The OGAE Second Chance Contest is a visual event which was founded in 1987 and is organised by branches of OGAE, the international fan club of the Eurovision Song Contest. Four nations competed in the first contest which took place in 1987. The contest was previously a non-televised event, but evolved over the years by the usage of video tape and nowadays DVD and YouTube.
Each summer following the Eurovision Song Contest, each branch can enter one song that failed to win the country's national selection process for 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. Votes are cast by members of the OGAE clubs and are returned to the OGAE branch organising the particular year's event. Guest juries have been used to cast votes since 1993.
The contest began in 1987, when it was then known as "Europe's Favourite". Four OGAE branches competed in the first contest, coming from the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The contest quickly expanded and now contains over 20 countries competing each year. 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 takes place during the summer after the year's Eurovision Song Contest, held in every year. A video entry from each branch of OGAE is handed to each competing OGAE club. The votes are then returned to the organising OGAE branch, normally the previous year's winning branch, who then organises 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 Sanremo Music 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. In 1993 guest juries have been used in the voting of the contest. These juries are composed 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 format is repeated every year, for example in 2004 the 1985 Retrospective contest was held, and in 2005 the 1984 Retro contest was held etc. The latest contests to be held were the 1977 contest in 2012. The next will be the 1976 contest which is scheduled to take place in 2013.
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. These are listed here alongside the year in which they made their debut:
So far nine countries have won the contest over contest history. The most successful country in the contest has been OGAE Sweden, who have won the contest 13 times in total, nearly half of the contests held. The Swedish band, Alcazar, who won in 2003 and again in 2005 is the only artist to win the contest more than once.
The Guest Jury Hits contest was introduced in 2003, giving guest juries of the Retro contests the opportunity to compete in their own contest. The contest was formed as a way for OGAE branches to become juries in the Second Chance Retro Contest, with each non-competing branch selecting a hit song from their country in that year. The first contest was held in 2003, when hit songs from 1986 competed in the contest. So far nine contests have been held, with Italy winning six contests, and Ukraine, Belgium and Spain winning once. Umberto Tozzi has so far been responsible for three of Italy's wins.