To the uneducated the Eurovision Song Contest might appear to be a bunch of Europeans having a party while the rest of the world watches on in confusion. And it is just that, however it is also slightly more than that too. I will explain.
Eurovision started in Switzerland in the 1950s. After the devastation of World War 2 a “light entertainment programme” was conceived in hopes that it would bring together the countries of the EBU (European Broadcasting Area).
Countries wishing to participate do not have to be members of the European Union, they don’t even have to be located on the continent of Europe. However the country must be an active member of the European Broadcasting Area. Countries like Cyprus and Israel have competed in previous years and in 2015 to mark the 60th anniversary of the show Australia will be competing.
The rules state that the country which won the preceding year’s contest must host the event 12 months later; this year’s contest will therefore be held in Vienna, thanks to a historic victory for Conchita Wurst, with 290 points.
Sometimes countries are unable to finance the event and therefore send particularly silly acts. It seems that Greece decided to use this strategy in 2013.
However some countries purposefully send silly acts in hope that they will be memorable. For example Ukraine in 2007 and Finland in 2006 who won that year with a bunch of singing Klingons (not going to lie, I totally voted for them).
Each country’s points are determined by a 50/50 combination of viewer votes and a jury of music professionals in each country. When all the points have been calculated, the presenters of the show call upon each voting country in turn to invite them to announce the results of their vote.
Voting can be a controversial process as old alliances, grudges against neighbours, and current political tensions can factor into each country’s decision.
Oh you want me to talk about the UK? Ugh, fine then.
The UK never wins. We might have won in the past but not any more. Every year people like to get their hopes up because maybe just this year we will actually win. But we won’t. Seriously.
This year the UK is being represented by the duo Electro Velvet with their song Still In Love With You. They were put together for the contest, and consist of Bianca Nicholas – who once appeared on The Voice – and Alex Larke, who spends most of his time as a Mick Jagger impersonator.
Surprisingly the UK has won Eurovision more than once, 5 times in fact. One time we even managed to win with Congratulations by Cliff Richard. But we’re not going to win this year. Don’t even think about going to the comments and saying something like “maybe it will be different this time”. No. We’re not going to win.
Though it does appear that Eurovision has worked to bring countries closer together. Even if that is only through mutual hatred.
Oh and I nearly forgot about the dancing grannies. Because that happened.