So it is a Saturday morning the 29th May 2010. A normal Saturday in most cases in Ireland. It is damp after the rain last night but there is a smattering of light pushing through the rolling white clouds around the Arra mountains this morning.
However this is not just any morning. This is a day of reckoning. A day when Ireland, as a nation could potentially and hopefully, reclaim a title which has eluded it since 1997. Yes I am talking about the Eurovision Song Contest ou en Francais Concours Eurovision de la Chanson which will be broadcast this evening at 8pm GMT across the world to a world wide audience of approx. 125m, and an online viewing of some 74,000 persons.
So what will happen tonight?
So if you are hosting a Eurovision party this evening or if you are just going to have it on in the background – What should you know?
- There will be some 25 finalists this evening: 10 from Tuesday’s semi-final; 10 from Thursday’s semi-final; and 5 countries who automatically qualify (UK, Spain, Germany, France and the host country, Norway).
- Ireland will be 10th this evening which in my opinion is not a bad spot at all, given that the majority of people only tune in from around song 6 onwards.
- I do worry that the Denmark entry is 25th, lasting impressions and all that and the lovely Belgian boy with his guitar is on 7th-again another worrying entry!
As always the BEEB has their score card for the Grand Final ready this morning. I highly reccomend printing it out and using it tonight! Great fun is guaranteed! Available here (opens PDF). It also will be streaming live on the Eurovision website.
Voting in the Final – via eurovision.tv
- Starting right in the beginning of the show when the first representatives of countries take the stage, viewers in all 39 participating countries can start voting by making a phone call and/or sending an SMS for their favorite song(s). You are allowed to vote up to 20 times, but you cannot vote for your own country.
- Based on the amount of votes by phone and/or SMS, televoters in each country then give 12 points to the most popular entry, 10 points to the second most popular, then 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points.
- Professional juries in all respective countries vote as well. Just like the televoters, each jury in each country then gives 12 points to the most popular entry, 10 points to the second most popular, then 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points.
- The televoting results and the jury results are then merged per country. Each result counts for 50%.
- Spokespersons in all participating countries will read out the merged results, giving 12 points to the most popular entry, 10 points to the second most popular, then 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points.
- The country with the highest number of points wins the 55th Eurovision Song Contest.
Random rules and facts
If like me, you always have a copy of the relevant constitution to hand to rule like the supreme court where necessary – The ESC organisers have provided a link to all the relevant rules. For example:
- There can be no more than six performers on stage at any one time.
- Dutch conductor Dolf van der Linde conducted for seven different countries (Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.
- Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest three times. In 1980 and 1987 he represented Ireland as performer and won both times, in 1992 he wrote Linda Martin’s winning entry Why Me.
- Norway could be found at the bottom of the list as many as ten times! The unfortunates came last in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001 and 2004. Nevertheless, they also won thrice (in 1985, 1995 and 2009).
- Ireland won 7 times, Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom 5 times. Sweden and the Netherlands won 4 times.
- ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish pop band won the contest in 1974.
Some other interesting facts can be found on the eurovision.tv website.
Niamh Kavanagh – It’s For You (2010)