With Eurovision just around the corner, there’s no better time to take a look back at the history of the contest.
After all, Eurovision is known for some strategic voting, and there’s no better way to strategise than to look back over past events.
Verdict has looked over all the scores from previous Eurovision song contests to find some of the most interesting facts and figures about Europe’s most flamboyant musical show.
If there’s anything you ever wanted to know about Eurovision acts or winners, trust us, we know the answer.
How many points have been awarded?
Over Eurovision’s 61 years, a grand total of 81,634 points have been awarded to the countries competing. If all countries were made equal, that’d be an average of just under 1,601 points per country. However, as we all know, not all countries are as good at the music show as others. Here are top five biggest points-earners:
Sweden – 4,733 points after competing 56 times
United Kingdom – 4,017 points after competing 59 times
France – 3,475 points after competing 59 times
Ireland – 3,292 points after competing 44 times
Russia – 2,956 points after competing 21 times
The lowest five point earners are:
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Morocco – seven points after competing once
San Marino – 14 points after competing once
Czech Republic – 41 points after competing once
Slovakia – 42 points after competing three times
Montenegro – 81 points after competing twice
How are points awarded?
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to compare the points as there have been ten different systems for awarding points since Eurovision began.
At the first Eurovision with public points in 1957, the Netherlands won with just 31 points. Skip forward to 2017, and Portugal won with 758 points.
That 758 point winner is the highest score that has ever been given to a single song in Eurovision history.
Currently, the system is that a panel of five judges from each country all award a set of points to the countries competing. They give 12 points to their favourite country, ten to their second favourite, and then eight to one points to others they liked.
In addition, the public vote is also split into an extra set of points, the same as the judges: 12, ten, and eight to one.
These points are added together for the final score.
How many countries take part?
In the history of Eurovision, 51 countries have taken part. This includes countries which no longer exist such as Yugoslavia, as well as nations to have split such as Serbia and Montenegro.
It also includes several countries which are definitely not in Europe such as Australia and Morocco. There are a few others such as Israel and Russia whose Europeanness has come into question.
Since 2012, the Eurovision song contest has been so popular that it’s become impossible to accommodate all the countries who wish to compete.
As a result, only 26 countries take part each year. There are semi-finals to determine which countries get to participate.
The UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are all guaranteed a spot in the final and don’t have to compete in the semi-finals. The other one guaranteed to be in the final is the host country. For 2018, that is Portugal.
The country to have competed in Eurovision the most times is Germany, which has been involved in 60 out of the 61 song contests. It has only won twice, with the most recent victory in 2010 with this tune:
How many Eurovision acts are there?
As you’d expect, 26 countries take part which means there are 26 songs performed in the main event each year.
In the entire history of Eurovision, 1,214 songs have been performed in total.
Who will win Eurovision 2018?
Looking at the results of Eurovision, things are fairly democratic in the sense that really anyone could win.
Still, there are a few countries that seem to perform better at Eurovision than others.
Ireland has won Eurovision seven times, more than any other country. It also has the longest winning streak. Ireland won three times in a row in 1992, 1993, and 1994. It lost out to Norway in 1995, and won again in 1996. However, since then, Ireland hasn’t been victorious.
As mentioned above, Sweden is the biggest winner in terms of points. It has won the contest six times.
In terms of the biggest single song, the winner is Portugal’s 2017 entry which had the biggest win ever with 758 points. However, Portugal also holds the record for the longest time between an entry and a win. It took the country 53 years to win after first entering in 1964.
Malta holds the record for taking part the longest without a single win. Malta first entered the contest in 1971 and has never won. To be fair though, it did sit out of the contest for 23 of those years.
A total of 24 countries have taken part but never won. These are Malta, Morocco, Cyprus, Iceland, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania, Moldova, Armenia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Georgia, Montenegro, San Marino, Australia, and the Czech Republic.