Magazine Eurovision

What is Eurovision?
For those who don’t know, Eurovision is an annual song competition held among most approximately 40 (slight variation each year) European countries - technically those countries that belong to the European Broadcasting Union. It has been running continuously since 1956 making it one of the longest running television programs in history! For many countries, it is a very popular event with hundreds of millions of people tuning in every year.

A few more background facts
Each country selects their own entrant; this can either be a band or a solo artist who performs one song live on the show. The winner is chosen by phone-in votes, the stipulation being that you can’t vote for your own country. The winning country gets to host the event the next year, a great honor.  

Famous winners
For most winners, the prestige of top selection does not bring fame, at least not international fame. Despite this there have been some big careers launched at Eurovision including, ABBA, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias and the UK band Bucks Fizz.  

Icelanders LOVE Eurovision
Iceland was fairly late to compete in Eurovision, having made their debut in 1986. But Icelanders hit the ground running and quickly gained a fervent passion for this song contest. Each year, there is much conversation and anticipation about Iceland’s upcoming entrant for that year and that band or person’s chances. Parties are planned all over the city and on the night of the final event, the streets will be empty. Sadly though, passion has not translated into victory. Historically, Iceland has had fairly mixed results and has never placed higher than second. Being a “glass half full” kind of country, most Icelanders take pride in this achievement which is not insubstantial given our tiny population - a lot smaller than some other’s country’s capital city. But, like a city with an also-ran sporting team, we remain eternally hopeful always looking to next year for that illusive prize.

Eurovision 2014
Last year, Denmark won with the song “Only Teardrops” which was sung by Emmelie de Forest. The competition was held in Malmo, Sweden which, of course, means that Sweden won the previous year. The 2014 Eurovision contest will be held in Copenhagen and broadcast on May 6th.  Iceland’s entrant this year is a band named Pollapönk with their song, “No Prejudice.”

If you are planning to be in Iceland around this time, we invite you to stay with us at one of our family of affordable Iceland hotels (link to home page).  Maybe you’ll return home with a catchy Eurovision song in your head – happens to us too. Cheers!

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