It is finally May, and this can only mean one thing – it’s Eurovision time! Having lived in the UK for a while now, I have finally come to terms with the fact that admitting your love for the Eurovision Song Contest is not something to be proud of. In fact, when being looked at in dismay, I mostly shy away saying, “Oh come on, it is just a guilty pleasure!” knowing deep down that it is not just a guilty pleasure, but rather an event that I look forward to every year. Why? Because I genuinely enjoy all the catchy tunes, camp costumes, ridiculous choreography, absurd stage props and cheesy presenters plastered with a frozen smile. Now that I have professed my love for this competition in the public domain, I will move on and explain the true purpose of this post.
Unlike in the UK, the Eurovision Song Contest is taken rather seriously in the Balkans. In fact, there appears to be a recent surge of Balkan entries doing rather well in the contest. Though by no means undermining the quality of music that the Balkans has to offer, the recent success can also be attributed to the tendency that Balkan countries heavily vote for each other during the “scoreboard” process (my favourite part!) Though other European regions (Scandinavia, ex-Soviet Union) also engage in this type of neighbourly camaraderie, it is particularly poignant in regards to the Balkans as it appears that being ‘pleasant’ to each other during the Eurovision voting process almost makes up for the fact that throughout the year countries are at each other’s throats. To prove my point, I have compiled the voting history for the last four years for Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. So here goes:
Finally, if you are like me and want to put yourself through hours of pure entertainment (or cringing) then head down to one of the following bars in London to witness the extravaganza on Saturday 18th May live from Malmo, Sweden:
Green Carnation in Soho (free admission)
Hackney Attic in Hackney (£10 entry fee, includes goodie bags and charity donation to Children in Need)
Ku Bar in Soho (free admission)
Retro Bar in Embankment (free admission)
Roxy Bar and Screen in Borough (£3 entry fee)
Don’t forget that Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia are performing on Semi-Final 1 on Tuesday 14th May. Macedonia and Albania are performing on Semi-Final 2 on Thursday 16th May. You can catch all the action on BBC 3 from 20:00.
Logo courtesy of EUROVISION