The Eurovision Song Contest
Facts and Figures

The official Eurovision web site includes a (remarkably) small selection of facts and figures that may be of interest. We all learn something, like the Belgian song that came second in 2003 was sung in an imaginary language! Goodness!

Apparently the most used words by fans are:
  • Abba
    Need we say why?
  • Eurovision
    Like... duh!
  • Dana
  • Leandros
Dana, Irish Winner 1970
"All Kinds Of Everything"
Vicky Leandros
Vicky Leandros, Lux. Winner 1972
"Après Toi"
'Leandros'? Not Lys Assia? Not Puppet On A String or Boom Bang-A-Bang? Not Waterloo? Not Johnny Logan or Olsen Brothers?

Dana could relate to Dana International who won the contest for Israel in 1998 (with "Diva"), but it is more likely to relate to Dana who won for Ireland in 1970 (with "All Kinds Of Everything").
Leandros, by the way, is Vicky Leandros who won for Luxembourg in 1972 with "Après Toi".

My thoughts for words commonly used in connection with the contest would be:


Here are some other things I've dug up along the way...

Do guys like blonde chicks?

In the 2005 final, the female lead singer(s) had hair colouring as follows: The worst hair of the 2005 performance must surely go to Angelica Agurbash (Belarus) - was that intentional or did her hairdresser run out of time?
For runner-ups, I'd be hard pushed to pick between Luminita Anghel (Romania) and Joe (Ireland) who had something like a very badly wonky Conan O'Brien hairpiece. It looked more like Titeuf! Another runner-up is Omar Naber (Slovenia) who was only a mere twenty years out of date! :-)

Best hair will always be a subject of much debate, some people like blondes, some like brunettes, and the hair alone is no good - it must match the face. I'd nominate, again, Mariya-the-host...


Glasses are geeky

In the 2005 final, exactly nobody wears glasses. They might be so short-sighted as to nearly fall off the stage, but glasses just aren't 'sexy' to most people - unless you are the sort that would be happy to fall in love with a librarian.
In fact, in the entire 2005 contest, the only person seen wearing glasses is Irish Joe.

On the other hand, 'rock shades' are cool. Like, WHO needs to wear shades indoors? It is a rock thing, right? So it stands to reason that several of Wig Wam (Norway) wear shades, and one of the Spanish blokes wears them too (but in his case, they're so not cool!).

The only person seen wearing glasses in the 2004 competition is the man sitting beside Lisa Andrews (Cyprus) in the Green Room, when she was awarded 12 points... And the Lithuanian male singer (semi-final) wearing shades.
The only vote announcers to wear glasses was the man from Greece and the man from Poland.

By the way, in case anybody is offended right now - I'll say that I wear glasses (and I'm a geek, so I can't help dispel that stereotype!); and also I could fall in love with a librarian! I'd prefer a glasses-wearing geek over a girl who goes "clubbing" any day...


More women sing...

The Eurovision site says about 3-4 women win for every 1 man that wins (do the Olssen brothers count as two?).

So, it should come as no surprise that the leads in the 2005 final were comprised of 11 blokes and 21 honeys.

Of these, all of the men except for the Latvian pair (Walters & Kazha) sung solo parts (with or without backing dancers). Most of the women sung solo parts (with or without backing dancers) except for Son de Sol (Spain), Feminnem (Bosnia), and Vanilla Ninja (Switzerland).

There were no mixed-gender leads in the final; there were 3 in the semi-final (Austria, Portugal, and Ireland) but they did not qualify. I'm not counting the Boonika on principle!

By contrast, 2004's final saw 19 males far outnumbering the 9 females. Perhaps these things go in cycles? I don't have 2003's statistics handy - so I'll comment on this in 2006, if I remember!
Mixed genders in 2004's final - one - Julia and Ludwig (Malta). Most of the performances were solo (with or without backing dancers), the exceptions being Tie-Break (Austria), Julia and Ludwig (Malta), and Re-Union (The Netherlands).

