The Eurovision Song Contest has become a special event. What began as a simple singing competition has taken the world by storm. There’s no comparing this pageant of craziness, poor singing, elaborate dance routines and dubious voting with anything else. We all love Eurovision, so here are a few things you need to know about how this contest got started and why it remains popular.
The first contest took place in Switzerland in 1956. The winner in this contest was Switzerland. But it turns out that there is no record of how the voting went, or even a record of the actual filming since the hosts lost the video in 1964 and no other recording exists. In the first Eurovision there were seven countries performing, and each of these countries was allowed to perform two songs each.
While the event claims to celebrate diversity it is not strictly true that Eurovision is an all-inclusive show. There has been only one black winner in the entire history of the show, for example, and he was Dave Benton in 2001, from Estonia.
The first contest to be broadcast in colour was the 1968 contest which took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London. And in 1977 the Eurovision Song Contest almost did not take place due to a strike at the BBC. The original song contest was postponed but don’t panic, it took place a few weeks later.
While Abba has become one of the much-loved and much-covered bands in the UK, the country actually awarded the classic Nul Points to Abba when they were performing, and went onto win, in 1974.
Did you know that from 1981 to 1986, the UK followed right after Norway in the procedures? Strange but true.
The largest amount of performers in a contest has been 27. This happened in 2015 when Australia was a guest entry to Eurovision.
While the quality of the songs and the transparency of the voting have been in question for many years, the Contest has remained popular ever since the first show. Nowadays people throw Eurovision parties and play the European Song Content Bingo Card game. It doesn’t matter who wins (although it would be nice if the UK was recognised once in a while…)
European Song Content Bingo Card
Image: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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