Thursday 21 November 2019

Eurovision semi-final in numbers

Contestants gather on the stage at the beginning of the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Austria's capital Vienna. (AP)
Contestants gather on the stage at the beginning of the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Austria's capital Vienna. (AP)

Some of the key statistics behind last night's competition in Vienna.

:: A total of 16 countries are taking part in the first semi-final for this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Only 10 will go through to Saturday's final. Of the 16, seven are previous winners of the contest. The Netherlands has the best track record, having won four times: in 1957, 1959, 1969 and 1975. Denmark has won it three times, while Belgium, Finland, Greece, Estonia and Russia have each won it once.

:: Viewers in all 16 countries appearing in the semi-final can take part, but their votes will count towards only 50% of the total scores. Professional juries will supply the other half. In addition, viewers and juries in Australia, Austria, France and Spain can also vote, meaning that a combination of 20 countries and 20 juries will determine the outcome of the semi-final.

:: In all, 40 countries are participating in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. This is not quite the highest number to date, however. The record remains 43 in 2011. Just seven countries took part in the very first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956.

:: This is not going to be a semi-final rich with the many languages of Europe. Only two of the 16 entrants are singing in their native tongue. The other 14 are all singing in English.

:: Out of all the countries taking part in last night's semi-final, the Netherlands fared best in last year's contest, coming second and notching up an 238 points. Armenia and Hungary also did particularly well, winning 174 and 143 points respectively. In total nine of the 16 countries in last night's semi-final made it to the 2014 final.

:: Organisers of this year's contest are promising a spectacle. The stage contains 300 LED strips, 450 LED floor modules and 1,288 illuminated slabs, and has been put together using 3,225 metres of tubing and 5,000 square metres of floor space. Centrepiece on the stage will be a giant eye 43 metres wide and 14 metres high.

:: Around 800 people are involved in the production of the contest, while a further 800 volunteers have been recruited to help run the event. Some 1,500 journalists are expected to attend, and there is room for 11,000 spectators inside the venue, the Wiener Stadthalle.

:: The second semi-final will take place on Thursday, involving 17 countries, 10 of whom will go through to Saturday's final.

:: Seven countries already have a place in the final. These are the host nation Austria, the guest nation Australia, and the five biggest contributors to the European Broadcasting Union: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

:: A total of 27 countries will take part in the final: the highest number in the contest's history.

PA Media

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