Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Eurovision 2022: Our Costumes, Food, & Favorites!

We interrupt this overload of Jungle Cruise party posts to bring you... another party post.

But this party is for Eurovision, so it's less punny.

You might remember I watched my first Eurovision ever last year, and how I was instantly hooked. "Song contest" doesn't come close to describing this experience. It's more like a candy-coated rave that bounces from soulful ballads in spinning laser-light sets to psychedelic polka rap and dancers in foil astronaut suits.

That was a fun sentence to write.

Happily our same friends streamed the finale again this year, and made it more of an event by inviting more people and asking us all to dress up, plus bring fun European foods to try.

John and I hit up our local thrift store for something appropriately fabulous, and this jacket immediately threw itself into my cart:


A few aisles over I found a hot pink tulle skirt to complete the look:

Unfortunately we couldn't find anything nearly as interesting for John, so he spent the night before making his own outfit. Here's a peak at his prop:

Full reveal of John's costume right after these car selfies of my big hair:

I also tried some stuff with my eyeliner.
I really struggled with these photos 'til I realized trying to keep my eyes open when I smile makes me look distant or annoyed. Finally I said, "screw it," smiled like I meant it, and got a picture I actually like:

Yep, here for the happy squinty eyes! And also dino necklaces, because dino necklaces are cool.

Now. Who's ready to see John's Eurovision ensemble?


Now with SASS:

We busted in to the party with John dancing around, and to our delight discovered Christie & Robyn had ALSO dressed as past Eurovision contestants:

If you DON'T know, here are some comparison shots for reference:

Christie is channeling her Wish version of Tix, one of our favorites from 2021. (The song is awesome, hit that link to see/listen.)  They're hard to see, but I was dying over Christie's lamp chain "chains" and fluffy unicorn slippers. She rattled everywhere she went, bahaha.

Robyn is dressed as Katarina of Go-A from Ukraine, with Christie filling in as the disembodied arm holding her Tron halo.

Hang on, the full view is too good not to share:


And then there's John:

John, of course, is rocking the look from DaĆ°i og GagnamagniĆ° from Iceland, complete with circular keytar.

But wait, THERE'S MORE:

His spins, too!

John stayed up extra late getting this to work. It's a large bolt fastened to his belt that sticks out, then the keytar slots on with a metal washer.

The fact that John decided on, sourced, and constructed this entire costume in under 24 hours proves he's a true cosplayer at heart. He had so much fun with it, too, dancing around and hamming it up.

Oh! And then we filmed John spinning the ketyar in slo-mo, which was fun - but wait'll you see the BLOOPER:

Sound on!

Maybe you won't find this as funny as I do, but I nearly sprained something watching this back afterward. Omigosh.

More hilarity: we thought everyone had arrived when the doorbell rang, and this masked figure entered:

Turns out Christie's dad John had dressed up, snuck out the back, and circled around the house to the front door with none of us noticing. Ha! John and his wife Anna are the ones who threw that epic Game of Thrones dinner a few years back; they're always hosting amazing parties like this, and the best chosen family ever. Love them so much.

Here's the whole gang, btw:

Only one missing is Anna, who's taking the picture.

We had SO MUCH food: grilled sausages, salads, an Estonian fish-and-beet casserole thing Anna always makes (she's from there), and then this entire table was all desserts:

John and I brought honey cakes from Israel, tea cakes from the UK, and my favorite cookies from Turkey. (We have an incredible international grocery here in Orlando.) There was also a crepe station, banana tarts, baklava, and sooo much more.

Robyn made berry jello shots in the colors of the Ukrainian flag:

Which turned out especially well when it came time to toast the winners!

Now let's talk about the actual performances.

There were mini foam bananas all over the house, which confused us 'til Norway came on. Y'all. Y'ALL. I'm afraid I'm going to need you to watch this:


That's the official music video, not the live performance, but it's essentially the same. Pure kooky fun, and everything we love about Eurovision.

If you're not in the U.S. - or if you have a VPN - then here's the Youtube playlist of all the live performances, so you can watch them individually. Unfortunately those vids are blocked here in the U.S., though, so your other option is the Peacock premium channel, which you can get on your Roku or Apple TV.  It costs $5 a month, and is worth it just for the Eurovision content, honestly.

All of the official music videos ARE available on Youtube, and those are fun, too - but I highly recommend finding and watching the live performances if you can. Especially with friends.

I have over a dozen favorites, but here are a few more acts to look for to get you started, if you're picking-and-choosing:

- Moldova (if polka & rap had a baby, and Adam Sandler sang it.)

- Australia (the visuals are STUNNING, ermergersh)

- UK (you'll know Sam if you're on TikTok! Also this made history: the most votes UK has received in I think decades? So happy for y'all, UK!)

- Ukraine (the flute! the rap! it's all so dang good.)

- Serbia (get ready to clap and show me your hands)

- And I actually liked poor Germany's song, though he got ZERO votes. It's very American-sounding, maybe that's why?

Since they won, happily Ukraine's live performance is available to watch here in the U.S.:

When the announcers called out those extra 400+ votes from the public, the house erupted in cheers - another reason Eurovision is best with a group. And I totally cried when Ukraine won. Such a beautiful moment.

If you're feeling emotionally stable and brave, I also recommend the official music video of Stefania, Ukraine's winning song. But be warned: it is devastating. I wasn't prepared, and had to break from writing this post for an hour or so to get back in the right headspace.

