This week marks Europe Day. And what is Europe without its infamous song contest, Eurovision? Nothing; it’s part of our DNA and only we understand it. We don’t hear about it during the entire year, and then it suddenly sneaks up on us while zapping in between TV channels — and you can’t help watching the crazy performances, the awkward political references, and the cringing interaction of the hosts.
You might not know that Eurovision is now the longest-running annual international TV song competition ever since 1956 — so it’s been around longer than the actual European Union.
And the great thing about it is, it has been the stage of musical and political history. Musically, Eurovision gave us ABBA. Socially, Eurovision gave us Conchita Wurst. Politically, the Portuguese song in the 1974 edition, Paulo de Carvalho’s “E Depois de Adeus“, is one of the songs that marked the kickoff of Portugal’s Carnation Revolution, which overthrew the Estado Novo regime. The fall of the Soviet Union led to the inclusion of the Eastern Bloc in the competition. Georgia’s banned 2009 entry, “We Don’t Wanna Put In,” was a Putin satire which the organisation found too political, proving the competition’s controversial nature of serving as a proudly silly musical event and a pleaser for Europe’s present political status.
While you’re waiting for this year’s edition to start, look back at 10 of the craziest Eurovision performances ever:
Our favourite part: The scarf move after minute 0:55.
Our favourite part: Obviously, the unlikely idea of connecting two sisters by their hair.
Our favourite part: The killer dance moves after minute 2:13.
Our favourite part: The construction worker’s enthusiasm (snippet after minute 1:48).
Our favourite part: The fact that Finland actually won the competition with this hard rock song.
Our favourite part: NONE. NO. CLOWNS.
Our favourite part: The shameless high-pitching going on around minute 2:15.
Our favourite part: The producers going all in for this performance with a sliced screen, flashing images, and a wobbly camera.
Our favourite part: All of it. Pure poetry. No wonder it won second place.
Our favourite part: We… we can’t.
As you can see, as years went by, the competition has gotten nothing short of batshit crazy. This year’s 62nd edition is “Celebrating Diversity”. The first semi-final is on May 9, the second is on May 11, and the finale is on Saturday, May 13. Are you tuning in?
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Do you usually watch Eurovision? Who do you want this year’s winner to be? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.