By: Lime Green Giraffe Social Media Director Avery B.

            There is only one televised contest where you can see a man in a hamster wheel, a dancing gorilla, and a burning fake piano and the contest is still taken seriously!
            One of the longest running televised events, the Eurovision Song Contest is a weeklong music extravaganza held in May, exclusive to Europe and inexplicably Australia. The participating countries send one act to compete in the contest, and the winning country hosts the next year. The countries must belong to the European Broadcasting Union or EBU to compete, and the competing song can’t be longer than three minutes. The winner is determined by a combination of jury points and a public televote system. There are two semifinals, with 10 qualifiers from each semifinal heading to the final. However, the host country and the “Big Five” are automatically entered into the final. The Big Five are the largest donors to the EBU and consist of the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain, and France.
            The contest began in 1956 in Switzerland as a way to unite Europe after World War II. There were only seven countries that participated the first year and the winner was Switzerland, who was also the host. Now the contest has expanded greatly, with as many as 43 countries participating at once!
            Although many people in the United States have never heard of Eurovision, the contest has yielded several famous acts over the years. The most well known winner was ABBA, who won with their song Waterloo in 1974 representing Sweden. Another famous winner was Celine Dion. Although she is Canadian, she represented Switzerland in 1988 with the song Ne Partez pas Sans Moi, which she sang in French.
            The most recent song contest was held May 9 to May 13 in Kyiv, Ukraine. It was a close contest, with several crowd favorites. In the end, however, the jury and the public were in complete agreement and crowned Portugal as the winner. Salvador Sobral represented Portugal with the song Amar Pelos Dois, sung in Portuguese. This is the first time Portugal has ever won the contest and the first time in 10 years a song sung in a language other than English has won.
            Since it’s hard to sum up 61 years of music and competition in a few paragraphs, here’s a run down on some other important and interesting facts:
·      Ireland has won the contest seven times – more than any other country! They also have the only singer who has ever won twice, Johnny Logan in 1980 and 1987.
·      Norway has come in last eleven times, the most times of any country.

  •        31 of the winning songs have been in English, with French as a close second with 14 songs.
  •        62 different languages have been sung at the contest altogether, including made up ones and sign language.
  •        51 countries have participated in Eurovision at least once, but only 26 have won.
  •       In 1969, four different countries won the competition! France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Spain tied for the win since there was no outlined tiebreaker for the situation.
  •       The youngest winner was Sandra Kim representing Belgium in 1986. She was only 13-years old!
  •        Hosting Eurovision is so expensive that some countries have used poverty as a reason not to host. The United Kingdom has picked up the slack four times.
  •        Australia was invited to compete as a guest for the 60-year anniversary in 2015 because they have broadcast it since 1983. They just never left.
  •        Norway’s Alexander Rybak holds the record number of points under the old voting system. He won the contest with 387 points in 2009 with the song “Fairytale.”
  •       The Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast over five continents!
  •       The contest was first broadcast in the United States in 2016.
The 2018 contest will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. The countries will start selecting their songs in January, so be on the lookout! For more information, visit the Eurovision Song Contest official website or their YouTube Channel.

No comments:

Post a Comment