It's one of the greatest nights of the year and brings me much joy. This year marks the 65th contest, so to celebrate I bring you a list of my favourite performances from Eurovisions gone by. They're in chronological order cos I can't possibly be expected to rank such greatness:
Waterloo - Abba (Sweden, 1974)
Undoubtedly one of the most iconic Eurovision songs of all time. And proof if proof were needed of the value of this contest. Just imagine a world where we never discovered the brilliance of Abba. It doesn't even bear thinking about!
Ooh Ahh... Just a Little Bit - Gina G (United Kingdom, 1996)
The industrial set, the minidresses, the giant computer monitor. Everything about the staging is so 90s it makes me worry that I have homework I need to do before school on Monday. This also has the honour of being the song that really got me into Eurovision and I'll always love it for that.
Love Shine a Light - Katrina and the Waves (United Kingdom, 1997)
Yes, sometimes Eurovision is sparkly pop nonsense. But sometimes it's a lovely song with a beautiful message and it was no surprise that this won the hearts of the continent. And then again when the 2020 contestants sang it last year after the contest was cancelled and it really captured the spirit of the world at that time.
Let's Get Happy - Lou (Germany, 2003)
This was a bit of an anthem for me at university. I particularly love this song for how joyfully she sings “Let's get happy and let's be GAY!” Good advice.
We Are the Winners - LT United (Lithuania, 2006)
You have to admire these guys. They knew what they wanted and they went for it. They didn't succeed, of course, but they tried and I respect that.
Hard Rock Hallelujah - Lordi (Finland, 2006)
After many years of dismal performances and numerous last place results, Finland said fuck it and sent a heavy metal band in monster make up. And Europe said yes, this is what we want.
Dancing Lasha Tumbai - Verka Serduchka (Ukraine, 2007)
Absolutely iconic. What could possibly sum up Eurovision better than a sparkly drag queen dancing around in Elton John glasses and an absurd hat while singing absolute gibberish? Epic back up dancing too.
Fairytale - Alexander Rybak (Norway, 2009)
I'm pretty sure everyone in Europe was at least a little bit in love with Alexander Rybak after this. I mean, the eyes, the waistcoat, the passionate violin playing. Who wouldn't be? And just in case you forgot this was Eurovision, we have three men doing random gymnastic dancing around him. Perfect.
Satellite - Lena (Germany, 2010)
It's fun, it's poppy, it's so damn catchy I can't get it out of my head. Plus she looks amazing, which doesn't hurt at all.
Party for Everybody - Buranovskiye Babushki (Russia, 2012)
Party for everybody, dance! Come on and dance! You put this on in the club and I guarantee the floor would absolutely fill up. I defy anybody to resist the pure joy radiating from these Russian grandmothers. And they bake too!
Alcohol is Free - Koza Mostra feat. Aganthon Iakovidis (Greece, 2013)
Do you have any idea what's going on here? I don't. It's absolutely bonkers. But you know what I do know? Alcohol! Alcohol! Alcohol is free!
Rise Like a Phoenix - Conchita Wurst (Austria, 2014)
Wonderful song. Powerful message. And absolutely spectacular staging. Everything about this performance is absolutely stunning and it's no surprise that it did so well.
Love, Love, Peace, Peace - Måns Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede (Sweden, 2016)
Perhaps the greatest Eurovision song of all time. This wasn't an actual entry, of course, but rather a sublime distillation of everything we've come to love about the wonderful, moving, unpredictable, joyous, touching, and absolutely batshit crazy entity that is the Eurovision Song Contest. Perfection.