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How the Eurovision Song Contest is different this year and how to celebrate it at home

This year the Eurovision Song Contest will look quite different, along with most other things. But it’s still an important celebration - and better still, viewers at home will be starring in it.

The 2020 event will instead be the Eurovision Song Celebration, an online celebration of all things Eurovision, and it will include for the first time ever Fan Recaps. Instead of the classic recap of the participating songs, we’ll be able to watch fans sing dance and party along to the songs of 2020.

Eurovision is a song celebration this year instead of a contest
Eurovision is a song celebration this year instead of a contest

Following two semi-finals this week, where all the participating songs will be screened on the YouTube channel, the Grand Final comes on Saturday, May 16.

This year will be non-competitive with songs being chosen by the producers, and there will also be home tours and even a taste of home cooking.

But as most of Europe stays home during the pandemic, this year it’s all about the viewers at home. Organisers wanted to see fans rally behind their favourite artists, creating all-out Eurovision parties from home, donning their

best Eurovision 2020 outfits, and recording themselves dancing to 20-second snippets of Eurovision 2020 songs which will feature in the show and which were submitted online before this week.

Well-known Eurovision artists from recent years will also be invited to participate and there will be a chance to vote for your all-time favourite song from the contest with the Eurovision: Come Together show on BBC One first.

Programming begins with Eurovision: Come Together at 6.25pm on BBC One, hosted by Graham Norton, and also on YouTube with Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light at 8pm.

Details at eurovision.tv.

Graham Norton will be hosting Eurovision again this year Picture: So TV - Photographer: Christopher Baines
Graham Norton will be hosting Eurovision again this year Picture: So TV - Photographer: Christopher Baines

And if you're thinking of holding a party for Eurovision night, here are some tips and ideas to make your evening go with a Euro swing:

1. Pick a theme: Are you celebrating with beers from the countries competing, or celebrating the gastronomy of the nationalities involved? Your choices may be more limited than usual by what supplies you can get hold of, so maybe pick one country to revel in.

2. Choose your outfits: We know how Eurovision loves an over-the-top costume, but you won’t be able to head to the nearest costume shop to pick out an outfit. Instead you’ll need to improvise, though that could make it more

fun. What about hats representing the countries, or dress in the colour of their nation’s flag?

3. Get your flags ready: We’ve all become dabhands at colouring, thanks to the many coloured posters in our windows thanking our key workers and carers, so you should be confident in creating the Union Flag on a stick to wave (if you’re rooting for our country, of course).

4. Party games to play: Yes, it’s about the music, but it can be a long night, so you might want to think up some games to play too. A warm-up karaoke featuring old tunes is a great way to kick off the party. Or how about taking a Eurovision Quiz? There’s lots of quiz questions online for you to use if you’re going to be quizmaster.

5. More cheese please: Make a playlist to keep the party going with old Eurovision sounds - after all, who doesn’t want to hear Bucks Fizz sing again? And what Eurovision evening would be complete without a dance to some of the

cheesy tunes? Besides the flag waving, you’ll all be getting up on your feet during the evening for a dance around the sitting room.

See how our Secret Drinker got on when he did a Eurovision taste test.

For more things to do during lockdown click here.

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