Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Ireland holds record for most Eurovision wins


Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest the most times out of any contestant, according to the competitio­n’s official website. The country has won the event on seven separate occasions, and is the only country to have won three years in a row. Sweden follows in a close second place with six victories in total, succeeded by the UK, France, the Netherland­s, and Luxembourg in joint third place with five wins each.

The 2022 contest is hosted by Italy and will be held at the PalaOlimpi­co in Turin, with semi-finals on May 10 and 12, and the finals on Saturday, May 14.

Cyprus is taking part with ‘Ela’ written by a team headed by Alex Papaconsta­ntinou and performed by Greek singer Andromachi.

To date, Cyprus has participat­ed in the Eurovision Song Contest 37 times since the island made its debut in 1981 with ‘Monika’. Its best placing was in 2018 with flaming Eleni Foureira finishing second with “Fuego”.

2020 marked the first year since the show began that there was no winner due to the show being cancelled over the pandemic. In 2021, it was held in Rotterdam and was seen by 183 million viewers. This year the event will be held in the Italian city of Turin. Despite its name, any country in the world can apply to join the competitio­n, so long as they are a part of the European Broadcasti­ng Union. In all, 40 countries will be taking part this year, including Australia, Morocco, Armenia and Israel.

Started back in 1956, Eurovision is supposedly a nonpolitic­al event, which was created to bring different countries together in a post WWII world. Broadcaste­rs and presenters are not meant to bring up 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, Russia was refused entry to the contest, while Ukraine has been touted to win, with the bookies calling 44% odds in their favour, according to Eurovision­world. The country has won the contest twice before, once in 2004 with “Wild Dances” by Ruslana and again in 2016 with the song “1944” by Jamala.

Russia criticised the latter win for being too political, as it was about Soviet oppression of the ethnic Tatar people from Crimea. This was disputed by the European Broadcasti­ng Union, who stated that Jamala could remain in the competitio­n, tweeting on 9 March 2016: “the title & lyrics of the song don’t contain political speech and don’t breach Eurovision Rules.”

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