The cogs are whirring in Malmö now, as we reach 6 months before the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, and with this action there have been some controversial changes to the usual setup.
No more random draws
Probably most controversially of all, there will be no random draws for the running order in the shows. The producers have taken control of this aspect to try and ensure a good flow to the show. I can see where they’re going with that – the logic being that you won’t get a big block of ballads or uptempos or whatever, and this would give individual songs a bit more space to shine.
Of course some vocals fans have got all hyped up by this, furiously commenting wherever they can that this means the winner will be decided by the producers by manipulating their favoured entries into the pimp slots, and their competition into the earlier slots to scupper their chances.
OK yes this could happen, but I don’t think the running order has ever directly decided the winner. I’m not sure if anyone’s actually done the sums to determine if you are worse off in an earlier slot, but this is the accepted idea regardless. If it makes for a more enjoyable show, and it doesn’t decide the winner, then I think it’s a good thing. Although I think as a compromise (i.e. to shut the critics up) they should bring back the rule from Oslo where you can vote from the start of the show.
Another change that’s emerged in the last few days is a 2,000 capacity standing area around the stage, being populated by fan-club members. As a short person I’m not sure I like this idea, I struggle at concerts anyway, let alone ones with pushy European gays vying for a front seat. For FOUR HOURS. It might work well, but with a bit of sadness my friend and I are going to try our luck with the seated tickets. If we don’t get into all the events, so be it, it looks like Malmö will have plenty to offer during show-time, and we can always try to get into the final rehearsals like last time.
The countries are gradually confirming their participation, with only a few more left to announce. Armenia returns for a one-year hiatus, opting not to risk their lives in Baku. Surprisingly San Marino are giving it another shot, which after the Facebook-inspired song this year can only be a good thing.
Only two of last year’s countries haven’t confirmed yet: Montenegro and Portugal. Not surprised by Montenegro, but Portugal seem to keep powering on despite years of tepid results, so I hope they haven’t given up this time…
It was also announced a little while ago that in contrast to the usual presenting duo, and more recently trio, 2013’s contest will be hosted by a single presenter. But who is it going to be? Hope we find out soon, and I hope it’s Måns Zelmerlöw!
But until then, I’ll get excited about the national finals, some of which are getting closer. Melodifestivalen is on the horizon too, I wonder if any of the big names will get involved!