (Hungary) - Unsubstantial Blues

Misguided people are raving about this on YouTube. But I'm not. "Why did you leave me?" trills Magdi in her whimsical attempt to imitate Amy Winehouse. Well, I can think of a few reasons why he left you, love. Firstly, you're a bit heavy-handed with the old slap-on, aren't you? Bit over zealous with the war-paint? This woman likes to trowel on mascara like a mason trowels on cement. Secondly, your gravelly voice sounds like nails down a blackboard and you needs to suck some throat lozenges, quickly. And another thing, you're crap at housework. If you want to get your man back, you'd better start by picking up the litter you've got strewn across the floor of your flat, because let's face it, nobody wants to live in a pigsty. Unsubstantial blues? More like unsubstantial effort.

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Dima Koldun back by popular demand!

After a stampede of visitors to the blog following my recent exclusive, I have decided to give the audience more of what they want, namely more Dima Koldun photos. As you can see here, even a routine morning shower can become a photo opportunity when your goal is Eurovision glory.

Left: "Can I have the results of the internet juries?" After using the shower head as a telephone, one can only wonder what he did with the soap.

It's hard to predict who will win in Helsinki and I would be sceptical about trusting the many Eurovision polls online, for the simple reason that they allow voters to award 1-12 points, whereas in reality, people will only vote for their favourite song, not for several. But let's see where Koldun stands in the major Eurovision polls. At present, all signs point towards a top 5 finish. At escnation, Belarus is rated fifth by the voters and fourth by the juries. It's a similar story at soult and at the demandi website, where English-speaking voters have ranked Belarus in fifth position. The highest current rating for Koldun appears to be found in the escstats poll, where voters rank Belarus in third position and juries rank him second to Greece.

Left: After all this number crunching, Dima needs a lie-down.

Moving further afield, will Koldun be able to rely on any neighbourly voting to push his quest for glory onwards? Well, not necessarily, if the escestonia poll is anything to go by, where he is in seventh place. This is up one place from last week though. There doesn't look much hope from Poland either, as eurowizja places him only in eighth position.

So what does all this mean? All signs appear that Koldun will make it through the semi-final into the final. We all know what a good record the successful semi-finalists have in the final itself, so a top five finish is likely. A win is also possible, although this will depend on the performance on the night.

You can help cheer on Koldun in Helsinki by downloading this free, original wallpaper for your desktop. Simply left click on the image, wait til it appears, then right click and set as desktop background. And remember to vote for him on the night!

Bookmark me: More Dima Koldun to come!

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Londonboy79 welcomes 500th visitor!

This afternoon, my fabulous site welcomed its 500th visitor in the space of three weeks! That of course is due to a large weight of visitors coming here over the last few days to check out the gratuitous photos of Dima Koldun which I put up here. And by way of a treat for my readers, keep this page bookmarked, because I am about to reveal another hot Koldun exclusive! In the meantime, let's see if his Eurovision entry Work your magic sounds as good in Russian as it does in English!

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A talent for looking miserable

While waiting for any Eurovision news of note, here's an artist who doesn't get enough mention in the blogosphere. Axelle Red is a Flemish singer who sings mostly in French but sometimes in Spanish. For anybody who doesn't know, Axelle has been a star in the French speaking world for almost twenty years. One of her greatest talents is the ability to look miserable and sulky on demand. Perhaps that's why modern Axelle makes piano, jazz and rhythm and blues records, which take a while to grow on you and are simply not cheesy enough to be posted here. But in her youth, her musical idols were ABBA, and her earlier stuff was much more fabulous. If you want to get hold of it, you'd need to get the album Sans plus attendre.

This album features one of her biggest hits to date, Sensualité, which sounds a little dated now, but is still one of the trashiest pop songs ever written. In true trashy style, Axelle spends much of the video writhing against a padded wall. But riddle me this, if you were going to shoot the video for one of your first major chart hits, would you allow your stage manager to twin your bright red hair with a turquoise stage set? And would you allow your costume designer to dress you in what looks like a shabby maternity dress? These things aside, the song is still a classic.

After a good twenty minutes crawling the web, I think I can say authoritatively that there is no available video clip to post of Axelle's trashiest work, Kennedy boulevard, a motown pastiche featuring just about every possible sixties cliché you could think of. Think of a cross between Vanessa Paradis' Be my baby and Sonia's Only fools. Anyway, let's settle for Axelle in more sombre mood with the video for her later hit, Parce que c'est toi. I think you can see the blues influences creeping in here quite clearly. It's a beautiful song and you can see Axelle using her talent for looking 'miserable and sulky' to the maximum here - and maybe there is good reason: by this point in her career, you'd think she'd have enough money to furnish her flat with luxuries, but in this video, it looks as bare as Mother Hubbard's proverbial cupboard. In the back of the limo, Axelle's boyfriend appears as miserable as she is - but then, it wouldn't surprise me if he was about to dump her, given that she's turned up for their big date wearing a shapeless orange dress which clashes with her flame-red hair. He'll probably end up colour-blind after looking at that all night.

