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Eurovision Song Contest
Transcript of Eurovision Song Contest
Changed for better or for worse since it started in 1956?
The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) started in 1956 in the hope of uniting Europe after the war was over. It was Marcel Bezençon from the European Broadcasting Union's (EBU) idea to begin the ESC, It was also created to test the limits of live TV at the time.
The ESC started in 1956 in Teatro Kursaal, Switzerland where only seven countries entered but each country entered two songs. The winner was Switzerland and the singers name was Lys Assia with her song 'Refrain'.
The following year the contest was held in West Germany and Austria, Denmark and The United Kingdom entered the ESC for the first time and the contest was won by The Netherlands.
How The ESC Changed from 1956
Firstly, the big advances in technology means that they can get a direct video link with the other countries in Europe. Before this they had to call up the country which was quite difficult to get good reception a couple of 100 miles away and clearly understand what they were saying.
Secondly, there are more countries now than there were 55 years ago with a total of 51 countries entering at least once. As there are more countries, in 2004 the first ever semi-final for the ESC was held .
Yugoslavia entered the ESC in 1961 and until 1992 when it divided into six different countries; Boznia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, all of which enter on their own enlarging the competition.
The Voting in 1957
The Voting in 2012
From 2000 four countries automatically qualify for the ESC Final this is because they contribute the most money to the EBU these countries are; The United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France. And in 2011 Italy became part of the Big Five, the winner also automatically qualifies for the ESC Final. So money plays a key role in the ESC. Before this the national juries decided who got through and who didn't, but still the winner always got through.
In the first few years because there were so few countries everyone voted for their favourite song rather than the country that sings it.
In 2013 YouGov’s EuroTrack survey, which tracks public opinion in Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, 75% of Brits say some countries don’t have a real chance of winning the ESC because of political voting by other competing nations.
Greece gives the most points to Cyprus and Spain and in return Cyprus and Spain give the most points to Greece. This is a perfect example of tactical voting.
Finland received the most points from all the other countries in Scandinavia except from Denmark. Most of the time neighboring countries give each other points, another example of tactical voting.
In the first few contests people judged the songs on the songs not what country the song is being represented by.
A lot of things have changed since the ESC started in 1956 the key things are the introduction of the 'Big Five' and the increase in entrants resulted in the introduction of the Semi-Finals. Many people feel these are bad things but I think that it has helped to create a good, quality show that doesn't drag on for five hours. And that countries should be rewarded if they contribute lots of money.
Obviously the technology for the ESC has made it better, at least now it doesn't take about half an hour to get the votes from ten different countries.
Overall I think that the ESC has changed for the better. I hope that the ESC just keeps on getting better from here on out. And now my favourite moment from ESC history.....