The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual singing competition held in Europe first held in 1956. It is open to any country that is a member of the European Broadcasting Union and each country submits one song to be performed on live television. These countries also vote for a winner and each country awards points (1-8, 10 and 12) for their favorite act (excluding their own act). Currently, the final votes are determined by a 50-50 combination of public votes via the telephone or SMS and a panel of music experts. These votes are delivered by presenters on live television and once this is completed the act with the most votes is officially crowned the Eurovision Song Contest winner.
Who Won the First Eurovision Song Contest
The winner of the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 was Lys Assia who represented the host country Switzerland. She performed the song “Refrain” which was co-written by Géo Voumard and Émile Gardaz. Assia performed “Refrain” in French, but also performed “Das alte Karussell” in German. This occurred because each country was allowed two entries for the first year.
Assia again represented Switzerland in 1957 and 1958, but failed to win on those occasions. At the age of 85 she entered a song for national selection in the 2012 contest, but came 8th.
Did you know?
The votes for the first contest were never disclosed to the public and there is some controversy regarding the result. Firstly, the jury members appointed by each country were allowed to vote for the song from their own country. Secondly, the Luxembourg jury didn’t make it in time and the Swiss jury was allowed an extra vote in their place!