Good things come in threes, so here's a final video from Axelle, this time from her Face A/Face B album, the sleeve of which saw her take on an almost Kylie-ish image, even though her musical influences were still quite varied. There was a disco theme behind some of the tracks on the album, which made it more upbeat. The single Toujours taken from the CD was one of Axelle's best, although the video opens with her looking quite sweaty and dishevelled. Almost dirty. Never mind, at least she goes wading in her best dress at the end, that'll get some of the filth off.

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Video fabulousness from Macedonia

At last, this is what a Eurovision video should look like! It's Macedonia's Karolina and her entry, Mojot Svet, which poor Karolina has controversially been forced to sing entirely in Macedonian. But look at the video, it has all the key ingredients of trashy, pop fabulousness - Glitter and ticker-tape raining down from the skies! A wind machine! And glitterballs, big glitterballs, more glitterballs than your wildest dreams could hope for! Swamped in all this trashy paraphenalia when watching this, you can almost forget that the song isn't as catchy as it really should be. Let's hope Macedonia makes it into the final!

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Any Dross Will Do: BBC's hunt for new Joseph

So the BBC has launched its hunt to find a new Joseph to play the lead role in the Technicolor Dreamcoat musical. This Saturday the contenders were whittled down to just twelve hopefuls who are desperate to achieve fame by playing one of the West End's most famous roles. To these twelve contenders, I would say you have a long way to go to reach Andrew Derbyshire-level on the Joseph scale of perfection. For anyone who doesn't know, Andrew Derbyshire played Joseph in London's West End during its last major run here. Check out his official websites here and here. Please take a moment to look upon the Joseph heaven which is Andrew and remind yourself what perfection is before we take a look at some of the trite which is being served up by the BBC in the name of light entertainment.
Of course, the whole series isn't helped by the fact that it's being hosted by Graham Norton. BBC could hardly have chosen a better way to squeeze any remaining life out of the format. If you are one of my international readers and you don't know who he is, just be grateful. Here's a picture so you can imagine, but I've had to blur out the face because I cannot look at him any more. I met him in heaven nightclub once and I hope I never have the misfortune for our paths to cross again.

Without further ado, let's look at the contenders to Joseph's crown. I've selected three of the worst to feature here.

When I look at Seamus, I don't see a Joseph. What I see is a big ego and a lot of hair. And not in a good way. Seamus appeared to believe he was not just auditioning but that he was actually running the show. This was nothing to when Johndeep was auditioning though. When asked to sing angrily, rather than feeling moved in any way, I felt physically sick... Having said this, I do believe Johndeep has the potential for a career in showbusiness. That's if there is ever a call for a Mr Bean double. Which brings us to Rob, who is incidentally the better of the three, a builder from Rotherham. But surely BBC are scraping the bottom of the barrel by selecting someone whose career highlight so far, in his own words, is 'being a victim in a re-enactment on Tonight with Trevor MacDonald'.

Did anyone else see the show? Am I being too harsh here?

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It's getting hot in here... gratuitous shots of Dima Koldun

Separated at birth? Not quite, but you'd be forgiven for getting them mixed up. One of these two men is singing for Belarus in Helsinki, and the other one is a has-been from last year's UK Big Brother. Ahh, they know all about Big Brother in Belarus you know, currently named by the USA as one of the last outposts of tyranny. I discovered on the internet today that Belarus has more police officers per head than any other country in Europe.

I tipped Dima Koldun for Eurovision success some weeks ago on this very blog and I'm tempted to vote for him on the night, not just for his catchy rock-pop number, but also to see the look on EBU faces when they realise that next year's contest will be staged in Belarus. As if he wasn't already one of the favourites to win in Helsinki, I have noticed a sudden trend on the web, namely his appearance all over the net in various stages of undress, including a rather suspicious shot of him hosing himself down with a common garden hose. Mind you, with temperatures soaring in the UK this Easter weekend, we could all do with a bit of that. Purely in the name of research, let's take a look at this latest publicity push by the Belarussian contender for the Eurovision crown.

Left: As temperatures soar, Dima loses control of his hose

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The mullet lives... Jimmy Jansson wallpaper

Unfortunately as viewers of the melodifestivalen will already know, Jimmy Jansson's second bid to win the contest was ended prematurely at the hands of Sanna Nielsen earlier this year, despite his catchy, sunshine-soaked pop tune, Amanda, which you can view below.

