Strange sights at Eurovision
Friday 08 May 2009
On Tuesday the first of two semi-final competitions opens from the vast Olympiyskiy Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Eighteen countries will be whittled down as viewers vote for their favourites to go through to the grand final on 16 May. Paddy O'Connell will be providing commentary on the proceedings while Sarah Cawood will meet the hopeful performers from all over Europe.
As these pictures show, rehearsals and national heats have been taking place with the emphasis on garish costumes, ludicrous haricuts and presumably singing, as well.
Britain's damp and overcast climate may be a fertile ground for pop music, but in recent years we haven't fared so well in Eurovision. We last won in 1997 and until 1999 we would appear regularly in the top 10, but in 2003 we scored nul points. We came bottom of the class again last year. For this year's 54th edition of the competition, we've stepped up our game. Not only did Andrew Lloyd Webber team up with US Grammy-winning lyricist Diane Warren to pen our entry for the Moscow-based competition, but a reality television show was launched to find a singer to perform their ballad "My Time". The winner, Jade Ewen, a 21-year-old from Plaistow, east London, is our hopeful. "I see Eurovision as the beginning of the rest of my professional life," says Ewen. "You're seeing the start of a 20-, 30-year career."
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
May the Fourth Be With You: The internet celebrates Star Wars Day with new Twitter symbols and memes
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils