I’ve added the names of voting spokespeople from their first year, 1957, to the present day – so now we can pull out some stats and facts.
Caveats: some of the sources for earlier spokespeople have conflicting information, so I’ve done my best to untangle it, and there are 30 occasions for which I have no data (spokespeople for Denmark 1963; Germany 1980-82; Luxembourg 1960-61, 1963-65, 1967-75 and 1992-93; Malta 1975; and Monaco 1959-1970). If you can fill in any gaps or have any corrections, please let me know.
Spokespeople who became hosts
Eleven people who gave their countries’ votes have gone on to host a subsequent Contest – 10% of all hosts.
- Helga Vlahović, who co-presented Yugoslavia’s only time hosting the Contest, in 1990, was the country’s jury spokesperson in 1969, 1974 and 1981.
- Israel’s 1999 host Yigal Ravid announced their votes in the year before.
- Renārs Kaupers of Brainstorm gave Latvia’s votes in 2001 before hosting the Contest in 2003.
- Korhan Abay, who hosted the 2004 Contest, read Turkey’s scores in 1990 and 1992.
- Pavlo Shylko – who also wrote the lyrics to Tina Karol’s Show Me Your Love – hosted 2005 in Ukraine having been their spokesperson in 2004.
- Jovana Janković hosted in Belgrade in 2008 having given Serbia & Montenegro’s unique non-participant votes in 2006.
- Leyla Aliyeva revealed Azerbaijan’s votes in 2008 and presented from Baku in 2012.
- Copenhagen 2014’s Lise Rønne previously announced the Danish votes in 2011.
- Filomena Cautela, one of the four hosts of the 2018 Contest, was the Portuguese spokesperson the previous year.
- Similarly, Lucy Ayoub from Tel Aviv 2019 gave Israel’s votes in 2018.
- And 2020/21 host and two-time entrant Edsilia Rombley has given the scores for the Netherlands on three occasions: in 1999, in 2015, and – following her failure to qualify for the final that year, in 2007!
The first performer to become a spokesperson
Edsilia nearly leads us on the next question. Spokespeople initially tended to be TV station employees, radio presenters, commentators, newsreaders and the like, calling in their votes unseen. So who was the first entrant to go on to announce a country’s votes? And what about the first winner?
The answer is Luxembourgish singer Camillo Felgen. He represented his country in 1960 and 1962 and went on to call in their jury’s scores in 1966.
It was nearly 30 years before another entrant gave their country’s votes, when Switzerland’s 1994 scores were announced by their 1991 singer Sandra Simó.
But since 1996, every Contest has featured at least one former entrant calling with the votes. In 2019, no fewer than 11 of the jury spokespeople were prior entrants, the earliest being Izhar Cohen from 1978 and 1985.
The first winner to present her country’s votes was Corry Brokken, who did so for the Netherlands in 1997 – and only a few minutes later, Marie Myriam did the same for France. Corry Brokken also hosted the 1976 Contest, making her the first entrant and first winner to present in a subsequent year.
Who were the most frequent spokespeople?
Over the years we’ve come to recognise familiar faces like Alexis Kostalas of Greece. So who’s given their country’s votes most often?
It may not be a surprise that the answer by some margin is Colin Berry, who announced the United Kingdom’s votes on 24 occasions.
Michel Stocker of Switzerland is the runner-up with 20 occasions, followed by Sverre Christophersen of Norway with 18.
The highest woman on the list is Anna Partelidou of Cyprus, who is sixth with 13 occasions.
Alexis Kostalas, in case you’re wondering, presented the Greek votes 11 times – which is a lot of occasions to have to say “12 points to Cyprus” with a straight face.
Which countries have been the most consistent?
In other words, which countries have had the fewest number of spokespeople per year participating?
Albania has had only three spokespeople across 16 Contests so is the clear leader with 5.3 years per spokesperson.
Next is Turkey with 10 spokespeople over 34 Contests (3.4 y/s), Luxembourg and Austria with 3.3 y/s, and Greece with 3.1 y/s.
The most fickle countries are Andorra and Serbia & Montenegro, who switched up the spokesperson every time they took part, followed by Latvia with 19 spokespeople for 20 Contests.
And finally… what’s the most simultaneous spokespeople a country has had?
Three! On two occasions, a country’s votes have been given by three people at once – when Alcazar, in a trio phase, announced Sweden’s scores in 2014 and when O’G3NE did so for the Netherlands in 2018.