Factbox: The 2013 Eurovision song contest

Slovenia's Hannah (C) performs during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Malmo Opera Hall in Malmo Credit: Reuters
Slovenia’s Hannah (C) performs during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Malmo Opera Hall in Malmo
Credit: Reuters

Malmo in Sweden was hosting the grand final of the 58th Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.

Here are some facts about the contest:

* The first contest took place in 1956. It was originally conceived in Monaco by Marcel Bezencon and based on the Italian Sanremo Festival, held since 1951. Switzerland won the first contest.

EUROVISION RECORDS:

* Ireland’s Johnny Logan won the contest three times. In 1980 and 1987 he sang the Irish entry, and in 1992 he wrote the winning entry for his compatriot, Linda Martin.

* ABBA is the winner that has gone on to have the most international success. The Swedish band won the contest in 1974 with “Waterloo”.

* Norway has come last most often – in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001 and 2004. However, it has also won three times – in 1985, 1995 and 2009.

* Ireland has won seven times; Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom five times; Sweden and the Netherlands four times.

* In 2008 and 2011, a record 43 countries participated. Morocco has taken part in the contest only once, in 1980.

* In 2011, Lena, the winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, decided to defend her title on home ground in Germany – something only two people have done in the history of the contest.

* The most covered song in the contest is Domenico Mudugno’s “Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu”, also known as “Volare”.

* English has been the main language of 24 winning entries. French is also popular, with 14 victories. Dutch and Hebrew songs have won three times each.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2012:

* Sweden’s Loreen won the 2012 contest in Azerbaijan before an international TV audience of 100 million, days after angering Azeri authorities by meeting rights activists critical of the host country’s human rights record.

* The 28-year-old won with the song “Euphoria”, dancing barefoot as she sang. After the show, traditionally heavy on kitsch, bizarre costumes and dramatic presentation but low on politics, Loreen steered clear of any controversial statements.

Sources: Reuters/Eurovision Song Contest Website


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