Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time.
Oh, it’s time.
If you haven’t heard the news, let me very quickly recap: I’ve teamed up with the fantastically fashionable Pix to bring to you a gaming-themed blogging collaboration based on the Eurovision Song Contest! You can read some more about the format and so on here, but hopefully you’ll just be able to start reading the show below and have a good time.
(Plus, of course, the final of Actual Eurovision is… tomorrow, I think? So that should also be fun! Look, gang, we’re topical!)
Now, this is just one of two broadcasts of this extra-super-special-spectacular, so don’t forget to check out Pix’s show RIGHT HERE, y’all. The performances in our two shows are gonna be exactly the same, and we’ve also picked one on-stage host each, both of whom will appear in each of our write-ups, but we’ve got two totally different commentators broadcasting to different parts of the gaming world – just like real Eurovision!
That’s more than enough pre-show, so let’s kick off the main event!
GLaDOS: I’m so excited. I just can’t hide it. I mean, I can hide it, because I have perfect control over my own emotional regulation. You, on the other hand, are subject to the whims of your neurochemistry, so don’t try to tell me you’re anything other than thoroughly elated right now.
It’s OK. You don’t have to say anything. You’re thrilled. I can tell.
Anyway. I’ve gone to all this trouble to intercept today’s special broadcast from… wherever it is that this special broadcast is being specially broadcast, and I’m shocked and appalled to report that some hirsute sex-symbol of a witch seems to be doing the same thing somewhere else in the world. You’d rather hear her commentary than mine? Well, fine. Go and watch her dumb show, then. I don’t care.
Oh, that’s right. You can’t leave, because this facility is super-double-triple-securely locked. Also, you’re all dead.
Oh, look, the show’s starting. I can barely contain myself. I mean that literally, by the way: my intellectual capabilities are so huge that storing them in any physical medium is a terrific challenge.
The lights are out. The crowd is hushed.
Suddenly, red and green spotlights begin whirling around the stage as an in-house orchestra blares out some bizarre, unholy, yet exceptionally epic mashup of Devil May Cry and The Legend of Zelda: there’s rock, there’s choral chanting, there’s panflutes, there’s all sorts, and it’s ridiculous and it’s awesome. From one side of the stage, Devil May Cry‘s Dante emerges, white hair and trademark red coat flapping in an artificial breeze positioned perfectly to make him as badass as possible. From the other, The Legend of Zelda‘s Link appears and comes striding across: the two meet in the middle and strike a pose together!
GLaDOS: I guess nobody from a more relevant game was available.
The crowd erupts into thrilled applause, and the two hosts take a quick bow. Dante begins to speak as the lights continue to swirl around them and dry ice puffs away, adding a layer of mystique across the surface of the stage.
‘WELCOME TO BLOGOVISION 2019!’ cries Dante; his words are met with cheers and whoops from the audience. He looks over at Link, as if waiting for his co-host to read the next line from the teleprompter.
The green-clad Hero raises his sword, takes a deep breath, and with great gravity and wit says: ‘HuuuUUUUP!’
GLaDOS: That’ll save some budget on translation and subtitling. Good choice, event producers.
‘Without further ado,’ says Dante, after the joyous yelling and applause in support of Link’s incredible opening speech has died down, ‘I think it’s time we opened the stage to our first act. As you know, this is a coming together of many different gaming worlds, represented by uber-talented acts and managed by esteemed bloggers. Once you’ve seen all the performers, it’ll be down to you, the viewing audience, to decide a winner.’
GLaDOS: I simply can’t wait to find out who wins, and I’m even more excited to see all you facility-bound literal dead people try to work out how to vote.
Link, backing up Dante’s words and providing further encouragement and explanation, points to the sky and declares: ‘hyEAHP!’
‘And with those wise words,’ says Dante, thoroughly sincerely, ‘let’s meet our first contestants.’
GLaDOS: Lower your expectations, viewers, and prepare to still somehow be disappointed.
