The grand finale of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on May 26. Here's our round-up of social media sites for fans to follow the ESC action.
The tagline for this year's Eurovison Song Contest is "Light your Fire" and the official ESC website encourages fans to do just that. There you can "join the family" on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and, VK (Eds. "In Touch") and odnoklassniki for Russian speakers. With details on the history of the contest, the site has bios of all the entrants, YouTube clips of all the songs and profiles of each country's performance history at Eurovision over the years. It also includes a fan shop, a "secret history of Eurovision" documentary, as well as all the latest news and the obligatory helping of PR for the host nation.
A legendary donkey and a pumpkin
Facebook users may also want to check out the official English language Eurovision Song Contest page on "Europe's Favorite TV Show." There you can find YouTube clips of rehearsals featuring some Slovenian rock action, the possible appearance of a legendary Montenegrin donkey, candid behind-the-scenes photographs of the preparations and a sculpted pumpkin. Over 462,000 Facebook fans can't be wrong.
For tweeters there's the official ESC @eurovision Twitter page page where you can tweet your views and catch up on all the latest #eurovision news and information. Then there's also the official ESC YouTube page of the contest, with over 1,000 archive clips and all the latest ESC video content.
The good, the bad and the unlikely
Aside from the official ESC social media offerings, there are a plethora of "superfan" sites across the web following the craziness that is Eurovision.
For the self-confessed Eurovision superfan website 12points, the ESC is a year-round event. Their "Ooh Aah, just a little news…" section includes the low-down on the latest ESC conspiracy theories, predictions and irreverent gossip. An independent, just for fun site, they also organize 12points parties – check out the events calendar –, blog from the event and use Google Translate to reveal what's really going on the minds of ESC contestants!
The Eurovision Apocalypse site features "the good, the bad and the unlikely from the continents greatest song contest" as well as a generous helping of wry commentary. Gems include a clip of Georgia's not so subtle poke at their Russian neighbors, Gay Stalin's (a.k.a. Anri Jokhadze) 2009 entry "I Want You Back" and San Marino's original 2012 entry "Facebook Uh Oh Oh", which was the subject of a cease and desist order requiring them to remove all references to the trademarked name of Facebook. No fear, the site also has a clip of the remixed version entitled "The Social Network Song (OH OH – Uh – OH OH)".
For more serious ESC observers, the ESC Insight unofficial Eurovision Song Contest website aims to provide a "seriously in-depth" magazine approach to the contest. There you can download the ESC Insight's Unofficial Guide to the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 e-book. There are podcasts, interviews, links and a juke box jury offering their views.
The ESC Buzz site also has a handy overview of all the latest and greatest from Eurovision, including newsfeeds from all the major websites covering the event.
Predictions, facts and gossip with attitude
Australia's multilingual SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) has "airlifted" two of its reporters to Baku. You can follow their updates, including news, views and "COUNTRY FUN FACTZ," such as, "did you know that a third of the world's raspberries are produced in Serbia?" Join the fun on Twitter @SBSEurovision.
One of the more colorful fan sites is wiwibloggs.com which describes itself as "Eurovision 2012 news, polls and predictions – with attitude!" Wiwi Bloggs (née William Lee Adams) is an American journalist and Eurovision superfan living in London. For those looking for a regular fix of Eurovision gossip, you can follow Wiwi on Twitter @wiwibloggs.
Anarcho-punk and experimental jazz
Eurocovers is, in their own words, "a celebration of the highest form of praise for the Eurovision song: The Cover Version" where "anything goes." Here you'll find a glut of covers of current and former Eurovision songs in a variety of languages, from anarcho-punk to experimental jazz. Log on and have your say on the musical rarities, because at Eurocovers "comments are welcome."
DW keeps you informed
As part of the ESC festivities, DW's intrepid reporter Jakov Leon will be reporting live from the event. On May 22nd he'll be a studio guest in the show Pulse, where he talks about the preparations, the expectations and his own favorites for the contest. You can send your questions for Jakov and check out all the latest ESC news via our Twitter site @dw_culture and the DW Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!
Author: Helen Whittle
Editor: Kristin Zeier