Get ready for the greatest show on Earth!
Dust off your jewelled capes, air out your pleather leotards and put on that mirror ball suit, prepare your eyes people because it’s nearly time for the greatest yearly event to ever infect this earth.
Mothers day? Pfft! Christmas? Get out! Mardi Gras?! This is something much more fabulous!
We’re talking EUROVISION!!!
If you have never had the honour of watching this beautiful and confusing extravaganza then I’m sorry, I had no idea your life had been so hard up until this point. Lucky for you, Eurovision has been around for 61 years and as far as I can see they have no reason to stop.
I’m assuming (hoping) that even if you have never watched it before, you at least know what it is but just in case you are truly oblivious to the whole world of Eurovision I will educate you a little.
Beginning back in 1956 the first Eurovision song contest took place with just 7 countries. Now the competition grows bigger and better every year hosting up to 43 countries including Australia… for some reason. Try not to think about that logic too hard, the performances rarely make sense so there’s no reason the rules should.
It is a Europe (and Australia) wide song competition that begins with 2 semi finals. In Australia these will broadcast on SBS in May on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th (2017).
All the countries are split into one of these semi finals as they put forward their competing champion. Some countries known as “The big five” (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) as well as the country that won the year before will go straight into the finals.
The Grand final will air on Sunday 14th of May and that’s the main event! (Pointer: avoid social media that day because Australia airs much later than everywhere else and you can ruin it for yourself very easily)
If you’re only ever going to watch one night then make it this one. Gather your friends, gather some drinks and get ready to hurl insults at the screen, make a night of it!
The countries compete, they all vote (don’t ask me to explain how this works, my understanding of this segment was always sketchy at best and last year they changed the system so now I’m completely lost), there’s a grand reveal with the winner and then we get to watch them snot cry through their winning song one last time while confetti guns go off everywhere.
Doesn’t that sound nice??
Then the next year that country will most likely host Eurovision.
There are a few rules involved and I find it helps to know these to fully enjoy the night.
- A max of 6 people on stage per performance
- Singing must be done live but instruments do not need to be played live
- Song must be written for the song contest
There are definitely more but I don’t care enough to research.
I don’t have an official bucket list but I have a few things saved up in my brain tank as future goals. One is to live in another country for at least a year. Another is to buy a bus (bonus points for a double decker bus which would include a firemans pole), pimp it out with whatever the crap I want and actually do as much of the work myself as I can then drive around Australia parking outside towns and driving motorbikes in.
The other is to attend a Eurovision grand final… sounds way too simple and a little boring after the bus thing to be honest.
Anyway back to Eurovision because that’s the wonderful event that brought us all together today.
If I’ve made any sense then I’m hoping you should understand how it works at this point and I can move on to the many things I love about it.
Lets start with the Australian presenters.
Now… this one’s a little bitter sweet because it is absolutely one of my favourite parts about it but it looks like this year they will not be involved for whatever reason. I’m not sure if they have been replaced or if we are supposed to watch it without hosts so maybe Eurovision will look very different this year.
For the 5 years I have been watching the show the hosts have always been Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang, 2 comedians who add a healthy dose of scarcasm and genuine love for the strangeness of the show. They usually say all the crap I’m thinking.
That brings me onto the next thing I love about the show “The Strangeness”.
If you have read some of my other blogs I have talked before about my love for B movies, particularly B horror. Old movies where they try their hardest with the limited resources and very limited talent and knowledge and they churned out beautiful slices of shit pie which I will continue to consume throughout the years because it only gets better with age. I genuinely enjoy watching things where I can yell at the screen “Really?! That’s what you’re going with?!” or “Why is this happening?!?!”
While Eurovision is nowhere near a B horror film, It does OFTEN have far too many WTF moments to be taken as a serious song contest and it does sometimes feel like a B attempt at song writing. But this only enhances my love for it because although it is often terrible and feels like it’s so obscure that nobody would understand what’s happening… people still watch! Lots of people! A LOT of countries broadcast it and it makes me smile thinking of all the people sitting back and enjoying or tolerating the beautiful musical shit pie being served… whether they want it or not.
