The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la chanson), often known simply as Eurovision or by its initialism ESC, is an international song competition organised annually by the European Broadcasting Union. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed live and transmitted to national broadcasters via the Eurovision and Euroradio networks, with competing countries then casting votes for the other countries' songs to determine a winner. Based on the Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy since 1951, Eurovision has been held annually since 1956 (apart from 2020), making it the longest-running annual international televised music competition and one of the world's longest-running television programmes. Active members of the EBU and invited associate members are eligible to compete; as of 2023, 52 countries have participated at least once. Each participating broadcaster sends one original song of three minutes duration or less to be performed live by a singer or group of up to six people aged 16 or older. Each country awards 1–8, 10 and 12 points to their ten favourite songs, based on the views of an assembled group of music professionals and the country's viewing public, with the song receiving the most points declared the winner. Other performances feature alongside the competition, including a specially-commissioned opening and interval act and guest performances by musicians and other personalities, with past acts including Cirque du Soleil, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Mika, Rita Ora and the first performance of Riverdance. Originally consisting of a single evening event, the contest has expanded as new countries joined (including countries outside of Europe, such as Australia), leading to the introduction of relegation procedures in the 1990s, before the creation of semi-finals in the 2000s. As of 2023, Germany has competed more times than any other country, having participated in all but one edition, while Ireland and Sweden both hold the record for the most victories, with seven wins each in total. More information...

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