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Five milestones in Eurovision history

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf, the one about the Eurovision Song Contest, begins with the 1956 edition. And none of us know yet when it will end, as the contest is still going strong and keeping relevant after more than 60 years. Over time, though, a lot of things have changed when it comes to music, rules, visual appearance, and many other aspects.

And we know the Eurovision Song Contest also goes back and forth sometimes – take the native language rule, which was first dropped in 1973 and then gradually reintroduced in 1977 and 1978, only to be abolished again in 1999. Similar things have happened with the televoting, which was gradually rolled out first in 1997 and then in 1998 – only to lose its weighting again around 2010, the first year with pure 50/50 voting between the televoters and the juries.

However, a change in the voting rules doesn’t really alter the overall “face” of Eurovision, so we ignored these in the list below. Instead, we asked ourselves: In which years did the very nature of Eurovision change the most? It’s hard to really set those markers, but we’ve come up with these obvious ones:

1968: Colour!

One of the biggest changes in the visual appearance of Eurovision happened in 1968, when the contest was broadcast in colour for the first time. Good for those who had a colour TV set in their homes already, even if that certainly wasn’t the majority back then. We probably would have bought one just for Eurovision. For the first time in history, viewers at home could discuss the colours of the outfits. Without colour TV, glorious ESC moments like Lydia (Spain 1999) – for example – wouldn’t have been possible.

More than fifty shades of grey: Colour came to Eurovision in 1968.

1975: The birth of 12 points

Can you imagine a Eurovision Song Contest without the iconic “12 points”? Well, five countries managed to get “12 points” in contests before 1975 – but in total, that is. However, one thing the various scoring systems used in the early days of the contest had in common was that no one could get more than ten points from a single country. 1975 marks the birth of the voting system as we know it, and while that system has also developed over the years, especially since 2007, its DNA remains the same: 12 points to the favourite, 10 to the second best, then 8, 7, 6… etc. You know it by heart. The first country to ever receive a “douze points”, incidentally, was Luxembourg.

“Luxembourg, 12 points” and others, as performed by Karin Falck

1990: Chameleon stage

Wait, a stage that can change colour to better suit a specific song? Did we have this before 1990? I don’t think we did, and so 1990 pretty much introduces something we deeply connect with Eurovision nowadays: A stage architecture that acts like a chameleon, changing colours from song to song, and even during a song. Sure, before 1990 you could drown the stage in a different colour using lights, but a colour-changing floor and big screen walls? It may have all still been very basic, but it was brand new and very effective – and paved the way for the visual effect-laden contest we know now.

The gate is open – The stage can change colour!

1999: No orchestra

While some other years brought additions to the contest, 1999 came with a huge loss: The orchestra had to go, to the outrage of many fans of the contest even up until this day. One of the arguments was that modern music needs half playback (if no instrumentalists are allowed on stage), and Eurovision had to find a way to make contemporary-sounding music possible in order to survive. Some critics complain that this was only a half-hearted rejuvenation, as any playback that includes vocal sounds is still banned, even if those sounds come out of a synthesizer. But the other argument is indisputable: Rehearsing 40+ songs with an orchestra, and actually picking it all up for the live transmissions, is an immense logistical and financial task – and something that a modern Eurovision Song Contest has no capacities for anymore. Unfortunately.

New sounds. Even forbidden ones.

2004: One more night

Esther Hart sang a song with this title in 2003, and her plea was heard: Eurovision 2004 came with a second night. With a semi-final in advance of the Grand Final, to be clear. Ever since, the Eurovision Song Contest has no longer been a one-night event. Following a semi-final for the history books in 2007, it quickly became clear that even “one more night” wasn’t enough – and since 2008, the Eurovision Song Contest consists of two semi-finals ahead of a Grand Final on the Saturday night. It’s hard to imagine that changing now – but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Eurovision history, it’s that change always comes one way or another…

Reaching new horizons: A typical Eurovision semi-final experience

But in all those years since 1956 one thing has never changed: A peaceful music festival, in which competitors and fans from different countries become friends and connect across borders, across the continent, is probably one of the best things that could have happened to our beautiful Europe.