There are some beautiful things you pick up when you watch it over time as well.
For example: Do “The big five” ever actually try and win? Or are they intentionally shit every year because they don’t want to have to host it the next year. (I mean… really UK? Engelbert Humperdinck?)
Or, why does San Marino sound like they are creating “Cruise ship” music every year?
Also, when will Montenegro win already?!
It’s really hard to put into words so I’m just going to leave a few things hear to create intrigue.
Here are a few of history’s greatest (The ones I’m aware of at least, I know I’m probably missing some very important entries).
If you’ve seen any Eurovision performances then there is a high chance you have seen this popular gem!
Disco ball drag queen. Need I say more?
This next one is everything!
Well done Romania 2013 you picked a Good’n!
This is the heartwarming tale of an operatic Volcano man who takes on Dub step and becomes a legend! Keep an eye of for the SURPRISE! costume reveal and 6th member, then take a drink!
My friend sent me this video of Estonia 2008 with this description
“ Do you feel like you know what’s going on too much of the time? Want to feel utterly confused for a few minutes? Watch Estonia 2008!”
This video has everything I need in a Eurovision performance. There are 3 sexy backup dancers holding confusing signs, 3 lead singers with all the charisma of 80’s business men, one guy thrusting into a piano and it ends in a cheerleading pyramid. What else do you need?!
And FINALLY! Step aside crack fox! Here comes ‘Dustin the Turkey’ from Ireland 2008! 80’s business men AND a signing turkey? 2008 was a strong year!
Here you will see the equally as creepy turkey cousin of the crack fox who pulled his life together, quit the drugs and took up the art of music. Gathering together his sexy Irish showgirl friends they formed a band and the rest is history. Kinda bad video quality history.
Those videos should hopefully lead me on perfectly to talk about my next point. The costumes!
Holy freaking fucking sheeeeet!!!!!! THE COSTUMES!!!!
Once again, if you have read any of my past blogs, it should come as no surprise to you that I am all about these costumes. Some of them I love because they are beautiful and some of them I love because they are “What the fuck?!” costumes to match the “What the actual fuck?!!” songs.
This is how I like to imagine their thought process:
“Person 1: Wow we’re going to win! We have written such a beautiful song and we’re smashing it!
Person 2: Yeah! … hey do you think it’s too serious? Too boring?
Person 1: ………. We’ll add rappers and put them in astronaut costumes.
Person 2: BRILLIANT!”
And finally! The social aspect!
I’ve touched on this already but there is really only one way to watch Eurovison.
Gather people, plan an event, build up hype, DRESS UP and for the love of god please bring alcohol. As far as I’m concerned, it is not designed to be watched sober and I’m not even sure it’s possible.
Once upon a time my mates pieced together what became our official Eurovision drinking game. There are many out there but these are some of the rules we picked:
- Anytime someone is clearly not playing their instrument
- The elements! Eg. Fire, water, smoke
- Fucking wind machines
- A costume reveal — costume changes mid performance
- The “señor Chang” rule — Any time there is one particular back up dancer or singer who has gone way beyond the rest with enthusiasm and is stealing the show!
(See Armenia’s entry 2010 for a great example and watch the orange guy carry the performance!)
- Key change!
- Not singing in English
- Greece sings a song about partying
- Surprise! 6th member appears on stage part way through the performance. Grand reveal!
As I said, this is just our “go to” but I’m sure there are many wonderful drinking games out there.
This year my best friend and I have decided to go all out, it feels like the right time and we will be attempting to recreate the costumes from the video below to the best of our ability.
I just bought these shoes which I hope to wear forever and ever because they are freaking-pimp!!
13 days until Eurovision, people! Get ready!
I leave you with this, please enjoy the musical stylings of Ireland’s very own, JEDWARD!!