Tonight is the night!!!!

Hi casual Eurovision viewers! You might be saying, “Wow, Eurovision! It’s my favorite night of the year!” But in truth, tonight is a culmination of SIX MONTHS of competition, and for many of us, it is a bittersweet evening, as it’s the last night we will be spending officially with the artists we have come to know and love deeply over the past few months. (RIP Conan Osiris. You were too advanced for our mortal minds. Enjoy life on your home planet.)

We’d like to welcome you to the contest this evening, but a few ground rules before we start:

1. Don’t be phobic!

Tonight is a night to celebrate diversity. Don’t be that gammon faced pubgoer making fun of all the foreigners! Don’t make fun of anyone’s body type. Don’t make fun of anyone’s language. Don’t make fun of anyone’s gender or sexuality. And look, Zena and Michaela are in their teens and out there killing it in a way we never could.

DO make fun of the staging and the costumes. Do make fun of the way some of the acts pronounce certain things (like everyone’s favorite Mockneys, Lake Malawi). But try to be original about it, rather than just “OMG that dress is puke”. (Everyone’s dresses are on point tonight, BTW.)

2. Eurovision participation is based on membership of the EBU, not geographic borders.

If a country participates in the European Broadcasting Union, that country is eligible to participate in Eurovision, which is why the contest is open to countries in the Middle East like Israel. Also, Australia has been participating officially now for five years, so stop acting like a jabroni and being like, “I didn’t realise Australia was in Europe hur de hur”

3. Leave Serhat alone

Look, Serhat is the world’s sexiest dentist who has come to spread messages of positivity throughout Europe. Just leave him alone.

We know Serhat’s gonna Serhat, but he’s not meant for you. Not everything has to be for you. You have football and Michael McIntyre and Real Ale and an entire culture geared toward giving you what you want. So shut up and leave Serhat for us, okay?

4. Eurovision viewers don’t give a fig about Brexit.

If the UK doesn’t win, we’re told, it’s because Eurovision viewers are somehow protesting Brexit. Or the Iraq War. Or fish and chips. Or because other countries are all too busy politically voting in bloc alliances from which the UK is excluded. All of which is horse hockey.

If the UK doesn’t win Eurovision, it’s our own damn fault. We don’t mobilise our A-game the way other countries do. Instead, we pull together some baby talent show winners, give them a song they didn’t write, and invite them to go for it. And they get one shot to do so.

The fact is, we’ve had very good entries the past few years. Lucie Jones gave me chills. Surie made me proud. And Michael Rice is the Nation’s Northern Sweetheart.

But the truth is he’s performing a song co-written by the Swedish entry that sounds like the Swedish entry and is staged like the Swedish entry, so we happen to look like a copy of Sweden. Who’s going to vote for that when you could simply vote for Sweden instead?

5. Winning doesn’t matter

Honestly, the only reason many of us Eurofans are trying to figure out the winner is to determine where we’re going to be taking a long vacation next year. I’m still watching tonight to see my favourite acts perform, even though many of them aren’t tipped to win. What makes Eurovision so special is that it gives all of us a chance to discover new artists and songs that we can enjoy all year round.

Indeed, tonight is just the cap on six months of madness for many of us, the process of winnowing hundreds of songs down to a single one, during which time we’ve lost many favourites along the way, which brings me to my last point…

6. Be gentle, for Post-Eurovision Depression is a real disorder.

For most of this year, ever single weekend has been given over to something Eurovision related, whether it’s streaming five National Finals or traveling to see a band or attending one of the Eurovision pre-parties. And as of tonight, that entire social whirl suddenly ends. Something that’s taken up hours of my time and energy is gone. So yes, there’s a bit of a grieving process that’s going to be happen. So be kind to your Eurofan friends.

And with that, I hope all of you locals enjoy the show, which will be full of awkward jokes about Duncan’s butt. I can’t wait.

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