It comes but once a year. And most of the time that feels a little too often.
Yes, it’s that of the year when we dust down our camp costumes and out-dated national stereotypes for the glory of the Eurovision Song Contest. No other competition unites a continent through the medium of bad music in the quite the same way. Come Saturday night there’s every chance you’ll be begging the Moldovan jury for ‘douze points’.
This year’s event won’t disappoint when it comes to the right combination of the surreal and the cheesy. [Click on Eurovision infographic to enlarge]
The Swedes have ramped up the catchy for their effort. The country that brought us musical giants such as Abba and Ace of Base are favourites to win, but using what looks like Cher’s [slightly] younger sister is a move that will send children across Europe to bed with nightmares.
Russia have targeted a niche market with their granny-centric slice of mental. It’s a bold and very ‘Eurovision’ move, but you’d wonder if Wayne Rooney will vote often enough to see them to victory.
Closer to home, both Ireland and the United Kingdom are reckoned to have a better chance of winning than in recent years. In a daring decision, the UK have reanimated the corpse of Engelbert Humperdinck for this year’s attempt.
It looks like he’s stolen his hair from a Lego man, but the 76-year-old can still belt the tunes out. They have made the crucial error however of having a decent song and decent songs rarely come out on top of the Eurovision voting.
Ireland threaten rest of Europe with Jedward victory
Jedward get their second attempt at Eurovision glory this year. Last year, they finished 8th, which was considered a creditable performance. Especially for lads with the musical flair of a piano rolling down a staircase. With outlandish costumes, a weird stage and an absolute ear-worm of a tune, you can understand why they’re fifth favourites and in with a real chance of being crowned Europe’s cheesiest.
After securing their place in the final by qualifying from Tuesday’s 1st semi-final, one of them looked ahead to Saturday. “We’re just going to keep our cool,” John or Edward said. “We’re going to go out there and do an amazing performance and who knows what’s going to happen. But no matter what happens, we’re going to have the biggest homecoming ever in Dublin Airport.” The biggest homecoming ever and possibly the most customs officers offering to do body cavity searches ever.
Anyway, with all the bloc voting, politics and danger of being blinded by colourful spandex, it can be hard to figure which of Europe’s cat-stranglers are going to win the competition. We’ve put together this helpful Eurovision Infographic including stats and facts which may help you pick the winner. It may not, but it’s good to have as a distraction for key cringe moments throughout the night.