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Es la hora: Eurovision is here!

Finally, it’s here, the giddiest, stupidest, campiest, silliest international competition of them all: Eurovision. Or, really, EUROVISION. For those not in the know, prepare to be delighted. At Eurovision, a three-day televised event starting today, active member-countries of the European Broadcasting Union each send a band to perform a song; phone-in voters then decide the ...

Finally, it’s here, the giddiest, stupidest, campiest, silliest international competition of them all: Eurovision. Or, really,

EUROVISION.

For those not in the know, prepare to be delighted.

At Eurovision, a three-day televised event starting today, active member-countries of the European Broadcasting Union each send a band to perform a song; phone-in voters then decide the all-over winner. (You can’t vote for your own country’s submission.)

In recent years, it’s been a smorgasbord of bad pop — think Aqua — and even worse death metal, usually provided by the Nordic states. And it’s always fabulously entertaining.

So, a primer. This year, the big story’s been Georgia. The country sent up an intensely kitschy purple-clad pop outfit (three ladies and one hilariously mustachioed gentlemen), equipped with a highly cheesy anti-Vladimir Putin go-go pop song and hot disco dance moves. The chorus: "We don’t want a put in! [Get it?] The negative move!  It’s killing the groove!" Eurovision gold, right? 

Unfortunately, the Eurovision organizers refused to let the song fly, particularly given that Eurovision’s being held in Moscow this year. The Georgian broadcasters refused to change the lyrics, and with a spandex-y harrumph and lots of attitude, the team withdrew.

With no further ado, some of our favorite (fabulous, horrific, hilarious, oddly moving) videos from Eurovisions past:

Hard rock plus sparklers? Hallelujah! Lordi, Finland, 2006:

This is definitely what the future looks like. Verka Serduchka, Ukraine, 2007:

Very Dakota-inspired. Boonika Bate Doba, Modova, 2005:

More cowbell! Stefan Raab, Germany, 1998:

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