Editorials & Opinion

From also-rans to Eurovision superpowers: How Bulgaria, Cyprus and Israel transformed their fortunes

From also-rans to Eurovision superpowers: How Bulgaria, Cyprus and Israel transformed their fortunes

Bulgaria. Cyprus. Israel. What do these nations have in common? Three of the most south-easterly participating nations at the Eurovision Song Contest? Tick. They all have wonderful weather and beaches? Tick. Three nations that show that you can turn around Eurovision fortunes with some clever thinking and direction? Big tick! Making a change in selection process Bulgaria, Cyprus and Israel have all experienced a run of at least four consecutive non-qualifications. Bulgaria achieved six-in-a-row between 2008 and 2013 whilst Cyprus and Israel suffered a run of four consecutive non-qualifications between 2006 to 2009 and 2011 to 2014 respectively. Yet, since 2015 these three nations have qualified for the Eurovision final on every single occasion they’ve participated. Just how does a nation manage to bounce back from a poor run of results? If you ask BNT, CyBC and IBA/KAN, it’s all about making a change in your selection process and perhaps taking a bit more control in proceedings to steer the ship back onto the right tracks. Bulgaria: Only one final appearance in ten years Bulgaria had one of the most dismal records in the contest up until 2016, with just a solitary qualification with “Water” by Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan …
🇬🇧 Slideback Sunday: A pop song with a message

🇬🇧 Slideback Sunday: A pop song with a message

Another Sunday, another slideback. Today we’ll revisit United Kingdom’s 1991 entry “A Message to Your Heart” and see what the team thinks of this topical plea wrapped in a catchy pop song package. I’ve followed every contest obsessively since I first became a fan, but I think a lot of Eurovision fans can relate to having less exposure to entries of the past. “A Message to Your Heart” is one of the few pre-2000 UK entries that I’ve listened to, but it’s always stuck with me. Is it the best vocal performance? Definitely not. Is the song original? Not in the slightest. In fact, it might be ticking the most Eurovision boxes thematically in its cry for a better world. It’s catchy though, and that’s all I really need in a pop song. Samantha looks every bit the Popstar Barbie and the performance isn’t bad. The disconnect between the lyrics and the vibe of the entry may throw some people off but we’ve forgiven much more questionable decisions in the name of Eurovision, haven’t we? About the song “A Message to Your Heart” was written by Paul Curtis who previously penned the country’s 1975, 1984, and 1990 entries. It finished …
When should we expect the Eurovision 2020 running order announcement?

When should we expect the Eurovision 2020 running order announcement?

Just under seven years ago, the EBU revealed the first-ever producer-determined running order draw following the introduction of the rule ahead of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. With the EBU confirming that preparations for the contest are continuing as planned, we are now awaiting the reveal of the running order for the 2020 Eurovision semi-finals, we’ve taken a look at exactly when the announcement has happened in every contest since the rule’s introduction. Looking through the archives To do this, we’ve simply looked through eurovision.tv‘s archives and found the following data: The date of each year’s semi-final running order announcementThe date of each year’s mid-March head of delegations meeting. This tends to run over a Sunday to Tuesday period, we have taken the Monday with it widely agreed as the key date during the meeting.The date of day one of each year’s rehearsal schedule. Our findings ContestOrder RevealDays After DeadlineDays Before Rehearsals🇮🇱 Tel Aviv 20192 April22 days (11 March)32 days (4 May)🇵🇹 Lisbon 20183 April22 days (12 March)26 days (29 April)🇺🇦 Kyiv 201731 March18 days (13 March)30 days (30 April)🇸🇪 Stockholm 20168 April25 days (14 March)24 days (2 May)🇦🇹 Vienna 201523 March7 days (16 March)49 days (11 May)🇩🇰 Copenhagen 201424 …
🇲🇰 Slideback Sunday: We Went too far.. No there’s no way back…

