It’s another year of Eurovision – ballads, strobe lights, the tackiest hosts Europe could muster and at least one act denied permission to perform naked with wolves.
After Guy Sebastian placed fifth with a special entry into last year’s competition, today, for the first time ever, Australia competed on the same plane as every other contestant, with Dami Im becoming one of the final 10 semi-finalists to proceed to the grand finale on Sunday.
If Australia manage to take this out and fulfil the wildest dreams of legions of Australian fans, myself included, Eurovision rules (yes, there are rules) stipulate the contest must be held in Europe, but we would get to partner with a European broadcaster and co-host the contest with another European country, so fingers crossed for Dami.
Australia aren’t the only ones getting in on the party this year – broadcast live for the first time in both China and the US, Justin Timberlake will be performing live at this year’s final on Sunday (Saturday night European time).
To get you pumped for the inevitable key changes, outrageous costumes and deep stares into the camera that can only be pulled off at Eurovision – here are some of the acts that you can look forward to on Sunday, as well as a couple you may miss if you only watch the final but who nevertheless made the most of their 3 minutes of Eurovision glory. The UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy (the Big Five) and last year’s winner Sweden have all automatically qualified and will perform for the first time on Sunday.
Switzerland last won Eurovision in 1988 with the then comparatively little-known Canadian and soon to be international superstar Celine Dion. With Canadian-Swiss entry Rykka hailing a ballad in the best tradition of Eurovision, Switzerland may again be in with a chance.
Belarus’ now famous entry Ivan was not permitted to perform naked, or with wild animals, but it was still pretty great when he finally took the stage.
Both a former member of Westlife and a Leeds goalkeeper, Nicky Byrne’s Sunlight is a far cry from Jedward but still a highlight of Semi-Final 2.
A stand-out of Semi-Final 1, both figuratively and literally with one of the more creative stagings seen in the competition, Russia placed a close second last year and are looking to bring it home in 2016.
In case you missed it.