The Eurovision Song Contest provides Europeans with plenty of entertainment when it takes place annually. It might not be best known for its singing ability, though.
Whilst many nations from around Europe – and including Australia – look to try and win the most points from their respective competing nations to try and win the overall competition, it could be argued that many use the time on the stage to create a performance that steals the show and leaves viewers having memories of it for the as long as they live.
Of course, the competition has become a huge hit over the years, as it has continued to be competed on for over a decade, whilst a whole betting market has opened up with many bettors taking advantage when betting on the Eurovision finalist become available.
Here are just some of the most memorable and iconic moments from previous competitions, whilst we also take a look at what can be expected from the 2021 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest when it takes place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
The name Verka Serduchka might not ring any bells, but when you see a visual of the Ukrainian representative, memories from the 2007 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will come flooding back.
Cladded in silver tin foil, Ukraine’s drag queen provided the world with a song that had a repetitive chorus and a dance equal to it, with two dancers pulling out all the moves! Many will remember the silver outfit and the star she had on her head, whilst others may remember it came second that year.
In 1974, ABBA provided the Eurovision Song Contest with their song ‘Waterloo’, which today remains an iconic moment in the history of the signing competition. The Swedish band, who famously consisted of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, would go on to achieve a huge amount of success around the world with their songs, releasing hit after hit.
However, their ‘Waterloo’ track would see them be catapulted into the music scene, as they would go on to win the 1974 edition of the competition.
Sweden would go on to have another Eurovision Song Contest winner in 2012, when Loreen would go on to produce an incredible performance for her track called ‘Euphoria’. Like her fellow natives ABBA, she would go on to achieve huge success following the competition as the song would go on to chart in a number of European music lists, including a top 3 in the UK.
It might have been 15 years ago, but many who watched the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 will have some recollection about the act that won that edition. If you do not, let us remind you.
Lordi performed their rock hit ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ and would go on to win the Athens-based contest as they had scored 292 points, which was a record for the time, before going on to achieve global success.
The performance stole the show that year, though, as they had the frequent use of pyrotechnics and flames blaring in the background, whilst they donned monster costumes to add to the overall display.
Austria’s 2014 entry was Conchita Wurst, who was memorable as the ‘Bearded Lady’. Wurst, who was also known by the name Thomas Neuwirth, was a drag queen who sang ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’ and managed to provide his nation with the Eurovision Song Contest title that year, as her performance was considered to be a little over-the-top but not too over-the-top for the overall occasion.
Who is competing this year?
There are a total of 41 countries to participate in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in an edition that is going to be one not to be missed. There will be two semi-finals in which 35 nations will take part in, with 10 acts from each one going on to compete in the final alongside the ‘Big 5’ that consist of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, as well as hosts, The Netherlands.
Those that do consider betting on the competition will find that Malta is considered the overwhelming favourite for this year’s crown, with Destiny Chukunyere representing them. She has history in big singing contests, as she won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 representing the country, whilst she also reached the semi-final stage of Britain’s Got Talent in 2017. Despite having already achieved so much, she is still only 18 years old.
Other countries thought to be in the running of winning the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest include Barbara Pravi (France), Switzerland’s Gjon Tears and Italy’s Måneskin.
Nespresso opens new ‘experiential’ Trafford Centre store with free tastings, masterclasses, and more
Nespresso has opened a brand-new “experiential boutique” store inside the Trafford Centre, and it all looks very fancy.
Designed to engage both existing and new Nespresso customers through a range of “unique and personalised experiences”, the new Trafford Centre store means Greater Manchester‘s community of coffee lovers now get an unrivalled access to the beloved brand’s wide range of blends, machines, and accessories.
Shoppers will get to “immerse themselves in the world of Nespresso” through a sophisticated ‘Coffee as an Art’ tasting and masterclass area – with state-of-the-art coffee machines, and customised latte art workshops.
You can also create your own coffee recipes using digital tutorials and Nespresso machines at the interactive ‘Taste & Discover’ area, where specialists will be on hand to help you explore the full Nespresso range, and offer one-on-one coffee learning, tasting, and machine demonstrations so you can better understand your taste preferences.
