The lads have made much fuss about their farewell 'Greatest Hits' tour, even though they actually sing a lot of other people's music. I'm not talking about the obvious covers they have adopted as hits in their own right over the years (although we do get these too), what I'm referring to is the medley of hits including Kings of Leon's 'Sex on Fire', Black Eyed Peas' 'I Gotta Feeling', and the Pussycat Dolls' 'Don't Cha' - where Kian and co pranced up and down the stage in sync teasing the 16,000-strong throng of 30-something women with the genius rearrangement of lyrics "Don't cha wish your BOYFRIEND was hot like me". Fromage, yup. Did we love it? Yup.
Much like the recent Steps tour, this gig was pure unadulterated pop, clichéd costumes and glitter balls to boot - a guilty pleasure in every way. They even dance. Yes, Westlife DANCED! It might not have been totally in sync but I'm splitting hairs... they all gave it a jolly good go and the fact the choreographer got many mentions proves that getting the veteran foursome off their trademark stools was quite some feat. The obvious hard work paid off, and the attempted shape throwing made for a better show for sure.
And the clothes, less impressive. A nod to 19th-century Dickensian fashion in the opening number, moving swiftly into matching Supermarket Sweep-esque blue blazers (more Wiggles than Westlife), and finally settling on the 'boyband look' circa 1995 - vests and crucifix necklaces. Whatever the lads wore (or didn't), it mattered not. The ladies screamed.
And it was the love of their loyal fans which proved the most amusing part of the show. Turning the attention on to their baying buxom beauties, the lads took the rest of us through the famous audience banners that adorn the front rows. The "I've come from Canada, do you want my beaver?" banner certainly caused the biggest belly laugh from yours truly. Fortunately the young tinnitus-inducing Kian fans behind me were too busy crying to join in my smutty sense of humour.
I might be coming across as a little sarcastic about Ireland's most successful pop export, but truth be told, what they do, they do well. They sing, they (apparently) dance, and one thing's for certain, they provided me and the thousands of heartbroken honeys a most enjoyable night. Farewell indeed chaps.
From one massively entertaining, slightly cheesy concert, to the Ultimate Big Daddy of cheese fests - this weekend it was Eurovision.
Azerbaijan was the host of the world's most 'cringe' contest, and as I settled down nursing a rogue summer cold, it was duvet telly heaven.
Where do I start? Now, they don't come more patriotic than me, but our UK entry Engelbert Humperdinck was so bad he actually stood a ruddy good chance of bagging pole position. That is, of course, if the rest of Europe didn't hate us and if we'd actually chosen The Hump through the previous, and ditched, multi-choice voting system. The curse of 'first is last' was almost true as the UK basically started and finished without fanfare.
That's not to say BBC One wasn't worth staying with, for what turned out to be one of the funniest and most horrendously entertaining shows I've seen in yonks. This year power vocals seemed to be the order of the day... and some even came close to hitting the notes.
Maybe it was my vast dosage of Night Nurse, but the dancing Russian Grannies, the (unintentional) Sacha Baron Cohen lookalike, the writhing Swedish sex bomb, and the lad from Lithuania's blindfolded 'just done a wet fart' dancing, caused such a bronchial outburst my lungs are still recovering. Even Ireland's entry, Jedward, looked lame and lethargic in comparison.
Our inner thoughts hilariously vocalised by Graham Norton, as the night wore on (and on and on...), his commentary served as the perfect accompaniment to the spectacle.
Usually the most laborious and boring bit, the voting marathon actually served to be equally entertaining. Playing celebrity lookalikes with the international (cue Martine McCutcheon) 'This is my moment' presenters passed a few hours at least. Without exception, all treating it like a worldwide screen test. I clocked a Greek Stacey Solomon, a Macedonian Heart FM's Harriet Scott, an Icelandic Emma Willis and a Latvian Gary Barlow. The less said about Finland's offering the better, but at least we all know what's happened to Russell Brand.
Four days, 21 hours and 30 minutes later (or so it felt), Sweden and its catchy dance ditty were crowned the Eurovision winners of 2012. As Spain breathed a sigh of relief having already told their entry not to win, being reluctant to cough up for a hosting stint, it's over to the Swedes to trump Baku's offering next year. The job of finding a venue big enough to host 2013's Eurovision in Sweden is now on. I reckon you should just clear out an Ikea, problem solved.