…but before all that, I asked the ESC Insight editorial team to nominate some of their favourite Eurovision-related Christmas songs. Here’s what we came up with – we hope it provides a suitably festive soundtrack to your holiday season…
ESC Insight Christmas Playlist
This lovely seasonal song is a couple of years old now, but I still don’t feel like enough people have heard this. Belarus’s nicest couple have had quite a big 2017 (2 albums, a tour and Eurovision) and with the heartwarming news that they’re expecting a baby band member, 2018 looks set to be even bigger… Ellie Chalkley
How about Sandra Nurmsalu’s version of “Jõuluingel” a traditional Estonian Christmas Carol? – John Egan
For a Christmas song with a double-dose of Eurovision, check out “Komdu Um Jólin” by Gunnar Ólason. This member of Two Tricky and Sjónni’s Friends turned Tozzi and Raf’s evergreen “Gente di mare” into a fabulous Icelandic-language holiday song. – Samantha Ross
I can’t settle on just one song, rather just an artist. The Christmas Story special from Tina Karol – filled with traditional and Ukrainian seasonal favourites… – Sharleen Wright
It has to be Heast as Net by Conchita and Ina Regen for me. This wasn’t really intended to be a Christmas song, but started as a YouTube collaboration for fun. The song was then given permission to be released by writer Hubert von Goisern and immediately hit the charts in Austria and has now kind of morphed into a song for Christmas.
The song is written in the Austrian dialect of German and includes yodelling. Yes folks, Conchita learned to yodel – and it’s very, very good! – Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Okay it’s not strictly Christmas, but here in Scotland we’ve always got half an eye Hogmanay and the New Year celebrations. so I’m going with a live version of ‘Happy New Year’ that racks up the Eurovision spotters points as it’s a four way between a huge number of Song Contest favourites – Paula Seling, Ovi, Chiara, and Niamh Kavanagh.
Plus it’s Abba when they were in full-on Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumors’ mode (well, as full-on as polite Swedish high society would let them). Who doesn’t love a big family argument and an awkward morning after during the festivities? – Ewan Spence
There’s only one possible nomination I could make for this week’s playlist. Swedish singer Shirley Clamp is well known and much loved by Eurovision fans for her six participations at Melodifestivalen. Back in 2004, she also released this utterly ridiculous Schlager-fied take on the Band Aid classic ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’.
Why did Shirley feel compelled to reinvent the song so dramatically? Did any of the royalties go to charity? Is she aware how inappropriately joyous she sounds as she belts out the immortal line “Well tonight Thank God it’s them, instead of you”? I have no idea, but one thing I do know is that this is the only version of the song that I dig out all year round. Enjoy… – John Lucas