I love Eurovision. However I love it in a very specific set of circumstances. Eurovision must be watched with a large group of people wearing strange clothes, while eating yummy food and drinking lovely drinks. The Sunday night time slot means that my responsibly employed friends and I do not take part in the Eurovision drinking game (there are many versions of the game, but this is a good run down on the general rules), however there was plenty of food, a sensible number of drinks and yes, some unusual outfits.
This year the horde gathered in our lounge room. The feast was spread. We provided assemble your own yeeros - pita bread, slow cooked Greek lamb, tomato, lettuce, cucumber and a delicious sauce made of roasted garlic, greek yoghurt, fresh oregano and lemon juice. But there were plenty of other delicious treats to keep us fed and watered.
I wanted to wear an all white, silver spangled jumpsuit, but not owning such an item I settled for wearing every other colour I could find. S was slightly taken aback when I emerged from the bedroom complete with purple eyeshadow and winged eyeliner. My friends made similar efforts, I was particularly thrilled by the pastel striped glittery jacket that one of my (male) friends apparently already owned and wore for the night.
Soon however our attention turned from food and clothing to the TV. We sat for hours, commenting loudly on anything and everything. Here is our wrap of the night:
UK - Engelbert Humperdinck - Love Will Set You Free
Oh Englebert, you were so very boring and off key. Even your dancers (who were quite good) didn't capture a room full of dance enthusiasts. I'm astonished he managed to garner 12 points.
Hungray - Compact Disco - Sound of our Hearts
The singer wore a leather coat and looked a bit like Robbie Williams. There were flame throwers, but the song was pretty forgettable.
Albania - Rona Nishliu - Suus
Her hair made me think of the urban legend of the man killed by spiders living in his dreadlocks. But there were just so many questions raised by Rona. How did they stick that dread to her chest? Why was her cape pinned to her boobs? Why was she screaming? Did she get 146 points for that song because people were afraid she would eat their soul if they didn't vote for her?
Lithuania - Donny Montell - Love is Blind
Donny proved that props are only good at Eurovision when they have sequins. We loved that sequined blindfold however then he had to start dancing. The one hand cartwheel was impressive, the pelvic thrusts with strategic microphone placement - not so much.
Bosnia & Herzegovina - Maya Sar- Korake Ti Znam
A sort of central European Delta Goodrum with sparkly shoulder pads. Did anyone else notice that this year the traditional Eurovision white outfits were outweighed by the black?
Russia - Buranovskiye Babushki- Party For Everybody
The dancing Russian grannies were a favourite to win and lets face it you could see why. What is there not to love about 6 dancing Babushka dolls who bake biscuits while singing a party anthem. A worthy second place but I do understand those of you who wanted them to win.
Iceland - Greta Salóme & Jónsi- Never Forget
I thought these guys were actually pretty good and deserved more points than they got. Ok so I was kind of worried by Jónsi's canine teeth, that guy had a bit of vampire going on and I think their choreographer may have previously directed the models on the Price is Right, but still, a decent song and Greta had an awesome dress (black again).
Cyprus - Ivi Adamou - La La Love
Ivi proved that you don't have to be drunk in a bar to dance on a table, you can do it in a flesh coloured partially see-through dress at Eurovision too! We gave her points for her high energy singing whilst dancing, but the song didn't grab us.
France - Anggun - Echo (You And I)
When in doubt add acrobats. Actually they were pretty awesome. So too was Anggun's train and use of the wind machine. Oh and the song was ok - plus it was a French entry partially sung in English, drink up those on the drinking game.
Italy - Nina Zilli - Out of Love
There were some serious shades of Amy Winehouse here. I loved her, the song was great and boy could that girl wear gold lame. I might actually consider buying this song - it was definitely too good to win Eurovision.
Estonia - Ott Lepland- Kuula
If there was a Eurovision category for best eyebrows Ott would have won it hands down. We did feel a bit sorry for his backup singer who barely got in a shot let alone a close up though - that said at least she was wearing Eurovision white.
