Back in the USSR
THE Eurovision Song Contest, screening tonight on SBS1, is surely one of the best ‘‘ big night in’’ events of the year.
Every year its legions of devoted fans/ tragics tune in to revel in its sheer awfulness, either hosting Eurovision parties in their homes or just watching alone and joining the discussion online.
Forget the Oscars and the Logies, Eurovision is a true TV spectacular and for all the wrong reasons.
One thing that has always bothered me about Eurovision is that I’m never quite sure how aware the performers are of the ridicule they attract from the rest of the world.
Maybe they don’t know, maybe they do and just don’t care, maybe they really are just that proud of what they do.
Whatever the case may be, the result is always hilarious.
Combine the awkwardness of a shopping centre performance, the overenthusiasm of a high school musical, and the aesthetic sensibilities of a box of crayons in a blender, and you have the Eurovision Song Contest.
Last year’s winner, Azerbaijan, is hosting this year’s 57th annual event, with 42 nations competing.
Each year Eurovision is watched by more than 120 million people around the globe and in Australia the SBS broadcast is hosted by regulars Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.
Hardcore fans hold parties to enjoy the spectacle as a group, but even if you’re sitting quietly at home you can join in the commentary on social media.
Twitter comes alive with Eurovision discussion every year under the official hashtag # Sbseuro vision, and sometime the comments made by other fans can be even more amusing than the musical travesties inspiring them on screen.
And if you need a refresher course on all things Eurovision, or maybe just a sneak peek at some of the entries from different countries, Hobart’s most devoted Eurovision tragic, Kath Uziallo, has a highly entertaining blog at katharsisre visited. blogspot. com. au
With her Polish heritage and unflinching dedication to Eurovision, Uziallo says she wants to poach Zemiro’s hosting job some day but in the meantime her humorous analysis of the lead- up and aftermath is always one of the highlights of the event.
Sadly, the SBS broadcast is not live, so the trick is to avoid all news broadcasts throughout today so you don’t spoil the fun and surprises on the night.
Commercial TV breakfast shows are notorious for just blurting out the details and splashing up video highlights with no spoiler warnings, so it’s best to give them a wide berth today, and regular news bulletins, too, just in case.
The competition is set to be fierce with the return of popular Irish brothers Jedward as well as the charismatic Sabina Babayeva from host country Azerbaijan, and music legend Engelbert Humperdinck, who will take to the stage for the United Kingdom.
So trim that porn star moustache, dust off those rhinestones, fire up the smoke machine and prepare for what promises to be another garish, tonedeaf, and utterly hilarious spectacle.
TRASH SPECTACULAR: Eurovision winners 2011 for Azerbaijan to perform again.