CHAPTER 24 – A DATE WITH DESTINY
It was late May so have a wild guess at what we’re going to talk about…
HELLO EUROPE! I would be liking to thank you for being at our book end. As we are on May, this month is all relate to the togetherness of Europe. The continent with the largemost amount of countries cornering Switzerland into a geographical landlocked corner, and a few hangers on…Israel, I’m looking at you. Coming together for to make music on your aural bits. Of course, it’s Eurovision, so please sit in juries, and delegate your votes onto ours memoirs. Hah…Terry Wogan!
We could feel it. Destiny was coming ever closer. And with a semi-final to go, the Eurovision party was getting started early. The boys were not hopeful of winning and were just happy to be there. We were all going to make the most of this event and soak up the atmosphere.
With Spain being one of the big four money contributors, the others being France, Germany and the UK, Taurus did not have to compete in the semi-final.
“I just want to get out there and perform!” said Pat.
“Just because we’re not in the semi does not leave us with a void my friend,” said Ashley. “I’ll tell you why. It’s only two days until the Eurovision final. Do you realise that?”
Of course he knew that. Had any of them been thinking about anything else for the last few months? Even the American Adventure couldn’t distract them from this. (And I don’t mean the theme park near Derby!)
“Do you know what this means?” continued Ashley excitedly.
“It’s three hundred and sixty three days since the last one?” said Robert sarcastically.
“Probably. But what I actually mean is that tonight, it’s the semi-final, which for me is equally exciting. Well, not equally exciting, but marginally more exciting than that.”
I’d never watched the semi-final before. A semi had only been introduced the year before due to the increasing nations wanting to take part. Only the Big Four plus the winner and host, Ukraine, automatically qualified for the final, meaning that some of the more traditional Eurovision nations now had to fight it out to get to the final.
It was a tough old group, and hard to pick who’d go through. Quality of song versus geographical weighting: it’s a betting man’s nightmare. Though as far as we were concerned, the main competition for Taurus was Javine. Especially if she had another tactical wardrobe malfunction.
The votes came in, and the final line-up of twenty-four nations had been decided and were picked in the following running order: Hungary, United Kingdom, Malta, Romania, Norway, Turkey, Moldova, Albania, Cyprus, Spain, Israel, Serbia and Montenegro, Denmark, Sweden, FYR Macedonia, Ukraine, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Latvia and France. Quite frankly I was mystified by some of the choices. Some of the better songs didn’t make it, but we weren’t too worried about that.
I’d love to say that we were going to storm it, but it was just not likely. Of course you can never predict too accurately with the Big E-V. Performing second wasn’t going to help Javine’s chances, and performing tenth for Taurus could have been better.
Saturday finally came around and the boys were as nervous as they had ever been. This was the stage they’d wanted to perform on ever since the aftermath of the Eurovision party, back at our old house in York in May 2003. But to say that they were the most nervous was a misconception. They were nothing compared to Michael and I. At least they could do something about it.
There were some long waits between sound checks and lighting checks, and all Michael and I could do were offer words of encouragement, praise and try our best to be a calming influence. That’s not easy when you’re in tatters yourself. I couldn’t even eat. How daft is that?
When it finally came time for the competition to start we tried to take our mind off it. Being primary members of the Taurus entourage, we were allowed backstage. But all we could manage was small talk. We had to try and pretend we were just normal spectators and that it didn’t mean much to us.
“I’ve got Greece in a sweepstake with the rest of the crew. What do you reckon?” I asked Michael.
“It’s got a very good chance. It’s one of my picks. Not long to go!”
“If the UK had any chance at all they stand no chance performing second.”
“It’s a tough position to start from. Maybe she will just come out and attack the song!”
“Just like Michael Ball did. Watch her attack it…watch her…”
“Do you fancy another Kronenbourg? Maybe that means France is favourite now!”
And then it was the time for Taurus to perform. We sat forward and stopped our inane drivel.
The boys looked great in tailored suits and the performance was simple but effective. No gimmicks, no costume changes, no dramatics, just damn good pop music. They were not intimidated by the occasion, or the size of the venue. They looked like true stars on the stage and the crowd were appreciative. Remember though that a good performance on the night is not an indication of how well you’ll do in the voting. It’s different to how a bad performance (off-key or out of time) is a definite indication of poor voting.
With the performance over, Robert, Patrick and Ashley came back stage to join us. This gave us fourteen more songs time in which to get pissed, maximising the chances of looking stupid when the cameras came backstage during the voting.
The voting was fairly uneventful. That’s the best way I can put it really. That’s as sugar coated as I can do. There’s no nice way to say that Taurus didn’t get many votes. But being a fan of the band, (I hope that’s why you’re reading this,) I’m assuming you already know the result. For those of you that don’t know, the guys came twenty-first out of twenty-four. Greece were the winners.
We should have seen it coming. I suppose we did in a way. It was just not early enough. I hope I’m not spoiling your fun. I’m just telling it like it is. Taurus were simply not destined to win the Eurovision Song Contest.