Only smiling because they don't realise how long the voting is going to take

Eurovision 2016

Five years ago: Here’s a top tip for Eurovision: always try and watch it with an American who’s never seen it before, and there will be an extra layer of enjoyment simply in beholding the bewilderment.

Five years later: many Americans!

Five years later: many Americans!

Last night was Eurovision night, and in preparation for hosting a North American outreach party I did far more Eurovision homework than I’d ever done before. In addition to watching both semi-finals with Randi to get a feel for the songs this year (and disagree strongly about the merits of Belarus),  I also borrowed a bunch of European flags and put together my own hybrid team-based drinking game to introduce all of the Eurovision staples. And the investment paid off – the most fun at Eurovision I’ve ever had!

Only smiling because they don't realise how long the voting is going to take

Only smiling because they don’t realise how long the voting is going to take

I did have one European ally, Emilie, who came dressed in the colours of the tricolore and brought a baguette and delicious French cheese. She also helped to explain to the crowd what on earth was going on during the voting, because it’s far too easy for a naive newcomer to assume that the best songs are about to get the most votes. Oh heavens no. (For the record, the room was mostly pro-Australia.)

 The moment Poland's entry inexplicably comes third in the public vote, and Europe is left with a Russia-Ukraine standoff

The moment Poland’s entry inexplicably comes third in the public vote, and Europe is left with a Russia-Ukraine standoff

Of course, thanks to timezones and such, it wasn’t very late at all once Ukraine were eventually crowned the winner. But I’d already had some of the dangerous Moldovan vodka which Alex donated to the Eurovision cause, and so nothing else at all was accomplished that day.

If I were sorry, it would be a different story. But I’m not sorry.

Deborah Herrick, Gillian Self, Sharon Dinkin, Abigail Osbiston, Emilie Bouvier, Jamie Freedman, Beth Dubowe-Lawrence, Randi Lawrence, Kristina Francisco, Sue Buxton, Katie Self liked this post

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Eurovision 2016

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