Editorials & Opinion

What’s in a date? Analysing previous Eurovision finals hosted on 18 May…

Earlier this week, it was finally revealed that the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest would be hosted in Tel Aviv, the second most populous city in Israel. In addition, it was announced that the contest would take place on 14, 16 and 18 May. This won’t be the first time a Eurovision final has taken place on 18 May. In fact, it will be the third time! So what’s in a date? Just as we did last year, let’s take a look back at the two previous finals to take place on 18 May… 18 May: A Eurovision history The first ever Eurovision Song Contest took place in May. The Swiss city of Lugano hosted the 1956 contest on Thursday 24 May. Nevertheless, the contest wouldn’t be held in May again until 1977 when London hosted the contest on Saturday 7 May. However, on this occasion, the contest was actually scheduled to take place in early April. Yet, due to a strike by BBC cameramen and technicians, the contest had to be postponed for a month. Therefore, it was in Luxembourg in 1984 when Eurovision was finally scheduled to take place in May once more. Since 1984, most Eurovision Song Contests have taken …

My Eurovision 2018 Experience (Part 3)

As the 2019 season approaches, I am taking a look back at my experience during my time in Lisbon this year. This time I’m looking at my final days in Lisbon and what I got up to. Day 7 – Rehearsals for the Grand Final My seventh day in Lisbon consisted of watching the first Dress Rehearsal in the afternoon and the Jury Rehearsal later in the evening. The running order was decided after the Grand Final and was confirmed early that day. Day 8 – The Big Finale!!!!! My Final Day in Lisbon 🙁 Here it is!, the day that everyone is waiting for. It is the Christmas of Eurovision Fans, the Grand Final.  Whenever it is the Grand Final day, I always get mixed emotions about it. One, I’m very excited to find out who will be the successor and where we might potentially be heading to the next year. On the other hand, I’m sad because it will only take three more hours for it to be finished, then it will all be over for another year. Then I will be wondering what am I going to do with my life for the next seven-eight months. On to …

My Eurovision 2018 Experience (Part 2)

As the 2019 season approaches, I am taking a look back at my experience during my time in Lisbon this year. This time I’m looking at the first semi-final and the rehearsals for the second semi-final. Day 4 – Watching the First Semi-Final My reaction to Saara getting through will probably be enough to break people’s eardrums We’ve finally reached Tuesday!, which meant that it was now time for the first Semi-Final. The only thing I hate about the first semi-final is that there is a lot of great songs! and it was really hard to get the ten qualifiers I want. When I entered the arena, I was only rooting for two acts. I was rooting for Saara Aalto (Finland) and Eye Cue (FYR Macedonia). I was really happy that Saara made the final, but was gutted to see Eye Cue crash out of the Semi-Finals cos I really loved the song!. Other shockers were Azerbaijan not making the Grand Final. Aisel’s song really grew on me and did not doubt for a second that she would not qualify. I can look at Azerbaijan’s entries and I can think of other entries which deserved a DNQ. Day 5 – Watching …

My Eurovision 2018 Experience (Part 1)

As the 2019 season approaches, I am taking a look back at my experience attending the contest in Lisbon this year. I have previously attended the contest back in 2016, but this is the first time I’ve done Eurovision week.. IN FULL!! and I cannot wait to tell you all about my experience in Lisbon. Day 1 – Getting to Lisbon After a long week of working… I finally got to Lisbon!!!!! As they say… you save the best for last!!! :L, I did not get to Lisbon, until the next week after the rehearsals have started. I had this giddy and excitement at the airport awaiting for my flight. Despite the long delays, I have managed to arrive in Lisbon. When I got to Lisbon, I went straight to my place, dropped my stuff off and went straight to the venue. When I got there, Mikolas was doing a meet and greet and it was nice to see him once again, after seeing him in London and Amsterdam. I then went on to the arena and attended a couple of rehearsals. It was surreal being inside the Altice Arena (finally!) and it was a nice feeling to be able to …

Jury Rehearsals – Should they be made available?

To the average viewer, Eurovision Week is not a thing – the contest exists merely as a one night event. As fans, we know that Eurovision Week is so much more than 7 hours.  We start with the first and second open rehearsals, press conferences, opening ceremony and dress rehearsals – all of this in combination with the live transmissions (and our live stream of course!) More than just three shows Many fans are still unaware of the importance of dress rehearsals, more specifically the second of each show.  It is not an exaggeration to say that the second dress rehearsal is equally as important as the main live show itself.  This is the recording that the jury members from each participating country are asked to cast their vote on.  Although this is clearly stated in the EBU’s official rules,  it is something, which I’ve come to realise, is not clearly addressed during the live broadcast.  Do they want us to assume that the juries are voting in real-time or avoid giving an explanation as to why it technically can’t be done live? In the current system, the juries have a 50% stake in the overall contest result. I personally …

Eurovision is not always easy to get right… right, Switzerland?

