EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
There are several events on television that growing up, as a family we always had to watch. Sporting events like the Boat Race, The Grand Nantional, FA Cup final and of course any thing where Great Britain took part in like Olympics. But there were also certain other TV shows that we had to see each year.
The Royal Tournament where we'd cheer on the teams in the filed gun race... Something you really should see because to describe it would take a long time. Believe me it is well worth watching.
Then there were the years where the whole house rocked with laughter to the humor of "It's a Knock Out" or it's European equivalent "Jeux sans Frontieres" I'd love to share the fun with my children (BBC Please bring out a best of DVD!)
Check these and see what I mean
However one event we all followed was "THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST"
The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
It started in 1956 and has been broadcast every year since then. Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition.
Over the years the size and number of entries has grown so now they actually have to have heats with countries who finish bottom actually being relegated. One of the really interesting things, if you could call it that over the years has been seeing the "political voting" that has gone one, i.e Greece votes for Cyprus, Cyprus for Greece etc.. Many different formats have been attempted to try and make the voting more neutral from panels of judges in each country to dial in votes, but of course it never quite fixes the politics of it all.
The host of the show, is normally the country who has won the event the previous year, though there has been a few refusals due to the cost of putting the event on. That is why this years event (which took place yesterday (Saturday May 16th) was held in Russia after Dima Bilan won in 2008
Since Lys Assia, became first Eurovision winner (1956) there have been some notable entries and winners, many notable because of how terrible they were many along the way receiving the dreaded "null point" (no points). There have however been some notable songs/acts along the way.
It was in 1974 that ABBA launched their career when they won the Eurovision Song contest with "Waterloo". Céline Dion, who won the Contest for Switzerland in 1988 with the song "Ne Partez. Yes people can sing for other countries not just their own.
Other artists who have achieved varying degrees of success after winning the Contest include France Gall ("Poupée de cire, poupée de son", Luxembourg 1965), Dana ("All Kinds of Everything", Ireland 1970), Vicky Leandros ("Après toi", Luxembourg 1972), Brotherhood of Man ("Save Your Kisses for Me", United Kingdom 1976), Marie Myriam ("L'oiseau et l'enfant", France 1977), Johnny Logan (who won twice for Ireland; with "What's Another Year?" in 1980, and "Hold Me Now" in 1987), Bucks Fizz ("Making Your Mind Up", United Kingdom 1981), Nicole ("Ein Bißchen Frieden", Germany 1982) and Herreys ("Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley", Sweden 1984). Many other winners include well-known artists who won the Contest mid-career, after they had already established themselves as successful.
Ireland holds the record for the most number of wins, having won the Contest seven times—including three times in a row in 1992, 1993 and 1994. In second place with five wins each are the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and France. Spain was the first country to win on two consecutive occasions (in 1968 and 1969), followed by Luxembourg (in 1972 and 1973) and Israel (in 1978 and 1979). Ireland and the United Kingdom both have an average of 72 points per year which is higher than any other country.
So what happened this year?
Norway has emerged as the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, held in the Russian capital, Moscow.
Singer and violinist Alexander Rybak, 23, smashed the record for the most points awarded during the competition.
Iceland came second in the vote, followed by Azerbaijan which took the third place.
The UK's Jade Ewen, singing an Andrew Lloyd Webber song, ended in fifth position - a marked improvement on last year's finish at the foot of the table.
For the first time, voting in the final was split between televoting and panels of musical experts, which was supposed to reduce the incidence of predictable and neighbourly votes.
So while It's a Knock Out and the Royal Tournament are much loved memories at least the Eurovison Song Contest still goes on.
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
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