Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is one of the truly remarkable European television programs transmitted live via the Eurovision satellite network. Some 100 million viewers in Europe and throughout the world watch the program.
ESC is rich in tradition and heritage, dating back to 1956. Inspired by the popular Italian San Remo Festival, the ESC idea was born during a meeting of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in Monaco in 1955, and adopted in Rome shortly after. The brainchild of the brilliant idea was Marcel Baison, French representative of the EBU. The contest would be to help foster European unity after the Cold War and to test the limits of live television broadcast technology.
The first competition was held on May 24 in the city of Lugano, Switzerland in 1956, (headquarters of the EBU is in Geneva, Switzerland) Seven countries – Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxemburg and Italy participated in the contest. Over the years as the contest progressed, other countries were added. The contest has grown and expanded, and after the fall of the USSR, the number of countries eligible to compete skyrocketed. The participation level rose to pass 40 nations at the end of the 20th century.
The winner of the 1956 Eurovision Contest became Lys Assia (Switzerland) with her song “Refrain.” Some participants of Eurovision have led successful careers in their home countries but very few were able to go on to great fame as a result of their participation in the contest. In fact, in the history of the competition, ABBA (Sweden) with song “Waterloo” won the 1974 competition, Celine Dion (Switzerland) with her song “Ne partez pas sans moi” won the Eurovision 1988, Toto Cutugno (Italy) with the song “Insieme” won the 1990 contest, etc. have ever attained international success.
At first, organizers of the competition instituted a rule that countries could only submit entries in their national language. However, in recent years, the language rule has been relaxed and countries are now free to choose which language to sing in.
The main rule of ESC is that the country, which wins the competition, wins the right to host it the following year.
GEORGIA AT EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
Georgia took part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 2007, when Sopho Khalvashi ranked the 12th with her song “My Story”.
(Helsinki, Finland - 2007 Eurovision Song Contest – Final)
In 2008, Diana Ghurtskaya improved that accomplishment by one position, reaching the 11th place with “Peace Will Come.”
(Belgrade, Serbia - 2008 Eurovision Song Contest – Final)
(Video clip of the song - “Peace Will Come”)
In 2009 "Stephane & 3G “with the play on words song “Put In Disco” were selected to represent the Georgian entry to the ESC through Georgia’s national competition. The song caused much controversy as it was perceived to contain political references to former Russian President and current PM Vladimir Putin in the lyrics.
EBU has offered GPB- 1st Channel to re-write the lyrics of the entry song or select another song for the contest. Georgia announced its decision to withdrawal from ESC 2009.
(Stephane & 3G won Georgian National Final, with the entry ”Put In Disco”)
Sofia Nizharadze, Georgian contender at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) ranked the 9th place in Oslo, Norway.
(Oslo, Norway – 2010 Eurovision Song Contest – Final )
(Video clip of the song - “Shine“)
Eldrine, band representing Georgia at Eurovision Song Contest 2011 ended the contest with the 9th place in Düsseldorf, Germany.
(Düsseldorf , Germany - 2011 Eurovision Song Contest – Final)
(Video clip of the song - “One More Day” )
Anri Jokhadze, Georgian participant of 2012 Eurovision Song Contest dropped out of the contest. Anri’s entry 'I'm a Joker' was not qualified in the best 10 songs in the second semi-final held at Crystal Hall in Baku.
(Baku , Azerbaijan - 2012 Eurovision Song Contest – Second Semi - Final)
(Video clip of the song - “I'm A Joker“ )
The 58th Eurovision Song Contest will take place on 14th, 16th and 18th of May 2013 in the Swedish city of Malmö, after Loreen won the 2012 contest with the song Euphoria.
(2012 Eurovision Winner)
Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) has announced that Sophie Gelovani and Nodi Tatishvili will join forces to represent Georgia at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. GPB used its right to name the Georgian participants this time in an internal selection, without revealing contender through the National Competition.
The 58th Eurovision Song Contest will take place on 14th, 16th and 18th of May 2013 in the Swedish city of Malmö.