Monday, 12 May 2014
Saturday night saw me glued to the telly watching, as I do almost every year, the Eurovision Song Contest. I've loved it ever since I was a child - I remember watching Bucks Fizz win in 1981, and Nicole winning for Germany the following year.
It's a real Marmite thing though, with some people loving it, and others who would go to any lengths to avoid it. It's been described as camp, kitsch, there's been criticism of "block voting" by various groups of countries (although that criticism is not without foundation).
I love the whole glorious over-the-top-ness of it - the staging and performances by various countries - the different ideas of what is likely to be a winning song, and of course, the inevitable disappointment when the UK entry ends up in the bottom third after all the votes are in.
This year, we were treated to a man running in a giant hamster wheel, singers on a trampoline, singers on a see-saw, and the winning entry was a drag artist in a dress, full make up and a heavy beard. Where else would you get such a combination?
The UK entry this year - Molly Smitten-Downes singing Children of the Universe - came 17th with 40 points, itself an improvement on UK entries from the last couple of years.
For me, it's always a fantastic night, outlandish performances, outrageous costumes, and a huge sense of everybody in the arena, hosts, audience and participants alike, having fun.