Now that the votes have been counted, lights dimmed and festivities over, there is a hush settling upon lovers of all that is Eurovision. An Austrian bearded princess has passed the crown to a lithe Swedish prince with an anthem carrying an army of ear-worms. I'm happy - he had my vote from the first hearing on the Eurovision CD released a month before the first semi-finals. Actually I'm on a roll because my favourite from last year - Conchita Wurst - also won.
I'm imagining some people may be choking on the fact that there is 1) a Eurovision CD, 2) there are semi-finals before the big Saturday show and 3)I'm being serious about all of this.
And yes I am. I am proud to be a Eurovision fanatic. The older I get the more obsessed I become. And lucky for me the 3G have also got the Eurovision bug. Of course I would expect nothing less, because I was hooked many moons ago. Back in the day when we cheered to the strains of Bucks Fizz making their minds up I sat up later than was usually allowed, marvelling at songs sung in a multitude of European languages, excited by the nervous English vs French offerings from capital cities and the best bit, watching the winner of the top douze points.
This wonderfully sparkly, croonfest was more than a glorified Top of the Pops; it was a chance for me and AWOLmum to be together. One Eurovision night she let me stay up to watch the whole competition with her, whilst she treated herself to a rare glass of white wine. From there it became a night to discover which European city lay next to each other, which capital city belongs to which country, the similarities between languages, how other countries referred to each other by name (I loved it that the French called us Le Royames-Uni and that the Dutch people were the same as the people from The Netherlands and Holland - I was a kid, allow it.). Now it's my turn to pass on the Eurovision baton to the next generation - forget The Voice or X-Factor my 3G dream of making the Eurovision Finals.
Many glittering Eurovision finals have passed and although people may scorn the whole event as a kitsch, campy gay-fest (who cares if it is) I have seen a one stage singing contest evolve into a spectacular evening (or three if you watch the semi finals) of powerfully entertaining and talented performers with songs that are for life, not just for Eurovision. Watching the demise of the United Kingdom entries hasn't been pleasant but this is basically due to the refusal of the majority of UK contestants over the last decade to take the competition as seriously as other countries (see Daz Simpson) :the arrogant, ignorant attitude of BritsAbroad will simply not do). Alongside the political brotherhood of Eastern Europe we also lose out to credible acts : Andy Abraham's soul groove would have sat happily nestled in a Nile Rodgers album yet crashed out in 2008, and singer-song writer Molly made us extremely proud last year but still couldn't hit the mark.
Whatever the statistics I realised that amid all the nay-sayers there are a lot of people watching and enjoying Eurovision - FB and Twitter wouldn't lie would they? And it still makes the news headlines every year. Albeit to say how rubbish the UK did but it still gets a mention!
I love that each year brings a surprise as each host country tries to outdo the other. This year three female anchored with ole Conchita as green room support. And to celebrate 60 years on the go, Australia were invited with the chance - if they won - to choose a host country. Here it was, the chance to finally bring Eurovision home. Because surely if Oz win - they will choose their natural mother country, no? Well no...because they didn't win. But they stomped up with a bloody brilliant song and romped all over the UK's current form with bells on. Maybe we should just rock up next year with Aussie accents and add a few stars on a shrunken Union Jack?
Closer to home, SuperSis and I now have a family tradition where we EuroParty the night away with cocktails representing the host city or our own entry. With my 3G firmly hooked each year, they have learnt where far flung tiny republics of middle Europe are, that there is life and languages outside of this island, and better yet they can sit and make up words to foreign lyrics just like their mum. They are allowed to stay up later than usual - MiddleS did her first run all the way to the end this year, we all aaah when the UK phone representative says London Calling; and there is raucous celebration if our choice gets the 12 points (even more explosive revelling if any one dare give the UK any points). The dream collective is that we, one day, join the throng of Union Jack flag-wavers in the audience.
Until then it's yellow and blue practise cocktails for next year.