With just over two months to go until rehearsals are set to begin for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, let’s take a look at 20 facts about Europe’s (and Australia’s!) most beloved song contest.
1. The United Kingdom has finished in second place in Eurovision on 15 occasions – more so than any other country so far.
2. Morocco is the only country to have participated just once in Eurovision, and also the only African nation to do so. Samira Bensaïd sang “Bitaqat Hub” (Love Card) in the 1980 contest, finishing in 18th place with 7 points.
3. Loreen received the highest number of 12 points ever seen at Eurovision, when 18 countries awarded “Euphoria” and Sweden their 12 points in Eurovision 2012.
4. Out of Luxembourg’s five Eurovision winners, none of them was actually a Luxembourger! Four of their winners were French (Jean-Claude Pacal, France Gall, Anne-Marie David and Corinne Hermès), whilst one winner was Greek (Vicky Leandros).
5. Andorra is the only country that has never qualified from the semi finals. Out of six participations, their best result came in 2007 when boyband Anonymous finished in 12 place with 80 points.
6. Up until 1971, the maximum people allowed on stage was three. From 1972, this was increased to six, and has remained in place ever since.
7. The first Eurovision Song Contest to be broadcast in colour was the 1968 contest from The Royal Albert Hall in London.
8. Switzerland and Serbia are the only two countries to have won Eurovision on their first participation. Switzerland won the inaugural contest in 1956 whilst Serbia won the 2007 contest on their first participation as an independent nation.
9. Eurovision 2001 saw the largest audience size, when 38,000 people attended the contest at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.
10. Salvador Sobral holds the record for the highest score in Eurovision, having achieved 715 points in 2017.
11. Despite only winning the contest five times, the United Kingdom holds the record for the most number of contests hosted, having played host no less than eight times (1960, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1998).
12. Portugal and Lithuania are the only countries that have scored “nul points” on their debut participation, with both countries receiving zero points in 1964 and 1994 respectively.
13. Emil Ramsauer is the oldest person to have performed at Eurovision. The singer was 95 years old when he performed “You and Me” as part of Takasa in Eurovision 2013 for Switzerland.
14. In contrast, Belgian singer Nathalie Pâque is the youngest singer to have performed at Eurovision. She was just 11 years old when she sang “J’ai volé la vie” for France in Eurovision 1989.
15. All of the countries that won Eurovision between 2001 and 2008 won the contest for the first time, and had never won Eurovision before.
16. Of all the Eurovision winners, there have been 38 female soloists, 12 male soloists, 12 groups and six duos.
17. A total of 52 countries have participated in Eurovision at least once. Germany hold the record for most number of participations (64) whilst Morocco have the least number of Eurovision participations (1).
18. British actress, writer and television personality Katie Boyle, has played host to Eurovision the most number of times, having hosted four contests (1960, 1963, 1968 and 1974).
19. Cyprus have had the most number of Eurovision participations without winning, having participated 37 times without a win. Iceland and Malta are close behind them with 33 participations each without a win.
20. Norway holds the record for most number of last places finishes, having found themselves at the bottom of the scoreboard on no less than 10 occasions.
What are your thoughts on these Eurovision facts? Have any of them surprised you? Let us know in the comments section below!