Break out the sequins and sounds the champagne – it’s Eurovision time again.
It’s that time of year when delegations from in communities across Europe – and so far afield – come together to find out which country is likely to be crowned the champion of the annual vocal contest-cum-live TV spectacle.
This year tags the 62 nd publication of the international gathering that, over the years, has brought us such pearls as Waterloo by Abba, Fixing Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz and Moving the Flag by Scooch.
For some it’s a inundate of gaudiness, kitsch and music to attain your ears bleed. To many aficionados, though, it’s a yearly delight that are able relied upon to deliver sensation, pressure and laugh in container loads.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of this year’s event.
1) It’s actually three events
When Eurovision started in the Swiss resort of Lugano back in 1956, exclusively seven countries took percentage. Each country submitted two chorus each, with host country Switzerland eventually winning.
But over the years there has been a steady rise in participating countries – so continuous in fact, that the contest is now preceded by two semi-finals.
The first semi takes place on Tuesday, with the second following on Thursday. The object is to whittle the semi-finalists – 36 this year – down to a more practicable 20.
Those 20 progress to the final on Saturday, when they will be joined by the so-called “big five” – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – and host person Ukraine.
The “big five” get an automated pass through to the final as they pay the most towards retaining the contest going.
Once the final starts it’s a level playing field, with all 26 behaves at the forgivenes of the juries and spectators who cast their votes on the night.
The triumphing act is gifted a glass memento in the shape of a microphone, who’s country is given the right to host the following year’s contest.
2) How does the voting drive?
Before last year, each emulating country’s jury and public elections were blended and announced at the same time.
But now the votes are divided, with each country’s jury vote assigned first, and elections from spectators in all countries blended and announced at the end.
This can result in spectacular reversals – as was shown at last year’s contest, when Ukraine’s entry leap-frogged Australia’s at the last minute to claim the top spot.
3) There’s been 64 winners
There have been 61 controversies to date, but 64 champions. That’s because the 1969 contest resulted in a four-way split, with France, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK all ending up with the same levels tally.
The so-called electing “scandal” led to a change in relevant rules that ensured there would always be time the one overall champion in future.
Ireland lead the way on the all-time chairman committee, having won the contest seven eras between 1970 and 1996.
Sweden has prevailed six eras, while the UK has five wins under its belt along with France and Luxembourg.
4) The UK hasn’t prevailed lately
The UK’s last-place jubilation came in Dublin 20 years ago, when Katrina and the Waves stormed to succes with Love Shine a Light.
Since then we’ve had decidedly mixed fates, with three last-place finishes and a terrifying “nul points” in 2003.
Indeed, it’s been eight years since we even finished inside the top 10.
Jones, 26, has dismissed suggests she might accept as a consequence of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, claiming she is “not fretted” about a potential Brexit backlash.
5) Australia’s in Europe now
The decision to give Australia a wild card entry in 2015 was a surprise to many , not least those in self-possession of an atlas.
Yet it was considered a successful enough venture for the Land Down Under to compete for real in 2016 – and they’ll be back again this year to try their fluke once more.
Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Firebrace, the first indigenous male to represent Australia at Eurovision, will be hoping he can go all the way with his ballad Don’t Come Easy.
The appearance of Justin Timberlake at last year’s event led to speculation the United States might also be invited to participate at future Eurovisions.
6) Where’s it being held?
This year construes the contest make a return visit to the Ukrainian uppercase Kiev, 12 years since it was firstly regarded there in 2005.
This year’s contest comes from Kiev’s International Exhibition Centre, a monstrous composite with capability for up to 11,000 spectators.
The run-up to the contest has been dominated by a diplomatic row between Ukraine and Russia over the Russian entrant, 27 -year-old Julia Samoilova.
Ukraine refused to allow her to play at the contest because she has seen Crimea, the headland clutched by Russia in 2014.
Last month Russian broadcaster Channel One announces that it would not be broadcasting this year’s event, removing any possibility of Russia taking part.
7) Why should be used charge?
Thanks in part to the taunt asides that Sir Terry Wogan used to issue from his commentary booth, Eurovision-bashing has become a national amusement for us Brits.
Yet the tournament is made extremely seriously by some of our neighbours in the various regions of the pond, many of whom envision emulating in the contest as a medal of national pride.
Eurovision’s legion of die-hard devotees take it very seriously more, tripping to the event in amounts to support their country’s act and enjoy the working party atmosphere.
And it can also launch business, as Michael Flatley discovered where reference is took to the stage with Riverdance during the 1994 contest in Dublin.
8) Where can I watch it?
The first semi-final will be shown on BBC Four on Tuesday at 20:00 BST, with the second semi on Thursday at the same meter and place.
The final will be shown on BBC One on Saturday, with Graham Norton commenting on the action from 20:00 BST.