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Music! Costumes! Douze points! Party for everybody! Tonight is the night we’ve all been waiting for (whether with joy or dread): the Eurovision 2012 Grand Final is finally here.

Eurovision is a yearly singing competition in which European countries enter one act to compete in a grand musical showdown. It’s known for its campy feel and huge stage arrangements, as well as for uniting Europe in a night of fun and celebration.

Which country will emerge victorious tonight, winning the right to host next year’s cultural extravaganza? The tension is palpable all across Europe. Or, in some cases, the whole thing is just laughable – but then, isn’t it great that nations can come together and laugh at each other’s attempts to one-up everyone else with their musical stunts?

This year’s finale event takes place in Azerbaijan, who won last year with the love ballad “Running Scared.” For those unfamiliar with Eurovision, notable past winners include Abba, Johnny Logan and Celine Dion. But those are the more traditional competitors – half of Eurovision is about the outlandish costumes, after all! The extreme metal band Lordi pulled a surprise win in 2006, and since then it’s only gotten more outrageous.

The countries who have reached the final this year are the UK, Hungary, Albania, Lithuania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Russia, Iceland, Cyprus, France, Italy, Estonia, Norway, Azerbaijan, Romania, Denmark, Greece, Sweden, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Malta, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Ireland, Serbia, Ukraine and Moldova. They will all be performing their songs, following which Europe will be able to vote for their favourites! Currently it seems like the Swedish song is favoured to win, and everyone’s abuzz about Jedward’s second try for Ireland, but we still can’t help but hope for a surprise Russian victory – now this is the spirit of Eurovision:

Tune in tonight at 20:00 GMT (or whatever time it’s on in your country) and celebrate unity, colours and general ridiculousness. Just have a good time, and good luck to all countries participating!

Read more about Eurovision on the official website.

  • LL

    Tension is high! My Swedish neswpaper reports on how the other scandinavian countries is making pacts for Sweden not to win and of how a forgein departments office man accuses swedish artist Loreen of “politicising” the Eurovision when she meets up with human activists. And this is usually a very serious newspaper. Yes, it’s eurovision in the air…

  • http://twitter.com/Patruce Patricia Kelly

    Yay, Eurovision! Can’t wait, my favourite night of cheese of the year :) Although I’m torn about who I want to win. Patriotically it should be Ireland, but Jedward? I like Malta just for their foot dance, although I haven’t seen the Russian grannies yet :)

  • Anna-FilmGirl

    I shamelessly adore Eurovision, it’s just the biggest ball of cheese and ridiculousness and genuine fun, with a little bit of really interesting politics. I’m not sure who should win this year! The Russian grannies somehow manage to be absolutely terrible, hilarious and adorable all at the same time, so I hope they do well. I like Germany, too, they have a really great song. :-)

    Vote for Ireland, Europe! We’ll love you forever! :-D <3

  • http://about.me/dshana Shana Debusschere

    I hate this so much. Every year our country puts in masses of money to promote our candidates (usually singer songwriter type, very basic) and than we don’t even place for the finale, and some grannies win the thing. 

  • http://twitter.com/Killward A

     I’m not going to watch this shit. The last time I’ve seen it was six (I think) years ago.

  • http://hypable.com Selina

    Go Russia! <3

  • http://twitter.com/20619T Craig Thomson


    • http://twitter.com/20619T Craig Thomson

      Not literally though, that would be weird

  • The507thDoctor

    I’m rooting for Albania!!!! LOL in all seriousness, Denmark were pretty good and the hump was good

  • proud swede

    Congratulations to Loreen of Sweden!!! We will love you forever :)

  • Urban

    Happy for Sweden! Didn’t watch the final but read it in the newspaper afterwards. Proud to be a swede!

  • http://twitter.com/w_lowry Will Lowry

    How did Celine Dion win if she’s Canadian?

    • Sara

      She’s french canadian, so she was France’s entry that year

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

        According to wiki and youtube vid, she sang for Switzerland….?

        • CliveRogan

           I’m pretty sure that there aren’t any actual rules about you being from the country you’re representing, so Celine Dion taking part isn’t bad though it’s not entirely in the spirit of things.

  • Andy

    Well done Loreen, she was magical on stage!

  • http://twitter.com/Celtise Celtise

    As an Irish person, it’s an institution here. I wasn’t watching it last night but it was on in most bars that I saw and people were keeping tabs on the goings on but then saying it’s rubbish and they hate it. Glad we didn’t win and at least jedward were better this year than last.

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