For 2006, in the final, we had a better dispersion:

2 mixed groups
7 group, with lead male
5 group, with lead female
3 group, all female
3 solo females
2 group, all male
2 solo males
Note: Dancers and performers are counted as part of the group (i.e. Germany and UK are groups) while static backing singers are not (i.e. Ireland was a male soloist).


Black is sexy...?

But your basic black number is not very Eurovision. It is better suited to sashaying into a fancy restaurant where you can guarantee the men will drool.
Nobody wears a sexy black gown. Even the "We're not Las Ketchup, Really" Son de Sol (Spain) abstain from the basic black look.


Two women wear black, in various persuations of the leather biker-chick style - Nox (Hungary) and Gracia (Germany).

The most popular colour for the women is white/off-white, as modelled by Leoina Celo (Albania), Feminnem (Bosnia; off-white); and Vanilla Ninja (Switzerland).

Possibly the best dressed female in the entire broadcast was Mariya Efrosinina (yes, the host!). The best dressed singer was Shiri Maimon (Israel). Nobody came a close second...

The worst dressed female singer, in my opinion, was Gracia (Germany)... That outfit was just totally bizarre. The worst dressed male is, hands down no-contest, Zoob Si Zoub (Moldova).
You can't really comment on Wig Wam's (Norway) attire. It's a "rock thing".

In the 2004 final, wearing black (sort of) is Ruslana (Ukraine, winner), Julia Savicheva (Russia), and Sandra Ladosi (Romania) ... but nobody carries it off as well as the elegant simplicity of Lisa Andrews (Cyprus).
Pink, red, and white were the colours for 2004.

In the 2006 final, the only lead singer wearing basic black is one of the woman from the Swiss group. Several men wore the black and white penguin tux. It appears as if basic white was a popular colour.


Two's a party

Apparently Eurovision rules forbid more than six people on-stage. Well, they did in 1997, I can't imagine that has changed much since...

Here's who we can see (from my pictures) had six on-stage in the 2005 final:

I don't have a picture handy, but I'd imagine Luminita Anghel & Sistem (Romania) had five guys grinding angles in the background...
I'll have to look through the videotape to see who else; though it seems a more popular number is 5. One lead, two backing to each side.


Not everybody speaks English...

By far the most common language is English; though in some cases (sorry Nataliya, you're really sweet but...) it is hard to recognise as being English!

On the other hand, countries like France and Spain will probably rather die and give up their country and place in history before singing in English.

As an English speaking person, there is a certain benefit to me to have the songs in English - namely that I can understand what they are about - and that benefit is going to reflected in the choice of language of the performance.
Viktoria Krantz is a talented Swedish singer. Don't understand a word of it. If Carola didn't win the Eurovision for Sweden in 1992, I wouldn't have known what her song was about, besides a translation of the title. It took me quite a while until I found out that Maja Blagdan (Croatia) wasn't singing about somebody called Sveta...

On the other hand, I would actually like to hear how the songs sound when performed in their own language. With respect to t.A.T.u's most popular song (All the things she said? something like that), the difference between the English and the Russian version is quite astonishing. Not just the simpler arrangement of the Russian one, but also in the way things are sung - all the rolling 'r's that the Russians speak.
Likewise, Shiri Maimon (Israel) had a good combination with her song part in Israeli and part in English. I'm not really a fan of the Israeli language (too guttural), but that doesn't stop me being interested in hearing how it sounds.



Over to you

This is an open kind of deal. You've read this document (now go lie down, take two paracetamol, pretend like it isn't really real...) and I'm sure you have opinions of your own.
Email me! - heyrick1973 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot- uk.

One thing I would be very interested in reading is a female perspective. This is written from a very male-oriented view, which is why I talk about girl's dresses, hair, etc and barely mention what the men are wearing. I'm afraid I'm not of the correct mind-set to look at a man and award him points as to how sexy he is... so what'd be really nice is if some female out there can look through my pictures and do like I have, only from a woman's perspective.
I'll be happy to add your thoughts right here!
Also, if you want, feel free to answer some of my points - perhaps you like a hairstyle or dress that I didn't? Perhaps you think a basic black number is a total cliché and nobody wears them these days...



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Copyright © 2006 Rick Murray