Does love always win? Eurovision in numbers

Eurovision 2014 will be hitting our screens again this Saturday. Armenia is the bookies' favourite, but which country has won the most? And what's the recipe for success?

 

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Whether you love it, hate it, or enjoy it “ironically” (go you), there’s no denying it: Eurovision is a unique spectacle. Now, some might say it’s tackier than an airport gift shop, but this seems to miss the point (as in, that's the point, isn't it?)

This Saturday 26 countries will take to the stage in Copenhagen for the 59th iteration of Europe's biggest karaoke party. The night will be beamed across the continent, and watched by tens of millions. And once all the votes are finally counted (after a cheery, albeit torturous, process), the winning act will be garlanded with at least 15 minutes of Euro-fame.

Recent winners of the competition have predominantly come from Eastern Europe, which is probably why Nigel Farage has refused to compete. But this hasn’t always been the case (at least regarding Eastern Europe).

They might now be more likely to get nil points than first place, but the most successful countries to compete in Eurovision are all mostly from the West.

Countries who have won Eurovision the most times

 

Only six countries haven’t won the competition: Portugal, Malta, Romania, Iceland, Hungary and Cyprus.

When Terry Wogan quit as the BBC’s Eurovision commentator in 2008, it seemed like the final curtain for its popularity in the UK. But since then it has become increasingly popular among Brits, which has led to a boom in Eurovision costume parties (where each guest must come dressed as a different competing country)

UK viewing figures since 2009

The bookies’ favourite for this year’s competition is Aremenia’s Aram MP3, who will be singing “Not Alone”. It might seem like your standard Eurovision cheese to begin with but get this - around two minutes in, it turns into a banging dubstep “tune”. Who said Europeans were behind on the times? Rock and roll!

However, despite having the best odds, Aram MP3 might not have the winning formula lyrically. We looked at the most used words in every winning Eurovision song (below). The word “alone” only has only had 16 appearances since 1956.

Most-used words in winning songs

Click here to view the full version

The word “love”, on the other hand, has been referenced 240 times in winning songs since the start of the competition, but doesn’t get a single mention by Aram MP3. 

Worringly for the UK, our entry for this year is also loveless, and doesn't even have a single "light", "rock" or "heart" (although the historically less popular "hearts" does pop up once).

Although if it's any comfort, last year's Danish winner Emmelie De Forest didn't bother including any of them either.

So will first place go to the Armenian favourites, or will Molly surprise us all and take the top spot? There's been greater upsets in Eurovision history - in 1969  Spain, Holland, France and the UK were all awarded first place.

If I had to guess, my money would be on Denmark triumphing again. Their entrant is a 21-year-old called Basim, who will be singing "Cliché Love Song". A song about love but geared towards the cynical - what could be more appropriate for Eurovision?

 

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