Logo TV broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest this past weekend, bringing the singing competition to the U.S. for the first time since it began 60 years ago. Although American audiences are late to the party, for decades the show has brought in in hefty viewer numbers (180 million at the last count) from around the world, who eagerly revel in the camptastic spectacle of Eastern European chanteuses belting out torch songs while surrounded by scantily-clad dancers.
For viewers who do not understand the Eurovision craze, 2016 hosts Måns Zelmerlöw and comedian Petra Mede performed the surprisingly delightful “Love Love Peace Peace,” an instructional demo that breaks down the essence of the competition’s spirit, as well as every trick and cliché performers can use to win. Hint: shirtless guys are always a good idea. (Drag queen Conchita Wurst won in 2014 and she performed all by herself, so it’s a case-by-case basis.)
The cast of characters on the stage for “Love Love Peace Peace” were not just for effect — they were actual contestants from years past, in all their sometimes-silly splendor. Although it should be noted the 2016 winner, Jamala from Ukraine, took first place with a rather angry and very loud song, “1944,” scolding the former Soviet Union for invading her country after World War II (and, of course, giving a nod to their subsequent 2014 “annexation” of the formerly Ukranian region of Crimea). But enough about politics. Eurovision was created specifically to join people through a love of music. So let’s all join together to enjoy the Swedish contestant Frans, and his catchy tune “If I Were Sorry.” Maybe if he would have won if he had sung while running in a giant hamster wheel.