It is time again for the craziest, most spectacular pop cultural event of the year. I know that they have tried starting up the American Song Contest this year, but I don't think it has anything yet on the original. I will say though that I actually thought the ESC was next week, so I have totally missed the buildup. I haven't heard a single song, not even the Swedish, in advance and I'm planning on going into the semi-finals with a very open mind. Of course this totally non-political event is political as usual, so Russia and Belarus are banned, and Ukraine has been topping the bookmakers' lists to win the whole competition. The countries competing in semi-final 1 are: Albania Latvia Lithuania Switzerland Slovenia Ukraine Bulgaria Netherlands Moldova Portugal Croatia Denmark Austria Iceland Greece Norway Armenia Some things I have picked up in advance of semi-final 1 is that Albania has a really cool song, and Albania always send very strong voices. Latvia is big on tik-tok and if Ukraine wins it will probably not be because of the quality of the song.