Eurovision Top 250: How the ESC250 began
The Eurovision Top 250, also known as the ESC250, is a huge event within the Eurovision fandom.
ESC250 sees fans vote for their favourite all time Eurovision songs and then spend New Year's Eve counting down the Top 250 Eurovision in a live radio broadcast.
The ESC250 countdown has been running for 15 years now and during that time it has been run by various dedicated Eurovision fan news sites.
Thanks to some very helpful Eurovision fans, we have been able to reach out to people who first created the countdown and those who now currently run it, to answer many reoccurring questions that crop up about the most popular Eurovision countdown.
We spoke to people from two media outlets that are integral to ESC250’s success within the Eurovision community: Louis Klomp (who is currently a cheese shop owner and restaurateur) from the now defunct 12points.tv and Jonathan the Editor-in-chief of the Belgian Eurovision site Songfestival.be.
How did the ESC250 begin?
Louis Klomp from 12points.tv revealed to us that the ESC250 first started in 2007:
"The top 250 actually started as a top 100 among a group of friends that celebrated New Year’s Eve together. The year after we went online and made it a top 250, where everybody actually could vote. We broadcast it on a video platform that no longer exists where we could line up the 250 YouTube clips."
The following year, the group asked ESC Radio to broadcast the countdown, and they did!
What is 12points.tv?
12points.tv is a now defunct Eurovision fan news site. It was formed by dedicated Belgian Eurovision fans back in 2005. Louis explained further:
"I joined them in 2007. We were one of the first, if not the first to film [Eurovision] rehearsals and press conferences and put them out on YouTube. We later on evolved into a general fan news site."
12points.tv grew to around a dozen people who looked after the news site and conducted many interviews with artists, which you can still find on YouTube here. The group also ran the Eurovision Top 250 poll for a decade.
12points.tv was put to rest around 2016/2017. As Louis put it, "There were too many fan sites by then."
Some members of the group went on to do work for Eurovision.tv.
Were 12points.tv the only ones involved in the ESC250?
The annual countdown kept growing in popularity.
Other Eurovision blogs and sites cooperated together to broaden the countdown's audience.
They included INFE International, OGAE International, Songfestivalweblog.nl, ilkar.blogspot.com and EurovisionBelgium.blogspot.com.
12points.tv kept up with organising the vote and countdown itself.
When was the first Eurovision Top 250 held, and who won?
The first countdown started in 2007. It was actually a countdown of just 100 Eurovision songs.
The winner of the first countdown was Finland’s 1977 Eurovision entry ‘Lapponia’ by Monica Aspelund. A bit of a surprise winner, it’s a winner from the 1970s with a very high note!
Unfortunately the full results from 2007 have been lost and longer exist. Louis said he considers the 2007 countdown as the “mother of the ESC250”.
Keen followers of the ESC250 would know that no countdown was held in 2010. So, why was there no ESC250 countdown held in 2010?
Louis confirmed that they just did not hold a countdown in 2010. They picked up the ESC250 again in 2011. It has continued every single year since.
So who took over the ESC250 countdown after 12points.tv disbanded?
The popular Belgian Eurovision fan site Songfestival.be took over the running of the ESC250. They organised the vote for the first time in 2017. The group personally knew the former organiser of the ESC250, and due to a loss of interest and time, Songfestival.be gladly stepped in.
Songfestival.be aimed to cherish the tradition of the ESC250 and also grow the countdowns popularity over the years to make it an even bigger event.
How much has the countdown grown in popularity over the last decade?
Jonathan, the Editor-in-chief of Songfestival.be, confirmed that back in 2017 when they took over they got in excess of 3,000 sets of votes. Now this year for ESC250 2022 they have surpassed the 10,000 mark for the first time! The event has grown more than three fold in just five years.
Why does the Eurovision Top 250 still play an important role within the Eurovision fandom?
Jonathan answered this very well:
"It's a very powerful tradition firmly embedded in the annual Eurovision calendar. The popularity of the vote on Twitter has helped tremendously in cementing it as an annual fixture and we are thrilled that people around the world spend their New Year’s Day listening to 250 Eurovision songs!"
‘Euphoria’ has held the No. 1 spot for a full decade. Would you like to see a new winner take the crown one day?
Jonathan from Songfestival.be shared:
"Without of course revealing anything, we believe in giving power to the people as they ultimately decide. Euphoria’s strength and dominance is unparalleled in Eurovision history, whether she will remain the #1 or not. The points divisions of the past years clearly do show that her lead over the other songs is declining progressively, so who knows what might happen soon?"
Who won the ESC250 before ‘Euphoria’?
There have actually been four previous winners of the ESC250. They are:
Over the last few months, Aussievision has showcased the full results of the first four ESC250 countdowns. You can check out all the results here:
Which 2022 songs did fans vote for in the ESC250 poll? Check out our article where we collated 200 sets of votes from fans, to see which Eurovision 2022 songs could possibly make an appearance in this years poll. Check it out here.
The ESC250 2022countdown ran by Songfestival.be and ESC Radio will begin on December 31 at 11:00am CET (December 31 at 9:00pm AEDT in Melbourne and Sydney).
We would love to thank Louis Klomp (previously from 12points.tv) and Jonathan (from Songfestival.be) for taking the time to talk to us! Also we would love to thank Arianna and Pomegranate from the online Eurovision Twitter community, Rick Jacobs and Luis (@den_vilda) previously from 12points.tv and Jonas from Songfestival.be for their assistance.
For continued updates on all the Eurovision Song Contest news follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. All links at: https://linktr.ee/aussievisionnet