Less than 5 months to go before the Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark. By this point in the year preparations are usually well under way from the national delegations, and indeed the first national final is being held on Saturday. Makes it a bit more exciting to think the first song is nearly here, but there’s still a long way to go.
We haven’t even got the final list of countries yet, and while the application deadline last month threw up a few surprises, there are still changes afoot. The final roster isn’t due until January, but for now it looks like we say a sad farewell to Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria & Cyprus, all for financial reasons. However we are welcoming back Poland and Portugal so it’s not all bad news. Bosnia & Herzegovina was coming back too but today it seems they’ve not secured funding and have pulled out. Also in the balance is Greece, keen to stay in but are currently without an EBU broadcaster. It seems the EBU are also keen to keep as many countries in, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few more unexpected appearances in January.
We’ve got theme art too! DR unveiled the “#JoinUs” slogan earlier this year, but now we have a diamond logo. I wasn’t convinced by Malmö’s butterfly idea but that turned out to be fabulous, I can only imagine how versatile the diamond could me in motion, so I’m all for it.
So the opening sextet for songs for 2003’s contest in Latvia were a struggling, but the best of them was at least progress in the right direction. We aren’t quite out of the woods yet as we reach the mid-point of the countdown, as many countries still struggled with what a Eurovision entry should be in the 21st Century.
I can’t judge them too harshly for being dated, I mean this is 10 years ago. But when I think back to some of my favourite music of 2003, it wouldn’t surprise me for people at the time to wonder when Eurovision was going to catch up. Continue reading
I think I’ve been putting this off to an extent. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been busy (eh…) or lazy (closer). I wanted to finish the Madonna countdown, but perhaps it’s because I was avoiding closure. The Eurovision comedown is not an isolated phenomenon; symptoms involve hissy fits, gay comas, and not changing the CD in the car for something non-Eurovision.
But this is the last thing I have left to do – ooh, and post some photos – so I might as well kick it off while I have some time. These countdowns take ages to write up!
You can skip ahead to #30-21, #20-11, #10-6 and the top 5, as well as the Malmö 2013 hub for everything I’ve ever written about this year’s contest.
So here’s the final piece of the puzzle. It might not be a completely illuminating piece – perhaps a grey bit that might be a bit of someone’s coat or a bird or something – but a crucial piece all the same.
Yes, Eurovision voting is a game of two halves. On one side is the voting public, much maligned for a poor taste for novelty acts, and allegedly involving themselves in bribery from other countries (yeah yeah). On the other are the mysterious juries, also much maligned but nonetheless regarded as the professional face of the scoring, made up – in theory – of singers, writers & composers.
This year we had a tweak to the rules that meant the juries ranked their songs from 1 to 26 rather than just listing their top 10, giving them the power to sink a song popular in the televote out of sheer SPITE! They’d do that you know, if you believe the loons. Of course the voting public had the capacity to do this already. Considering the juries are included for their invaluable insight, it did seem a bit odd that before 2013 we didn’t give a shit what they thought of their non-top-10 songs, even though their 11th place is surely going to be much more liked than their 26th. So I’m all for it. ANYWAY HERE ARE THE SCORES. Continue reading
As we approach the end of the daily reviews of this year’s Eurovision entries, it’s time to look at the last of the “Big Five” countries, the biggest contributors to the EBU budget entitled to free qualification to the final.
France are a founding nation of Eurovision, participating in the original 1956 contest. Its role in Eurovision’s genesis is apparent whenever the contests speak in both English and French. Of course the famous maximum “douze points” is a side-effect of the French influence on Eurovision tradition.
Absolved of the need to qualify for the final, France are probably the biggest risk-takers of the Big Five, or the nation of that group who most embrace the spirit of the contest. As a result, you never know what direction they will take. Even in the last five years there have been renowned divas, football arena anthems, Corsican opera, and marvellous Indonesian pop. Continue reading