At the end of last week, the Swiss plans for Israel 2019 were revealed. SRF, the Swiss broadcaster, announced they will no longer use the Die Entscheidungsshow to select their Eurovision 2019 entry. Instead, they will try to improve Switzerland’s luck through an internal selection. Looking back at Switzerland’s results in the last few years, when the only thing they were actually competing for was the hardest national final to pronounce (at least for this poor Spanish speaker) and even then Iceland had something to say, it may not be a bad idea to revamp the whole process. Since 2011, when Die grosse Entscheidungs was introduced, Switzerland have managed to qualify only twice, and even one of them saw them at the bottom of the scoreboard in the final. And it is not hard to understand why. The Swiss audience have made some catastrophically bad decisions when selecting their entries in the last couple of years (2014 and 2018 (the result not withstanding) being the honourable exceptions), leaving out some pretty good gems that are now condemned to Die grosse oblivion… These are the 5 best songs that would have been better choices than what Switzerland treated us to: 5. ‘The Point Of No …

Internal selections: easier to afford, but making audiences feel ignored?

There is a never-ending discussion surrounding the presence of jurors in the Eurovision Song Contest, and with the especially wide discrepancies between the results of the juries and televoters this year, the topic is more loaded with questions than perhaps ever before. Should the voting system continue to be a 50/50 split between the two? Should we axe the juries and rely solely on televotes? Perhaps we should follow Finland’s older Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu format and give power to each country’s chiseled and chiseling asphalt constructors? Though this conversation is certainly worth having, there is another significant this-or-that brewing in our Eurovision bubble, and that is the prominence of delegations opting for an internal selection — the process in which a country’s broadcaster/delegation directly chooses the artist and/or song that it will send to the contest — instead of holding a public, national selection. This particular topic is far from being clear-cut, as there are fair and reasonable arguments both for and against delegations working internally. One could argue that if a broadcaster receives a song that it feels is leaps and bounds ahead of the other submissions, why can’t it just select that particular song and use whatever national …

What is the true value of PR at the Eurovision Song Contest?

Dear Eurovision Fan, I want to talk to you about something that may be of interest to you. I want to engage with you in a very specific way, and if possible, on terms that suit us both. By doing this, I hope to manage the way in which you form an opinion about me. What is it that I’m talking about? Public Relations. Or, as it’s more commonly known, PR. The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations has a very succinct, if not vague, definition of PR: Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. PR at Eurovision We all know PR exists and most of the time we know when we’re being targeted/engaged with (delete as appropriate!) by those that practice the art. But for many, it’s still something of a nebulous concept. In a world of globalisation and increased interconnectedness, PR is becoming even more critical for those whose fate rests on public opinion. At Eurovision, it’s therefore unsurprising that artists (and the teams that manage them) are focussing heavily on PR. But what is its true value and does it really help a …

This is why TVM’s “X Factor Malta” could be Malta’s ticket to Eurovision victory…

News broke this evening that Malta would be scrapping their national final for the first time in their Eurovision history. The competition, most recently branded as the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, has existed in varying forms to select all 31 of Malta’s Eurovision entries. However, with the announcement that the winner of the first ever X Factor Malta would represent the island in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, it marks a big change in plans for TVM and Eurovision in Malta. A struggle to adapt Back in the 1990s, Malta had a string of successful results at Eurovision. A string of eight consecutive top ten finishes occurred between the country’s comeback in 1991 and Chiara’s agonisingly close top three finish in 1998. Furthermore, as we moved into the 2000s, Malta would extend that record to 11 top tens out a possible twelve. Nevertheless, the introduction of the semi-finals saw Maltese fortunes at Eurovision take a tumble. Since 2004, Malta has only achieved four top-half finishes in the grand final in fifteen attempts: 2004: Julie and Ludwig – On Again… Off Again (12th place) 2005: Chiara – Angel (2nd place) 2013: Gianluca – Tomorrow (8th place) 2016: Ira Losco – Walk On Water (12th place) …

The potential positive of Post Eurovision Depression?

The last few weeks, I’ve felt something strange. An odd pang, a growing feeling that’s so familiar, yet so new. I think I’ve got it again, those unsubstantial blues: Post Eurovision Depression. However, could this feeling actually be beneficial? It seems like the perils of post Eurovision depression could in fact be positive. The trouble with defining ‘Post Eurovision Depression’? Despite being used in the fan community for years, there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut definition for the term. Post Eurovision Depression, or PED, is the annual disorder that manifests hours after the winner is announced, and tends to strike in the warm evenings of June. The experience can contrast from person to person, but the cause seems to be universal: the Eurovision bubble has popped for another year. No rehearsal footage to catch up on, no mid-week national final for musical nutrients. Not even a sea of flags to soothe the soul. After months of build-up, an abundance of songs to rate and a fantastic show in Lisbon, the anti-climax of starting again can be a lot to process. We are in a strange state where next year’s contest feels too far ahead in the future, yet this …