Not Eurovision. Still.

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Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

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Insta report: The artists of Eurovision 2019

Insta report: The artists of Eurovision 2019

Let’s get visual!

If you’re an active Instagram user but you haven’t checked out the artists of Eurovision 2019 yet, this post might help you discover some of the more interesting accounts and specific posts. And if you aren’t on Instagram yet, maybe this will get you into a new hobby…. or should we say “obsession”?

We’ve browsed the digital-visual homes of our Eurovision class of 2019 so that you don’t have to – and we thought these more or less recent photos were worth sharing:

@itsduncanlaurence

Duncan has one of the more artistic Instagram galleries, mixing performance captures and more stylish photos of himself.

Looking at the Insta galleries of various Eurovision entrants, one can’t deny that some are more artistic, some less so, and some are just plain cheap and uninspired. This post won’t waste your time with the latter ones. Of course, some accounts are a mixed bag, with some more or less good pics. Miki, for example, belongs to that category. But we liked this photo from his Insta:

@miki.ot2018

Speaking of visually appealing and artistic accounts, our favourite here was Slovenia. The intimate connection between Zala and Gasper isn’t only tangible on the Tel Aviv stage, it also shines through in their many beautiful Instagram photos, all holding a subtle, reserved charm.

@zalagasper

View this post on Instagram

Šla bova gledat velike valove 🌊

A post shared by Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl (@zalagasper) on

What else did we stumble across on our search?

There’s KEiiNO channeling Ketil Stokkan at Brandenburger Tor…

@keiinomusic

Mahmood channeling Conan Osiris…

@mahmood

…and, well… no comment.

@hatari_official

View this post on Instagram

The shameful and the shameless.

A post shared by HATARI (@hatari_official) on

Meanwhile, Lake Malawi have a new friend – it’s the beach of Tel Aviv. The Czech guys’ Instagram is one of the better ones, mixing snapshots of their lives as musicians and some stunning quality photos. Their page reflects them well in being authentic, dynamic and lighthearted.

@lakemalawimusic

Chingiz’s gallery feels more the opposite, with many dark and heavy photos, especially the ones in greyscales – but we loved this striking one:

@chingizmustafayev

Jonida from Albania delivers the contrasting colours here:

@jonidamaliqi

…and of course, something like this must not be missing when we do an Insta report:

@lucahaenni1

As you can see, a wide palette of content awaits you if you choose to check out the Instagram profiles of the Eurovision 2019 artists.

And don’t forget we’re on Instagram too! You can find us as @escgo on https://www.instagram.com/escgo/ – content from Tel Aviv will be arriving as Shi continues her blogging journey there, so give us a follow if you like 😉

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

Load more tweets...

SongHunt 2019 – Semi-final 2

SongHunt 2019 – Semi-final 2

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season is nearing its crescendo. Six songs have already made it through to the final, and now it’s time to complete the line-up with the second semi-final!

Each semi-final features 12 songs that qualified from the previous round, drawn at random – and the top six in each semi-final will qualify for the final stage. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday. A playlist with all the entries can be found below the poll if you need a reminder!



Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

Load more tweets...

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with the first semi-final.

Each semi-final features 12 songs that qualified from the previous round, drawn at random, and the top six in each semi-final will qualify for the final stage. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday. A playlist with all the entries of this round will be added soon.


Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

SongHunt 2019 – Semi-final 1

SongHunt 2019 – Semi-final 1

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with the first semi-final.

Each semi-final features 12 songs that qualified from the previous round, drawn at random – and the top six in each semi-final will qualify for the final stage. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday. A playlist with all the entries can be found below the poll if you need a reminder!




Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

Load more tweets...

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with the first semi-final.

Each semi-final features 12 songs that qualified from the previous round, drawn at random, and the top six in each semi-final will qualify for the final stage. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday. A playlist with all the entries of this round will be added soon.


Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

SongHunt 2019 – Heat 8

SongHunt 2019 – Heat 8

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with Heat 8.

