Society

Eurovision Song Contest Hosts, Winners, And Runner-Ups

The widely popular Eurovision Song Contest is the longest-running annual international television song competition.

Origin Of The Eurovision Song Contest

Following the destruction and devastation of World War Two, Europe was focused on rebuilding itself while also dealing with the recent onset of the Cold War. In 1951, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland and in 1955 decided to convene an ad hoc committee to get together to discuss and brainstorm on ways to unite the countries in the EBU around a simple entertainment program.

The ad hoc committee met in the city of Monaco in January of that year. After being first proposed by Sergio Pugliese of Italy, the committee decided on the idea to hold a Europe-wide song contest, the Eurovision Song Contest, that would involve participants from all European countries. This program would be one that would be broadcasted simultaneously across all countries that are members of the EBU. It would be based on the Sanremo Music Festival, which had taken place in Italy since 1951. After the ad hoc committee agreed to this plan, it was then officially approved on October 1955 at a meeting in Rome by the EBU General Assembly. It was also announced at the Rome meeting that the first Eurovision Song Contest contest would take place in 1956 and be hosted by Lugano, Switzerland.

The Reasons Of Its Popularity

Over the years, the Eurovision Song Contest has become so popular because it is a continent-wide event across Europe and has even grown in recent years to cover and include parts of North Africa, Middle East, and Australia. It is popular because music is something that everyone around the world knows, enjoys and can relate to regardless of language or cultural barriers. The contest also brings out a sense of competition and national pride among the participants and spectators, much in a similar way as the UEFA European Championships in soccer. It is also an event that everyone can watch, regardless of language, location or age.

The Hosts Of The Event

Switzerland and Germany hosted that first two Eurovision contests, but after that, the EBU decided that the winning country of each year would be the host country for the following year. After the Netherlands won the 1957 contest, they were the Eurovision host in 1958. The winner has hosted the upcoming Eurovision contest every year since then except on five occasions. In 1960, 1963, 1974, and 1980 the original "to-be host" countries declined to host the contest due to financial constraints, so an alternative host was selected for those years. The 1972 contest was not hosted in Monaco since a suitable venue to host the gala events could not be found in the country.

How Winners Are Selected?

The current voting system used in the Eurovision Song contest is as new as it can be since it was introduced as recent as 2016. The current voting system is a positional voting system in which each country in the contest awards two sets of twelve, ten and somewhere between eight to one points to their ten favorite songs. One set of votes comes from the jury made up of five professional musicians and the other set comes from televoting, which was first introduced in 1997. Entries are ranked by adding together the sum of the points from televoting and the jury separately. Each country in the contest is represented by a musician who has an original song that they perform. The musicians that get the most points for their songs advance through two semi-final rounds, with each semi-final removing the lowest scoring countries from the contest. The final round is between the highest scoring cluster of countries from each of the semi-finals and then in the finals, the contestant that get the most points is crowned the winner of Eurovision for their country.

The Eurovisions Of Note

The first Eurovision contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland in 1956 with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland being the participating countries. Each country had two songs for the event and two jury members from the participating countries cast their vote in secret The voting system in this contest allowed jury members to vote for songs from their own country. The Luxembourg jury members also could not make it to the contest, so the EBU allowed the jury members from Switzerland to vote on their behalf. This caused some voting controversy since the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest was Lys Assia from Switzerland with her song "Refrain." The 1969 Eurovision contest, hosted in Madrid, Spain, was also notable as it was the first time there was a tie in the contest. Since there was no rule in place for what to do in the event of a tie, the 1969 contest had four winners. The four winners were Frida Boccara from France with her song "Un jour, un enfant", Lenny Kuhr from the Netherlands with her song "De troubadour", Salomé from Spain with her song "Vivo cantando" and Lulu from the United Kingdom with her song "Boom Bang-a-Bang". After the 1969 contest, a tie-breaker rule was put into placed by the EBU.

