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Lost in Corona: The curious case of the 2020 season

by | Mar 16, 2020

Lost in Corona: The curious case of the 2020 season

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Eurovision, Featured |

So this is turning out to be a strange year, isn’t it?

I was going to write a blog post on behalf of the escgo! team anyway at some point.

I was going to explain that (unlike most recent years) we aren’t going to be in the press centre this year, but that we’ll be delivering our usual analysis from afar – including our line-up check in April, my betting insights and Shi’s “View from San Francisco” longreads.

I was going to apologise for the lack of content on this site other than our weekly SongHunt, which you have been taking to your heart and voting in (thanks for that!). Family health and other issues have taken their toll on our small blogging team this winter, so we decided to focus on the heart of our community – the chat and related events – and worry about the content side of things later.

And then the Coronavirus, COVID-19, began its steady march across the world and everything was suddenly up in the air anyway, including our beloved Eurovision Song Contest.

Obviously there are more important things than ESC right now. Keeping ourselves and our families safe, first and foremost. But as the Italians singing from their balconies have shown us, people need a bit of solidarity and light relief in times like these – not least when they’re being asked to self-isolate and stay inside their homes.

It looks highly doubtful as to whether ESC 2020 can take place in Rotterdam in the originally planned form. Even in the context of a global crisis, that’s a huge shame for the fans who have paid large amounts of money to be there, and for the artists and delegations who won’t be getting the unique experience they thought they were getting when they won their tickets to the big contest. There’s still talk of “ESC behind closed doors” – the full arena show, just without any fans present – but that seems increasingly unlikely as borders are closed and travel restrictions imposed.

The EBU and the Dutch organisers have understandably been keeping their cards close to their chest, as there’s no need for hasty decisions in a situation that is evolving every day. However, the broad understanding is that “some kind of ESC in May” is seen as preferable to the logistical headache of delaying the contest until later in the year. As such, right now we’re probably looking at a studio-based contest in which the artists each perform in their own countries, with the Dutch hosting the international link-up and providing some kind of show as a framework around the whole thing.

Whatever ESC 2020 ends up being, it’s clear that it’s going to be a unique one in the contest’s history. But we’re assuming and being optimistic that it will still happen one way or another – so we’ll shortly be getting stuck into our traditional line-up check, even if predictions are made harder by not knowing the format of the show. And, of course, we’ll be holding our traditional ChatVote in April no matter what.

The Eurovision Song Contest was originally created to bring the people of Europe together in turbulent times – let’s hope the 2020 edition gets the chance to prove how good it is at still doing exactly that.

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 escgo! on Twitter

Hope everyone enjoys tonight's National Theatre production! #OneManTwoGuvnors #sorrynotremotelysorry

(2/2) "Now it can be seen as a song of hope for a brighter future,
especially for our friends in Italy who are going through such horrors
right now.

I hope you enjoy it... maybe even if you were never fond of the original version."

https://t.co/JT3v0POXlP

From HCSC regular & 2010 winner Andy Brook:

"This is what I've been doing since lockdown.

I arranged a stripped down version of 'Insieme: 1992' by Toto Cutugno. It won the #Eurovision Song Contest 30 years ago, at a time full of optimism." (1/2)

We are saddened to hear of the passing of three-time Ivor Novello and Eurovision winning songwriter member Bill Martin. Bill’s distinguished career stretched over many decades and he leaves us with such evergreen classics as ‘Puppet On A String’, ‘Congratulations’... 1/3

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