Monday, 1 November 2010

The Second Chance Contest/The Retrospective Contest

The OGAE Second Chance Contest is a video event organized between branches of OGAE, the international fan club of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Each branch can enter one song that failed to win the country's national selection to compete in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. The members of each club choose amongst the songs that did not win and select one to represent the club in the event.

The contest began in 1987, when it was then known as Europe's Favourite. Four OGAE branches competed in the first contest, coming from Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The contest quickly expanded and now contains over 20 countries competing per contest. Due to the nature of some countries and national finals it is a common occurrence for countries to sporadically compete in the contest.

The contest begins during the summer after the year's Eurovision Song Contest. A video of the branch's entry is handed to each competing club. The votes are then returned to the organizing OGAE branch, normally the previous year's winning branch, who then organizes the final. The method of voting has developed since the contests interception, from audio-tape in the contest's beginnings to the use of video tape and nowadays by DVD and Youtube.

Previously it had been known for non-televised national final entries to compete in the Second Chance Contest. This occurred from 1989 to 1991 when OGAE Spain entered songs known to have been entered into the country's internal selection process. In 1990, 1991, 1998 and 1999 OGAE Italy competed in the Second Chance Contest, entering the winning songs of the Italian San Remo Festival, known to be the basis for the creation of the Eurovision Song Contest. After 1999 a new rule was introduced allowing only songs from televised national finals to compete in the Second Chance Contest. This has led some branches ineligible to compete for many years due to no national final being held in the country. Participation in the Second Chance Contest requires competing branches to have had a televised national final held in their country for the year's Eurovision Song Contest. So far 37 countries have been represented at the contest at least once.

In 1993 guest juries have been used in the voting of the contest. These juries comprise of branches that are ineligible to compete in the contest due to no national final being held in their country.

From 2003 it was decided to hold Retrospective Contests each year containing songs from contests prior to 1987. In 2003 the first contest was held, containing songs that failed to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest 1986. This is repeated every year to the same way, for example in 2004 the 1985 Retrospective contest was held, and in 2005 the 1984 Retro contest was held etc. The latest contest to be held was the 1979 contest, held in 2010, with plans for the 1978 contest currently in place for 2011.

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