The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Nations Face Off in Annual Eurovision Contest


The most musical time of year is here.

Eurovision Song Contest is an annual singing competition, where over 30 countries compete against each other with a variety of different genres and languages. Especially popular in European countries, many families each year excitedly wait the event that falls in the late spring of every year. Last year, Swedish singer and songwriter Loreen won for her song “Tattoo,” with singers from Finland and Israel coming in 2nd and 3rd.

On May 7, 2024, the 68th annual Eurovision starts off the competition with the first semi-final match. With 37 countries participating across the two semi-finals, taking place on the 7 and 9 of May, 26 will compete in the grand final taking place on the 11 of May in Malmö, Sweden.

This year, 15 countries will participate in the first semi-finals, with only 10 making it through, and 16 will participate in the second semi-finals again with only 10 making it to the final. That makes 20, plus the 6 already pre-qualified countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and host country Sweden, competing for the grand title.

Eurovision started in 1956, becoming one of the first ever publicly televised shows to an international audience. It was inspired by an Italian music festival, Sanremo, and has since become an international phenomenon that millions tune in to every year.

According to, “the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 reached 162 million people over the 3 live shows.”

Juliana Castelo, a sophomore who has lived in multiple international countries, is an avid Eurovision enjoyer.

“[I love how] each country performs in their native language allowing me to hear new types of music,” she said. “The commentators from each country integrate their humor and culture into their viewing of each country’s performance [enhancing the value of the competition].”

The actual competition might be unknown by some worldwide, but almost everybody knows some of the bands that started right on the Eurovision stage.

Artists and bands including Celine Dion, Olivia Newton-John, and ABBA all got their start when they performed for their respective countries at Eurovision.

Despite the feel good nature of the contest, there is an underlying controversy having an impact on who competes.

According to Alex Marshall’s New York Times article written on February 22, 2024, Israel’s submission “October Rain” “might simply be a ballad about dreary fall weather. But in the charged atmosphere following the Hamas-led attacks on Israel of Oct. 7, the title could also signal a lament about that tragedy, or a rallying call to stand firm against terrorism.”

October 7, 2023, marked the deadliest Hamas attack on Israel. Around 1,200 people died, marking the most devastating loss of life in one day since the founding of Israel in 1948.

Marshall also wrote, “Since Eurovision began in 1956, the European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the contest, has forbidden songs that make political statements, insisting that the competition should unify, rather than divide.”

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