My reason for including him here is only partly musical. Even if watching him perform his sixties rock-pop vibe leaves something to be desired cheese-wise for some of us, I think we should all take a moment to be in awe of his hair. Not since Jason Donavan graced Neighbours in the 1980s has anybody worn such a mullet with such pride. Jimmy is singlehandedly striking a blow for mullets across the world. I for one would like to know how he achieves such a volumous result. I wouldn't be at all surprised if charting the ups and downs of Jimmy's hair becomes a regular feature here.

You can turn your desktop into a mini shrine to the world's perfect mullet by downloading this free Jimmy Jansson desktop wallpaper. Just left click on it, wait til it downloads, then right click and set as background.

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Something saucy from Sweden

Do you ever remember unwrapping an excitingly-shaped gift only to find out it is, in fact, something mundane and ordinary? Like that elaborately wrapped Christmas present which turns out to be a tie-hanger? Today's dose of cheesy pop is a similar disappointment. The packaging looks promising but the contents are a bit of a let-down.

Welcome to the world of Danny Saucedo (I'm assuming that's Saucedo as in torpedo). He reached the final ten in the Swedish version of Pop Idol last year and since then he's released his debut single, an upbeat europop number called Tokyo. Hmm... wonder which of the world's big record markets he's targeting?

The song itself pulls all the usual europop strings and even has a key change at the end, so for that we ought to be grateful. There are many similarities between Danny and Adam Rickitt - the throwaway cheesy melody, the blonde hair, the penchant for wearing vests... Danny's lyrics, on the other hand, make Adam Rickitt's solo "work" look like Shakespeare. But you can at least numb the pain of this lyrical inanity by watching the video, which features blonde Danny jiving around and punching the air in his white vest. Hang on, I've seen a lot of that behaviour in G-A-Y club... A word of warning, just remember to close your eyes at 01'32 when he puts on a purple and yellow tracksuit top and starts doing some serious hand jiving.

Given the lack of depth in the lyrics, there's plenty of scope for reading the meaning behind the video. I would suggest the following storyline behind the video:

1. Danny checks into a hotel room after another day recording in the studio

2. Danny logs on to check his email and then decides he feels like a bit of web-cam fun and hooks up with some sl*t in Tokyo. He starts typing and smiling a lot while he is on his bed.

3. Danny falls asleep and begins to toss... and turn... he's dreaming of being in Tokyo with his web-cam sl*t. He's taking her on a date to a really hot bar which looks like a great night out (not). He impresses her with an array of flexible hand dancing.

4. Danny wakes up in his bed the morning after. I hope he's not going to leave those sheets for the maid to clean up.

You can check his website out here

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A blast from the past

As it's the Bank Holiday weekend, I've been doing the same thing that half of Britain's been doing - DIY. Not much time for a post, so instead, I'm taking you back a couple of years to a moment of trashy pop magnificence.

It's Najoua Belyzel and her hit Gabriel. If you haven't heard of her before, then you're in for a treat. Imagine if Kylie hadn't been born in Australia and had, instead, been born in France, to a Moroccan father and an Egyptian mother. Najoua released this, her biggest hit to date, in 2005, though it didn't make the shores of the UK. If you listen carefully, the bassline is very similar to Kylie's Can't Get You Out Of My Head.

But whatever possessed her to go tramping about in the woodlands dressed in a wedding dress for the video?

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My diaspora's bigger than yours...

Marija Serifovic (the one on the right) will be singing a dreary old ballad for Serbia in Helsinki. And in some polls, her sleep-inducing effort is tipped to be a front runner. I hope not, because it's so plodding and dull that I almost slipped into a coma when I tried to listen to the whole thing.

Even more worrying than that, in order to manipulate the voting, it appears that she'll be relying on Serb televoters living outside Serbia to phone in and vote for her. I read at doteurovision today that apparently a Serbian government official has called on Serb televoters outside the country to call in and support her, regardless of what the other songs are like. According to doteurovision, Marija "thanked the minister for his support".

In my opinion, this is exactly what Eurovision doesn't need. It's supposed to be a song and performance contest. Not a "my diaspora's bigger than yours" contest. And neighbourly voting doesn't need any encouragement anyway, it's already thriving. Good grief, whatever happened to good old British notions of fair play and simply voting for the best song on the night, rather than blindly voting on the basis of nationality!

Having read this news, I definitely won't be voting for this entry. In fact, you could stick a thumping electro beat behind it, make her sing three times faster, add a key change and a cheesy dance routine, and I still wouldn't vote for her.

