Last year, the EBU announced that pre-recorded backing vocals would be permitted on a temporary basis as part of a range of measures to ensure the 2021 contest would go ahead. Following the success of the 2021 contest, the EBU appears to have kept the rule in place for 2022.
Notably, the rule change was not a permanent change and would be revisited after the 2021 contest had taken place. Seemingly, these could indeed be permanent. To coincide with the opening of the submissions process for Söngvakeppnin, Icelandic broadcaster RUV published a document claiming to contain the rules of Eurovision 2022.
The accompanying Backing track may optionally contain Backing Vocals. However, the Backing track in question shall not contain (i) Lead Vocals, (ii) Lead Dubs and/or (iii) any other vocals that would have the effect of, or aim at, replacing or unduly assisting the Lead Vocal(s) during the live performance on stage.Excerpt from RUV document
Whether this was an error or will be confirmed by the EBU further down the line, will likely be clarified soon.
Pre-recorded backing vocals at Eurovision
Back in June 2020, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Martin Österdahl, announced that for the 2021 contest, delegations would be permitted to use pre-recorded backing vocals on their backing tracks. This was one of a number of changes made to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest to ensure that there will be no chance of a cancellation to any future Eurovisions in the years to come.
Once introduced, the use of pre-recorded backing vocals was entirely optional. Delegations could continue to use live backing vocalists if they wished, or a mixture of live and pre-recorded backing vocals. By allowing this, the EBU stated that this will mean delegations could save money by having smaller delegations with fewer performers as well as keeping the contest safer in times of the ongoing global pandemic.
While some artists, such as the Czech Republic’s Benny Cristo opted not to use pre-recorded backing vocals in Rotterdam, others took full advantage and brought choirs to the Ahoy stage.
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