The Upcoming Eurovision Song Contest

The upcoming 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be the 62nd time that the event has taken place. It will be hosted in Ukraine as they won the 2016 contest with the song "1944" by Jamala, though the exact location that the Eurovision will take place is yet to be determined with Kiev and Odessa being the two contenders. The event is scheduled to happen on May 9, 11 and 13 of 2017 when the two semifinals and the finals will take place. Currently, 28 countries have announced that they will participate in the contest, with 27 of those returning from last year and Portugal coming back to the contest after a year-long absence.

The Eurovision Song Contest Over The Years: The Hosts, The Winners, And The Runner-Ups

YearHost WinnerRunner-up
1956 Lugano,Switzerland SwitzerlandNever announced
1957Frankfurt, Germany Netherlands France
1958Hilversum, Netherlands France Switzerland
1959Cannes, France Netherlands United Kingdom
1960London, United Kingdom France United Kingdom
1961Cannes, France Luxembourg United Kingdom
1962Luxembourg City, Luxembourg France Monaco
1963London, United Kingdom Denmark Switzerland
1964Copenhagen, Denmark Italy United Kingdom
1965Naples, Italy Luxembourg United Kingdom
1966Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Austria Sweden
1967Vienna, Austria United Kingdom Ireland
1968London, United Kingdom Spain United Kingdom
1969Madrid, Spain (4 winning countries)Spain, United Kingdom, Netherlands, FranceNo Runner-Up
1970Amsterdam, Netherlands Ireland United Kingdom
1971Dublin, Ireland Monaco Spain
1972Edinburgh, United Kingdom Luxembourg United Kingdom
1973Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Luxembourg Spain
1974Brighton, United Kingdom Sweden Italy
1975Stockholm, Sweden Netherlands United Kingdom
1976The Hague, Netherlands United Kingdom France
1977London, United Kingdom France United Kingdom
1978Paris, France Israel Belgium
1979Jerusalem, Israel Israel Spain
1980The Hague, Netherlands Ireland Germany
1981Dublin, Ireland United Kingdom Germany
1982Harrogate, United Kingdom Germany Israel
1983Munich, Germany Luxembourg Israel
1984Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Sweden Ireland
1985Gothenburg, Sweden Norway Germany
1986Bergen, Norway Belgium Switzerland
1987Brussels, Belgium Ireland Germany
1988Dublin, Ireland Switzerland United Kingdom
1989Lausanne, Switzerland Yugoslavia United Kingdom
1990Zagreb, Yugoslavia Italy Ireland France
1991Rome, Italy Sweden France
1992Malmö, Sweden Ireland United Kingdom
1993Millstreet, Ireland Ireland United Kingdom
1994Dublin, Ireland Ireland Poland
1995Dublin, Ireland Norway Spain
1996Oslo, Norway Ireland Norway
1997Dublin, Ireland United Kingdom Ireland
1998Birmingham, United Kingdom Israel United Kingdom
1999Jerusalem, Israel Sweden Iceland
2000Stockholm, Sweden Denmark Russia
2001Copenhagen, Denmark Estonia Denmark
2002Tallinn, Estonia Latvia Malta
2003Riga, Latvia Turkey Belgium
2004Istanbul, Turkey Ukraine Serbia and Montenegro
2005Kyiv, Ukraine Greece Malta
2006Athens, Greece Finland Russia
2007Helsinki, Finland Serbia Ukraine
2008Belgrade, Serbia Russia Ukraine
2009Moscow, Russia Norway Iceland
2010Oslo, Norway Germany Turkey
2011Düsseldorf, Germany Azerbaijan Italy
2012Baku, Azerbaijan Sweden Russia
2013Malmö, Sweden Denmark Azerbaijan
2014Copenhagen, Denmark Austria Netherlands
2015Vienna, Austria Sweden Russia
2016Stockholm, Sweden Ukraine Australia

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