We all know and love the Eurovision Song Contest but there are some hidden facts that not everybody will know. So here at escYOUnited we are going to blow your mind with some facts about Eurovision that you probably didn’t know.
First Time Lucky?
Only two countries have won the contest on their debut. Obviously the first ever winner was won with a debut entry. Lys Assia won the contest on home soil in 1956 with her song “Refrain”. Fast Forward 52 years which brings us to the 2007 contest in Helsinki where Serbia made their debut (after the split of Serbia & Montenegro), Marija Serifovic took to the stage with her Serbian ballad “Molitva”, taking the trophy to Belgrade. Incidentally – This victory was predicted 12 months earlier when the votes from Serbia & Montenegro (who withdrew at a late stage, but were still eligible to vote) were presented by Jovana Janković, who stated “we don’t have a song this year but next year we will give you the best one”.
Boxing vs Singing
In 1968 Patrick McGuigan (Pat McGeegan) represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Chance of a lifetime” which ended 4th on the night. Pat is the father of professional and Commonwealth gold winning boxer, Barry McGuigan, who is the father of Shane McGuigan a boxing coach.
Could Ira Losco Have Won?
In 2001, the rules of Eurovision stated that the bottom countries from the previous contest would be relegated for the next contest, however, Portugal rejected the offer from the EBU and therefore the next lowest placing country was offered their place. This was offered to Latvia, who ended joint 18th in 2001 with The Netherlands, but Latvia’s highest mark was 8 while The Netherlands’ highest was 6. Latvia opted for a national final to select their song which was won by Marie N and her song “I Wanna”, which went on to win the 2002 contest, 12 points ahead of Malta’s Ira Losco.
Is Eurovision Racist?
In 2012 Gaitana was selected to represent Ukraine in Baku, but, it was not all smooth sailing for the half Ukrainian half Congolese singer a member of the right-wing Freedom Party, Yuri Syrotyuk, voiced his opinion stating “Millions of people who will be watching will see that Ukraine is represented by a person who does not belong to our race,”. Although this is not Eurovision being racist if we take a look at the winners of Eurovision over the previous 62 years it is note-worthy that only one black singer has ever won the contest, and he was on stage with 5 white men. To date Dave Benton is the only black singer to take the Eurovision crown.
Security Is Tight!
In the 1973 contest held in Luxembourg security was tight due to terrorist organisation, Black September, motorised vehicles, Special Forces and tracker dogs were all present outside the arena. The floor manager even gave a warning to the audience stating “Please do not stand up to applaud, or you may be shot by security forces”. Which must have been hard for the audience considering Luxembourg won on home soil.
So.. come on.. How many of the five EuroFacts did you know?