🇲🇰 Slideback Sunday: We Went too far.. No there’s no way back…

It’s Sunday once again, and this means its time for another Slideback Sunday. In honour of North Macedonia releasing their 2020 Eurovision entry today, we will be looking back at one of my favourite entries from North Macedonia. Lost and Found by Eye Cue. When I started to delve into Eurovision more, one of the more countries I was interested in was North Macedonia (formerly known as FYR Macedonia). I was heartbroken in 2016 when ‘Dona’ NQ’ed, I was really sad when ‘Dance Alone’ NQ’ed. Once Eye Cue was announced, I had an optimistic feeling towards North Maceonia’s participation in 2018. When ‘Lost and Found’ was released, I instantly fell in love with the track, and it instantly shot up my ranking. After I saw the initial reaction of their performance, I knew there and then that they will probably not qualify again. Despite this, I’ve followed Eye Cue after their Eurovision participation, I even saw them a few times at Eurovision events. I still love them and I love their songs, and I cannot wait for them to release a full-length album. What do the others think? Nick When North Macedonia all of a sudden went for a very …
🇸🇲 Senhit: ‘I’m back. I’m ready. I will enjoy everything’

🇸🇲 Senhit: ‘I’m back. I’m ready. I will enjoy everything’

Earlier this week, I had the genuine pleasure of meeting San Marino’s hope for Eurovision success in Rotterdam: Senhit. Even though I spent no more than an hour with the singer and her team, we covered a broad range of topics for an in-depth discussion. This includes her Eurovision experience nine years ago, her evolution of musical style, her thoughts on the 2020 contest, diversity and, of course, her 2020 entry. Hello Senhit! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers? My name is Senhit (spelt with an ‘H’!). I’m from Italy, but I will represent San Marino for the second time at the Eurovision Song Contest, in Rotterdam. And I’m very happy and very glad because when they called me 2011 I have to be honest to you, I underestimated the contest because I didn’t know that it was so big. I enjoyed it though and it was an amazing opportunity. I met so many people and it was very good. A very big dream for me. You know, the fact that the contest allows people to sing together and the only language is music was, for me, a very beautiful and special opportunity. So after almost 10 …
🇸🇪 Slideback Sunday: when ABBA won the war

🇸🇪 Slideback Sunday: when ABBA won the war

Last week, Riccardo took us back to the turn of the century with Alsou’s Solo. Today, we take a look even further back into the past, when Napoleon did surrender― ok, not that long ago. ABBA rarely needs an introduction, having enjoyed such an enduring fame and such an impact on pop culture across continents that it seems almost strange that their humble beginnings were as Sweden’s first win in Eurovision, in 1974. Their win kickstarted what would later come be known as a powerhouse entrant whose acts are always watched close. Listening to the host in the original recording is hilarious, as he describes a country that has never won – if only they knew what they were getting into! Not only did Waterloo propel Sweden onto a bright new future in the Song Contest, but it also paved the way for ABBA’s eventual worldwide success. The enduring appeal of ABBA and Waterloo The song remains a massive part of our collective psyche, riding on its initial fame and taking on a life of its own. It has proved to be probably one of the best ambassadors of Eurovision’s original aim of bringing people together in entertainment. Looking at …
🇷🇴 Slideback Sunday: When Mandinga made us dance to latin rythms..

🇷🇴 Slideback Sunday: When Mandinga made us dance to latin rythms..

