1956 winner

What Is Eurovision - Here is your answer!

SO! I have seen a lot of peeps in the Eurovision tag actually asking what the heck this European madness is we celebrate every year. So might as well go ahead and make a post to explain stuff to the ones who are curious! Come and listen little ones.

SO! The full name of the Eurovision is “The Eurovision Song Contest” (or the ESC for short) and as its name says, it’s a song contest. Held in Europe every year among the European countries that’s part of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and the contest had been annual since 1956. So it has actually been around for a long time.Of course the show has become much bigger over the years with more and more contestants. They started out with like 10 countries and have then grown to usually having 45 countries enter by now.

The contest was originally made to “make love not war” sort of thing. They wanted to unite the European countries into one big event instead of having wars against each other.

The purpose of the contest is for each country to send off someone to the contest with an original song and represent them and hopefully win the contest. Usually each country will hold their own national contest to decide who should represent them. These shows are usual casted on live tv and have both a professional jury and fans at home vote and decide who should represent them. The one with the most votes wins and will be sent off to the Eurovision to represent their country. There are a few countries that sometimes just picks a winner to send instead of actually holding a national contest to decide. All these national contests are usually held from January to March-April.

The contest itself is held and hosted by last years winner. When winning the contest they of course not only get the honor of winning, but also the honor of hosting the contest the year after, which many uses as an opportunity to promote their country and attract tourists. Winning also means they’ll go straight to the finals the year they host and do not have to go through the semifinals.

The semifinals are split into 2 shows. Always set on a Tuesday and Thursday and then with the finals the following Saturday. 45 is many and of course there is no way everyone will be able to take part with a song or else the show would go on for hours. So the semifinals are made to pick out the best and send them to the finals.

There are exceptions for the semifinals though. The “Big 5” the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy, do not have to take part in the semifinals as they’re the ones that contributes the most money to the contest and also have a great number of the Eurovision viewers and therefore always qualify for the finals. Of course the host country as well do not have to pass the semifinals as a extra prize for winning the previous year. This has been debated a few times as they may enter with not that good songs and take the spot from actual good ones, but that’s just how the rules are.

So usually there is picked 10 finalists from each of the two semifinals and then + the automatically qualified it’ll usually add up to 25-26 countries taking part in the finals. Their contestant then has to perform one after another at the finals. Once everyone have performed it’s time for voting. Everyone who got a country qualified to take part in the Eurovision is able to vote, even if their country didn’t make it to the finals. The only rule is that you cannot vote for your own country. Or at least not the one you’re sending your votes from. A professional jury also cast in their votes. Votes are 50% jury and 50% fan votes.

When the voting is over, then the big point giving starts. Every single country is being called with a host sitting in every single country and ready to announce their points for the songs. So they have go through every 46 countries and ask for their points. Every country got 1 to 12 points to give. So each round 12 countries are able to get points. 12 of course being the highest. It then sort of figures that the song and country with the most votes in the end wins.

So you see that this is a pretty big deal for us around here. It’s not such a foreign thing either. Plenty of well known singers debuted in the Eurovision and got popular through that. ABBA, Celine Dion and Enrique Iglesias are known Eurovision winners. Even riverdance got popular after it was performed as a show while the votes were being cast.

As any contest the Eurovision got specific rules and restrictions. There may be a maximum of 6 people on stage. Singers or performers doesn’t matter and everyone have to be 16 years or older. If younger, they can qualify for the Junior Eurovision, though it’s rather new and hasn’t been around for too long and is far off as popular as the real Eurovision.

The songs have to be completely original and are not allowed to be covers or copy from another song. This is often a big thing each year as there always is that specific song that sounds so much like this specific song and so on. The songs are also limited to not being longer than 3 minutes, to avoid the show dragging out for too long.

Earlier on it was a set rule that all countries had to sing in their native language, but that rule has been changed, as it was hard to really connect to a song you didn’t understood the lyrics of. So now everyone are allowed to either perform in English. They’re still allowed to perform with a song in their native language, but are not allowed to make a song with the language of another country.

Live singing is also a rule of the contest. No playback is allowed at all. The music of course is allowed to have been recored beforehand and played, but the vocals have to be live on stage when performed.

The jury for voting is a fairly new rule, as it’s often seen how countries would vote for each other out of other interest than the actual songs. Like.. Usually the entire east Europe would cast vote for each other and “their neighbors”, which made them known as the East European Mafia. The Nordic countries also got a liking of voting for each other. It’s a close catastrophe if a country doesn’t give high points for their neighbor countries as it’s a sort of unofficial rule to do so. Which often is a big drama at the contest too. So to avoid songs purely winning on fan votes and neighbor voting, a professional jury is set that shall cast their votes determined on artistic and musical qualities of a song.

So why is Eurovision so big and why do we love it? Well, might be the cheesy music, catchy songs, spectacular scene shows, crazy performances, beautiful dresses, funny costumes, weird props or maybe it’s just the fact that it’s this one week every year where all of Europe can be at peace and unite around our love for music and party together as one big nation, like the contest were meant to be.

