13 May, 2016
This is What's Trending Today...
The finals of the Eurovision Song Contest are taking place this weekend.
So do not be surprised to see the hashtag #Eurovision trending on social media, along with the names of the top performers.
The finals will be held on Saturday in Stockholm, Sweden. Singers from 26 countries are competing in the event this year.
Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow won the contest in 2015, with the song "Heroes." The winning country gets to hold the contest the following year.
The show is broadcast worldwide. An estimated 200 million people, mostly from Europe, will be watching. The show is also popular among Americans, Chinese and Australians. It is so popular in Australia that last year, Eurovision officials even let an Australian group enter the competition. The group placed 5th in the finals.
Australia will be represented again this year. In fact, Australia is a favorite to win the event, with Dami Im singing "Sound of Silence."
Russia's entry is another favorite in the finals. Sergey Lazarev will be performing the song "You Are the Only One."
Other favorites are France's Amir and Ukraine's jazz artist Jamala. She is the first Crimean Tatar ever to perform at Eurovision.
Everyone watching the finals on Saturday has a chance to vote for their favorite performance. Television or online viewers can leave their vote by telephone or text messaging. Viewer votes make up 50 percent of the total. Eurovision judges make up the other 50 percent of the final vote.
This is the 61st Eurovision Song Contest. The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in 1956 in the Swiss city of Lugano.
Up until 1999, artists were required to sing in their national language. Nowadays, most artists perform in English. In fact, the Associated Press news service reported that 39 of this year's 42 entries are performed mostly in English.
And that's What's Trending Today.
I'm Dan Friedell.
Ashley Thompson wrote this story for VOA Learning English with materials from the Associated Press. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
viewer – n. a person who watches television
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