There’s no party like a Eurovision party. The countdown to Saturday 13th May is on. The euro-pop contest takes place on home soil this year, in Liverpool, on behalf of Ukraine, where 37 countries will battle it out to come out on top. No ticket? No problem. You can get in on the celebratory action from the comfort of your sofa. Impress your mates with key country trivia and take a look at our handpicked recipes to create a delicious European spread. Set up the sweepstake, grab a paddle and you’re ready to go.
Ukraine, who topped the leader board in last year’s competition with an incredible 439 points (the maximum score is 468), have quite the impressive Eurovision track record. They’ve produced three winning songs and been runners up twice. Traditionally the winning country host the following contest, however the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC announced regrettably this wouldn’t be possible due to safety and security reasons. Liverpool have stepped in and are hosting on behalf of Ukraine this year with around 3,000 tickets having been made available for displaced Ukrainians in the UK.
Sweden have six wins under their belt, second only to Ireland’s seven and are now favourites to win the contest having overtaken Ukraine. The country chose their Eurovision singer, Loreen, by hosting a tv show competition called Melodifestivalen earlier this year. If the name Loreen sounds familiar, it might be because she’s performed for Sweden in the Eurovision before and actually won it back in 2012. It’s no wonder the bookies are backing her.
Pic credit: Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/imagebank.sweden.se
With a stonking seven wins so far, the Emerald Isle are the most successful country in Eurovision history and the only country to have won three years in a row. Their winning streak started in 1970 when Dana, an 18-year-old schoolgirl from Derry, won the competition with the song All Kinds of Everything. The single proved to be such a hit when it was released, that it stayed at number one for nine weeks and went on to sell over two million copies. After a three year non-qualification streak – we have to admit we’ve really missed them from the competition - they’re back with their entry Wild Youth. Here’s hoping they can get Ireland back on track.
Italy is one of only seven countries that competed at the very first Eurovision contest and have made 47 appearances since their debut. They took a 13 year break from participating in the competition and on return, the big four became the big five, meaning Italy now automatically qualify for a place alongside France, Germany, Spain and the UK. This year’s entry is Marco Mengoni, who came to fame having won the Italian X Factor in 2009 and has quite the stellar CV; seven studio albums, multiple platinum certifications and 2.2 million followers on Instagram and counting. Having already flown the flag for his home country back in 2013 (they came seventh), we reckon he’s definitely one to watch.
Make classic Italian bruschetta
Dress up and serve wearing our novelty glasses
Tens of thousands are preparing to descend on Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles, over Eurovision weekend, where the city is set to become one big party. The contest will be held at the Liverpool Arena on Saturday 13th May and there are watch-a-longs planned in multiple venues, as well as extended drinking hours and live music events. Last year’s entrant Sam Ryder managed to turn the UK’s fortunes around, landing us in second place, so we’d say this year’s entry, Mae Miller has got some big (singing) boots to fill.
Whip up Mary Berry’s tipsy trifle
String this bunting up above the buffet table
Shop our full Eurovision party range here.