Eurovision Facts

Did you know that…

  • In 2015 Finland’s song “Aina Mun Pitää” only runs for 1 minut and 27 seconds. The shortest song in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest.✪
  • United Kingdom gave zero points to ABBA in 1974.✪
  • The Eurovision-friendly nation Australia has broadcast Eurovision Song Contest every year since 1983.✪
  • In 1978 Jordan showed some flowers instead of the Israeli entry on their screening of the show. When Israel went on to win they pretended it was Belgium.✪
  • Eurovision Song Contest always begins with the fanfare “Prélude du Te Deum” composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.✪
  • After the bearded lady Conchita Wurst won in 2014, a Russian politician said: “The result showed supporters of European integration their European future – a bearded girl”.✪
  • Conchita’s response: “When an entire nation is scared that a young gay man with a beard who likes dressing up in women’s clothes is so able to sway opinion that he could bring the whole society to the brink, I can only take it as a compliment!”✪
  • At the 1956-contest the scores of the voting have never been made public, leaving room for lots of speculation. Attempts to reconstruct the voting by interviewing jury members over the following five decades did not lead to any reliable outcome.✪
  • From 1978 to 1998 the rules stated that each country had to sing in one of their national languages.✪
  • There have been five barefoot winners in Eurovision history: Sandie Shaw (1967), Sertab Erener (2003), Dima Bilan (2008), Loreen (2012) and Emmelie De Forest (2013).✪
  • Austria boycotted the 1969-contest in Madrid because Spain at that time was ruled by Francisco Franco.✪
  • In 1956, every participating country could enter with two songs. The Netherlands were the first country to sing a song on Eurovision with “De vogels van Holland” (the birds of the Netherlands).✪
  • In 2016 Ukraine won the Grand Final with the song “1944”, but only came second in their semi-final. Australia won the semi-final, but came 2nd in the Grand Final.
    Australia has been in the contest three times. In the contest in 2015 Australia was invited to participate in the Grand Final, represented by Guy Sebastian. They finished 5th.✪
  • In 1983 the Turkish Eurovision entry, Opera consisted entirely of the word “Opera” being repeated over and over. Spain’s cleverly titled, La La La from 1968 contained no fewer than 138 la’s.✪
  • Morocco has participated in Eurovision Song Contest. But only once. It was in 1980 and they ended second-last. Morocco only received points from Italy.✪
  • Israel is the only winning country that didn’t participate the following year – They won in 1979 but didn’t participate in 1980 due to Israeli Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron.✪
  • Among the contestants who have had successful careers are ABBA (1974), Céline Dion, Cliff Richard and Julio Iglesias. Dion won for Switzerland in 1988 with the song Ne partez pas sans moi.✪
  • The previous year’s winner hosts Eurovision but it’s so expensive that nations have pleaded poverty to get out of it. The countries who have opted out include the Netherlands, France, Monaco, and Luxembourg and the job went to the UK four times.✪
  • From 1956 to 1998 all the songs were accompanied by a live orchestra. From 1999 and onwards the orchestra was dropped, so the entries could use recorded backing track during their performances.✪
  • The youngest ever entrant was 12-year-old Jean Jacques from Monaco. He represented Monaco in Eurovision 1969 with the song “Maman, Maman”.✪
  • The oldest was 95-year-old Emil Ramsauer from the Swiss 2013-band “Takasa”.✪
  • All Eurovision songs must not be longer than three minutes.✪
  • Russia’s entry “A Million Voices” from 2015 became the first non-winning Eurovision song to score over 300 points.✪
  • Russia withdrew from Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv because the Russian artist Yulia Samoylova was banned from entering Ukraine.✪
  • Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s biggest music show.✪
  • Serbia participated the first time as an independent country in 2007 and won the contest the same year.✪
  • Eurovision Song Contest is normally held every year in May. The earliest Eurovision date was in 1957, on 3rd March and the latest was in 1999 when it was held on 29th May.✪
  • The youngest ever winner was 13-year-old Sandra Kim from Belgium who won Eurovision in 1986.✪
  • Romania was expelled from Eurovision 2016 due to unpaid debt to EBU.✪
  • The first scandal in Eurovision history occurred in 1957 where the Danish singers Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler kissed for 11 seconds in the end of the song. Generating a furious reaction.✪
