It's Eurovision Song Contest time again. Time for contestants from 41 European countries (and Australia) to try to win the hearts of the rest of the continent. Time for neighbouring countries to vote for each other. And time for house parties with lots of alcohol and lots of gawping at what the contestants are wearing.

Over the past few years, Eurovision has seen singing grannies, a bearded lady, a rock band dressed as monsters, and a singer being carried onto the stage by a giant. In this gallery, IBTimes UK looks back at the weirdest, the campest and the most memorable Eurovision acts.

weirdest Eurovision entries
2005: Moldova's entry, a band named Zdob şi Zdub, perform Boonika bate toba (Grandmama Beats the Drum), finishing 6thSean Gallup/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2005: A dancer shows a bit of cheek during a rehearsal for Macedonia's Martin Vučić and the song Make My Day – it came 17thSean Gallup/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2005: Norway's entry, a band called Wig Wam (with a lead singer named Glam), finished ninth with their song In My DreamsSean Gallup/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2006: Daz Sampson, representing the United Kingdom, performs Teenage Life which finishes 19thYiorgos Karahalis/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2006: Finland's entry was Hard Rock Hallelujah, performed by Lordi, a rock band dressed as monsters. Bizzarely, it wonSean Gallup/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2007: Austria's entry, Eric Papilaya, sings Get a Life – Get Alive. Sadly, it failed to reach the finalsJohannes Simon/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2007: Scooch, representing the United Kingdom, perform Flying the Flag (for You). It finished second from lastBob Strong/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2007: Dmitry Koldun of Belarus sings Work Your Magic, which came 6thBob Strong/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2007: Verka Serduchka, representing Ukraine, performs Dancing Lasha Tumbai, which finished secondJohannes Simon/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2008: Spain's Rodolfo Chikilicuatre sings Baila el Chiki-chiki ('dance the chiki-chiki') which finishes 16thMarko Djurica/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2008: Sébastien Tellier, representing France, performs Divine and finished 19thMarko Djurica/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2008: Dustin the Turkey, representing Ireland, performed Irelande Douze Pointe. It failed to get many points at all and was knocked out in the semi-finalsDimitar Dilkoff/AFP
weirdest Eurovision entries
2008: Laka, representing Bosnia and Herzegovina, performs Pokušaj ('try'). It came 10thAndrej Isakovic/AFP
weirdest Eurovision entries
2008: Latvia's entry Pirates of the Sea performs the song Wolves of the Sea, which finished 12thAndrej Isakovic/AFP
weirdest Eurovision entries
2008: Gisela, representing Andorra, sings Casanova but failed to make the finalMarko Djurica/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2008: Croatia's Kraljevi Ulice and 75 cents perform their song Romanca ('romance'), which wound up in 21st placeMarko Djurica/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2008: Elnur and Samir take their song Day After Day to eighth placeMarko Djurica/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2009: Bulgaria's Krassimir Avramov performs Illusion, surrounded by dancers in an array of bizarre costumes. Sadly, he didn't make it past the finalNatalia Kolesnikova/AFP
weirdest Eurovision entries
2009: Gipsy.cz, representing the Czech Republic, perform Aven Romale ('come in gypsies'). They were sent home after the semi-finalsOleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2009: Ukraine's Svetlana Loboda, with the help of a few musclebound gladiators, performs Be My Valentine, which came 12thDenis Sinyakov/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2010: Miro of Bulgaria sings a song called Angel si ti ('you're an angel'), which didn't reach the finalNigel Waldron/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2010: Lithuania's InCulto pay tribute to Bucks Fizz's famous skirt-ripping move as they perform Eastern European Funk but didn't make it past the semisNigel Treblin/AFP
weirdest Eurovision entries
2010: Thea Garrett, representing Malta, sings My Dream, accompanied by a creepy giant bird – it didn't make the finalBob Strong/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2010: Daniel Diges of Spain sings Algo Pequeñito ('something tiny') for a second time after his first performance was interrupted by a stage invader – he finished 15thBob Strong/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2011: Yuksek Sadakat of Turkey sings Live It Up but didn't reach the finalSean Gallup/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2011: It's our old friends Zdob şi Zdub again (they represented Moldova in 2005 with Grandmama Beats the Drum). This time they pulled out all the stops on their performance of a song called So Lucky, which came 10thSean Gallup/Getty Images
weirdest Eurovision entries
2012: Jedward represent Ireland for a second consecutive year, but their new song Waterline doesn't do as well as Lipstick so they finished 19thAFP
weirdest Eurovision entries
2012: Rona Nishliu of Albania sings Suus (Personal), which finished fifthDavid Mdzinarishvili/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2012: Russia's singing grannies, Buranovskiye Babushki perform Party for Everybody, and manage to bag second place behind Sweden's LoreenDavid Mdzinarishvili/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2013: Montenegro's Who See fails to make the final with the song Igranka ('the dance')Janerik Henriksson/Scanpix Sweden/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2013: Cezar, representing Romania, sings It's My Life, and finishes 13thJessica Gow/AFP
weirdest Eurovision entries
2013 (and the weirdest stage entrance of all time): Ukrainian singer Zlata Ognevich is carried by a giant. Her song Gravity finished thirdJessica Gow/Scanpix/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2014: The Tolmachevy Sisters, representing Russia, sing Shine. They were booed several times during the contest, apparently over the crisis in Ukraine and Russia's stance on gay rights, but they still finished 7th, partly due to generous votes from Russia's neighbours, which led to more booingTobias Schwarz/Reuters
weirdest Eurovision entries
2014: Ovi, of Paula Seling & Ovi, performs Romania's entry Miracle - – it finishes in 12th placeRagnar Singsaas/Getty Images)
weirdest Eurovision entries
2014: 'Bearded lady' Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, sings Rise Like A Phoenix – and deservedly wins the contest by a huge marginJonathan Nackstrand/AFP
weirdest Eurovision entries
2015: Serbia's Bojana Stamenov sings Beauty Never Lies, which finished 10thLeonhard Foeger/Reuters

The first semi-final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest is on 10 May, followed by a second on 12 May. Both semi-finals will be broadcast in the UK on BBC4. The final is on 14 May and it will be live on BBC One from 8pm.