Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Eurovision

09 May 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House
ABBA 1974

It's once again that time of year when incredible singers from many European countries and Israel and Australia perform their hearts out to win the coveted, hand-made glass microphone trophy and the opportunity to host the singing competition on their own turf. It’s the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) or sometimes it’s simply known as the Eurovision.
Eurovision is an annual singing competition that is organized by the European Broadcasting Union and it features the biggest and most elaborate musical productions. No, don’t take the word “elaborate” very lightly because “elaborate” in ESC is much more than that. It is anything and everything you can think of. Messy backstage interviews. Crazy lights. Extraordinary outfits. Unforgettable performances. Catchy lyrics. Swinging melody. All these and more frills and thrills make Eurovision what it is today. Anyway, let’s keep the Eurovision glimmer gleaming by learning some fascinating facts about this international singing competition.

  1. All Eurovision songs must be no longer than 3 minutes long.
  2. This one is a hard rule that all Eurovision songs cannot be longer than 3 minutes.

  3. France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Spain all won in 1969.
  4. In the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest, four countries—the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Spain— all received the same scores. As a result, the four countries shared the top spots and were named winners.

  5. Ireland has the most wins with 7 wins.
  6. The Emerald Isle has a staggering 7 Eurovision wins under its belt in 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1996.

  7. Only 7 countries participated in the first Eurovision Contest.
  8. The first-ever Eurovision Song Contest was held in Switzerland on May 24, 1956. The contest happened in Switzerland, with only 7 participating countries.

  9. Norway placed at the bottom of the scoreboard 11 times.
  10. Unfortunately, Norway placed last in the following years: 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004, and 2012. However, Norway did win three times: 1985, 1995, and 2009.

  11. Johnny Logan from Ireland won three times.
  12. Logan represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest and won twice; one in 1980 and the other in 1987. His third winning entry was a song called “Why me” which was performed by Linda Martin in 1992.

  13. The contest was canceled for the first time in 2020.
  14. Eurovision was unfortunately called off in 2020 for the first time in its 64-year history as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, all countries that advanced to the finals received an invitation to return and participate in 2021.

  15. A live orchestra used to be an essential part of the singing competition.
  16. Before 1998, a live orchestra was required to play alongside performers from every participating country. And because of this rule, each country had to bring its conductor. However, this restriction was removed in the late 1990s, allowing performers to use pre-recorded music as a background.

  17. Ralph Siegel, a German songwriter and record producer, wrote the most entries.
  18. Throughout the history of the singing competition, Siegel has written 24 songs for the Eurovision Song Contest. His piece called "Ein bisschen Frieden" won first place in 1982, giving Germany its first win.

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