FEATURE: It's Eurovision!

When it comes to my musical tastes, I would not describe myself as a cheesy pop fan. In fact, I would probably describe myself as anything but (unless I'm on a night out in which case anything goes). But there is one television marathon I look forward to each year more than anything else... Eurovision.

Now to sum up my love for Eurovision would perhaps take too long but I can tell you exactly why I love it and why I think everyone should feel about it the way I do. Most of my friends treat it with indifference, others with blind hatred, but there are also those who indulge me in my little bit of annual glee and are perhaps as enthusiastic as I can be. And that's a lot.

Now while my dear father isn't exactly the most macho man in the world, you still won't catch him wearing anything glittery anytime soon. But he's nearly as big a fan of Eurovision as I am. In fact, one particular year, he actually banned me from going out with my friends because the competition was on. Now that, my friends, is dedication. If I'm not at home for the big event, you can guarantee I'll be texting the family because it's always been one of those things we've always gathered round the telly-box for. Like for the news, or Doctor Who.

Being allowed to stay up to watch Eurovision when I was a kid was a BIG TREAT, one of those rare occasions when normal bedtimes didn't apply and you were allowed to eat sweets past 8 o'clock! I remember once being sent to bed only to sneak back down and watch the television from the stairs later when the winner was announced. Of course I gave the game away the next day when I said I couldn't believe Dana had won before the TV had been switched on or the papers had arrived.

But perhaps what I love most about the whole cheesy, glittery, shiny extravaganza is the sheer unadulterated fun of it all. From crazy cone-headed Moldovans to the traditional weepy ballad that takes itself way too seriously, you have to admit that Eurovision is pretty much a laugh-riot. Whether you're sniggering at some poor soul who couldn't hit a note if it was a barn door or giggling uncontrollably at the shock of seeing an entire ensemble dressed in tin foil, every single entry has something to be mocked, laughed at or appreciated just for its sheer insanity.

There's been the suggestion recently that we take Eurovision too seriously as a nation, scrutinising each selection and getting worked up when the inevitable political voting takes place. But let's not forget, this is the same country that last year, voted for the afore-mentioned Moldovans in droves and gave Jedward the twelve points. We don't take it seriously at all.

And that's exactly the way it should be. My friends mock me for my devotion to this out-dated, politically influenced, potentially corrupted cheesefest, but I can't help but love it for that. It's naff and silly but it's also endearing and entertaining. So tonight, I'll be there ready for the moments when I shout in surprise at the television or laugh with glee at all the weird and wonderful songs that are going to be on there. And, when the voting starts, I'll be oddly patriotic, more so than at any other time, if the UK are given any points by anyone other than Ireland.

So with that, I bid you adieu and hope that, should you be watching the televisual treat that is Eurovision tonight, you enjoy it as much as I do. I'll just leave you with this, possibly the most mental yet oddly catchy song in recent memory and manages to combine just about everything I love about Eurovision. Because let's face it, where else are you going to get dancing, tin foil and an accordion all in the same place? Tanzen!

- Becky

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