Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.
Every year on a certain Saturday night in May, something quite unique happens in Europe. Millions of people turn on their TVs and prepare to watch their nation compete. But this is no ordinary international competition. It has no footballs, athletes or fast cars. This is a contest based on something much more important: finding the perfect pop song.
What is the Eurovision Song Contest?
In short, the Eurovision is an enormous, televised concert which is full of fireworks, wonderful dancing, lots of colours and shiny clothes. Oh, and pop songs, of course! Each participating country sends a singer or group to perform a song live at the Eurovision semi-final. From these performances, 26 are chosen for the Saturday-night Grand Final.
Which countries participate?
Most of the participating countries are within Europe or are nearby (e.g. Israel, Azerbaijan, etc.). However, due to the popularity of the competition with TV viewers in Australia, this country has been included since 2015.
How do they choose the winner?
After the performances at the Grand Final, each country votes for the best song. TV viewers can vote using their mobile phones, but each country also has an official jury who decide 50 per cent of the votes. Obviously, it is not permitted to vote for your own country. In the end, the song with the most votes wins. The winning country will then host the Eurovision the following year.
What is the origin of the competition?
Although it might seem like a normal TV talent show like The X-Factor or The Voice, the Eurovision has quite historical origins. The Second World War ended in 1945, leaving Europe very divided. In the 1950s, the European Broadcasting Union started to think of an event which would both entertain and unite Europeans. This led to the first European song contest in 1956. It happened in Switzerland and included just seven countries. Decades later, it has grown into an enormous international event with hundreds of millions of viewers.
What are the rules?
The competition's central rule is that each song needs to be a maximum of three minutes. This is shorter than most commercial pop songs, but the organisers decided that this limit was necessary so that the entire Grand Final (including voting) can happen within three hours. While performing the song, there is another rule that the maximum number of people on the stage is six. This includes the singer(s), musicians and dancers. Songs can be in any language, even though most countries choose to sing in English.
Are there any Eurovision stars?
The competition has certainly had some success stories. The Swedish super-group ABBA won the Eurovision in 1974 and then became huge stars with hits like 'Dancing Queen' and 'Mamma Mia'. In 1988, Céline Dion won for Switzerland before finding world fame with songs like 'My Heart Will Go On' from the film Titanic. In 2006, Finnish rockers Lordi won the competition and captured the world’s imagination with their metal music and monster suits. Other winning songs which became international hits were the electro-hit 'Euphoria' by Swedish singer Loreen (2012) and 'Heroes' by another Swede, Måns Zelmerlöw (2015).
The popularity of the Eurovision has grown more and more each year. Outside of Europe and Australia, the Grand Final is now also watched by viewers in the USA and many other countries. Organisations in certain countries like China and Qatar have even expressed an interest in participating in the competition. So, who knows? Perhaps international unity will finally be achieved not through governments but through three-minute pop songs.
I really like these competition. You can enjoy new and cool songs.
And we have a lot of talanted singers in our country. They were in high positions on Eurovision last yers. But now we are descualifyde, sadly.
Eurovision is a very old contest like it was said in the article it was made more than 50 years ago. This contest in the beginning had a very good idea to unite Europe through tough times and it did its job but nowadays Eurovision contest has gotten worse year after years. Like it was written many countries that are not from Europe want to enter this contest which goes against the contest itself because this was made for Europe and not for the entire world. No one is saying that singers form outside the world should not sing and it was shown very well in last years Eurovision when Flo Rida a American singer competed for San Marino. Another problem for me is the voting system by the years it has gotten worse. Im not saying that the problem is the entire voting system but the jury because countries juries vote countries that have good relationship with each other and not countries that had good songs. A main example is Britain since Brexit in Eurovision this country in the grand finals has gotten always last place and for 2 years in a row has gotten 0 points just because the countries jury didnt vote them even if they had a decent song. There are other examples such as the Greece and Cyprus friendship where the juries give maximum points to each other for years and now it just seems normal. Next month there is Eurovision in Italy and i dont expect any changes for good. I just hope that things dont get worse than they are now.
Hello Muhammad Bagir
What you have to do in task 2 is put the sentences in order. For example, of the ideas in those sentences, the first one is the number of countries, so you put that one first.
When you move the sentences, you have to click or press on the small white hand on the right side. You click or press there to 'pick up' a sentence and then also click there to 'drop' the sentence in a new position.
Let us know if you need any more help with this.
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team