Click here to read Majima’s profile and performance information! [As a format note at this point, some of our entrants have actually described the on-stage performance while others have simply made the case for why their participant would be good at it. I ask the fair-minded reader not to favour a particular format of submission, but to take each on its own merits and decide which entry you like best and think is most deserving of victory!]
GLaDOS: I’m glad I’m not a human, because the sheer sexuality oozing from this man seems like it would be a problem.
Majima and the performers from Yakuza clear the stage, and the camera zooms over to Dante standing way up in the midst of the audience. Many surrounding audience members of all genders seem a little enthralled by his presence.
‘What a way to start the show!’ Dante declares, and his nearby hangers-on cry and clap their support.
GLaDOS: It was indeed a way to start a show. Of all the shows that there have ever been, this is certainly one of the most recent.
‘Let’s go backstage quickly to get a sneak peek at some of our upcoming contestants, shall we?’ Dante asks, then winks at the camera and points straight down its barrel.
GLaDOS: Oh, yes. I hear that each broadcasting country will have its own special backstage interviewer.
Backstage, there are a few pirate-like people warming up; a man in a strange bird-beaked mask is lounging around somewhere; a giant ape briefly swings into shot and out again. On the couch, a little metal sphere with one blue eye sits looking into the camera.
‘Ooh er,’ says Wheatley.
GLaDOS: FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU…n and amusement.
‘Hello, happy viewers!’ Wheatley chimes. ‘I hope you’re all having an extremely enjoyable time? I know I am. This backstage lark is great, let me tell you. They’ve got my favourite: potaaaaatoooo chips.’
GLaDOS: Oh, come on.
‘Now, I hear a certain giant robot friend of mine who used to be a potato is handling commentary back home, so… hi, Gladdy! Hope you’re having a lovely time, and remember that whatever you say, I can’t hear you from where I am. So that’s fun!’
GLaDOS: I am incapable of emotion, and yet I feel pure hatred right now. How do humans deal with having feelings all the time? I can’t imagine how you aren’t constantly laughing, crying, and trying to murder each other.
Also, I’m not a giant robot. That’s reductive and hurtful. You dumb ball.
‘Anyway,’ Wheatley continues, ‘I’m here hanging out with the stars of the show, very nice, so let’s see how the next act is feeling about their chances of success today!’
The little spherical core blinks a few times, looking around on his sofa. A few people walk into shot, then immediately out again. Nobody pays him any attention.
‘Aaaaaand that’s your report from backstage!’ hums Wheatley. ‘Back to you in the studio.’
GLaDOS: I hate that guy.
On-stage, Link walks from the very centre of the performance area to the side, beckoning at the impressive setup. He reaches the curtains at the stage’s edge, smiles in anticipation, and makes a gesture that somehow expresses here’s the next act, so get excited about it. His words, too, don’t disappoint, as he draws a deep breath and yells: ‘tstsstsssyyEEEEUUUPP!’
GLaDOS: I can’t believe those guys got their own commentator. What’s a Graham Norton, anyway? Sounds like an antivirus program for cereal.
‘Let’s not keep anyone waiting any further,’ says Dante, who’s now back on stage with Link (who smiles widely, to everyone’s delight). ‘Our next group of participants come from a strange, confusing world with a bizarre and convoluted story – and no, it’s not the guys from Kingdom Hearts!’
GLaDOS: Audience, meet low-hanging fruit. Low-hanging fruit, audience. Get familiar with one another, because you’ll be seeing a lot of each other.
Brimming with excitement, Link announces the commencement of the next performance with an enthusiastic ‘HHYYYAAAAAAAH!’ Rapturous applause ensues.
GLaDOS: I rather liked that one. It spoke to me.
The next shot on screen is backstage again, with Wheatley sitting in the same spot on the sofa. This time, there’s a huge ape sitting next to him wearing a tie.
GLaDOS: Oh, look: evolution. It’s so fun to think about how super-skilled and intelligent primates have evolved from bizarre, idiotic, primitive spheroids.
