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Eurovision finals: a smorgasboard of glitz and glam

Eurovision finals: a smorgasboard of glitz and glam

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s most watched annual TV program with an expected audience of over 100 million people. It is known for its kitsch songs, flash costumes and over the top performances…and this year is no exception!

The beginning of this year’s final resembles the opening of the Olympics as all 26 competing nations enter the arena waving their respective flags. They make their way along an elevated platform whilst a choir sings a new song written by Abba’s Bjorn and Benny especially for the contest.

The participating countries are comprised of the ten that qualified from the first semi-final on Tuesday, ten from Thursday’s semi-final, the host country Sweden, and the ‘Big 5’: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. These countries get a bypass into the final because they contribute the most money to hosting the event!

During rehearsals for the final there were not one, but two gay kisses. The now famous female kiss and the interval act also included two grooms kissing.

Here are eight contenders for this year’s crown.

France: L’enfer et moi

The first country to perform is France, who is represented by former French Pop Idol winner Amandine Bourgeois who gets the ball rolling with a typical sultry and passionate performance, though the video is far sexier!

Russia: What If

 It’s the cheesiest song of the whole night, but Dina Garipova gets her message of peace and love across with such conviction that we believe here plea for world peace by the end of the song.

Germany: Glorious

Global pop sensations Cascada are Germany’s representatives with their infectious pop tune Glorious. When the song was initially chosen there were plenty of comments that the song has many similarities to last year’s winning song Euphoria.

Cascada have already had a glittering career with hits such as Evacuate the Dance Floor and Everytime we Touch.

United Kingdom: Believe in Me

The most famous singer in this year’s competition is Bonnie Tyler, who is singing her country-infused ballad Believe In Me. Bonnie had a glittering career in the 1980s with major worldwide hits including Holding Out for a Hero and Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Bonnie told GSN that her gay fans should vote for her because ‘You keep on playing me in the clubs and you made Holding Out for a hero a very big hit. We are all one family.’

Sweden: You

The home country has no gimmicks as Robin Stjernberg belts out his upbeat number You. The song is a dedication to his father (read the interview here).

Denmark: Only Teardrops

Flutes and drums make up this year’s hot favourite, Denmark. The odds are that Eurovision will be making a short trip across the Oresund Bridge to Copenhagen for 2014 and the only teardrops that are expected by Emmelie de Forest are ones of joy.

Azerbaijan: Hold Me

A contortionist in a glass box, a lady in a long flowing red dress and heartthrob Farid Mammadov pleading for us to Hold Me make up Azerbaijan’s entry. Azerbaijan has been in Eurovision since 2008 and their worst placing has been 8th and won the competition in 2011. Many people are tipping a return to Baku for 2014.

Greece: Alcohol is Free

Greece has never failed to qualify for the final and is here again with one of the liveliest tunes of the night. After being in many bars in Malmo, we know alcohol is definitely not free but the pain in our credit cards is eased by this infectious, ska number.

Norway: I Feed You My Love

The second favorites are Norway with an electro-pop song that has been described as a love child of Lady Gaga and Bjork. Norway have scored the most “nil points” of any country in Eurovision yet seem destined to be closer to the top than the bottom of the scoreboard this time around.

No matter which song is your favorite, watch the Eurovision Song Contest Final on Saturday (18 May) from 9pm CET, or see the streamed version on Eurovision.tv.