Right guys, if you’re in Europe it’s the seventh best day of the year tomorrow! (Obviously Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve, Halloween and your birthday come first, but NOTHING else does.) This is a night where parties sweep across the country, especially in fancy dress. Copious amounts of alcohol are consumed, and patriotism comes to the forefront…
But, but, but, what IS this holy and magical evening which has become such an integral part of European culture and politics?
THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST!
Here is my guide to the Eurovision if you’re unlucky enough not to be European, or you’ve just forgotten (how?!)
1) A SINGING HUNGER GAMES!
Participants from many countries have to sing a song to about a hundred gazillion people. It’s just a singing contest, then, right? NO. NON. NEIN.
2) IT’S MEGA SELECTIVE!
So many countries want to attend the final, the best night of the year, but only the best ones can! THERE ARE SEMI FINALS! Germany, the UK, France and Spain are automatically in the Eurovision because they’re
rich the best, but they all pretty much do terribly. (explained later).
3) … ‘EURO’VISION?
Weeeeeelll… It’s all the European Broadcast Area. Technically all Northern African countries could participate, but they won’t, because Israel also likes to compete. (It’s actually won twice!). There is a tendency to become incredibly racist (patriotic?) and scream at the television “WHY IS AZERBAIJAN WINNING?!”
4) THE SONGS! THE SONGS!
Easily the most (or least?) important part of Eurovision is that EVERY COUNTRY SINGS A SONG! But what song?! While we have mostly Euro-pop dance numbers, there has been a bit of everything. Recent winners have been a Norweigan guy on a fiddle:
A German girl who sang like a cockney…
5) WHY IS THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIAN REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA SINGING IN ENGLISH?!
For more votes, obvs. I automatically would rather vote for a country singing in their own language, but it doesn’t happen like that, my friends. At least France is
stuck up able to hold onto their guns and sing in French!
6) THE GIMMICKS!
We have acts dancing on staplers! There was once a turkey who represented Ireland! There was a band who just sung “WE WILL WIN EUROVISION!” There are transvestites! Turkish women singing about Petrol! There’s Dita von Teese randomly coming out of a German car! There are ladies in leather! There are old Russian babooshkas!
(just a gentle reminder that both of these acts CAME SECOND – 2007 and 2011.)
(Although their songs were amazing, jussayin’)
6) NUL POINTS?!
After all the acts have sung their songs everyone calls up and votes for the best acts, and then you have about 2 hours of watching the country’s best and finest broadcaster saying who they’re designating the votes to. (Last year it was Scott Mills, but I’m really holding out for Kate Middleton). Every commentator from that country always says “HELLO EUROPE, [LUXEMBOURG/SWITZERLAND/POLAND] CALLING!” and has a really awkward conversation with the host while you’re sitting at the television shouting for them to shut up and reveal the points. Now this is a more tense process than waiting for exam results, trust me. The points go 12, 10, 8, and then lesser numbers which only really matter if you’re clambering for any, like the UK. The UK actually got the famous nul points once, (explained later).
OH? and WHAT does the winner get?! … The ability to host Eurovision in their home country the next year! This year we’re heading to Malmo, in Sweden!
7) LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
Did Norway really give 12 points to Sweden? OH, Belarus just voted for Russia, WHAT a surprise! NO WAY, NO WAY… Stop it, just stop it now. SERBIA voted for BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA? … well NO ONE expected that! Oh Portugal, you’re voting for Spain are you? That’s unusual! WHY THIS ISN’T ABOUT THE SINGING AT ALL.
8) SARCASTIC COMMENTARY
Us English people are terrible (Explained later – OH, I’M GETTING YOU EXCITED NOW!), so what’s better than having a sarcastic commentary to bring us down to earth? We used to have this demi-god (who’s actually Irish, but hey-ho):
We now have Graham Norton who takes us through the proceedings, who is also… er, Irish. No wonder the United Kingdom does so badly (no, no, I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THAT YET)
9) IT’S NOT ALL GIMMICKS
Eurovision launched the career of Celine Dion (sorry), and Julio Iglesias. OH, and some Swedish band?!
10) THE UK NEVER WIN
Hey, I’ve alluded to this like ten times in this countdown, it’s really not a surprise. While we can all blame voting and that everyone hates us ‘cos we went to war with Iraq, and we haven’t joined the Euro, and we’re generally just a tea-drinking island who doesn’t really GET Europe, we do have ourself to blame too…
This year we will probably fall flat on our face with Bonnie Tyler, who ironically looks like her face has been flattened enough already.
We’ve also had a gangsta rappa rappin’ about scool lyf, an air crew with the lyrics “would you like to suck on something before landing?” and the amazing Jemini, where we received NUL POINTS because they were so out of tune.