The ‘kooky’ Eurovision rules that made Sophie Ellis-Bextor turn down a position as judge

With theEurovision Song Contest fast approaching, fans across Europe will be tuning in this weekend to watch the cool and quirky performers take to the stage.

And while seeing unusual antics unfold on-stage has become part of the occasion, it turns out that the competition’s judges have some pretty unusual rules of their own that they must follow.

In fact, in an interview with Times Radio, Murder On The Dancefloor songstressSophie Ellis-Bextor revealed that she once turned down the role because of the “kooky” rules in place.

Explaining that she’d had a “conversation” about becoming a judge on the show, she revealed that some surprising rules had prevented her from taking up the position.

“I had a very small baby that I was still feeding, and they wouldn’t let me bring it along,” she revealed.

“I’m pretty sure the baby would have been impartial but, you know what, I think part of what I like about Eurovision is that it has very much got its rules… it’s kooky.”

Though the no-babies rule was a factor in the mum-of-five’s decision to turn down the role, it wasn’t the only guideline that shocked the 43 year old singer.

“We weren’t going to be allowed to speak while we were watching it either, and I thought, ‘I can’t watch Eurovision in silence’,” Sophie added.

However, while judging may not be on the cards for Sophie, she did admit that she still likes to watch the show despite the fact that the UK hasn’t won the competition since 1997.

“We should probably brace ourselves for another ‘nul points’ score.

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“There have always been political undertones (to the voting), which again, is part of the fun. We quite enjoy that, I think,” she said.

Though Sophie is preparing herself for an unsuccessful evening, the star may be in for a shock asthe UK’s hopeful Sam Ryder has betting odds tipping in his favour.

The 32 year old , who has been busy touring Europe, has a 7/1 odd of taking the Eurovision top spot.

But if Sam is to join the likes ofCéline Dion, Lulu and Abba in the Eurovision hall of fame, the talented singerwill have to beat fellow competitors Ukraine who are tipped to win the contest.

Kalush Orchestra, who are representing Ukraine, have been given special permission to leave the country to travel to the contest, taking place in Turin, Italy.

The rap trio, whose song Stefani was originally written to honour rapper Oleh Psiuk's mother, features the lyrics “I‘ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed,” making the song a poignant reminder of the ongoing invasion in the country.

The Eurovision final begins on Saturday May 14 at 8pm on BBC One.

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