From Brit Hit to Brit Miss - it's time to get excited about Eurovision

Blog > Flashback
20 May • 6 min read

It’s the world’s longest running international TV contest, watched by around 200 million people across Europe every year. It’s birthed some of the biggest pop acts ever. That’s right, it’s the Eurovision Song Contest!

This week sees the highly anticipated return of the extravagant event which has introduced the world to the likes of ABBA and Celine Dion. Just where on earth would we be without them eh?

A show this good should cost a small fortune to watch - but it doesn’t! Now, we know we’ve just been allowed back out again, however this Saturday certainly calls for a night in. Every second of this year's Eurovision Grand Finale will be free to watch on BBC One. Now that’s what we call a bargain.

Last year was the first time the competition has failed to go ahead since its inception in 1956 and how we missed its joyous simplicity. Not forgetting of course that it’s the perfect excuse for a bit of a (socially distanced) get-together!

Brit Hit or Brit Miss

After a staggering 62 appearances, no one can deny that the UK doesn’t love a good go at the Eurovision Song Contest. However, it’s safe to say our record doesn’t match our love for the competition... despite winning the competition an impressive 5 times, our last victory came all the way back in 1997. Could this be the year that changes? We definitely hope so.

The UK’s Eurovision 2021’s hopes rest on the wonderfully talented James Newman - and we’re right behind you, James! We hope he can follow in the footsteps of legendary British winners such as Lulu and Sandie Shaw. He’ll need our support though. And we’ll definitely be tuning in, drink in one hand, makeshift microphone in the other. It’s sure to be unmissable! Don’t forget to check out James’ official song so you can memorise the lyrics before this weekend’s show. It’s available on YouTube just - here!

Unfortunately it hasn’t all been plain sailing for us over the years - does anyone remember Jemini? Thought not. The duo earned the infamous “nul points” back in 2003 which we don’t think needs much translating. To date, that remains the only time the UK has failed to register any points, and hopefully there won’t be a repeat of this on Saturday!

If we’re totally honest, the performance hasn’t aged too well either. The aptly named “Cry Baby” can also be found on YouTube - here, but good luck sticking around for all 3 minutes 14 seconds!.

Get into the mood

Now we’ve set the scene, it’s time to give you another slice of what’s to come on Saturday night by reliving one of the most memorable contestants of all time. You’ve guessed it, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Known to their millions of adoring fans simply as: ABBA.

Not only are they the biggest act to ever come from the contest, they are one of the most well-known artists in the history of the music industry. Their back catalogue is endless!

And you can relive the landmark moment of the 1974 event over on YouTube by clicking on the link - here!

Whether this year’s event produces another ABBA or not, we are in for a treat nevertheless. It’s the pure joy and escapism we all need right now, and did we mention it’s free to watch on your trusty Manhattan TV box?

Which other contestants have had you on your feet in the past? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or if you have more to say, email us - we'd love to hear from you!