  • In 2006 Ireland’s Brian Kennedy, who has sung duets with Van Morrison, became the 1000th act to sing on the Eurovision stage with Every Song Is A Cry For Love. He came tenth.✪
  • Eurovision Semi-finals were introduced in 2004.✪
  • In the first ever Eurovision Song Contest (1956), Luxembourg asked Switzerland to vote on its behalf. And the winner was: Switzerland!✪
  • The most covered Eurovision Song Contest song is Domenico Mudugno’s “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” from 1958, also known as Volare. The song has been covered by famous stars such as Dean Martin, Cliff Richard, David Bowie and many more.✪
  • Portugal holds the record of most points in a Grand Final. In 2017 Salvador Sobral won with record breaking 758 points with the song “Amar Pelos Dois”.✪
  • Austria, Finland, Norway, Portugal and Sweden boycotted the 1970 contest as they were not pleased with the result of 1969 and the voting structure.✪
  • 95 percent of the Danish viewing public saw the 2001 contest on TV – the highest percentage in Europe.✪
  • Live animals are banned from stage at Eurovision.✪
  • It is not allowed to have more than six people on stage (including backup singers and dancers). Until Eurovision 1971 the limit was three.✪
  • The largest number of nations to take part was 43 in 2008, 2011 and 2018.
    Norway won the contest in 1995 with the song “Nocturne”. It contained only 24 words accompanied by long violin solos.✪
  • In 2008 Russia won the Grand Final with the song “Believe”, but only came third in their semi-final.✪
  • Titles of songs have included Boom Bang-a-bang (UK, 1969), A-Ba-Ni-Ba (Israel, 1978), Bana Bana (Turkey, 1989) and Bourn Badaboru (Monaco, 1967).✪
  • In 2009 Georgia decided to send the song “We Don’t Wanna Put In” to the contest in Moscow, but because of a controversy about the lyrics in the song, EBU banned the song from participating, if the lyrics was not changed. Georgia refused to change the lyrics, and withdrew from the contest.✪
  • The 60th Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 had a record number of countries in the Grand Final: 27.✪
  • When Ukrainian singer Ruslana won Eurovision in 2004, she was rewarded with a seat in Parliament.✪
  • Riverdance was first performed during the interval act of Eurovision Song Contest 1994. One of the most popular interval acts in the history of the contest.✪
  • In 1981 the UK act Bucks Fizz stunned viewers with their Velcro rip-away skirts and within 48 hours, Velcro had sold out across the country.✪
  • Finland had to wait forty-four years since their debut in 1961 to achieve their first victory. They had only received three 12 points in the history of the contest up to the 2006 contest, and none since 1977.✪
  • The first Eurovision that was broadcast in color, was the 1968 contest at the Royal Albert Hall.✪
  • Italy boycotted the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, saying that it was too old fashioned.✪
  • The percentage of viewers for Eurovision Song Contest has been higher in Australia than in some of the competing nations.✪
  • Portugal had to go through 49 contests to achieve their first victory in 2017.✪
  • Luxembourg has won 5 times. But none of the 5 winners came from Luxembourg. Four were French and one (Vicky Leandros) Greek.✪
  • In 1974 the French President, Georges Pompidou, died during Eurovision week. The French broadcaster decided to withdraw from the contest. The funeral was held the day of the contest.✪
  • Ireland holds the record of most victories in Eurovision Song Contest: Seven victories!✪
  • The six of these victories was in the 80s and 90s: 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996.✪
  • Norway has ended last nine times! They came last in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997 and 2001.✪
  • The longest running losers are the Cypriots, having never made the top four.✪
  • In 2004 there were 37 countries giving points, resulting in a very long voting procedure. The voting time was cut in 2006 where each spokesperson started to just announce the top three votes.✪
  • Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast across five continents.✪
  • Eurovision Song Contest is one of the longest running recurring television broadcasts in the world.✪
  • In 1969 there were four winners! They all had the same points, and back then there were no rules for a tie. If there’s a tie today, the country with points from most countries will win.✪
  • In 2011 Azerbaijan won the Grand Final with the song “Running Scared”, but only came second in their semi-final. Greece won the semi-final, but came 7th in the Grand Final.✪
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