Will Ireland make it Eight in 2009?

One of the premier events of the European entertainment sector is, without a doubt, the annual Eurovision Song Contest and in 2009 it will be the land of the Cossacks, Caviar and Stolichnaya Vodka that plays host to the finest vocalists and song writers of the region.

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Russia to host Eurovision 2009

Traditionally, the nation that has claimed the coveted title of the Eurovision Song contest the year before, plays host and it was Mother Russia, in full voice, that silenced all opponents with her offering of ‘Believe’. The song is a collaboration between American song writer, Jim Beanz, and local pop luminary, Dima Bilan, whose songs have reached the number one spot in Russia on more than one occasion.

Promotion of Post-War Unity

The contest itself dates back to the 1950’s when Europe was picking up the shattered pieces of a post-war society and in an effort to win back a little regional unity and solidarity, a competition to celebrate music and song was suggested. Member nations of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) were duly invited to battle it out for the honour of presenting the very best new vocal offering.

The Irish in Full Voice

Switzerland played host to the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 and went on to claim the title but it is the Irish who have claimed the Lion’s share of the prestige – they have won the title a record seven times, three of which were in consecutive years in the 1990’s – Irish Eyes sure are smiling!

The contest is transmitted live across the Eurovision Network by the EBU to all participating countries and each nation is represented by a TV broadcaster. All the songs are performed, voting takes place and the winner is duly announced. With the recent growth of participating nations, it was decided in 2004 that semi-finals be held to whittle down the entrants to the final event.

Each nation may select their favoured song by any means possible but the vast majority of countries do rely on public participation and televoting is a popular means of settling on a prospective winner!

UK right up there with the Best

The United Kingdom is hot on the heels of their northern neighbours from the Emerald Isle and songsters and divas from all over Britain have kept the UK right up there statistically. Together with France and Luxembourg, the UK has won the contest five times and has finished in the top two in 20 out of 53 starts!

But, discount the Eastern European countries at your peril – in the past ten years nations of the former Eastern Block have hogged the limelight! The May 2009 event is expected to attract over 40 nations, so predicting a winner is going to be a tough proposition!

Watch out for the latest 2009 Eurovision Song Contest odds at all the reputable bookmakers and put your money where the sweetest mouth is!


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