It's just over a month until the illustrious and incomparable Eurovision Song Contest is upon us again. The televised yearly singing competition pitches the best (or arguably the worst - Jemini, please stand up) singers and songs from around Europe against each other in a festival of camp, political incorrectness and nail-biting scoreboard tension. Last year's winner Lena brought home the gold for Germany for the first time since 1982, so this year's event will be hosted in Dusseldorf on the 14th May.
But who can wait a whole month for the well-meaning nonsense to begin? Luckily for the last three years stars of the British entertainment community have been making fools of themselves…and paying homage to the musical juggernaut, all for a good cause. On Thursday 21st April the Piccadilly Theatre will host the fourth West End Eurovision, compered by ex Big Breakfast host Gabby Roslin. The show starts at 11.30pm, running in a 'midnight matinee' slot, popular with fundraising events. London stage shows and theatres will compete against each other performing their own versions of classic Eurovision entrants of years gone by. Last year's overall winners were Dirty Dancing, who stole the show with their interpretation of Sakis Rouvas' 2004 Greek Entry Shake It - doing one better than Rouvas himself who only came third in the tv spectacle!
Shows confirmed as entering West End Eurovision this year include Legally Blonde, Love Never Dies, The 39 Steps, Billy Elliot, Dirty Dancing, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Wizard Of Oz, We Will Rock You and Wicked. The show is held in aid of TheatreMAD, the Make A Difference Trust, who raise money to support people living with HIV and AIDS as well as those in the entertainment industry facing hardship as a result of a long-term medical condition. The Chairman of TheatreMAD says "Eurovision is such a camp and fun event, so it’s perfectly suited to a late night West End show and we are grateful to everyone for helping us to make it happen. It has the potential to raise such a lot of money for the projects we support and we are thrilled to present West End Eurovision for the fourth year." This year there will be a special performance by The Original Bucks Fizz, who won for the UK in 1981 with their bouncy, skirt-shedding performance of Making Your Mind Up.
The other UK winners of the main contest since it's 1956 debut are Lulu, Sandie Shaw, Brotherhood Of Man and Katrina & The Waves. At this May's televisual treat the UK's hopes rest with reformed pop-totty Blue with their comeback song I Can. They face competition from X Factor legends Jedward who, if they make it through the semi-final, hope to be throwing themselves around the stage with their usual gay abandon for Ireland with their Gary Glitter-esque Lipstick. Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue are as yet still very much unconfirmed as their backing singers.
[posted by James, 07/04/2011]