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Music

The Eurovision Song Contest in numbers

The Eurovision Song Contest attracts many types of people, including numbers and trivia freaks. Here is a sample of statistics garnered from ESC history, some important, some obscure, and some utterly meaningless.

0: total number of points won altogether in Eurovision history by Andorra (participating six times) and the Czech Republic (four times).

2: times Germany placed first (in 1982 with Nicole's "Ein bisschen Frieden" and 2010 with Lena's "Satellite").

3: times a single singer has won the ESC (Johnny Logan of Ireland).

3.5: hours it will take until the winner is announced at the upcoming ESC Finale on May 14.

5: countries with the best odds to win in 2016, according to betting agents cited in the London newspaper "The Telegraph": Russia, Ukraine, France, Australia, Sweden.

6: different systems used over the course of Eurovision history to select a winner.

7: times the most successful country (Ireland) has won the competition, followed by Sweden (6) and Great Britain, France and Luxembourg (5 each).

11: number of times Norway has placed last, that dubious honor followed by Belgium (10), Finland (9) and Austria and Germany (7 each).

Nicole in 1982, Eurovision Song Contest, Copyright: dpa - Bildfunk

Nicole's 1982 winning ballad was written by Ralph Siegel, who composed 20 other songs for the contest

16: minimum years of age for an onstage Eurovision performer.

21: times German songwriter and composer Ralph Siegel has participated. In 1982, he won with "Ein bisschen Frieden," sung by Germany's Nicole.

24: number of ESC winners who sang in English. 14 of them sang in French.

27: ranking at which Germany landed at the ESC finale in 2015, i.e., bottom of the heap, sharing that ignominious status with Austria.

34: times zero points have been awarded to a country.

34: times Germany has made it into the top 10 at Eurovision finales.

39.6: percent TV audience share, attained across 40 markets, for the ESC finale in 2015, over double the average normal share for prime time viewing. 95.5 percent of Icelanders were watching that year, while 85.6 percent of the Swedish TV audience watched as their candidate made it to the top.

40: cameras on location in the Stockholm Globe Arena on May 14 to broadcast the event to the world.

43: record number of countries participating in a particular year (2008 and 2011).

51: countries have participated over the history of the song contest.

60: highest number of times a particular country has participated (Germany, which has missed only one year). France has been in the show 59 times, Belgium 58.

100: minutes the first ESC show lasted, in 1956.

138: number of times the word "la" (if you can call it a word) turns up in the song "La La La," sung in 1968 by Spain's Massiel.

143: kilometers of television cable laid in Stockholm's Globe Arena for the live transmission on May 14.

180: number of seconds an ESC song may not exceed in length.

200: highest average points over ESC history earned by a country (Serbia & Montenegro), followed by Australia (196, although the country has taken place only once thus far, so it's an average of one) and Azerbaijan (146).

Musician Alexander Rybak in Oslo, Copyright: picture alliance/Scanpix NTB/L. Åserud

This artist obtained the most points ever: Norway's Alexander Rybak in 2009

387: number of points awarded to the most successful Eurovision artist ever (Norway's Alexander Rybak in 2009). Sweden's Loreen took 372 points in 2012 and Måns Zelmerlöw, coming from the same country, took 365 in 2015. That would point to a trend in recent years towards clear winners.

1,000th: song in contest history sung by Brian Kennedy from Ireland in 2006: "Every Song is a Cry for Love". He made it to 10th place. The number of songs has meanwhile passed 1,400.

1643: year of birth of French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier, the main theme of whose "Te Deum" serves as the official melody of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which hosts the Eurovision Song Contest every year.

1966: year in which the rule was introduced that each contestant had to sing in his country's native tongue. The rule was later scrapped; now non-English songs are rare. The trend towards English motivates record companies to enter successful artists in the competition.

ABBA,Grand Prix d'Eurovison de la Chanson 1974, Copyright: Olle Lindeborg/AFP/Getty Images

ABBA won in 1974

1969: year in which there were four winners, after which the point awarding system was reformed.

1974: year that the act won that went on to have the greatest success (ABBA).

1975: year in which the 12-point system was introduced.

1994: year that saw the most impressive entry by a country completely new to the contest, by Poland. The song "To nie ja!", sung in Dublin by Edyta Górniak, made it to second place.

2015: year in which the ESC entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest running annual music television music competition.

2016: year in which the ESC Finale is broadcast live to the United States for the first time ever. The show begins at 3:00 p.m. in the eastern states. It is being transmitted by Logo, a cable TV network that gears its programming primarily towards members of the LGBT community.

2016: year of the latest reform in the ESC point awarding system. Now, rather than each country combining its jury vote and national television vote, converting the two into points and announcing them individually, the jury rankings will be announced first, and the televoting results later. It is believed that the new system will introduce more suspense on the evening of the finale and will make it improbable for a country to go away with zero points (or so it is hoped in Germany, after last year's disaster). That, at least, is what they think at present - until the system is reformed yet again.

2,645: the factor by which an audience vote in the little country of San Marino outweighs one from Germany, due to the population difference and the fact that each country is given equal voting rights.

4,128: total points going in 60 contest years to the most successful ESC participating country (Sweden). That's followed by 3,849 (Great Britain) and 3,292 (Ireland). Germany has garnered 3,064 points over the years, putting it in fifth place.

38,000: record size of an ESC live audience, in Copenhagen's Parken Stadium in 2001.

180,000,000: estimated number of viewers per year. 197,000,000 watched in 2015, two million more than the year before.

in the billions: number of total viewings in Eurovision history.

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