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."
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly disease himself
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Comic-Con 2014: Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch and Game of Thrones' George RR Martin set to attend
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Star Wars 7: Plot details 'leak', with sequel's opening sequence and premise revealed
Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony: Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle among performers
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains