7 Fun facts about the Eurovision Song Contest – and places to watch
Ever wondered how many different nationalities walk around campus? Well, about 130, since one in five students at Erasmus University is these days from another country. No better way to start a conversation in such a global environment than to bring up the Eurovision Song Contest. So, here are 7 fun facts to share with your fellow students from Italy, Portugal or Ukraine – plus some cool places to watch the show.
1. Italy will win the Eurovision Song Contest this year held in Ukraine, bookmakers predict. In 1980 Italy boycotted the competition, saying it was too old-fashioned.
2. If Italy doesn’t win, Portugal’s chances are good. Even though singer Salvador Sobral has a weak heart and doctors told him he was only allowed to leave the country for a week. If he falls ill, his sister will take over.
3. The first time the Netherlands participated was in 1956. Although countries could then enter two songs, the Netherlands did with only one: ‘De vogels van Holland’, meaning ‘the birds of the Netherlands’. This year three sisters that call themselves OG3NE (see if you can pronounce that properly) represent the Dutch. Bookmakers put them 9th in the rankings.
4. ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish pop band won in 1974 even though they got ‘zero points’ from the UK.
5. A Eurovision song cannot be longer than three minutes.
6. Nowadays it is not allowed to have more than six people on stage (including backup singers and dancers). Until 1971 the limit was three.
7. Ireland holds the record of most victories: seven. The country won in 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996.
Where to watch?
The second semi-finals are broadcasted on Thursday May 11 and the finals take place on Saturday May 13. This is where you’ll find people singing along and watching the show on big screens:
Loge90, Schiedamsedijk 4
Regenboog, Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 148a
Strano, Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 154
Songfestivalgala, all-inclusive dinner €75 on May 13 in Restaurant Brazzo, Boezemstraat 188