There’s even a ‘Nespresso & You’ personalisation area so you can get your own travel mugs engraved with a name or personal message.
The new Trafford Centre store is also big on sustainability.
As Nespresso capsules are made of 80% recycled aluminium, making them infinitely recyclable, and the company co-founded the UK’s first industry-wide coffee capsule recycling scheme back in 2021, the brand’s sustainable ethics have been continued with throughout the design new store.
Not only is the new store run on 100% renewable energy and features a dedicated customer capsule return and recycling area, but tabletops are also made with used coffee grounds and 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood, and there’s also an AR-powered ‘Circularity’ area showing how capsules are recycled and given a second life.
“Our boutiques are designed to encourage and support coffee exploration, creating an elevated experience for customers [and] the brand-new opening of our latest boutique at the Trafford Centre creates a new and innovative way for shoppers to enjoy and understand more about their coffee,” explained Luke Horwath – Head of Retail at Nespresso UK & ROI.
“The digital resources as well as our expertly trained staff will enable customers to learn about Nespresso blends, recipes, brewing methods, and our commitment to sustainability.”
And to top it all off, in a bid to properly celebrate the start of summer, the new Trafford Centre store is the only place in the UK where you can get yourself an exclusive first look and taste of Nespresso’s new Summer Iced range ahead of the collection’s official release on 30 May.
If you fancy seeing what the new Nespresso store is all about, it’s located on the Upper Regent Crescent next to the Trafford Centre’s New Orleans entrance.
Featured Image – Supplied
Britain’s ‘biggest ever’ bus driver recruitment campaign launches in Greater Manchester
A massive bus driver recruitment campaign has been launched across Greater Manchester to get ready for the Bee Network.
Only a matter of weeks after the first bright yellow Bee Network buses started hitting streets across the region, with more and more being spotted out and about by locals as the days go on, Go North West has today kicked-off Britain’s biggest-ever recruitment campaign for bus drivers ready for the Greater Manchester public transport service to officially launch later this year.
And you might recognise it’s taken inspiration from a certain 80s cult-classic action film for it.
With the Bee Network set to be rolled-out in September, the transport company – which was selected by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in late 2022 as the winner of its first two bus contracts – has big plans to hire up to 300 new drivers for its ‘Elite Bus Driver Academy’.
Themed as ‘Be an Elite Driver’, with Maverick and the rest Top Gun team serving as some worthy inspiration, the recruitment campaign sees existing Go North West bus drivers all dressed up in fighter pilot-style uniforms in an attempt to “bring to life the prestige of being a driver” and the different types of careers on offer for people.
The recruitment campaign encourages those interested to become “the best of the best”, to find the thing that “makes them awesome”, and to brace themselves for a career with “wheels…that you’ll steer”.
Open both to existing bus driver licence holders and to those who have never sat behind the wheel of a bus before, applicants will undertake a six-week intensive training programme, and will operate routes across Bolton and Wigan – which are the first two areas to be franchised under TfGM and Mayor Andy Burnham’s new integrated London-style vision for local buses.
Bus driver jobs include 20 days’ annual holiday, generous pensions, and pay rates that quickly increase with experience.
Successful applicants will get to earn themselves upwards of £28,000 per year.
Not only that, but Go North West is also going to be offering longer-term apprenticeships that combine studying with hands-on driving to allow people to “earn while they learn”.
Having quadrupled the size of its training team in anticipation of an influx of new recruits, Go North West says it’s “excited” for this new chapter for bus travel in the region.
Speaking on the recruitment campaign’s launch, Nigel Featham – Managing Director of Go North West – said the company is “very proud” to be delivering these bus services for Greater Manchester, adding: “This is a groundbreaking recruitment campaign to match the huge scale of change that we’ll be helping to deliver in Greater Manchester’s public transport.”
“We’ve already had lots of interest in driving the new Bee Network buses and we’re expecting thousands of applications.”
Once the new contracts are underway, Go North West will operate more than 500 buses from Bolton and Wigan, as well as from its existing Queen’s Road depot in central Manchester – with the company’s facility in Bolton being the largest UK bus depot outside London.