There is one night (well technically three) every year which never fails to entertain. A night where everything comes together in a glorious evening of entertainment, music, drama and politics.
It’s colourful, it’s spectacular, it’s musically hit and miss.
It is, of course, Eurovision. The single most entertaining event in our calendar. Period.
You have awards season, you have the sporting season, you have the festival season. All are decent, all have their various perks. None of them match Eurovision, none of them come even close.
Eurovision is a wonderfully simple idea. Different countries, from across the European broadcasting union send a musical representative singing an original song in order to compete for a trophy and the honour of hosting the following year. The public can vote for their favourite (but not their own act) and usually end up voting for their neighbours, which isn’t a huge surprise when factoring in culture and emigration. There is also a biased jury to continue the trend of neighbour voting.
The point of it is to have fun. To provide entertainment. It’s a concept certain Scrooges in this country fail to grasp. They moan when we don’t do well, they hate a country when they give us no points. They go on twitter and moan about it being a waste of money and being “impossible to ignore” and declare they will never ever watch it again. But when it comes around again, there they are insulting Serbia for sending someone in traditional dress and loving the bare chested Ukrainian backing dancer. These are your classic Eurovision-closeters. They like to think they hate it but actually secretly love it.
At the end of the day, I think Game of Thrones is a waste of money and next to impossible to ignore but I’m not on Twitter at the start of every episode moaning about it like they do with Eurovision. Why? I think GoT is awful, they absolutely adore Eurovision.
Of course there are people who genuinely don’t like Eurovision. I feel sorry for them.
I’ve always defended Eurovision by saying that actually it produces some brilliant songs. I’m not wrong. But of course we watch it on the night for the awful ones, the funny ones, the gimmicks. They entertain us on the night, we don’t really care about where they finish and we can jokingly listen to them on long journeys.
I think it’s such an entertaining night because it is one of the few things in this world that genuinely doesn’t matter. It’s merely a bit of fun, albeit with a genuine opportunity for some acts to become famous. Although, God forbid Sweden hears me say it’s only a bit of fun! For us it’s a jolly night of good entertainment we know we have no chance of doing well in. For others it’s the one chance they get to showcase their music to a wider audience. In both cases, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks (and lets not kid ourselves – it is far from perfect).
The FA cup final, Wimbledon, The Ashes are all mighty fine entertaining spectacles. As are the Oscars, movies, other gigs and tv shows. But none match Eurovision. None get even close. That Saturday in May is the single greatest Saturday in the year.