This year’s Met Gala may have been disappointingly lacking in genuine camp, but it’s all going to be okay because the campest show on earth is right around the corner. Yes mate. Grab every single queer person you know, frogmarch them to the nearest gay bar immediately and watch them go absolutely wild over the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
Eurovision is without a doubt the most camp show on telly. It is 42 countries competing via the medium of cheesy pop songs, half of which sound as if they were written in the 90s and are in languages you don’t understand. It is International politics played out with extravagant pyrotechnics, overly enthusiastic backing dancers, insane costumes and a live studio audience.
Sure, you pretend it’s not your thing, but you’ve always found an excuse to stay in for the final because secretly you absolutely love it. So get the popcorn in and think of a decent excuse not to go out this weekend because this year’s contest starts tomorrow, with the final broadcast live on Saturday night. And we already know what’s going to happen don’t we? All of this is definitely going to happen:
One song that is just extremely metal
There is always one song (only one song, no more) that is just full on heavy metal sung by a huge dude with a long leather jacket and waist length hair.
One absolute banger of a ballad
There’ll also be one massively emotional tune set to strings that should definitely be the winner but will be largely be forgotten after next week, only being dusted off for the occasional free entry club night in a regional gay bar on a Tuesday called, like, €UROTRASH ALL$TARS or something. The song will sound like this.
Some opera that will make you suddenly like opera
Again, it’s inevitable that one country’s entry will be a literal opera singer. You’ve never considered yourself to be a fan of opera before but… this is kind of lit? Are you… into opera now? Yeah. Maybe you are.
Those weird segue shots
You know the ones. The bits they show while nothing is happening on stage, where the next contestant is, like, dressed in all white and standing on a mountain dementedly waving their country's flag or something, while Graham Norton disinterestedly reads facts about them off a cue card (“now the next contestant… farms sheep as his day job, and the waistcoat he is wearing tonight is actually made from his own sheeps’ wool… so isn’t that something?”)
Massive, massive time lag when we go live to half the other countries
Thirty seconds of some lass wearing a pantsuit against a skyline in the Czech Republic just waving at the screen before they finally manage to sort the sound out and she’s already halfway through their points. Sort of feels like you’ll be able to tune in to the contest from your holiday home on Mars before they’ve managed to sort out time lags during live broadcasting. I know this is the boring bit but still, can we please sort it out?
Graham Norton doing another lengthy bit about how we'll probably still be allowed in the contest after Brexit, don’t worry
I honestly think Remain would have won if the threat of leaving the Eurovision Song Contest had been advertised on a bus. I just feel like the gays would have rallied against that in a big way.
At least one attempt at a Free Palestine stage invasion
The most exciting thing to happen last year was that stage invasion during SuRie’s song, which was funny mainly because your mum got so upset she did a Facebook update about it (“Totaly [sic] unfair SuRie should be allowed a 2nd chance >:( – feeling annoyed”, 2 likes and an angry react) and because I’m pretty sure none of us ever actually found out why that bloke decided to bare his ass to the whole of Europe anyway.
This year’s contest is taking place in Israel – making it one of the most divisive cultural events of the year – so we’re probably going to see a minimum of one botched Free Palestine protest in which half the audience fails to notice and the other half doesn’t really ‘get it’ anyway.
A lot of questions about why Israel are even in the competition
My knowledge of European geography is so appalling that I regularly confused Berlin and Dublin until well into my teens, and yet even I know that Israel and Australia are not in Europe, and *surreptitious Googling* neither are Cyprus and Armenia either, actually. There’s always somebody who points this out, and there’s always some straight man there who will load up the Wikipedia page and mansplain that “It’s actually all to do with which countries are members of the European Broadcasting Union,” despite the fact that Graham Norton has literally just told us why.
A huge thing made of diversity, despite Eurovision not being very diverse
Yes the show is all about unity and togetherness, but let’s not pretend it isn’t extremely political too, kind of like a massive cold war but played out via the medium of absurd live performance. Sure it’s given us sundry gay icons, but then there’s all the multiple occasions when anything even vaguely queer has been censored in a bunch of countries, and the fact that I personally don’t remember ever seeing a single BAME contestant, and also that time when the theme was literally “celebrating diversity” and it was hosted by three white men. So, sort of well done? But also… not.
Rampant cultural appropriation
It would be good if this year’s winner could not be somebody doing yellowface, if possible.
Darude causing a shit storm
Finland’s entry this year is Darude, best known for the dance anthem “Sandstorm”, which I’m convinced is the exact song you hear the moment you die and wake up in heaven (or, alternatively, when you blackout from too many vodka red bulls and wake up in HEAVEN.) It’s safe to say that my excitement about these performances borders on religious fervour.
Some lad with walnut whip hair singing for the UK
This year's UK entry is a kid called Michael Rice from Hartlepool, who won the BBC’s All Together Now, a competition that you have literally never heard of before now, but that your grandma has violently strong opinions about. He’ll be performing a song called “Bigger Than Us”, which sort of feels like it’s been chosen as a not-subtle apology for the whole Brexit thing? Anyway he sounds and looks like a young Sam Smith and your mum thinks he seems like a “lovely lad, bless him.”
Everyone in the audience looking happier than you have ever been in your whole life
Everyone in the crowd at Eurovision always looks like they’ve been specially selected for being the most joyful people that have ever lived. Like, have you ever seen a single audience member at Eurovision that doesn’t look like they’ve just found out that they’ve won the lottery and are also cancer-free? No. Which is fair, because I’ve thought about it for a really long time and honestly I cannot envision a scenario in life that would make me even a fraction as happy as being in the crowd at Eurovision. I just think it would cure my depression.
The UK finishing in the bottom three
As usual, the UK’s admittedly very lukewarm entry will only manage a string of one- and two-point places, save for an anomalous twelve pointer from a country with a population so tiny that they probably have only have about 20 people phoning in to vote. Cue a series of incredibly forced smiles and some overly gracious applause from our Michael, who is visibly disappointed despite the fact that this has happened like every single year since Tony Blair did that illegal war and made everybody hate us even more than they did already. I mean we’re also doing Brexit… what exactly did they expect?
You accidentally getting Way Too Into It, as usual
You’re under the impression that your commitment to tuning into Eurovision is some kind of cool ironic thing, aren’t you? Soz hun, but you couldn’t be more wrong. By the time the winner is announced you will have sunk four pints, had your face painted with little flags by someone dressed as Conchita Wurst who you’ve just met in the pub, performed an overzealous cover of “Euphoria” to the bewilderment of the next table who are just trying to have a conversation about the football in the corner, somehow ended up with a big Union Jack draped round you like a cape and done a big earnest all caps Twitter thread about how ARMENIA WAS ROBBED!!!! :( :( :( even though you couldn't confidently point to it on a world map. Happy days.