Each heat features 12 songs, comprising nine of our chatters’ favourites from the national final shows and three editors’ choices. This week, we, the escgo! team, saved three songs that were previously eliminated in the SongHunt heats to give them a last chance. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday, and you can find a video playlist below the poll if you need a reminder of the entries.



Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

Load more tweets...

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with Heat 8.

Each heat features 12 songs, comprising nine of our chatters’ favourites from the national final shows and three editors’ choices. This week, we, the escgo! team, saved three songs that were previously eliminated in the SongHunt heats, to give them a last chance. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday, and you can find a video playlist below the poll if you need a reminder of the entries.


Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here

SongHunt 2019 – Heat 5

SongHunt 2019 – Heat 5

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with Heat 5.

Each heat features 12 songs, comprising nine of our chatters’ favourites from the national final shows and three editors’ choices. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday, and you can find a video playlist below the poll if you need a reminder of the entries.



Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

Load more tweets...

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with Heat 5.

Each heat features 12 songs, comprising nine of our chatters’ favourites from the national final shows and three editors’ choices. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday, and you can find a video playlist below the poll if you need a reminder of the entries.


Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

Five things that still annoy me about the German final

Five things that still annoy me about the German final

For a change, and as I said a few days ago, I am very happy with the German song selection for ESC 2019 – even if I’m in the minority feeling that way. The quality of songs and artists was a big improvement on recent years, and the voting format is exciting and better than most of the ones Germany has used in the past.

But it’s not all sunshine, and there are still five things that annoy me about the German final. Let’s find out what they are, and what Germany can do to improve.

1. Unengaged hosts
We love Barbara. She’s a legend, she has her own magazine, she is the best host that Germany could have for this show. Her interactions with Linda Zervakis weren’t unentertaining, but nothing to shout about either. Peter Urban, the Terry Wogan of Germany, was the second legend in the studio, and although his role as commentator felt very unusual for a national final, his place in this format is deserved and it works. But let’s get back to Linda Zervakis. Like most other previous German final hosts, she seemed to not really care about what was happening on the evening. I guess she just wanted to demonstrate that questionable German TV “coolness” (which is actually not cool at all), but it comes across as uninterested, unengaged, bored. It mostly shone through in that striking moment when she obviously didn’t know by heart which artist had which position in the running order. In a final with just seven songs, that’s lame and unprofessional. Germany has surely more entertaining and more engaged counterparts for Barbara. Find them!

She deserves better!

2. Way too long postcards
Postcards in Eurovision shows have two obvious functions: They introduce the audience to the next artist, and while they’re happening, the stage is reorganised and prepared for the next performance. On the whole, though, viewers tend not to be very interested in postcards. Their attention span might last for 30 seconds, but anything longer than a minute is just too much. I didn’t sit there with a stopwatch and take measurements, but the postcards in the German final felt like they were longer than the actual songs! Why? Watching this year’s national finals from around Europe makes it all too clear that Germany has some of the biggest gaps between songs. The show dragged so much that we were still only at song 4 after nearly an hour. That’s way too much airtime for uninteresting, unexciting, unentertaining material. Does Germany really need that much longer to work on the stage between songs? It’s hard to believe – the postcards have been far shorter in the past, and Germany has recent experience of hosting ESC itself, with its much shorter gaps between songs. The idea may well be to introduce the next artist in depth, but in that case, it’s a good intention poorly executed. When it’s all about the song, a snappy postcard keeps the viewer’s interest up and prevents them from searching for snacks or going elsewhere – other channels included.

3. Established artists as interval acts
Udo Lindenberg is one of the biggest German music legends, but other than writing a long-forgotten national final entry, what was the reason for him being there? Revolverheld aren’t bad at all, but what do they have to do with Eurovision? And so on. I always find it a bit odd to have established artists performing their own songs as interval acts. Especially when they are as far away from Eurovision as the Rolling Stones. To me, it feels a bit like the broadcaster saying “Look, Eurovision candidates! Look, Eurovision fans! This is real music. You know, music that counts, unlike that irrelevant Eurovision stuff.” That attitude, at the heart of a Eurovision show? Seriously? I’m not asking for Ruslana feat. Mary Roos every year, but at least something with a connection to the contest would be far preferable to acts who don’t care for Eurovision, and for whom Eurovision fans don’t care.