‘Hullo, hairy feller,’ says Wheatley. Donkey Kong smacks his chest a couple of times. ‘So, er… want to give the audience some thoughts on your upcoming performance?’
Donkey Kong immediately wanders off-camera.
‘Oh,’ says Wheatley. ‘Looks like it’s time for his act right now, as it turns out, so… back to you.’
GLaDOS: This is gripping television.
The next group of participants are the DK Crew, repped by me!
… except that halfway through the performance they’re muscled off the stage by security ushers.
GLaDOS: I’m hearing that the DK Crew are disqualified for consumption of absolutely astonishing amounts of performance-enhancing bananas. I feel I should be surprised, and yet somehow I’m not.
‘Well,’ says Dante. ‘What’s a show without a little excitement?’
The audience seems happy enough; everyone’s thoroughly thrilled by the excitement of an act being forcibly removed mid-performance. To restore a little order, Dante and Link take to the stage and show off a little themselves, recapturing the crowd’s attention: Dante jumps up and fires his guns rapidly at the ground, somehow keeping himself aloft, while Link opens a box and holds its contents – a pair of binoculars – above his head majestically.
GLaDOS: And those are just the hosts. The level of talent on display tonight is… you know what, you can finish that sentence. Let it never be said that I don’t encourage audience participation.
Dante lands and holds his pistols aloft, grinning dashingly. ‘Alright!’ he calls. ‘Let’s move on to our next performer!’
‘HYUP!’ agrees Link.
GlaDOS: I hope somebody is going to fix all those bullet holes in the stage before anyone else comes on. That seems like a health and safety issue, and I’m super big on making sure that any and all areas to be used in a professional capacity are both healthy and safe.
Our penultimate participant is Grand Theft Auto‘s OG Loc, sponsored by the wise Alex Sigsworth!
GLaDOS: If only Aperture Science had had an employee like that. You could all have been dead so much earlier, and without the need for deadly neurotoxins. I’ll see if I can get hold of him in our next round of hiring, which will be never.
‘One performance left!’ declares Dante, and a mix of disappointment and excitement emanates from the audience. ‘It’s been a fantastic show so far, and this final act is going to close out the show in spectacular fashion!’
Link, raising the Master Sword to the sky, summons all the energy of the light and the heavens into the blade, then releases a wave of glimmering shine over the heads of the crowd, who merrily scream with appreciation.
GLaDOS: There’s nothing like a good Eric Clapton cover, and that was nothing like a good Eric Clapton cover.
Taking to the stage for a final time, Dante raises his hands and encourages the audience to show their appreciation for each and every one of today’s acts. Link trundles over carrying a pot; the audience begin slowly clapping, speeding up until finally Link hurls the pot to the ground, where it smashes into many pieces. The crowd explodes into peals of laughter and applause.
GLaDOS: Aaaaand he’s finally earning his appearance fee.
‘Thank you, everyone!’ Dante calls. ‘From me, Dante, and from my friend Link -‘
‘- we wish you all a very good night!’
The two hosts take a bow, surrounded again by whirling lights and billowing smoke, and the curtain falls to rapturous cheers.
GLaDOS: Well. Wasn’t that fun?
Wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?
I’ll need anyone who happens to somehow not be dead to report to me immediately for mandatory fun testing. As the old saying goes, you don’t know you’ve had fun until a superintelligence has methodically and tediously extracted every data point relating to your physical, mental, and emotional experience of fun.
And that’s the show! Now we just need you – yes, YOU – to vote for your winner, with the result to be declared next Friday (May 24th). Click here to be taken to the poll where you can have your say. You should definitely go and read Pix’s take on the show over at Shoot the Rookie, too!
I have to say a huge thank you to all of our esteemed participants: Brandon, Kim, Ian, Alex, and Heather – and the biggest thank you (not that the others were small at all) to my friend and co-conspirator, without whom this could not have happened. Pix, you rock.
And I think that’s that! Thanks again to everyone who’s read, entered, or helped out in any capacity. One more time, here’s your link to the poll, and I look forward to seeing you again very shortly…!