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What is Eurovision? Hosts explain in epic musical opening number (VIDEO)

Nick Duffy May 13, 2016

The Eurovision Song Contest opened its second semi-final with a bang on Thursday, with a stunning musical number that threatened to overshadow some of the acts.

The camp pan-European music contest is currently underway in Stockholm, Sweden – with last year’s winner Måns Zelmerlöw hosting along with Swedish TV icon Petra Mede.

The pair are no strangers to a bit of pizzazz, opening Thursday’s show with a hugely impressive four minute musical number lampooning many of the contest’s elements, in the style of the Tony Awards.

Zelmerlöw sings: “It’s a multi-national competition, with a collaborative mission, so much like the Olympics, in a way.

“Sure it’s rather less athletic, though just as energetic, more colourful, and…- what’s the word… theatrical.”

Joking about the show’s famously high price tag, the pair joke: “We make music and friends with every nation, and bankrupt the hosting TV station!”

Explaining the history of the show, they sing: “To help to shore up a post war Europe, in 1956 it all began. The set I’m rather certain, was nothing but a curtain.

“There were only seven countries and one cameraman.

“But then we started growing now Australia’s ours, we’re a big black hole sucking in all the stars.

“We’ll take over the world and then conquer Mars, that’s Eurovision!”

The number concludes with name-checks for many of the contest’s most famous acts including Conchita Wurst, while Mede and Zelmerlöw impressively recap all the different languages that have been heard on the Eurovision stage (to name but a few Swahili, Crimean Tartar, and several that were completely made up).

The number was met with loud cheers in the stadium, while UK commentators Scott Mills and Mel Giedroyc fielded questions from viewers who were upset they couldn’t vote for the opening to win.

Swedish broadcaster SVT doesn’t do anything by half-measures when it comes to musical numbers.

The country’s Eurovision selection show, Melodifestivalen, frequently features more glitzy dance numbers than Eurovision itself.

Check out a previous Melodifestivalen Swedish-language send-up to Neil Patrick Harris’ Tony Awards routine:

More: Europe, eurovision, eurovision song contest, Gay, LGBT, Music, musical, Sexuality, song, Sweden

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