A worldwide audience of 125 million tune in as 39 countries attempt to outsing, outdance and outgimmick each other for the Eurovision prize. But it’s a spectacle which will drive just as many people to get their extra-strong earplugs reinforced. Indeed, the Making Your Mind Up glory days are well behind us, and even Terry Wogan - whose Baileys-fuelled commentary helped the contest slip down so nicely – has deserted his Eurovision duties, saying it just wasn’t funny any more.
Last year, Lord Lloyd Webber boosted us to a respectable fifth and propelled Jade Ewen to Sugababe status - but then there’s this year’s wimper. Pete Waterman’s schmaltz-in probably wouldn’t get past the semi-finals if we didn’t buy, with our fat financial contribution, an automatic pass-card to May 29’s final.
So, do we really need another farcical evening of getting whipped by Eastern Europeans writhing around in giant hamster cages? Or is it money well spent for a night of eccentric escapism - and some easy foreign policy?
We want to know what you think. Join The Times Rock & Pop Critic, Pete Paphides, and our resident Eurovision expert, Alex Hardy, for a live web chat on Friday May 28 at midday.
Friday May 28, midday