The Eurovision Song Contest which often is shortened to ESC or just Eurovision is annual television competition of songs which takes place in countries which are members of European Broadcasting Union or EBU. The creator of European Broadcasting Union is Marcel Bezençon. The competition involves only European countries, but there was an exception in 2015 – Australia was allowed to compete as a guest entrant, being a part of celebration of Eurovision Song Contest’s 60th anniversary. The Eurovision Song Contest has the theme – Te Deum: Prelude (March en rondeau) which is composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
Its history started in the year of 1956, basing upon the existing music festival – Sanremo Music Festival which was held in Italy. The Eurovision Song Contest is considered to be the longest-running TV program in the world, because it has been broadcast in television for 60 years since its inauguration. It has been broadcast not only in European countries, but also in USA and China. Since 2000 the contest has been broadcast in the Internet through the Eurovision website. The Eurovision Song Contest is also one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world with an international audience of 100 – 600 million people all over the world.
Each country which participates in the competition submits an original song which has to be performed on live television and radio. When all of competitors have performed their songs, an audience votes for them, determining the most popular song in the competition. An audience of each country can only vote for songs of other countries, thereby determining the most popular song among all member countries. Since the number of member countries has risen, there are two semi-finals and grand final. Ten best participants from each semi-final goes to the grand final, where 20 best participants meet and compete for victory.
Ireland is the country which holds the record for the highest number of wins – Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest seven times, winning four times in five years. A record for the highest scoring belongs to Alexander Rybak, a representative of Norway, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in the year of 2009, obtaining 387 points. The latest winner of competition is Måns Zelmerlöw, a representative of Sweden, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in the year of 2015, performing the song “Heroes”.
It is not a secret that winning in the Eurovision Song Contest ensures a short-term boost to the career of winning artist, but rarely brings the long-term success and fame. Notable exceptions which maintained success and fame after winning in the Eurovison Song Contest are ABBA, representatives of Sweden, which won in 1974, as well as Céline Dion, a representative of Switzerland, who won in 1988. Both ABBA and Céline Dion launched successful worldwide careers after winning in the Eurovision Song Contest.
There are several related shows as well – the Eurovision Young Musicians (1982 – ), Eurovision Young Dancers (1985 – ), Junior Eurovision Song Contest (2003 – ) and Eurovision Dance Contest (2007 – 2008), but none of them is so popular as the Eurovision Song Contest.