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Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision Song Contest

In America, one of the most popular events on live television is the Super Bowl. I presume that at least half of the people who watch the Superbowl are only interested in the halftime show, I know I am. Now imagine a contest that has more viewers than the Superbowl and it has on average 37 mini Superbowl halftime shows, well that’s Eurovision. Eurovision is a nonpolitical song contest between many countries, mostly European, with some exceptions such as Australia, Israel, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Now I will be getting into how the contest works, Eurovision 2024, and some of the most popular songs and contestants from Eurovision. 

The Eurovision Song Contest is a three-day event that consists of two semifinals and one grand final. The location of the Eurovision Song Contest is decided based on the previous year’s winner, so for example, since Sweden won in 2023, then the Eurovision song contest in 2024 was in Sweden. Now the way the semifinal works is that countries are split in half and the top ten singers from each semifinal are sent to the grand final. The way the finalists are chosen is through the public vote, which means that the viewers get to decide who should and shouldn’t advance to the grand final. There are some expectations on who will compete in the semifinals. Five countries are known as the Big Five and they don’t need to compete in the semifinals because they pay the most amount of money to the contest and the Big Five consists of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy. Also, the previous year’s winner/host country does not need to compete in the semifinals.

The grand final works a little differently than the semifinals. The grand final does include the Big Five and the previous winning country. The grand finals voting system is also slightly different because there is now a way to get more points than just the at-home votes. The grand final has a jury system in which members of each participating country come as a group and decide who they want to give points to. The juries can give the amount of 1 to 12 points, except 9 and 11 points. After the jury votes it’s back to the television votes, and in the grand final these votes could heavily alter the leaderboard.

This year Eurovision 2024 was held in Malmö, Sweden, with the grand final happening on May 11. The winner of Eurovision 2024 named Nemo who was representing Switzerland. An interesting fact was that the last time Switzerland won was in 1988. The top ten for Eurovision 2024 is in this order: Switzerland, Croatia, Ukraine, France, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Armenia, Sweden, and in tenth came to Portugal. This Eurovision was also a very interesting one because this year had the first non-binary person to win the contest, Luxembourg had returned to the contest after 31 years, and Georgia, Latvia, and Ireland broke their non-qualification streak for the grand final. Also, Ukraine broke the death spot curse. The death spot curse is that in previous years, whenever a country went second in the grand final they always did badly, but this year Ukraine went second in the grand final and got third place.

Now there have been many notable people and songs that have been part of the Eurovision Song Contest. Some famous contests were ABBA who won for Sweden in 1974, Celine Dion who won for Switzerland in 1988, Flo Rida who represented San Marino in 2021, Noa Kirel who represented Israel in 2023, Maneskin who won for Italy in 2021, and so many more. Justin Timberlake and Madonna have also been interval acts for Eurovision 2016(this one was Justin Timberlake) and Eurovision 2019(this one was Madonna). Sometimes the actual song becomes more famous than the contestants themselves, but that is not always the case. Some of the most famous Eurovision songs include “Snap” from Armenia in 2022, “Uno” from Russia in 2020, “Dancing Lasha Tumbia” from Ukraine in 2007, “Toy” from Israel in 2018, “Fairytale” from Norway in 2009, “Waterloo” from Sweden in 2007, “Cha Cha Cha” from Finland in 2023, Diva from Israel in 1998, and the most famous Eurovision song with over one billion streams on Spotify was “Arcade” from the Netherland in 2019.

Although the Eurovision Song Contest is not as popular in the United States, it clearly has some big contestants and songs that even we Americans listen to and enjoy. 

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