Eurovision is just one of those events you can’t help but watch, despite it being gaudy and over the top. It is fabulousness incarnate.
Ireland itself has a long and storied history with the Eurovision Song Contest. We’ve been participating since 1965, and in that time we’ve won a total of seven times. We also hold the record for the most number of consecutive years winning, having taken home the top prize four years in a row from 1992 to 1995.
Interestingly, we’ve also finished in last place a lot, a total of five times. Finland holds the record though at 9 times. So it’s safe to say that we’ve had our ups and downs over the years!
Some of our most memorable moments include Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington winning in 1994 with their (really quite boring) song “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”, Dustin the Turkey finishing 16th in 2008 with his song “Irelande Douze Points”, and of course Jedward’s two appearances in 2011 and 2012. Jedward were the closest we have got to the right Eurovision vibe in ages.
Eurovision Back history
The history of the Eurovision Song Contest is fascinating, to say the least. Starting out as a small, regional event in the 50s, it has grown into one of the largest and most popular annual television events in the world.
The contest was created to foster unity and cooperation among European nations after the Second World War. It originally consisted of seven participating countries but has since grown to include over forty countries from all over Europe (plus Australia!).
The idea for the Eurovision Song Contest came from Marcel Bezençon, a Swiss TV producer. He proposed the idea to several European broadcasters, including the BBC in Britain and Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF) in France. The first-ever Eurovision Song Contest was held on May 24, 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland. The seven countries that participated were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.
Since its inception, the Eurovision Song Contest has undergone many changes. The number of participating countries has increased steadily over the years, with new countries being added almost every year.
The contest has also become more competitive, with each country striving to put forward their best song and performer. In recent years, the contest has been overshadowed by political tensions between different nations. For example, this year, Russia is unwelcome.
Despite this, the Eurovision Song Contest remains one of the most popular television programs in Europe and continues to bring people together from all over the continent.
Over the past sixty years, there have been some truly iconic moments, both on and off stage. Here are just a few of the most memorable moments in Eurovision history.
– The very first winner was Lys Assia from Switzerland with her song “Refrain.”
– Since its inception, there have been more than 1200 songs performed at Eurovision.
– The longest running participant is the United Kingdom, who have taken part in every contest since 1959.
– Ireland holds the record for the most wins, with seven victories to date.
– The UK also holds the record for the most second-place finishes, with 15 runner-up positions.
– Sweden has the most top-five finishes of any country, with 27.
– France, Germany and Spain all withdrew from the contest in 1969 after four countries were controversially eliminated in the semi-finals. They didn’t return until 1971.
– In 1974, ABBA made history by becoming the first (and so far only) non-English speaking act to win Eurovision with their song “Waterloo”.
– In 1981, Bucks Fizz caused a stir when member Cheryl Baker had her skirt ripped off by fellow performer Jay Aston during their performance of “Making Your Mind Up.”
– The 1990 contest was marred by political unrest in Yugoslavia. Slovenia and Croatia had only recently declared independence from the country, and as a result, they were not allowed to participate.
– In 1998, Dana International made history by becoming the first transgender person to win Eurovision with her song “Diva.”
– In 2007, Ukraine caused controversy when their winning song “Verka Serduchka” contained lyrics which appeared to be critical of Russia.
– In 2016, Australia made history by becoming the first (and so far only) non-European country to come second in the Eurovision with their song “Sound of Silence”.
This year, they have another cracking entry.
The future looks bright for a Eurovision expansion. So far, the United States has not been a part of the Eurovision family, but that could all change in the future. There have been rumours for years that the country could be added to the list of participating nations, and with more and more Americans tuning in to watch the contest each year, it seems like it could only be a matter of time before the US makes its debut.
If the aim is peace, then one day, the whole world may put forth a contestant. Happy Eurovision!
We need to change our Eurovision strategy. Here is the answer.