On that note, let me say that Eurovision's call for love, peace, and unity couldn't come at a better time. Yes it's silly and over-the-top, but Eurovision is also a celebration of other cultures and countries, and we here in the U.S. can only benefit from seeing that kind of love in action.

During the broadcast the singer from Lithuania - another amazing entrant - repeatedly held and waved a Ukrainian flag when the camera was on her, seeming to indicate she wanted anyone who might vote for her to vote for Ukraine, instead. Can you imagine that happening in an American reality contest? Because I can't - and that makes me want to be better.

So please, y'all, go watch some happy, silly, amazing art in action over on Eurovision. Then hold your loved ones close, and remember we're all in this together, so we need to be here for each other.

Sending all the love from our squinty-eyed, happy faces to yours:



P.S. If the war in Ukraine is on your heart today then I hope you'll join me in donating to a reputable charity if you're able - or if you're not able, then encouraging your friends and loved ones to donate. I've been giving to International Rescue Committee and Care, but here's a whole list of top-rated organizations you could choose from.

I know we're all tired of heartache and horror in the news, but I believe it's possible to safeguard our mental health while still helping others. As Sharon McMahon says, the antidote to despair is action, so let's do what we can with what we have, while remembering to be gentle with ourselves and others.


  1. The link for John's blooper says the video is private :^ (. Eurovision as an official account on IG. I was able to watch 30 second clips of the top acts.

    1. Thanks for fixing the link! It made me laugh, your reaction was priceless!

  2. Sweden is a total bro of a country and their streams/recordings aren't geoblocked in the US

    People can watch this year's here and tune in again next year https://www.svtplay.se/eurovision-song-contest-2022

    I've watched with them for a couple of years now <3

  3. You have such a lovely, warm smile when you let your eyes join in! :-) And, OMG, I'd die for that jacket!! So perfect!

  4. This is so fabulous! And don't worry, John. It's perfectly normal for a guy's keyboard to sometimes just ... drop. Love your smiles. Love this entire post. >mwah< right back atcha!

  5. I love Eurovision for the whacky and weird performances, but almost always find some really good non-silly songs to add to my song rotation.

  6. It's a good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I saw the video of John and his rotating keytar -- it'd still be cleaning the spit take off my monitor! He must've been quite a sight for the neighbors. But I suppose they're used to you guys by now ;D

  7. Ok so I just watched John way too many times, and to be honest, it was pretty fun watching your reaction! Also, Jen, I swear to Rudy in your hair and makeup you are a dead ringer for my sister in law, not a joke, no exaggeration, you look just like her... which is AWESOME. As always, this party was epic! Thanks for all the links!!!

  8. It makes me so happy to see Americans getting into Eurovision - its criminally underrated over there :)

  9. I will have to wait til I'm not at work to watch the videos, but I just have to say, your hairdo is exactly how I did mine today. I have curly/wavy hair and, during Covid, learned to embrace it and, that it really does look better if I wear it up high, like I did in the 80's. So, I have poofy big hair today, and I'm a lawyer! Hope I don't scare my clients. I love it!

  10. I'm from the UK (and don't Tictok). A week later and I am still confused as to what happened with all the votes for us! Happy confused, but still confused as the UK doing badly is a long standing tradition . Really happy for the Ukraine though. And I also feel sorry for Germany. I'm quite sad France didn't do better to add U really liked the song.

    I was a little confused by Spain's doing so well. It was fine, but felt rather generic. Or possibly I was distracted because everyone in the room was just laughing at the amount of butt in it due to the costume. It's was the butt song to us :P

    1. Sam ticked all the Eurovision boxes. The song is really good. (I listen to UK radio even though I am Austrian because the music is just so much better, so I was actually more familiar with the UK song than the Austrian (which was really really good, too, but unfortunately didn't make it into the final). He fully embraced everything song contest. He was kind and friendly to everyone.
      He totally would have won if it wasn't for the solidarity for Ukraine. So, congratulations!

  11. That last picture is the happiest and most comfortable I've ever seen you on camera, and I've been following this blog since it was created! Here's to progress, little victories, and bringing love and joy to the world <3

  12. Interstingly enough I am not such a big ESC fan even though I volunteered for the Song Contest in Vienna in 2015 and got to work in the backstage area (yes, I met all the artists). It was great fun to see the backside of the madness and the insane organisation that is necessary to run the show as well as experiencing what's the economic impact on the city where it is held (surprisingly low). I met a ton of lovely people and the amount of positive energy is amazing. Now every year I pick one country and declare that I will volunteer again if they win. This year I picked Norway so I guess I won't volunteer next year... I should have know... That kind of act always does well but seldom wins. Unless you're Finland, then you totally win (Hard Rock Hallelujah, anyone? Still one of the best songs of all song contests). Sorry, gotta run - I need to hold an interupto ESC dance party in my kitchen right now.

  13. I started my Eurovision fandom in pretty much exactly the same way: attending a party held by a friend. Then I started watching the semifinals. Then started watching the official videos after the songs were finalized. Then it became following the national final season, and then watching the national final processes live-ish (when there are seven shows on the same day at approximately the same time, you end up delaying some of them). I have gotten very familiar with navigating the websites of broadcasters in languages I don't speak! I listen to a ton of ESC podcasts and follow a variety of ESC blogs; my kids have gotten very used to hearing music in all sorts of languages. This year I made homemade limoncello and tiramisu and will have to figure out something Ukranian for next year.


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