There's something of an impressive atmosphere even as you queue for Eurobeat. Hawkers are selling flags and rattles and making much noise - warming up the crowd for what is to come. It's also this point that you're randomly assigned your country. Tonight I'm supporting Germany.
It's impressive how they manage to maintain the energy in the crowd. There's a real sense of being at Eurovision itself. We're in Slovakia, and it's down to the ten finalists at the Eurovision Song Contest. Terry Wogan himself introduces the show, via video link, before our hosts for the evening Boyka (Mel Giedroyc) and Sergei (Glynn Nicholas) take to the stage.
Each of the acts are extreme stereotypes of the countries they represent. Greece has a Nana Mouskouri lookalike; Germany a non-singing Kraftwerk band and Sweden serves up Abba-style. The xenophobic jingoism is hilariously funny. It's all very kitsch, and slickly played. There's obviously a very professional team at work here, but the show is stolen by Mel Giedroyc. Stunningly funny.
Eurovision fans will love the show for its authenticity. Those that abhor Eurovision will love the parody. It's brilliantly scripted, incredibly camp and stunningly well executed. The only problem with the show is that it follows Eurovision a little too faithfully, so suffers from the same niggles of the original. The songs, whilst funny at first, can get a little repetitive. The vote counting is also a little monotonous, going through the five votes of each of the ten countries. This show would really benefit from being trimmed back to an hour in length.