It’s Sunday again, which must mean it’s time for another slideback! This week, we’re going back to 2012 and Baku, Azerbaijan when Romania sent an uplifting latin inspired song by the group Mandinga. About “Zaleilah” “Zaleilah”, a bilingual love song performed English and Spanish has been described as Latin-influenced, with other inspirations including Balkanic, Cuban, Gypsy and salsa music. Lyrically, it revolves around “a woman deeply in love with her ‘chocolate boy’, [possibly] someone who is merely sweet, or someone who is of African descent” its instrumentation consists of a bagpipe, marching drums, accordions and trumpets. Reviewers noticed similarities between “Zaleilah” and “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” (2010) by Colombian singer Shakira. While some people praised “Zaleilah” for its catchiness and dance nature, some viewed it as mediocre and unoriginal. However, “Zaleilah” received a nomination in the Best Song category at the 2011 Romanian Music Awards. Romania reached 12th place in a field of 26 in Eurovision Song Contest 2012, scoring a total of 71 points.Commercially, “Zaleilah” reached the top 100 of various charts after Eurovision, and peaked at numbers two and six in Romania and Moldova, respectively. It also reached the top 50 in Sweden and Billboard‘s Mexico Espanol Airplay chart, the top 60 in Austria and the top 100 in Germany. “Zaleilah” attained lower success in Russia, …
🇱🇹 Lithuania: Pabandom iš naujo 2020 – A four-horse race?

🇱🇹 Lithuania: Pabandom iš naujo 2020 – A four-horse race?

After years of a drawn-out and bloated format, this year saw Lithuania present one of the most consistent and polished selections of the year. This was achieved whilst still maintaining that distinct Lithuanian charm that we know and love. This means that we will be going into a final where half of the line-up could realistically have a path to victory. In this editorial, we break down the four-horse race the selection has turned out to be… The story so far… This year, LRT’s selection for Eurovision underwent a rebrand. The slogan for this year’s competition is Pabandom iš naujo, which translates to ‘Let’s Try Again’. Previously Eurovizijos Atranka, a producer of the show commented last year that they were in it to win it for 2020. [Lithuania’s best result is in 2006 with ‘We Are The Winners’], so let’s try again and let our representatives go higher this year. LRT also revealed that the final of their selection will be upscaled, and will be held in the Žalgiris Arena in Kaunas. Following the second and final semi-final of Pabandom iš naujo 2020, we were presented with the eight songs in contention to represent Lithuania in Rotterdam: Aistė Pilvelytė – UnbreakableRūta Loop …
🇮🇱 Slideback Sunday: 10 years ago, when Israel left only words

🇮🇱 Slideback Sunday: 10 years ago, when Israel left only words

It’s Sunday, which must mean it’s time for another slideback! This week, we’re going to Oslo where Harel Skaat took to the stage with “Milim”. Has it really been 10 years? Going back to 2010, it was only my second year watching Eurovision as an 11-year-old who was intrigued to find out what the contest had to offer next. This was, of course, following the events from the year before, where I had witnessed a violin playing Norwegian take the trophy. At the time of the 2010 contest, I was foolishly hopeful of my home country of the United Kingdom to do well, as I didn’t take much notice of the other 24 better songs in the final. I always preferred saxophones and glittery shorts anyway. Fast forward to (roughly) 2017, and I find myself looking back on entries of the past. I come across a lyric video of “Milim” and end up playing it on repeat. Despite this, anyone who knows me would probably be saying, “but it’s a ballad, you don’t like ballads!”. While that’s pretty spot on, I happen to make exceptions if said ballad is not sung in English. Safe to say, I’m sick of the …
🇩🇪 Slideback Superstars: looking forward to summer with Germany

🇩🇪 Slideback Superstars: looking forward to summer with Germany

This week it is Aline’s turn to give some attention to a song from Germany. Who still knows this classic from the 80s? It immediately makes you happy and it is also a timeless summer hit. Throwback to Brussels 1987 You may be surprised why I chose a 1987 song. After all, I am only 21 years old. Hereby I want to prove that I am indeed aware of the Eurovision history. I have done my research work and I still discover Eurovision songs that I have never heard before. I listen a lot to ESCRADIO and that is really a big tool for me. In recent years I have heard many songs that I already knew, but which I did not know were Eurovision submissions. One of them was “Lass die Sonne in dein Herz” by German band Wind. Another reason why I opted for this is because the 1987 edition took place in Brussels. So far the only time that Belgium has organized the Eurovision Song Contest. About the song Lass die Sonne in dein Herz was the second of a total of three Eurovision participations. The German group Wind participated in 1985 with ‘Für Alle’, good for …
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