07 May 2014 by

Sequins! Pirates! Grandmas! 7 Reasons Why We Still Love Eurovision

Yes, it’s around 12 hours long, its politics are questionable at best, and it hasn’t been quite the same since Terry Wogan deserted his post, but – like a mad, be-sequinned auntie – we can’t help loving the Eurovision Song Contest. And here's why...

1. The Costumes!

The Contest is the only cure for our sequin lust between seasons of Strictly Come Dancing. Plus – whatever the weather – we get to wear our sunnies indoors to protect our delicate peepers from the glare. Spangle-blindness – it’s a real condition, people. Previous outfit inspirations has stemmed from everywhere, including Xena Warrior Princess; foil-wrapped sandwiches and whatever this was

2. The Campness!

The one night of the year where Graham Norton is the least camp element of any programme – it’s pretty much guaranteed there’ll be at least one entry made up of a gang of drag queens each year – this time we’re looking forward to Austria’s bearded entrant Conchita Wurst.

3. The Surprises!

Where else could a Finnish, mask-clad, One Directioners’ worst nightmare metal band actually WIN an international competition? Or six Russian grandmothers take to the stage for a medley of singing (“Party for Everybody” – as if you’d forgotten!) and bread baking? And that’s without mentioning Vogue-ing Latvian pirates, disco Genghis Khan or a turkey puppet called Dustin. It's a veritable Kinder Egg of television surprise.

4. The Drinking Game!

Our house rules involve taking a sip (or a shot if you live near an A&E department)for the following: key changes; every time Graham Norton chuckles at his own joke; pyrotechnics; backing dancers on stilts; biased voting; shoulder pads on result presenters…and a few other things which seem a bit hazy now.

Drinking Game

5. The Nostalgia!

What better way to while away the voting time than watching clips of Bucks Fizz, a young Celine Dion, Love City Groove, Gina G, ABBA, Blue, Jedward et al?

6. The Results!

We love the distinct cultural differences that only the volume of shoulder-padding can betray – and there’s no finer annual display of this than in the presenters each country chooses to read the results. Plus it's fun to guess the least-likely UK announcer, we’re rooting for Daniel Craig this year.

7. The Fact That We Won’t Win!

Of course we won’t! And that’s fine. It’s like mum always said: “It’s the taking part and watching pirate-costumed drag queens on unicycles that counts.”

The Eurovision Song Contest is on BBC1 on May 10th

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