It's that time of the year again to watch all of Europe sing together! Once a year we get ready to watch one of Europe's longest running television shows - and below we will see why it is so popular. The dazzling costumes, powerful songs, hilarious commentary and the completely unflawed voting system…what's not to love?!
Drawing in millions of viewers every year, the contest has seen thousands of songs from a number of European countries all showing off their latest musical talents in a bid to be Europe's finest.
As we get ready for this year's European extravaganza featuring everything from the weird and the wonderful, we look back at the contests history and some of its most memorable moments.
The Contests History
In an effort to bring war-torn EU countries together, Sergio Pugliese proposed the idea of an international song contest to the European Broadcasting Union. The contest, which was based upon the Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy, was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology.
The first contest was in 1956 where it was won by the host nation, Switzerland. The seven countries that participated in this opening contest each entered two songs, but since then the rules changed to only permit one song per country.
By the end of the cold war in the early 1990's a surge of countries were lining up to take part in Europe's most loved TV show. At the turn of the century over 40 nations had participated in the contest and with each year the rules grew increasingly complex.
In 2015, Australia took part for the first time and was the first Oceania country (and only the second outside of Eurasia after Morocco) to participate. Although it was due to be a one-off guest appearance, Australia also entered in 2016 and came in at 2nd place. Expectations are high for their next entry later this year.
Acts to Remember
Over the years, the show has propelled some artists into dizzying heights of success, while others have, quite brutally, been swept under the rug. The 1974 winning entry "Waterloo" by the now world famous ABBA is the measure by which all subsequent winners must compare themselves. The song was named the competitions "greatest ever song" selling 6 million copies worldwide.
Other notable talents include Sweden's Loreen with ‘Euphoria' in 2012, Austria's Conchita Wurst with ‘Rise Like A Phoenix' in 2014, Norway's Alexander Rybank with ‘Fairytale' in 2009 and even Celine Dion with winning 1988 entry ‘Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi' for Switzerland.
It's fair to say the European song contest has united Europe, and in doing so, has given many incredible acts the platform they deserved. So why not host your own European song contest party and join in with the fun of our European Song Contest bingo. Just print the Bingo card game, look out for the common moments and get ready to shout ‘Bingo!'
Check out our European Song Contest Bingo Card below, print it out, get your friends together and play along with the contest as you watch.