It all comes down to Humperdinck
Eurovision Song Contest:
hopes of ending its dismal run at the Eurovision Song Contest rest with Engelbert Humperdinck, 76, whose last hit was in the 1970s – but the choice could prove to be inspired. Despite Britain’s rich popular music heritage, in recent years it has developed an unenviable habit of scoring ‘‘nul points’’ from Eurovision voters and usually places towards the lower reaches of the final scoreboard. Selectors hope Humperdinck (pictured), one of a handful of septuagenarians competing in the 2012 contest, will claim the crown for Britain for the first time since Katrina and The Waves won in 1997. In fact, Humperdinck isn’t the oldest performer at the contest, the finals of which screen on SBS this weekend from Azerbaijan. That honour goes to a Russian woman a few months his senior. Humperdinck admits he ‘‘wasn’t really into watching the whole thing’’ until he was selected to represent Britain. ‘‘I just watched little bits and pieces,’’ he says. ‘‘But this time I am because the BBC asked me to be involved in it and it seems that the people of the UK have taken it more seriously.’’ Fans of the performer, who has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, are now predominantly silver-haired – unsurprising considering his last hit was Too Beautiful To Last in 1972. His biggest success came in 1967 with Release Me, which beat The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever to No. 1 on Britain’s singles chart. ‘‘With my experience and the amount of countries I visited in Europe, I can bring this home,’’ Humperdinck says. ‘‘I play these countries frequently and I hope I have scored some points with them.’’ Britain has won Eurovision five times, but only once in the past 30 years. Humperdinck will take viewers on a romantic journey with his song Love Will Set You Free. ‘‘I think it has a great chance,’’ he says.
Semi-finals Friday, Saturday, 8.30pm; Final Sunday, 6.30pm, SBS ONE.
Is Britney the X-wreck factor?
The X Factor American judges (from left) L.A. Reid, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell and Britney Spears.
BRITNEY Spears and Demi Lovato are bringing their star power to US network Fox’s The X Factor. The network has officially announced what had been a poorly kept secret, that Spears will join Simon Cowell’s music competition for its second season.
Spears, wearing a white minidress, came onstage at Fox’s New York upfront presentation with Cowell, Lovato and the remaining judge, L.A. Reid.
Spears says she is ‘‘so excited about the whole experience’’ and that it will be different from anything she’s ever done.
However, Howard Stern has criticised Cowell’s decision to hire Spears, saying he fears the fragile star will be a ‘‘train wreck’’ on the show.
Cowell is rumoured to have signed Spears for a reported $US15 million ($A14.96 million) deal and his America’s Got Talent star Stern is already angry about the singer’s appointment.
Stern is worried Spears, who famously suffered numerous public meltdowns, won’t be able to take the pressure of such a high-profile TV role and will have little to contribute.
‘‘Britney still thinks the Earth is flat,’’ he tells Access Hollywood.
‘‘Listen, I think we’re going to tune in to see her, if she can sort of function through the thing. As far as any real criticism, I think Simon and (fellow judge) LA Reid will be doing that. I think Britney is going to stand there and eat a lollipop and wear a sexy outfit.
‘‘I don’t anticipate great opinions out of her. I think she’s going to sit there like J Lo ( American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez) and say, ‘Oh, you’re wonderful. You’re terrific. Do you think I could get a perfume endorsement out of this? You think I could perform on the show?’ I think that’s what it’s about . . . So I’ll tune in to see what kind of train wreck she is, absolutely.’’