Wind machines are not tolerated, they are the envy of all contestants suffering from still-hair syndrome, pyrotechnics are expected, nonsensical lyrics earn bonus points, zany costumes are encouraged, and national pride is a prerequisite. What am I talking about? The one and only glorious Eurovision Song Contest. The largest and most anticipated song competition in Europe (and beyond) has it all! There are key changes, pitch problems, big notes, bung notes, accents (oh the accents), there’s sequins, leather, bling, makeup, more makeup, attitude and spunk. It’s a competition of unanswered questions, most of them starting with why (in the vein of ‘why is there so much sequins and make up?’).

Don’t be misguided by my continued teasing, I do so out of love and admiration for the institution that Eurovision has become.  It’s not all tacky toss-into-the-waste-basket material, there are some genuine gem stones to be found too. Despite lots of questionable entries over the years, Europe’s most influential talent quest has forged many long standing careers (ABBA, Celine Dion) and has brought us some brilliant music and much loved songs.  And even when the songs are bad, and they frequently are, there is still enjoyment to be had in the almost always present stage antics and surprises.

I grew up watching Eurovision with my parents; it was as much a lesson in Political Studies and Geography as it was about the Arts. I spent years laughing at the ridiculousness of the performances, scoffing at the voting system (12 points from Russia to Ukraine, Greece to Cyprus, Austria to Germany and vice versa) and wondering why non-European countries were represented. But I loved all of it. How could I not, it was just so much fun! And it seems that over time, more and more Australians have become transfixed by Europe’s biggest party, so much so that this year we have our very own entry – Dami Im. Exciting times!

As always, SBS will be televising the final live from 5am on Sunday 15 May 2016 followed by a replay at 7:30pm.

I leave you  now with two of my personal favourite entries – for all the wrong reasons of course – from Eurovision 2012.  Happy viewing friends!

Love Gleeko xx

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