On May 12th, in just two days time, Eurovision 2018 will be hosted in Lisbon. The Eurovision Song Contest is the longest-running TV song competitoin and it has been held since 1956.

Today, we will write about some things you might not now about Eurovision.

Here we go:

  • The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) set up a committee to search for ways of bringing the countries together in a war-torn Europe. The idea was around a light entertainment programme in which countries could take part.
  • The competition is based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival, the most popular Italian song contest at the time. The festival is used to pick the Italian entry to the Eurovision song contest.
  • The first Eurovision contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland, on 1956, 62 years ago. Seven countries took part (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Switzerland) and each submitted two songs. It was won by the host nation, Switzerland.
  • It was first known as the Eurovision Grand Prix but now, in the minds of the public, the name Eurovision is associated with the song contest.
  • The contest has changed over the years, but the basic format have always been like this: participant countries submit original songs, performed live on a television programme broadcast across the Eurovision Network by the EBU simultaneously to all countries.
  • This year the number of countries taking part will be 43 countries. Only the big five (Germany, Spain, France, Italy and United Kingdom) are going directly to the final. The rest of the countries will have to qualified for the final show, which will be 26 participants.
  • Voting system: It has changed over the years but the current system has been in place since 2016. Each country awards two sets of 12, 10. 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs, one from their professional jury of votes of five music professionals and the other from televoting.
  • Did you know Ireland holds the record for the highest number of wins? 6 times. Sweden with 6, France, Luxembourg and the UK are third with 5 wins. Norway is the country that have scored more nul points, 4 times, and they have also come last the most time, 10.
  • Stars such as Celine Dion, for Switzerland, Katie Price, Olivia Newton John, Katrina and the Waves and Bonnie Tyler (UK), Julio Iglesias (Spain), ABBA (Sweden) took part in the contest.

  • Songs cannot last longer than 3 minutes and contestants have to be older than 16 on the date of the final.

Are you going to watch it? If so, which country do you think will win the contest?