Don’t bore us, get to the chorus

Which brings us on to:

4. Lack of glamour and dramaturgy
Know your audience, ARD, if you want to build one. This mixed bag doesn’t work. It’s Eurovision, not the new year’s party at the Brandenburg Gate.

Besides the use of “real” artists, the German final sorely misses more glamour and dramaturgy. The organisers need to learn how to stage this show, literally! What’s with that uninspired, rectangular stage? Where is the glitter, the glamour, the colour, the festivity? Switch over to RTL’s Let’s Dance and you’ll see that German television can “do” glamour very well. So why does the German final feel like a regional afternoon news show by comparison? And then: Dramaturgy. Has no one in the team ever thought about how to raise the suspense? It was lucky that the voting was quite all over the place, so things stayed interesting until the end. But creating small breaks in between each set of votes would be better.

Why does the national final struggle with viewing figures when Eurovision itself doesn’t have the same problem in Germany? I strongly suspect the lack of a Eurovision vibe as described in the last two points to be the main reason. But another one is surely this:

5. Nobody knows it’s on
One might get the feeling that NDR is embarrassed about Eurovision. While I know weeks in advance when the other shows I follow on German TV are aired, just from the press coverage and advertising, the German final remains an oddity hidden away somewhere in the schedule with hardly any announcements. This may also have to do with the fact that the German final still has no unique brand of its own. Things got slightly better as of last year, but still: New logo, new title (country name instead of city name), new number of songs, zero popularity. I’ve been repeating myself for decades now. Germany needs to establish a brand for its national final. Portugal can do it, Sweden has done it for years now. Hungary, Denmark, and most other countries with a public selection for Eurovision use a national final with a dedicated name, a consistent identity and a permanent format. Germany needs to do the homework that has been overdue for nearly a decade now and give us a recognisable televised event, preferably consisting of several shows to help establish the brand and raise awareness among viewers.

Happier days for the German final

Right now, though, we are far away from an established format. “The German final” means something different, year after year. This a sign of disinterest, whateverism and disrespect on the part of the responsible broacaster.

So, yes, this year’s German final happened to produce a winner that I’m very happy with, but that doesn’t paper over the cracks. Viewing figures were low, and public interest remains largely non-existent. Put simply: Why should the German audience be interested in something that its creators aren’t even interested in?

 

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

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Comment: Wait, what has Germany actually done?

Comment: Wait, what has Germany actually done?

As the German member of the escgo! team, I am the most obvious author to put together a post about the German final.

Except this year, after yesterday’s Unser Lied für Israel, my immediate feeling was: I can’t. I can’t write about it. And this time – shock – it’s not because I’m ashamed of our final. No, it’s because the negative reactions to the chosen song, “Sister” by S!sters, come as a complete surprise to me, to the point where I begin to question my own – or my friends’ – sanity.

So how, if at all, am I supposed to write this article? Should I write it from an apologetic/defensive angle? Should I try to jump on the bandwagon and be outraged that Germany chose this song? Should I simply state the pure and boring facts and figures?

Let me instead answer a question that is meant rhetorically: “What has Germany done?!” That line was heard a lot in the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s final. And rhetorical or not, it’s a good question: What has Germany done?

Here’s how my 2019 German final experience went, from the start:

I didn’t follow any fan comments in advance of the German final, so all of the artists, and all of the songs, were completely new to me on the night. I had no idea who was being discussed as the favourite to win, so I went into the voting without any image in my mind about how it was “supposed” to end, other than my personal preferences. I televoted for three acts: Aly Ryan, Lilly Among Clouds, and S!sters. I liked them all at the same strong level and gave them the same number of calls.

Wear Your Lights

“Sister” not only won my heart, it also won the expert jury vote and the German televote, and got a good score in our #esc chat’s own voting. All good. Except the next things I read online were: “WTF!”, “FFS!”, “Bottom 3!”, “Germany, what have you done?”… and other similar expressions of shock. Quite unexpectedly, I found myself in the ridiculously small minority of those who actually love the song.

