Bottoms up! | The EBJ-ESC drinking game

Bonjour!  Today I have another post for you that really doesn’t require an opening ramble from yours truly. It does, however, require some clarification.

I am in no way advocating excessive drinking via this post, or underage drinking, if that applies to you. It’s not like I’m a raging alcoholic or anything (which means I can no longer use that as an excuse for the ridiculous things that often appear on this blog). I mean, my brother bought me a four-pack of Southern Comforts last Christmas and three of them are still sitting in the fridge, so I’m not expecting you to raid your parents’ liquor cabinet just to play along with this game. If you want, you can drink juice, or milk, or coffee. Or you could substitute the drinking for something else entirely – moonwalking would be my suggestion.

Whatever your choice, the idea is that a lot of things take place during Eurovision that can be fun to look out for, and acknowledge somehow. Keeping an eye out for them can be a way to spice up ESC parties (at my parties, which are always for one, this comes in very handy) or just liven up a night in glued to a past contest on DVD. At this time of the year, it’s something to tide you over as you wait impatiently for Amsterdam and/or Malmö.

So let’s get the tiding underway. Here’s my version of a timeless activity that may or may not result in you collapsing on the floor with your underpants on your head. It’s the Eurovision Drinking (or moonwalking) Game!


The rules are as follows: 

During the performances, drink whenever…

…the performance number is incorporated into the staging via costume, or any other means

It was lucky 13 for Dima Bilan in 2006

…ribbons/cords/bungees turn the lead performer into a human maypole  

…there is a costume reveal

…there is a faux costume reveal (when it looks like a reveal is about to take place, but it doesn’t)

…an act performs in the final dressed differently to how they were in their semi

Anjeza Shahini: so many dresses, so little time

…the wind machine blows someone’s hair into their face and they have to fix it

…someone rips into an epic solo on a guitar that is clearly unplugged

… a backing singer is positioned very awkwardly on the stage

…Martina Majerle sings backup for anyone who’ll have her

The world’s busiest backing singer Martina for Croatia in 2003, Slovenia in 2007, Montenegro in 2008, and Slovenia again in 2011 and 2012

…the floor/green room comes (accidentally) into shot


In-between, drink if…  

…there’s an audience shot and someone looks like they really don’t want to be there

…there’s an audience shot and someone doesn’t realise the camera is on them until the last millisecond

…there’s an audience shot where a bunch of people are dressed up like the Swiss vampires, or Verka Seduchka, or any other relevant personality

…Lys Assia makes a cameo appearance


When the hosts are doing their thing, drink whenever…

…there is an awkward pause between them when nobody knows who’s supposed to speak next

…Australia gets a special mention

…they cross to Svante Stockselius and he is adorable

…they cross to Jon Ola Sand and he is awkward

…they change outfits 

Maria Menounos found a novel way to wear all her bridesmaid dresses again


During the qualification announcements, drink if…

…Greece qualify

…the Netherlands don’t

…a cameraman gives a qualifier away by filming them right before they’re announced

The psychic cameraman strikes again

…one of the artists who qualifies manages to look totally unenthusiastic about it


When it’s crunch time, drink whenever…

…a spokesperson stuffs up their presentation of points in any way, shape or form

…a spokesperson who represented their country a hundred years ago feels the need to perform an impromptu rendition of their entry instead of just presenting the points

…a spokesperson sings a bit of whichever song they’re giving points to

…the host country gets douze points

If you look very closely, you can see Turkey celebrating behind that GIANT CAMERA IN YOUR FACE!

…the winner is overcome during the reprise and misses out most of their lyrics


Okay, so there are a lot of rules. Maybe you could print this out and stick it on your wall? Or you could just tell me what you would add to the list.


Which of these ESC occurrences would you drink for, and did I miss any? Let me know below…


9 Responses to “Bottoms up! | The EBJ-ESC drinking game”

  1. JTKCorporation

    When former Yugoslavia send a depressing song (regardless of whether Martina Majerle is onstage). Not recommended for this year. I just realised Slovenia sure has a thing for recycling backing singers.


    • Jaz

      I don’t mind a bit of depression now and then – especially if I can drink to it!
      I’d justify Slovenia’s recurring choice of Ms. Majerle by saying she’s their good-luck charm…but the scoreboard says otherwise.


  2. nprovenghi271

    ^^ Definitely that idea. I’d also have to add this. “Drink whenever there’s a gratuitous language change. Once at a chorus, twice in a verse.” HIGHLY advised against in the case of Bulgaria 2012!


    • Jaz

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I loved Bulgaria this year and I reckon stuffing a ton of languages in there worked (it nearly got Sofi to the final!)
      I guess I could drink to the amazingness of those language switches. And in honour of all the vinyl sofas that had to be sacrificed to make her boots.


      • nprovenghi271

        Oh don’t get me wrong, I think it worked. I just think that in some other songs, there are English switches that are totally unnecessary. Bulgaria 2012 is just an extreme example of that. There could also be a drink at every non-cotton article of clothing or a sheer piece of fabric.


        • Jaz

          I think this drinking game now needs to be played with non-alcoholic beverages. Otherwise there are going to be a lot of alcohol poisoning cases at hospitals everywhere…


      • nprovenghi271

        Well I never (legally) had the option. And going to the hospital’s never fun. I’d recommend room-temperature soda as a viable alternative.


  3. logictherapy

    How about a drink during the point-giving, when a national announcer tries to show off by reeling off some variation of “Thanks for a great show” in the host language. Not recommended during Istanbul 2004!


    • Jaz

      No, but I suppose it beats having to hear “Thanks for a wonderful show!!” or the like a gajillion times in English. I hope one day someone says “That was total crap!” just for entertainment purposes.



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