If you’re curious, here is a list of all Eurovision winners since 1956 up to 2013 –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2XYzUwAxV4

Also just look up Eurovision and you’ll find a ton of videos of the performances from all countries and the overall history of Eurovision and how it came to be.

Congratulations! You now no longer have to be a big question mark when there is talk of Eurovision! You now know what the heck is going on over here in Europe every year and what and why we’re celebrating so much! Now go forth and spread the word! Celebrate with us and enjoy our party and music!


May 24th 1956: First Eurovision

On this day in 1956, the first Eurovision Song Contest (then known as the Eurovision Grand Prix) was held in Lugano, Switzerland. The idea for the event came about in a 1955 meeting of the European Broadcasting Union in Monaco, after they were inspired by the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy. The first ever Eurovision broadcast lasted for one almost two-hour show on May 24th, primarily broadcast over radio. The event saw seven European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland) submit two songs each. The winner was picked by a jury panel made up of representatives from the participating countries who voted for their favourite song in secret. In 1956, the prize went to Switzerland’s own Lys Assia with the song ‘Refrain’. The tradition of the Eurovision song contest continues annually to this day, though the format is very different to how it was in 1956 - most notably the increased number of participant countries (37 took part this year), the fact that each country only enter one song each, and the points system. The 2014 Eurovision contest was won by Austria’s Conchita Wurst for the song 'Rise Like a Phoenix’.

First, let me say that I’m tired of all of this talk about “snubs” — I thought for every one of [the snubs] there was a justifiable reason. What no one wants to say out loud is that Selma is a well-crafted movie, but there’s no art to it. If the movie had been directed by a 60-year-old white male, I don’t think that people would have been carrying on about it to the level that they were. And as far as the accusations about the Academy being racist? Yes, most members are white males, but they are not the cast of Deliverance — they had to get into the Academy to begin with, so they’re not cretinous, snaggletoothed hillbillies. When a movie about black people is good, members vote for it. But if the movie isn’t that good, am I supposed to vote for it just because it has black people in it? I’ve got to tell you, having the cast show up in T-shirts saying “I can’t breathe” [at their New York premiere] — I thought that stuff was offensive. Did they want to be known for making the best movie of the year or for stirring up shit?

American Sniper is the winner of the year, whether or not it gets a single statuette, because for all of us in the movie industry — I don’t care what your politics are — it is literally the answer to a prayer for a midrange budget movie directed by an 84-year-old guy [Clint Eastwood] to do this kind of business. It shows that a movie can galvanize America and shows that people will go if you put something out that they want to see. With regard to what it did or didn’t leave out, it’s a movie, not a documentary. I enjoyed it, I thought it was well done, and I can separate out the politics from the filmmaking.
The Grand Budapest Hotel, like American Sniper, is a big hero this year because it shows that people can and will remember how much they loved a movie, even if it comes out in March. I am not a Wes Anderson fan, but as his movies go, I liked it.

Birdman is a great job by Fox Searchlight — it’s a weird, quirky movie that they did a really good job of selling. I never thought that it would make it all the way to the finish line like it has — but then I remember that it’s about a tortured actor, and when you think about who is doing the voting, at SAG and the Academy, it’s a lot of other tortured actors. I just don’t know how much it’s resonating out in the world. I mean, American Sniper made more in its third weekend in wide release than Birdman has made in its entirety.
If you told me when I saw Boyhood that it would win best picture — or even be in the running — I would have told you that you were insane. Watching it, I thought it was ambitious and a directorial triumph, but the kid was uneven and Patricia Arquette probably was sorry she agreed to let them film her age over 12 years. I never thought, “Wow, this is the one!”

The funny thing about Whiplash is that while the rest of the world thinks that the J.K. Simmons character is an overbearing, horrible monster, there are many people in Hollywood who would model themselves on that character. As for the film itself, it’s a very traditional story, in some ways, about mentoring and excellence — that kind of movie has existed since [the 1933 film] 42nd Street. “You’re gonna go out there, and I’m gonna yell at you that you can do better, and you’re not gonna like me for it but then you will.”
Read more Oscars 2015: Who Will Win, Who Should Win (Analysis)
The Theory of Everything is, to me, the Merchant-Ivory movie of the year — that and The Imitation Game both occupy that kind of Britishy slot. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. They got a good start in Toronto, and [Eddie Redmayne’s] performance is very strong. But it’s what I call a “filler” nominee: It’s one of those movies that people write in but that doesn’t stand a chance of winning.

On paper, The Imitation Game seemed to be the one to me. It’s a great story, well-crafted, [Benedict Cumberbatch] is really good and it’s been a big success. It’s what you call “prestige filmmaking.” So why isn’t it receiving more recognition? I’d like to believe it’s karma for Harvey [Weinstein]. But I’m going to hold my nose and vote for it anyway because when you vote for best picture, what you should try to do is vote for the movie that, years from now, people will still watch and talk about. For some years, it’s like, “Huh?! Around the World in 80 Days [the winner for 1956] won best picture? Are you kidding me?” So I try to vote in a way so that, in 50 years, people aren’t going to go, “Huh?!” MY VOTE: (1) The Imitation Game; (2) Birdman; (3) American Sniper; (4) Boyhood; (5) The Grand Budapest Hotel