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Eurovision 2016 Talking Points

Just catching up with Eurovision 2016? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with our summary of the major talking points so far!

Justin Timberlake will be performing

Timberlake performing at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC, on July 12, 2014 Credits: J Vettorino (Flickr)
Timberlake performing at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC, on July 12, 2014 Credits: J Vettorino (Flickr)

It’s official, the EBU really want that US audience, and what better way than having an American superstar perform his new single as part of the half-time show in the final? They got an Australian to do it in 2014, the year before that country’s first entry…

 

Romania got expelled

What a beard! Ovidiu Anton. Credits: Ioana Chiriță, TVR
What a beard! Ovidiu Anton. Credits: Ioana Chiriță, TVR

The Romanian broadcaster TVR failed to meet a debt payment deadline and subsequently got evicted from the EBU. This means the owner of Eurovision 2016’s second-best-facial-hair, Ovidiu Anton, will not be performing and Romania can also no longer broadcast certain European sporting events (amongst other things).

 

Australia didn’t have to change their lyrics

Dami Im Credit: SBS via Facebook
Dami Im is announced as the Australian performer for Eurovision 2016 Credits: SBS via Facebook

Use of the phrase ‘face time’ in the opening verse of ‘Sound of Silence’ was considered to be a clear metaphor and definitely not an Apple endorsement, allowing Dami Im to keep the original version for the competition. Ukraine also seem to have been cleared of using political messages and Russia-baiting with their WW2 inspired song.

 

Flag Controversy

Spectators show off their flags at the 2015 contest in Vienna. Credits: Andres Putting (EBU)
Spectators show off their flags at the 2015 contest in Vienna. Credits: Andres Putting (EBU)

After complaints, the European Broadcasting Union amended their list of permissible flags to include those of a singer’s home region meaning the Welsh and Sami flags will now be allowed to fly although they made no specific mention to the Crimean flag – home region to the Ukraine’s Jamala. One flag that definitely isn’t allowed however, is that of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh that the Armenian team had in the  Green Room on Tuesday and which nearly got them kicked out.

 

Sweden announced a massive party

Sanna Nielsen does press at Eurovision 2014 Credit: Sander Hesterman (EBU)
Sanna Nielsen does press at Eurovision 2014 Credits: Sander Hesterman (EBU)

Sanna Nielsen will be hosting a second Eurovision event in a different Stockholm arena for fans who couldn’t afford or missed tickets to the real show. Expect large screens broadcasting the main event, live performances and unashamed profit wrangling.

 

Russia proved they’re still homophobic…

Hovi Star claims Russian passport control tore up his documents and teased him for being gay. Credits: Ronen Akerman
Hovi Star claims Russian passport control tore up his documents and teased him for being gay. Credits: Ronen Akerman

Israel’s Hovi Star went public with his terrible treatment by the Russian border patrol on his way to performing in Moscow. Looks like Sergey Lazarev might be subject to the same booing the last two Russian entrants have received.

 

…And got a jury member disqualified

After being caught live streaming from the jury room, where discussion between jury members (who are supposed to vote individually) could clearly be heard, Russia lost the broadcasting member of their jury team as a punishment and will continued as a four-man squad for last night’s jury final.

 

And finally…Belarus wanted to sing naked

Unphased by odds of almost 200-1, Belarus’ IVAN has decided he wanted to spice up his entry by performing a) naked and b) with a live wolf on stage. For a preview, try the video above. Both of these things break EBU rules, so instead he employed holograms of both, although host Måns did strip off in his honour during the presenting.

 

Now you’re all caught up, check out what to look for more specifically in tonight’s show and remember to follow us on Twitter for more insights. You can also work out who you should be voting for on our homepage.

 

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