The leaves are turning yellow in the northern hemisphere, which means it’s that time of the year again – in which not only fallen leaves, but also all kinds of random news bits about the upcoming Eurovision season start piling up!
So, let’s resume. What are the latest updates? What’s worth highlighting, other than the fact that our beloved contest is heading to Turin in 2022?
Let’s begin with the hottest news, coming from Sweden: Melodifestivalen‘s Andra Chansen is a thing of the past. But fear not, we are going to see those eight songs once again, i.e. those that came 3rd and 4th place in their “deltävling”, which non-Swedes all know as “semi-finals”. Now, with the successor of Christer Björkman, Karin Gunnarsson, we are getting a new format for the last chance round: Instead of four duels, we’re going to see two groups with four entries each. From each group, two songs will proceed to the final. We certainly don’t know why they scrapped the name “Andra Chansen”, because seriously, “Second Chance” would still be kinda valid with this format. But instead, the new name in Swedish is “Semifinal”, which will obviously bring a lot of confusion to the international fan world. Translating it to “Semi-final 5”, as the English Wikipedia and some fan media are doing it, is only contributing to the confusion. It remains to be seen by which name this round will be referred internationally after a while. Maybe we should just call it the “Semi-final” after four “heats”? Whatever we call the rounds, anyway, Melodifestivalen 2022 will run from 5 February (Heat 1) to 12 March (Final).
Malta is bringing back its national selection, Malta Eurovision Song Contest, for the first time since 2018, when Christabelle and her song “Taboo” were selected for the contest in Lisbon. The upcoming Maltese final will consist of a semi-final (22 songs) and a grand final of 16 songs. Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will be held in February.
San Marino will host Una Voce per San Marino, a national final consisting of nine established artists and nine newcomers. The songs per seat ratio (which we just now established) is unusually high: 18 songs will be performed in front of the 365 seats of Teatro Nuovo in Dogana. That’s 0.049 songs per seat, compared to approximately 0.00024 songs per seat in a Melodifestivalen final in Friends Arena. Back to the topic: The Sammarinese final, Una Voce per San Marino, will be staged on 19 February.
Ireland is also joining the list of those countries that bring back their national finals, and here, it’s again happening in the form of The Late Late Show for the first time since 2015.
Estonia is extending its Eesti Laul format with four quarter-finals each with ten songs. Not content with waiting until 2022, the quarter-finals already kick off on 20 November.
One of the highlights of the upcoming season will probably be Spain‘s Benidorm Fest 2022, which is based on the traditional Benidorm Song Festival that was held every summer and ran until 2004 (and until 2006 with “International” in its name). The dates for the two semi-finals and the grand final are yet to be announced, but we’re certainly looking forward to this one!