There is so many countries now in the competition that its split up into a semi-final and a final! Each country has their own selection process where the citizens vote out of a choice of songs of who to represent them. Then it goes through. The UK, Spain, France and Germany put the most funding into the EBU and basically fund the entire contest so they are automatically through to the final of the competition each year. In the semi-final 28 countries battle it out to be in the final, and the top 10 go through to the final, plus the big 4 and also the top 10 finishing countries of the year before, so there is then 24 countries in the final. Each country plays their song live and then voting is done by televoting and sms (traditionally each country had a panel, like the Oscars and there is still a panel in case the voting linguistics in that country collapses).
This years show was in Helsinki in Finland after Finland won last year (the winner hosts the next years show, which is bad if you are quite a poor country and have to host it, or if you are Ireland who have won the most times and have had to pay each time to host it!). I think the theme this year was transvestites and gender bending there was so many entries which used this theme!
I loved our entry this year!
they are were so fabulous, camp and cheesy. I felt it really suited everything about the song contest. Its fun, its cheesy, its not serious classical music competing. I loved the song! We came second last with 19 points! Only Malta and Ireland love us! Ireland came last but had a truly awful song.
Serbian (possibly) lesbians with 268 points.
In previous years its been said the whole contest is political. eg people are not voting for the UK because of the Iraq war and supporting George Bush and I have agreed with that. We last won in 1997! But in shock news I have changed my mind this year. Some of the other countries also supported America and Bush in Iraq, including Poland and others who were not affected. I don't think its deliberately political, I think they just vote for their neighbours and countries like the UK and the old Western Europe is ignored in the voting, rather that deliberate malice. Also they choose entries who are locally very popular who all the former USSR countries say know.
All the press and UK media are now attacking our entry as being awful. Well the UK public choose that song out of a selection of lots of different types of song as their favourite. The same thing happens every year now since 2003, we do terribly and our entry is attacked by all the British press/ media. I like the United Europe thing but The contest needs to change to be a fair contest