Nations crumble, empires burn, the Euro kicks the crap out of the American dollar and no-one can wrench Silvio Berlusconi’s nose out of the toilet, but nonetheless Europe endures — and brings us new heights of fabulous camp in this, the first Eurovision Song Contest to be hosted by Serbia.

And oh, what a treasure trove of musical talent and jawdropping gormlessness Belgrade has for us this coming weekend.

Elnur and Samir from Azerbaijan, whose song Day After Day presumably explains why two Torana-banging high-school dropouts from the western suburbs are suddenly pretending to be Eurasian popstars. Seriously, these two look like the fish Big Brother rejected, dedicated Corey Worthington clones down to the sunglasses and hairdos. I’m pretty sure one of them works at my local McDonald’s.

You know what Eurovision’s being crying out for? Septuagenarian accordion players in white suits and straw boaters. I sense a movement. Oh, and this is Kraljevi Ulice from Croatia. So expect gunfire when they play to a Serbian crowd.

Two years ago Finland won a special place in the world’s heart when monster-rock act Lordi won Eurovision. This year their entry is Terasbetoni, who appear to be a Whitesnake tribute band. Or possibly a group of young WWE hopefuls. I must admit that when I think bare chests, leather pants and body oil, my imagination goes more to Mardi Gras than Eurovision. Although maybe they’re the same thing.

This is Germany’s entry, No Angels.

…no bras, either.

For God’s sake, Ireland, you’re not even trying to look like you want to win any more. Last year’s alcoholic folk band was bad enough, but a glove puppet? Why not just send a giant animated bum to moon the audience? “And now, here’s Blarney O’Browneye with Ireland’s entry Stick a Tater Up Me and Send Me Home.” Hmm? Sound good? Call me and we’ll work something out, Ireland; my consultancy rates are high, but it’s still cheaper than having to host Eurovision.

Jeronimas Milius of Lithuania.

Don’t cross him. He’s the Vampire Prince of Dandenong, you know.

The most awesome thing about Spain’s Rodolfo Chikilicuatre is not his novelty glasses, nor the fact that he looks like Rolf Harris in an Elvis pompadour wig. It’s that he plays reggae. Yes, Spain is pinning its hopes on a garden gnome doing a dance-hall bo selecta version of the Chicken Dance with a drum machine backing him. I would like to officially declare that SPAIN IS AWESOME. See, Ireland, this is how you shoot yourself in the foot with style .

Latvia’s entry, the Pirates of the Sea.

Nothing I write could make this seem any more ludicrous than it already is.

Roll on Sunday night, that’s what I say.

Patrick O’Duffy is an award-winning short story writer.