Hi friends, colleagues and euro-fans – it’s that time of the year again (can you believe it!) when otherwise sensible people get a bit giddy, rather partisan and obsessed with key changes and wardrobe malfunctions. Yes, the Eurovision Song Contest is back – and this year the euro-bubble has travelled to Baku in Azerbaijan.
As you may have realised I am not travelling to the host country this year. Whilst I have enjoyed the last four Contests I always felt like a year at home, and so for this year at least you can share the build-up to the Contest with me from, erm, sunny Ormskirk by day and Southport by night!
As you must surely be aware by now, Eurovision takes place this week, with the two semi-finals on Tuesday 22 May and Thursday 24 May (on BBC Three) followed by the Grand Final on Saturday 26 May (on BBC one/BBC HD).
Even though I am not “your man in Baku” this year a few interested parties have been asking that I blog once again and set the scene – and so I’m happy to do that. Coming up we’ll take a look at the runners and riders, the frocks and the shocks, the musical highs and the musical lows that will follow this week.
It really is a strong year for songs (luckily!), and I think that any number of countries will be up there in the mix (Russia, Italy, Germany, Romania, Serbia). Regular readers of the blog will remember that I am rather a fan of Swedish entries and this year is no exception, and even better that they are the hot favorites this year – more on that later.
It will be interesting to see how Engelbert Humperdinck does this year. Have the BBC lost the Eurovision plot, or is it an inspired move? Time will tell.
Whilst I am not in Baku, my good friend, and now “Dr Eurovision”, Paul Jordan is. He has been there for over a week taking in the rehearsals and press conferences. Click the links below to enjoy his week in Baku, and to get a sense of the build-up to the Contest…
Like I said earlier, more from me later, but in the meantime, time for a musical interlude to start your Eurovision week…