Saturday, May 20, 2006

Let the Eurovision Voting Begin

Tonight sees the final of the 51st Eurovision Song Contest, this year hosted in Athens.

As Terry Wogan will point out, the proceedings are less dominated by the quality of the music than they are based around the changing and expanding political landscape of Europe.

Daz Simpson - UK entry - (c) ESCtoday.comAlthough the UK entry - 32 year old rapper Daz Sampson - didn't have to endure the preliminary semi finals to get a spot, it will be lucky to finish in the top half of tonight's final.

Along with France, Spain and Germany, the UK are guaranteed a place in the final as they are the largest contributors to the European Broadcasting Union, which runs the contest.

But a place in the final doesn't guarantee votes - not when there are closer ties between Scandinavian and Baltic states (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania) and the ex-Yugoslav states.

Finnish entry - Lordi - rehearsing (c) ESCtoday.comWatch out for Brian Kennedy representing Ireland tonight. Always a good bet. Also worth watching will be the Finnish rock band - Lordi - complete with heavy metal armour, flame and noisy guitars.

It may not be brilliant entertainment - but it'll be more fun (and cheaper) than the poorly reviewed Da Vinci Code film that went on general release last night.

UPDATE - if you're not in the UK, and don't have access to a broadcast feed, try the online feed from the official Eurovision website (though there's more back stage news from the unofficial site, which has been running for several years).

22:00 to 01:05 – Local time in Athens (GMT +3)
21:00 to 00:05 – CET (GMT +2)
20:00 to 23:05 – UK time/BST (GMT +1)

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