Norway - Tooji - Stay
I don't know why Europe wasn't voting for the Scandinavian countries this year but we thought Tooji was great. Extremely good looking, some great dance moves, and a decent song. No idea what politics were behind them only scoring 7 points.
Azerbaijan - Sabina Babayeva - When The Music Dies
You would certainly hope for good staging as the home act and the lighting on Sabina's dress was impressive and she had the full smoke machine / wind machine going on. Also impressive were her eyelashes, I would love to know how many sets of falsies she was wearing. The song was ok, nothing brilliant, but still a decent act from the host country.
Romania - Mandinga - Zaleilah
Every Eurovision needs a moon walking bagpipe player and this year Romania provided it. You are only allowed 6 performers on stage at Eurovision, so this 7 piece band had to leave their trumpet player in the dressing room. Luckily no one actually plays an instrument in the performances so they could just dance on stage with them. Unfortunate the song just wasn't that great.
Denmark - Soluna Samay- Should've Known Better
Was it just that every Scandinavian vote went to Sweden because we thought Soluna was great. Ok so costuming apparently forgot the cellist who just wore a hoodie and wasn't grooving, but we loved the rest of this act. Definitely deserved more than 21 points.
Greece - Eleftheria Eleftheriou - Aphrodisiac
It has been said that in times of trouble hemlines get shorter, in my lounge room the question of what defines a garment as a dress rather than a top was hotly debated. What I can tell you was that the Greek entry featured some great legs and a rather lame song.
Sweden - Loreen - Euphoria
The winning song. It was good and the act made excellent use of the wind machine, however they could have used some better lighting. I have to say, I wasn't blown away like the rest of Europe apparently was because it was a run away victory.
Turkey - Can Bonomo - Love Me Back
He was dressed as a sailor. His backup singers wore capes that they transformed into a boat - a boat! Other than that it was a pretty terrible song.
Spain - Pastora Soler - Stay With Me
In the year of Eurovision songs about breakups/broken hearts Spain had another. And another transparent dress when the lights hit her white dress from behind. Drinkers probably would have got to have a second sip based on the size of her hair, that seemed close to a head sized bun to me.
Germany - Roman Lob - Standing Still
He wore a tea cosy on his head and had a strange tattoo on his chest. The song was ok, nothing particularly memorable from Germany this year.
Malta - Kurt Calleja - This Is The Night
Kurt wore one yellow glove - a Michael Jackson tribute which coordinated with the socks of his backup dancers, as you do. There was some fancy footwork and a pretty decent song, although it didn't score well.
FYR Macedonia - Kaliopi - Crno I Belo
Kaliopi seemed somewhat confused if this was Eurovision or a job interview. Her black suit was just not Eurovision and the song, well it was pretty awful.
Ireland - Jedward - Waterline
Thank god for Ireland. After the monochrome nature of this year's line up we were in serious need of some silver and gold leprechauns who randomly leapt around the stage and ended their act in a fountain. I was so mesmerised that I have no idea what their song was like but I loved them for truly encompassing the spirit of all that is good about Eurovision. Also if anyone was still playing the drinking game Jedward would have rendered them unconscious.
Serbia - Željko Joksimović - Nije Ljubav Stvar
It was all a bit serious, mysterious and there was that strangely creepy clarinetist wandering around in the background.
Ukraine - Gaitana - Be My Guest
She had flowers on her head, they flouted the 6 people only rule by having holographic backgrounds with strangely suggestive crotch lines. The song was upbeat, they had male dancers in skirts, what was not to love.
Moldova - Pasha Parfeny - Lăutar
Oh, my beloved Moldova. The unicycle riding pixies were robbed last year and Pasha and his strangely robotic dancing girls were robbed this year. ROBBED I tell you. Not only did they have hands down the best costumes, their fantastic little jazzy song had me dancing in my seat. Next year has to be Moldova's year.
And so Eurovision fades into the background for another year - and we await what Sweden will deliver in 2013. Will it match the Crystal Hall whose facade lit up with the flag of each performer? Will the hosts be as cheesy? Will the interval entertainment feature lasers, flame throwers and a dictator's son-in-law? Only time will tell.
Did you watch Eurovision? Who did you think deserved to win?