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Eurovision: The Heavily Strobing Highlights

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The Eurovision Song Contest has over the years become the foremost bonkers event of the year (perhaps only The Rose of Tralee can compete) and in this, its 56th year, the competition that has given the us a smash hit about a French military commander, skirt ripping and, amazingly enough, one of Dean Martin's most recognisable songs did not disappoint. In fact, it's a shame the European Broadcasting Union don't do more shows in the year. I for one would watch Eurovision Masterchef or Eurovision Wrestling. But until that day, here are some of the biggest talking points from this year's contest.

The host country were vain and cruel:

Azerbaijan went to great lengths to look modern and flash, what with the flaming towers, national flags turning up in lights outside the arena and breathtaking movie brochures. It was an excellent attempt at cultivating a positive image. Although rounding up poor people and dissenters will make your life a lot easier in that regard.

The UK and Ireland need to move to somewhere a bit less remote.

Poor Englebert Humperdink. Sure, he may have had a great career and he has raw sexual charisma to match Tom Jones, but it just wasn't working for him tonight, as his pretty decent song came in second last, behind yet another decent song from a Danish ex-busker who reminded me for all the world of fellow Scando Lene Marlin. Meanwhile Jedward also performed underwhelmingly, but they were probably too busy doing lines of sherbet to notice. I'm not being euphemistic by the way, I really mean they probably put sugar up their noses.

The quest for douze points.

Generally in Eurovision, countries are faced with a stark choice: do they send the best-looking women they can find, or the biggest nutters they can find? This year seemed to take a swing to the former, with France, Cyprus, Italy and my personal favourite Greece among those going all in. However, the nutter side was still well-manned. Jedward aside, there were the now infamous Russian grannies, a bewildering joy who even managed to get a wee bit of cooking in, an Albanian who aimed for power ballad but was closer to power surge while wearing a fabergé egg on her head, the Moldovans who successfully sexed up a song from The Jungle Book and - my personal favourites - the Romanians, who appeared to be represented by a supergroup consisting of Tulisa, Lou Bega, LMFAO and a marching band.

In the end though, it was the Swede Loreen who won decisively with a Kate Bush meets Calvin Harris (with a hint of MC Hammer) type number. Stockholm next year then, yeah?