Back in the USSR

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - E Guide Television - TIM MARTAIN The Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test final, SBS ONE, tonight, 7.30pm

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.

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