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.

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