Single: Aline Lahoud – “Quand tout s’enfuit” (Eurovision 2005)

“Quand tout s’enfuit” is one of a small list of Eurovision entries that never came to pass. I thought that just before I share my Eurovision 2005, I should mention the Lebanese debut entry that never was.

The story is a lot less simple than I originally thought, and thanks to reader Kelly-Ann for correcting me. Middle-Eastern country Lebanon were to debut at Kiev’s Eurovision in 2005. They paid their fees, and selected a song. But it then emerged that the fee for entry was raised, and the broadcaster couldn’t afford this without extra sponsorship. They pulled out, lost their participation fee, and incurred a three-year ban from the contest for the broadcaster, and were never seen again.

It wasn’t, as the story goes, because Lebanon were forbidden from showing Israel’s entry in the contest under Lebanese law. It’s been pointed out that sporting events and even Miss World were shown in Lebanon with Israeli contestants, so this wasn’t a deal-breaker.

A shame really, I’m all for more countries entering the contest, even moreso for ones outside the usual voting cliques. But c’est la vie. We can at least enjoy the entry that Lebanese-born Aline was going to sing.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s performed in French. After all, it’s a recognised language there (even if Arabic is the offical tongue). But I suppose I expected it in Arabic. I don’t blame them though, such a move would certainly make Europe a bit more inclusive of a country that few would place within its geographical borders.

It’s a gorgeously dramatic ballad with some lovely beats behind it. Sort of reminds me of something from a musical, so it’s difficult to imagine how it would have played out in Kiev, but I certainly think it would have done well. It may well have even have enjoyed Azerbaijan’s consistent success by expertly blending mainstream musical styles with traditional instruments in an easily digestible parcel. OK maybe English lyrics would have sealed the deal more effectively, but it would have made a worthy entry.

What a heartbreakingly desperate fan-made video though, editing is as if it had been in the show after all, bless them!

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2 Comments

Filed under Eurovision, Music, Reviews

2 responses to “Single: Aline Lahoud – “Quand tout s’enfuit” (Eurovision 2005)

  1. Kelly Ann

    Time to go a bit geeky here but the thing about Lebanon’s withdrawal has become something of an over-simplified fan myth – it certainly isn’t illegal to show an Israeli entry in Lebanon, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Essentially the Lebanese television station that is the EBU member, Télé Liban, is a very poor, governemnt-owned station, that has miniscule viewing figures and an even smaller budget. Their main issue was finding funding – initially Aline Lahoud’s manager/songwriter put up a lot of the fee but it turned out to be more than expected after the Czechs dropped out of the preliminary list, so they required another sponsor. Unfortunately this is where it came to pass that, due to some sort of technicality with sponsorship laws for a government station, noone was willing to fund it due to Israel being present, so they had to drop out. It’s certainly worth pointing out that Lebanon has hosted a Miss World contest in Beirut with an Israeli contestant before, and regularly shows sporting events with Israeli athletes competing (and unlike some other nations in the region, doesn’t edit them out). The main problem is how poor Télé Liban is – it’d only work with Future Television or LBC (the main two channels there). Essay over!

    • Hey Kelly-Ann, thanks for the comment. That’s very interesting! And a little embarassing for me not checking the story properly, Wikipedia can be too useful sometimes. My Lebanese friend said the same story but he doesn’t follow Eurovision so I guess he heard second-hand like I did.

      If that’s the case, then it’s a big shame that it just came down to money, but then it gives us hope that Lebanon could still come to ESC one day. I will edit my post now so I don’t propogate this incorrect story any more!

      Thanks for the input
      David x

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