Once more, musicians from Europe and around the world will be going head to head on Saturday, hoping to take home the glass microphone of the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Last year, the musical group Kalush Orchestra raised the number of Ukrainian Eurovision wins to three, bringing the country on a par with Italy, Denmark and Norway.
As the following chart shows, Ireland holds the title for the most Eurovision wins of all time. According to the competition’s official website, the Emerald Isle has won the event on seven separate occasions and is the only nation to have won three years in a row. Ireland’s last victory came when Eimear Quinn was crowned the winner with the song "The Voice" in 1996.
Sweden follows in a close second place with six victories in total, the first of which was won by ABBA back in 1974. The UK, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg all come in joint third place with five wins each. Bookmakers say that there’s a high likelihood that Sweden could join Ireland in the top position this year, with the country’s Loreen predicted to win.
Started back in 1956, Eurovision is supposedly a non-political event, which was created to bring different countries together in a post WWII world. Broadcasters and presenters are not meant to raise political or commercial interests throughout the show. However, in reality, politics seep into the event each year, with countries voting for their neighbors based on a show of good will or shunning other countries by leaving them out of the running.
This year, Eurovision is introducing a number of changes to the voting system including the additional Rest of World vote to “strengthen the audience’s power in influencing the results.” This means people watching in non-participating countries will be able to vote online.