Woah! That’s a new one for me.

What’s new specifically, and the reason my defensive instinct kicked in after all, is that I am so far from understanding the negative reactions. Believe me, I have been the first one to criticise my home country’s Eurovision activities on countless occasions in the past – but this time, for once, my heart is touched by a German song and I find myself standing completely behind our entry.

Of course, I’m not here to persuade you that “Sister” is a catchy, powerful earworm of a ballad if you really don’t like it. It doesn’t work that way – you have your taste, I have mine, and on Germany 2019, our tastes take opposite routes. No problem.

Besides, in life I’ve found myself in the position of having to justify myself for my preferences on so many occasions, starting with my love for the Eurovision Song Contest. Or Roxette. Or theme parks. Or men. I am tired of coming up with excuses for my taste or preferences.

But I can’t deny that the level of outrage among the fan community came totally unexpectedly for me, not least since “Sister” really isn’t bad enough to justify such a shocked reaction from fans. Of course people get annoyed when their favourites don’t win, but this seemed to go way beyond that.

Lilly Among Dry Ice

So now what? To what possible climax could I lead this post?

Maybe I’m a hopeless case. Maybe I’ve lost it. Maybe I’ve taken leave of all my senses. Maybe I’ve lost my understanding of the Eurovision Song Contest – hey, maybe I’ll lose my last bit of credibility by even writing this.

But still, I can’t understand the outrage one tiny bit. It’s beyond me why it seems so obvious to some that Aly Ryan or Lilly Among Clouds were much better options for ESC than S!sters, at least based on the songs and the performances on the night.

That winning feeling

“Sister” is a beautiful, catchy song with a strong melody and a captivating staging. That’s how I feel about it. I haven’t loved a German song this much since 2006. And I would have said the same about “Wear Our Love” and “Surprise”.

Maybe that’s the real shock, and the reason for the fan reactions: When there’s more than one good option for ESC in a final, someone will always end up disappointed.

So I’ll be the one to say it: Well done, Germany. For once we had some great songs in our final, and one of them got chosen for Tel Aviv. That’s what Germany has actually done. And you can disagree or agree how ever you wish.

F x

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Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

Load more tweets...

SongHunt 2019 – Heat 3

SongHunt 2019 – Heat 3

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with Heat 3.

Each heat features 12 songs, comprising nine of our chatters’ favourites from the national final shows and three editors’ choices. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday, and you can find a video playlist below the poll if you need a reminder of the entries.



Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

Load more tweets...

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with Heat 3.

Each heat features 12 songs, comprising nine of our chatters’ favourites from the national final shows and three editors’ choices. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday, and you can find a video playlist below the poll if you need a reminder of the entries.


Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

SongHunt 2019 – Heat 2

SongHunt 2019 – Heat 2

The SongHunt continues!

Our quest to find the best song from the 2019 national final season continues with Heat 2.

Each heat features 12 songs, comprising nine of our chatters’ favourites from the national final shows and three editors’ choices. Your task is simple: You have three votes to give to your favourite songs!

The poll closes at 23:59 CET on Saturday, and you can find a video playlist below the poll if you need a reminder of the entries.



Want to know more? You can read about how SongHunt works here, and the full qualification list can be found here.

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

Five milestones in Eurovision history

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself – but not at the Eurovision Song Contest. We take a look at five milestones in ESC history that changed the nature of the competition.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

Hey you!

Do you like #Eurovision?

Do you write songs and want to take part in a Europe-wide competition with other amateur songwriters?

Then you have 2 weeks left to enter the 2019 Home Composed Song Contest!

Full details here: https://t.co/MDIc4bnCLD

https://t.co/JNSbLtyRlk

Eurovision 2020: It could have been anywhere, but it’s Rotterdam! https://t.co/lLlbIM6yFp via @escgo

With Jay Out Of Bucks Fizz standing for the Brexit Party I can hardly avoid reposting this. https://t.co/XrcZbutNZu

Load more tweets...