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You'll catch your death dressed like that!

What is it about the older generaration which compels them to dress for arctic weather even when it's baking hot? Today was a gloriously warm, sunny day in south London, and yet as I walked to the park to sit amongst the first sun-worshippers of the season, I was given cause to whip out my camera phone and take a snap of this monstrosity.

I just don't get it - it's hot, it's sunny, it's humid - why would anyone layer themselves up and add a big quilted jacket with matching hat on top? I dread to think of the buckets of sweat which must have been pouring off her underneath there. I for one would not have wanted to end up standing anywhere near her in the post office queue.

What is more shocking is that she had somehow managed to twin the outfit with a pair of Deirdre-Barlow-esque sunglasses. I suppose she was trying to cover all eventualities.

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Deirdre's your drama queen tonight

While watching poor Deirdre on Coronation Street this week coping with the fact that her husband-battering daughter Tracy has just been sent down to do bird in one of Her Majesty's prisons, it occured to me that long-suffering Deirdre has become one of soap's tragic figures. After all, she did a spell in prison herself after being implicated in her ex-husband's fraudulent activities. At least things are looking up for Deirdre, as she's been selected to represent the Ukraine at this year's Eurovision Song Contest. To avoid being spotted in Helsinki, she's taken to wrapping herself up in bacofoil like a Thanksgiving turkey. And see the way she has covered up those straining neck ligaments with a fur trimmed Ukrainian hoodie. The spectacles gave it away though. But after performing this mad-cap entry, let's just hope that poor Deirdre Barlow/Rachid doesn't end up facing another spell at Her Majesty's pleasure.

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Air hostess, I like the way you dress

According to unconfirmed rumours on the internet, Scooch have successfully got themselves a new record deal, which will allow the release of Flying the Flag in shops on 30th April 2007. Does anybody out there still by CD singles then? The song has been available on iTunes for some time.

Of course, they won't be the first group to have pressed an airline-related tune onto vinyl. If Danish televoters had chosen more wisely, Scooch might have been up against another airport-themed tune, courtesy of Annette Heick's Copenhagen Airport. And who could forget Busted's Air Hostess? But what would you get if you crossed Scooch's camp trolley dolleying with Busted's punky pop? As you can see below, the result is quite wonderful.

And if you haven't already seen Annette Heick's airport schlager melody, check it out here.

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Can't dance, shouldn't be allowed to dance

Having looked a little closer at D'Nash's D'readful video, I am shocked to uncover the fact that it conceals carefully one of Eurovision's worst ever pieces of dancing. He might look like hot tapas but he dances like a wet fish. Should you wish to emulate this unrivalled piece of choreography, simply follow this simple guide:

Step 1: Push arms forward and pull them back like you're ski-ing in the alps

Step 2: Swing left, bring your elbows up to the sides and push outwards, like you're barging someone aside to get served first at the bar

Step 3: Continue swinging left, bring arms down in front of you, and make like you're about to undo your fly

Step 4: Bend over slightly (careful which clubs you do this in), bring arms up like wings and waggle backside like a drunken duck

Step 5: Now you've mastered it, head to G-A-Y bar in Old Compton Street where everyone knows this dance (except for the lesbians). And here it is in all it's animated glory:

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And finally, 12 points goes to... golden balls!

The worrying trend of lookalikes taking part at Eurovision continues unabated with the discovery that D'Nash of Spain appear to have recruited David Beckham to play for their side in Helsinki. Let's hope he does better for Spain than he did for Real Madrid.

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Nash wallpaper on demand

I've had a request to make some D'Nash wallpaper. If you haven't heard of them already, D'Nash are the latest act selected by Spain to woefully underperform at Eurovision this year. I think we can safely say it won't be Madrid 2008 on the evidence provided in their video below. Take a look and you'll see what I mean.

Like all boybands, they have obviously been made on the production line using a strict selection process to ensure their appeal to as wide an audience as possible. With D'Nash, you get the complete set... a sharp blonde one, the stubbly hard-nut variety, the soppy one that looks like Jimmy Osmond and... hang on, how did they get that ugly one with too much ungroomed hair and dirty beard growth through quality control? (Don't worry, if you use the wallpaper, he's right at the back and if you squint while using your PC, he won't spoil the visual eye-candy experience).

It appears likely that poor D'Nash squandered most of their budget achieving that authentic chess-board black and white style video. There appears to have been little left in the kitty to afford either a decent song or a choreographer to teach them some dance moves. Instead, we've blown the entire budget on special effects which make the various members of D'Nash float slowly across the screen.

Anyway, help yourself to the wallpaper by left clicking, wait til it downloads, then right-click, set as desktop background.

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