Whether it’s the gaudy outfits, slightly off-beat lyrics or wind machines that take your fancy, the Eurovision Song Contest has cornered the market with its unique blend of cheesy entertainment, long-held grudges, wry commentary and, of course, the three-minute bubble gum pop song.
This year, 42 countries are limbering up to try to take the crown from Ukraine, with a bid to make the finale in Kyiv on May 13.
And though it’s been 20 years since Katrina and the Waves took the title for the UK, there’s still plenty to celebrate on the big night. Here, we look at how to throw the ultimate Eurovision party to see our entrant Lucie Jones on her way…
1. Bring food
Put the names of countries in a hat and have every guest pick one at random before the finale. Then ask that everyone brings a delicacy from that country to share.
2. Supply plenty of booze
Terry Wogan famously had a rule of not cracking open the wine before the ninth song, so you could hold off until then and raise a glass to the broadcasting giant. If wine is required earlier, toast with host Graham Norton’s Own Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
3. Host some Eurovision drinking games
Pool together your shot glasses and dodgy spirits bought in a post-holiday fug and drink up whenever Eurovision clichés pop up; nil points for the UK, a backfired in-joke between the presenters, a wind machine, fireworks let off, a contestant appears in their country’s traditional dress, a bum note, the hosts change outfits, lyrics acted out during performance, a choir appears, the song has a nonsensical title, an act imitates last year’s winning entry, the act flirts with the camera during the performance, block voting, block voting followed by wry commentary about block voting by Graham Norton, a shot of the leading contestants on phone to their families during the voting process, a shot of the leading contestants dabbing the sign of the cross into the air or praying, a shot of the UK entrant drawing on centuries’ old stiff upper lip in defiance to the rally of nil pointe, a shot of the UK entrant playing up to the nil pointe scoring by doing an dramatic rub of the eyes, a technical break down.
4. Make a Eurovision-themed playlist
Take your pick from genuinely good Eurovision songs, winning numbers, most out-there songs or a compendium of the UK’s efforts. To add some competition into the mix, ask guests which year/country/place the songs came.
5. Do a sweepstake
Pick countries at random and either pay a £1 each, leaving the winner with the takings, or make the victor a crown or medal.
6. Bring party poppers
Eurovision always goes on longer than you think. Keep the atmosphere light by letting off party poppers whenever the UK – or whichever country you’re rooting for – scoops 12 points (or if we’re being honest, a point), and coordinate to let off remaining poppers when the winner is announced.
7. Add bunting
Print off European flags and decorate your home with bunting. Add some Eurovision trivia onto cards and dot them around your house.
Will you be hosting a Eurovision party? Tell us in the Comments box below.