I posted about the ESC in the Friday Fun thread, and then started thinking about it more deeply in the sense of "Can it even be explained?", so I jotted down 9 different aspects of it.
In 2023 there were 37 countries sending an artist or a band performing one song, with the assorted light show and/or pyrotechnics. Apart from the Big Five – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK, which automatically participate – and the last year’s winning country, i.e., the host country, most of the other nations will have to first pass a semifinal, organized on the Tuesday and Thursday of the ESC week, to participate on the Grand Final, which is on Saturday. The results of the semifinals and the Grand Final are decided by a combination of televoting and juries, using a complicated scoring mechanism partly explained below.
ESC has gone on for 67 years now, starting from a contest for a few West European Nations and suddenly exploding in size when the Wall fell, Yugoslavia and Soviet Union crumbled to pieces and suddenly tens of Eastern European nations poured in. It is this Eastern explosion that fully set the stage for how Eurovision evolved, as these nations brought in a lot of new interesting political interrelations and a new sense of showmanship and extravaganza, quickly embraced by the Eurovision community.