There's music in the air and lots of laughing everywhere... Is it that time of year already? Yes that's right, Eurovision is here again, and after one of the most turbulent years since the creation of the European Union, the festival of camp is going to have to work extra hard and sparkle more fabulously than ever to make us forget the world is going to hell. Sing, you gorgeous young 'uns! Sing harder! Sing so loud you drown out all the bad things! Truly, Eurovision is a highly silly but entirely necessary salve for the soul - with Europe more divided than ever, the stage is set for a man or woman (or other), possibly with a silly haircut, to unite us to the sounds of a high-tempo disco beat.
Settling differences via song
Eurovision 2017 takes place in Kiev, Ukraine, which immediately sets the political alarm bells ringing; Russia, for their part, had intended to take part in this year's contest but pulled out last month. Remember when the only time Eurovision got political was when a slightly tipsy Terry Wogan would get annoyed by Greece and Cyprus annually awarding each other top marks, like it was a breach of the Geneva Convention or something? Good times, good times. Now, with Brexit in the offing and the far right movement spreading throughout the continent, Eurovision has a responsibility to address these controversies head on: by encouraging all European nations - Brexiting or otherwise - to laugh and sing and be merry with one another.
Making their mind up
What this means for the impartial observer, of course, is that this is the most unpredictable Eurovision in years. The form book has been torn up! The bookies are in a mad panic! Maybe the event will end with everyone singing 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing', or maybe it'll end in a massive Royal Rumble cat-fight with all the contestants pulling each other's hair out (not a good time to be rocking a ponytail, Macedonia). Britain's entry, 'Never Give Up On You' by Lucie Jones, is the night's biggest unknown quantity. Will the rest of Europe welcome us with open arms after we triggered Article 50 all over them, or will they flip us off, award us nil points as usual and initiate Eurovexit? Literally who knows.
Finding it all a bit much? You need a guide for the evening, boundaries for the excitement - a predictable framework to contain the unpredictability. Bingo! Yes, with our handy Eurovision 2017 Bingo board, you can play along at home! Watch the show on BBC1 this Saturday at 8pm, cross out each event as it happens, and if you get a row or a column, you have to shout "EUROOOOVISIOOONNN!" as loud as you can, catapulting plates of vol-au-vents everywhere as you do so. It's the only way to play!