It is so nearly that time again...
I know, I know; it seems like only yesterday that we were all waking up with the mother of all hangovers but it's nearly here. Like an iceberg looming over the horizon ready to take the Titanic entirely unprepared, the Eurovision Song Contest is quietly sneaking up on us. And, thankfully, the Eurovision Drinking Game is here to offer you the kind of alcoholic support that might (just) get you through the night mentally (if not physically) unscathed.
Now, this year - as well as few minor updates - there is also going to be a Dutch specific rule (assuming they make it through from the semi-finals) due to the fact that one third of this year's Dutch entry (the band O'G3NE) is one of my former students. I know, clear favouritism on my part. I can only hope that they haven't read the rules and decided to perform in a manner that breaches too many rules...
As with all the previous years, some of the rules are slightly UK-centric so, if you intend to play this in another country, just ignore rules 1 and 26 and knock back two shots before you get started for good measure. Or, watch it on BBC and pretend to be British for the night so you to can feel our pain.
Finally, I need to issue my customary word of warning; this game is based upon the consumption of strong alcohol. I cannot, therefore, be held responsible for your health (or lack of) if you stringently follow the rules of my game and drink yourself into oblivion. Play this game entirely at your own risk…
2. The national drink of Ukraine is, perhaps unsurprisingly, vodka. If you want to be a purist, then you can find some rather fine Ukrainian vodkas out there, including Staritsky & Levitsky. However, I would suggest that you feel free to play hard and loose with the rules in this respect and pick something suitably alcoholic and to your tastes...
The rules are really very simple. You take a sip of your chosen spirit if:
1) Any time the British entry - Lucie Jones - is mentioned.
2) Any time the Dutch entry - O'G3NE - are mentioned. If it is mentioned that they entered Junior Eurovision in 2007, take a shot. If any kind of ABBA comparisons are made, knock back two shots immediately.
3) The host(s) attempts to sing.
4) The host(s) pretends to be surprised at something that's going on in what is clearly a vaguely-rehearsed piece of improvisation.
5) The host(s) loses track of their autocue or mess up their timing.
6) The video shown before an act manages to put you off the act before they've even taken the stage.
7) You are not entirely sure whether the singer is man who looks like a woman, or a woman who looks like a man.
8) The singer is barefoot.
9) A country is represented by a singer from somewhere else in the world. Drink an entire shot if a country is represented by what seems to be a random person (or persons) scooped up off the streets and then pushed out on stage.
10) The act involves people on stage banging large drums or objects acting as large drums.
11) An item of clothing is removed on stage. Drink an entire shot if it is removed by someone else.
12) The act is bald. Drink an entire shot if they are also female.
13) The act possesses a large moustache.
14) The act is dressed in leather. Drink an entire shot if they are dressed in leather and have a large moustache.
15) If you hear a language used other than that of the nation who is singing (for example, English words in a song by Ukraine). One sip per language. If in any doubt, just take a sip.
16) You recognise the song immediately as being a blatant rip off of a previous winner of Eurovision.
17) The song is an ode to world peace. Drink three shots immediately if there are any children on stage at any time during the song.
18) There are dancers on stage who, by their movements and lack of synchronicity, appear to have perhaps had three dance lessons as a child and have never heard the song before tonight. Take a shot if they're wearing an especially outlandish costume.
19) People are pretending to play instruments on stage. Drink an entire shot if they take a pretend solo.
20) Every time there's some kind of pyrotechnic on stage.
21) Every time someone employs the use of a wind machine.
22) If the act attempts to distract attention from the paucity of quality in their offering by getting some kind of celebrity on stage with them (for reference, see Germany in 2009 who employed the services of Dita von Teese to no effect whatsoever).
23) If there is some kind of random digital animation going on in the background that seems to have very little to do with the song that's being sung. Take a shot if something goes badly wrong with this during the performance...
24) Every time there is an awkward silence and/or miscommunication between the hosts and the people reading out the votes. Drink an entire shot if the votes get mixed up.
25) Every time one of the people reading out the results of a country’s voting attempts to secure their 15 seconds of fame by babbling on incoherently and generally delaying things and winding a few hundred million people up.
26) Every time it’s "Royaume-Uni? Nil point!". Drink a shot each time, at the end of a voting round, the UK is in last place overall.
27) Every time a country gives top marks to someone for geographic, political or ethnic reasons.
28) If there is any alcohol left once the show is finished and you’re physically capable of coordinating the movement of alcohol from the bottle to your mouth...take a sip!
At some point in the next month I'll rustle up a printable version like I did the in the last five years. Oh and I would suggest that, in order to maximise the chances that your rules survive the night's entertainment, you may want to think about laminating them!
Have fun and please don't blame for the pain and misery you will have to endure...not to mention the hangover the day after!!