FAQ

Q – When did the Eurovision Song Contest start?
A -1956

Q – Which country has won the Contest the most?
A – Ireland with 7 wins

Q – Why is Israel in the Contest when it’s not in Europe?
A – A country does not have to be geographically in Europe to be eligible to participate. The EBU’s requirements for participation in the Eurovision Song Contest is for that country’s state broadcaster to be an active EBU member, and full membership is granted to those who are within the European Broadcasting Area or are a member of the Council Of Europe.

Q – Why have foreign nationals represented other countries, eg. a Canadian representing Switzerland?
A – There’s no restriction on the nationality of the performer nor the songwriter, although some countries’ national selections eg. Estonia require entrants to be national citizens.

Q – Why were there four winners in the 1969 contest?
A – Because the EBU had not implemented a tie-break rule at that point, and when France, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK finished on level points, The Powers That Be declared a joint win.

Q – Will there ever be a joint win ever again?
A – No! The 1969 result went down very badly with the other participating nations and resulted in a mass boycott the following year. Since then the EBU have implemented various tie-break rules. The only other time voting resulted in a tied winner was in 1991, in which a countback gave Sweden the victory over France by the number of 10 points they received.

As of 2012, the EBU’s tie-break rules go by how many countries voted for an entry, then by the number of 12 points that entry received. Interestingly enough, France would’ve been declared the winner in 1991 under the current rules.

Q – Who would’ve won in 1969 according to the current tie-break rules?
A – France, as they had the most high marks over Spain, whom 9 countries gave points to both.

Q – Why are there semi-finals now?
A – Because by the early 2000s so many countries were eager to take part, including various Eastern European nations hoping to make their debut. The EBU had tinkered with various pre-selection and relegation methods in the ’90s without success, then finally they decided that the 2003 contest would be the last to take place in one show, and the following year a semi-final took place a couple of days before the Grand Final.

Under the single semi format, the top 10 countries in the previous year’s Final would automatically qualify as well as the Big Four. The top 10 of the semi-final vote would advance to make up the Final line-up. In 2008, the EBU revamped the semi-final format by having two instead of one, and only the Big Four (later Big Five) and the host nation would be given a bye into the final. The top 10 of each semi would qualify for the Final.

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