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Eurovision is an annual song competition television show which takes place among member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. Countries submit songs which are performed during the show and then countries vote for other countries' songs to determine a winner. The contest is one of the longest-airing programs on television and regularly gains hundreds of millions of international viewers. It has also been subject to controversy, as the voting has long been suspected of being politically biased, and the winners are often accused of being bland in order to appeal to a global audience.


Eurovision debuted in 1956 after members of the European Broadcasting Union met to make a "light television programme" after the second World War.[1] Marcel Bezençon of Swiss television served as chairman and the idea was conceived in January of 1955. The first contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland, and featured fourteen countries, each submitting two songs (first contest shown below).

After the first competition, countries were only allowed to submit one song. The list of countries per competition has expanded to between roughly 40 and 45 each year, including some non-European countries, such as Australia.
h4. Notable Winners

Most artists who win Eurovision do not go on to have successful music careers, but some notable exceptions include ABBA, who won for Sweden in 1974 (shown below, left) and Celine Dion, who won for Switzerland in 1988 (shown below, right).

The winners of Eurovision have often been criticized for being bland, as victorious competitors aim for the broadest possible audience, resulting in many power-ballads and "bubblegum pop" winning the competition. However, some notable breaks from the trend include Finnish band Lordi, who won the 2006 contest performing their song "Hard Rock Hallelujah" in monstrous makeup (shown below, left). In 2018, Israeli artist Netta won with her song "TOY," which notably featured passages of beatboxing intended to resemble the clucking of a chicken (shown below, right). The performance drew some backlash.[2]

Criticism and Controversy

In addition to winners being criticized for usually being bland, Eurovision judges have been accused of having political bias in their voting. Countries have been reported as voting in "cliques," purposefully voting for a song en masse, at least twice having a decisive outcome on the winner. In 2008, longtime English Eurovision commentator Terry Wogan stepped down from presenting, saying the contest's judging has become mostly about national prejudices. Of note, England rarely performs well, which Wogan attributed to these biases. Additionally, each country's votes are of equal weight, which means countries with higher populations have the same amount of voting power as a country with low population. To counteract the power of voting cliques, national juries were introduced in the late 2000s, getting 50% of a country's vote.

Online Presence

Eurovision regularly receives between 100 million and 600 million viewers internationally. Online, it also has a large presence. The subreddit for the competition[3] has over 12,000 readers. The competition also has over 1.2 million likes[4] on Facebook.

Search Interest

External References

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Top Comments


>Israel wins the European singing contest

Why bother calling it Eurovision if you're going to let a bunch of people not from Europe compete?


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