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Eurovision Song Contest

About Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest which has been running since 1956, is an annual song contest broadcast on television with participants from different countries whose national television broadcaster is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The contest is broadcast on television and radio across Europe.
Recently, its transmission has also been extended to other non-European countries and can also be followed on the internet.
The name of the contest derives from the word Eurovision, which is the first word of the European television chain: the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), can reach an audience of one billion people at the same time.
Any EBU member can participate in the contest, even if they are not a European country. This includes African and Asian countries such as Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Armenia, Libya and Georgia. Of these non-European countries, only Israel, Morocco and Armenia (first participation in 2006) have already participated in the contest. Lebanon had intentions to participate for the first time in 2005, but decided to give up because it did not want to transmit Israel's performance.

Based on the São Remo music festival, the first Eurovision festival left the EBU's mind and the first festival took place on May 24, 1956, where seven of the original first invitations competed (three countries were disqualified for having entered late).
Thus, the first countries were France, West Germany (R.F.A.), Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland.
In the following year, they were joined by the United Kingdom, Austria and Denmark and in 1959 Monaco. Many other countries came together in the following decades, for example, Israel in 1973 and Iceland in 1986.
However, the culmination of the Cold War in the early 1990s meant that many eastern countries entered the competition, competing for the first time. The process continues in 2005, with the entry of Bulgaria and Moldova, which are competing for the first time in this competition, and in 2006, with Armenia.

Until 2003, participation in this contest was dependent on how well the country had done in the previous year. If the participation were classified in one of the last places on the table, then the country would not compete in the following year, to the detriment of the others that had been out in the previous year.
But Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Germany are countries that exceed the rule. (the so-called BIG FOUR) Whatever their position on the league table, these countries are always qualified for the following year, due to the monetary contribution they make every year for the festival to take place.
In 2004, EBU decided to make the Eurovision Song Contest a two-day event, clearing all previously existing rules regarding the non-participation of a country for one year because of the poor results.
Thus, a final is organized every year (with the Big Four already qualified) plus the countries that had a good ranking in the previous year. The rest compete in the semifinals and try their luck, as there are only ten more places available in the final of the contest.
For the 2002 festival edition, Spanish television (TVE) created a reality show called Operacíon Triunfo that showed the formation and selection of unknown singers and the television format was a huge success in Spain and in the contest. Since then, the format has spread to several European countries (Ireland, United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Italy, Albania, ...). In 2005, a lot of singers competed that were made known through these contests held in each of their countries.

At the first festival (1956), each country was allowed to take two songs of three and a half minutes each, sung by an inhabitant of the country in question, but the very next year (1957), the EBU restricted the number of songs to one per country.
The number of countries continued to grow and from 1980 onwards the songs could only have a maximum of three minutes, to have enough time to broadcast the entire festival.

The current rules say that there can only be 6 people on stage for each performance performed and that these people must be over 16 years old.
However, there is no longer any rule on the nationality of those who represent the country, which is why cases like Céline Dion, who, being Canadian, represented Switzerland at the festival, appeared.
If any competing country does not broadcast the festival in any year, it will be immediately disqualified in that year and will not be able to compete in the following year.

Seeing that English had begun to dominate the Festival, particularly with the Swedish victory of 1974 (ABBA singing Waterloo), a rule was imposed that stated that each country would have to sing in one of its official languages. The rule was again set aside in 1999, when Sweden repeated the feat of winning the festival again with a song in English (Take me to your heaven).
Today, most countries sing in English to win wider audiences and votes from all Europeans. Even so, there are still countries that persist and usually sing in their own language... (Portugal, Spain, France, Israel, Serbia and Montenegro, Hungary, Andorra, Poland...).
In 2006, as in 2005 and 2003, Portugal chose to present a bilingual letter, in Portuguese and English.

Eurovision Family Click HERE to see the Countries of Eurovision Song Contest
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